Skillet Chorizo with Gnocchi

Skillet Chorizo and Gnocchi (or Tortellini)

     Nice and spicy, this simple dish is prepared on the stove top and is on the table in no time.  There are so many variations to try!  Add Mini Meatballs, Italian Sausage, Browned Ground Meat, leftover Cooked Chicken, Bell Peppers or Mini Sweet Peppers. Use Tortellini, Shells, Noodles or Ravioli instead of Gnocchi.  If cooking for a crowd, double up the Butter, Shrooms, Onion, Garlic, Tomatoes, and Seasoning.  When it’s ready, ladle half of it into a different pan.  Add a different Meat to each pan AND a different Pasta.  Ta da!  Two dishes with the work of only one!  Your kitchen will smell like Grandma’s Italian Kitchen!

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 3-4 servings

1 tbsp Butter

8 oz Mushrooms, sliced

1 lb Meat (Ground Meat, Andouille, Chorizo, Meatballs, Italian Sausage or cooked Chicken)

1 Large Sweet Onion, chopped

2-3 TBSP Garlic, chopped or minced

2 cups Fresh tomatoes, diced or 1 can Fire Roasted Tomatoes

1 TBSP spicy Seasoning (Creole or Cajun)

Black Pepper to taste

1 tsp each Parsley and Basil

16 oz Tortellini, Gnocchi, Ravioli, or Noodles or Shells, cooked Al Dente

Grated Romano, Asiago, or Parmesan for serving

PREPARATION:

     Cook the pasta in a large pot of water.

     Preheat a 12” skillet, and add Butter.  Cook Mushrooms, Onions, Garlic, (and Peppers if using) until tender. Add your Meat and cook until done.  (Chicken should be precooked.  Leftover chicken is perfect). 

     Add Tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the juice has cooked down a bit.  If it seems to runny, add 1 TBSP Tomato Paste.  Add Seasonings and cooked Pasta.  Simmer 5 more minutes.  Sprinkle Grated Cheese to the pan or on top of each individual bowl when serving.  Serve with crusty Bread and a Salad.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

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Fried Cabbage with Bacon and Noodles

     We love Fried Cabbage, and it’s one of the most economical foods out there!  Since you use such a small amount of grease, it’s a very healthy meal.  Eat it as a main dish with a side salad and homemade bread, or as a side dish.  Cabbage is very high in fiber and nutrients, and contains zero fat.  I know!  It’s sounding better and better all the time, isn’t it?  Wait until you try this quick dish!  It’s SO good!

INGREDIENTS:  Yields 2-3 main servings, or 6 side dish servings

3 slices Bacon, cut in half, fried until crisp

6+ cups Cabbage, cut into bite sized pieces

½ cup Onion, chopped

2 large handfuls Egg Noodles (about 2 cups)

1-2 cloves Garlic, chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 TBSP butter (Optional)

PREPARATION:

     Cook bacon until crisp.  Set aside.  You will crumble it later.

     Drain most of the grease from the pan, leave a few tsp.  Add Cabbage and cook on low heat for about 15 minutes.  Add Onion and Garlic. Continue cooking until Cabbage is browned and tender.  I use Tongs to flip it over.

     Meanwhile, cook Egg Noodles for 5 minutes, drain.  Add to Cabbage mixture.  Add Butter.  Add Salt and pepper.  Add crumbled Bacon.

     Serve.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2019

Hamburger Skillet Casserole

Hamburger Skillet Casserole by Sharon - Copy

Today we have another quick dinner contributed by my long-time friend Sharon Knapp Geisenhof.  Sharon states that this one-skillet dinner is quick, and is much healthier for your family than boxed dinners.  I think when I make this I might add some peas.  Yummy!  Thank you, Sharon!

Ingredients:

1# ground beef

1/2 large sweet onion sliced

1 large or 2 small cans mushrooms

1 tbs minced garlic

1/2 tsp cayenne

1 c pasta water with 1 tbs Better than Bullion dissolved in it

1# whole wheat pasta

2 tbs evoo

1 tbs Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

1c plain Greek yogurt

1c shredded cheddar

1c shredded Colby

 

PREPARATION:

Sauté onions in evoo for a few minutes then add mushrooms and garlic.

Sauté  5 minutes then add ground beef, Worcestershire, and cayenne.

When beef is browned add pasta/bullion water, mix in cheese then add yogurt and heat through, then add pasta. So good!

By Sharon Knapp Geisenhof for Chew Wanna Eat?

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2018

Hamburger Skillet Casserole by Sharon - Copy

ORZO WITH GARDEN-FRESH VEGETABLES IN GARLIC/ OLIVE OIL

orzo-with-vegetables

     Want a quick yet delicious way to use up your garden-fresh vegetables?  Cook them with Orzo Pasta, add some cheese and it’s ready for the table in about fifteen minutes.  I put the tomatoes on last as part of the garnish for additional color and freshest taste. Have some leftover turkey, chicken, or bacon?  That would be perfect! 

INGREDIENTS:

4 TBSP butter

3 TBSP olive oil

1 medium onion, sliced vertically

1 small yellow squash, chunked

1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

4 large cloves garlic

1 cup uncooked orzo pasta

1 cup water

1/2 cup white wine

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup fresh parsley

¼ tsp crushed red pepper

1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese

1/3 cup freshly grated Romano Pecorino cheese

¾ cup Chopped fresh tomatoes

½ cup Mozzarella, grated for garnish

OPTIONAL:  cooked crumbled bacon, leftover diced turkey or chicken

PREPARATION:

In a large skillet, melt butter and olive oil over low heat.  Add the onion, squash, mushrooms, and garlic.  Cook until vegetables are tender.

Mix in the Orzo, and sauté until the pasta takes on a golden color.  It will only take a few minutes.

Add the water and white wine.  When mixture comes to a simmer, season with salt, pepper, parsley, and crushed red pepper.  Cover and simmer about 8 minutes or until Orzo is cooked to your liking.

Add Parmesan and Romano cheeses, stirring until melted.  Add mozzarella, cover and give it a minute or two to melt.

Place in a serving bowl and sprinkle chopped tomatoes on top.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2016

orzo-with-vegetables-2img_2135

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orzo-with-vegetables

SHRIMP MARINARA, BY BOB

Shrimp Marinara (2)

     Love marinara? We do too.  Here’s a quick and very tasty Shrimp Marinara created by Bob, for Chew Wanna Eat?  He served it over angel hair pasta, but choose your favorite!

 Ingredients:

4 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced (~3 tablespoons)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (or diced whole tomatoes)

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

3 teaspoons dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon white sugar

½ cup Red Wine

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan, sauté garlic and onion in the olive oil; about 10 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Add diced tomatoes and crushed tomatoes to the pan along with the Wine, basil, sugar. (salt and pepper to taste if desired) Cover and simmer 40 minutes, stir occasionally.
  3. Add raw shrimp and cook for 3-5 minutes until shrimp is no longer pink..

Shrimp MarinaraShrimp Marinara (2)

MEATBALLS, BEEF

Spaghetti and Meatballs (2)

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb ground beef (or beef and pork mix)

2 eggs

¾ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs

1/8 cup water

1 TBSP minced garlic

1 ½ tsp onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1 ½ tsp Italian seasoning

¼ cup fresh grated cheese (Romano, Parm or Asiago cheese)

 

PREPARATION: 

     Mix all ingredients well and form into balls.  Bake at 275° F for 15 minutes.  Turn them over and bake another 15 minutes. The low oven temperature keeps them tender. Drop in sauce and continue cooking. 

 NOTE:  Cook time is for 2” balls.  If you make them smaller, reduce the bake time.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLSSpaghetti and Meatballs (2)Spaghetti and Meatballs (3)

ORZO PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON

GRILLED SALMON WITH AVOCADO SALSA
GRILLED SALMON WITH AVOCADO SALSA

Here is another healthy and fabulous dinner recipe contributed by Debra Slater-Manter. Oh, she’s just so good. Look at this! Thank you, Debra!  NOTE:  Also pictured is Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa which you will find in another post.

ORZO PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON
Ingredients:
5 cups water
2 cups Orzo pasta
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup grated parmesan
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound asparagus cut into bite size pieces

Instructions:
1. Bring water to boil in large saucepan.
2. Add Orzo and cook until slightly tender. About 15 minutes.
3. Toss asparagus into water with the Orzo.
4. Continue to cook another 2-3 minutes.
5. Drain and pour pasta and asparagus back into pan.

6. Add lemon juice and zest, parmesan and butter.

ORZO PASTA WITH ASPARAGUS AND LEMON
Ingredients:
5 cups water
2 cups Orzo pasta
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup grated parmesan
4 tablespoons butter
1 pound asparagus cut into bite size pieces

Instructions:
1. Bring water to boil in large saucepan.
2. Add Orzo and cook until slightly tender. About 15 minutes.
3. Toss asparagus into water with the Orzo.
4. Continue to cook another 2-3 minutes.
5. Drain and pour pasta and asparagus back into pan.

6. Add lemon juice and zest, parmesan and butter.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015

RIGATONI PARMESAN

RIGATONI PARMESAN2006-02-14 19.56.20

A wonderfully versatile dish that you can customize with mushrooms, sausage, meatballs, or even cooked ground beef.  Make it your own for a dinner that will please any Italian food lover.

INGREDIENTS:

One 16 oz box of uncooked pasta (penne, ziti, rotini or rigatoni)

1 ½ quarts (6 cups) homemade sauce

¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan

¼ cup fresh grated Romano

1 cup ricotta cheese

2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese

PREPARATION:

Cook pasta in salted water, but undercook it by 2 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Mix ricotta cheese into sauce, then pour enough sauce into a 13×9 baking dish to cover the bottom.

Add half the pasta, stirring to mix.  Sprinkle with half the Romano and Parmesan. Add half the Italian blend.  Repeat with Italian blend cheese being the top layer. Cover lightly with foil, and if your dish is very full, put a tray underneath it to catch spills.

Bake for 30 min at 350 °F, then uncover and continue baking until cheese is bubbly and browned. (Another 10-15 min).

NOTE:  This dish will freeze very well.  Make a double batch and freeze one before baking.  Lay plastic wrap directly on the cheese and push gently to squeeze out any air.  Lay aluminum foil on top of plastic wrap, label and freeze.  You’ll thank me later.

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? ©2015

RIGATONI PARMESAN BY TIKA, FOR CHEW WANNA EAT?
RIGATONI PARMESAN BY TIKA, FOR CHEW WANNA EAT?

©2015

CHICKEN ALFREDO OVER LINGUINE, By Tika

CHICKEN ALFREDO OVER LINGUINE
CHICKEN ALFREDO OVER LINGUINE

CHICKEN ALFREDO OVER RIGATONI
CHICKEN ALFREDO OVER RIGATONI

CHICKEN:

2 ½ – 3 lbs boneless chicken

2 eggs, beaten

1 ½ cup seasoned bread crumbs

2 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP butter

1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms

3 – 4 cloves garlic, sliced

1 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP butter

1 cup Mozzarella

Dip chicken in egg, then pressboth sides into bread crumbs.  Preheat large skillet and add 2 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP butter.  Cook chicken until nicely browned on both sides, then remove to a 9 x 13 baking dish.  (While chicken is browning, put the leftover egg in the microwave for the dogs.)

In same pan, add 1 TBSP olive oil and 1 TBSP butter.  Sauté mushrooms and garlic for about 2 min.  Pour over chicken, including whatever juice may remain in pan. Cover with foil and bake at 350* for about 30-40 min or until chicken is cooked through.

Remove from oven and drain juice.  Sprinkle grated Mozzarella over chicken. When cheese is melted, sprinkle parsley on top.

ALFREDO SAUCE:

1/4 cup white wine

4 TBSP butter

2 TBSP olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups half and half

1 ½ TBSP corn starch

¼ tsp white pepper

½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/3 cup Romano cheese, freshly grated

¾ cup Mozzarella cheese

Parsley for garnish

PREPARATION:

Cook fettuccini or linguine while preparing sauce.

In medium saucepan, add the wine, and cook to reduce.  Add corn starch and whisk to incorporate. Add olive oil and butter over medium/low heat until butter is melted.  Add garlic, half and half, and white pepper.  Bring to simmer, and cook over low heat for about five minutes, stirring regularly.

Add Parmesan and Romano in small batches, whisking until cheese is melted.

To plate:  Place drained pasta on plate.  Pour Alfredo sauce over pasta.  Place chicken on top.  Dive in.

OPTIONAL:  I very often throw a small bowl of frozen broccoli and peas in the microwave to cook while preparing the sauce.  I drain them well and add to the Alfredo sauce just before serving.  In fact, I almost always do.

Serve with homemade Italian bread on the side.  Oh my!

(Note: I chose not to put any Mozzarella or Alfredo on top of the chicken for photographic reasons. I wanted you all to see how nice the chicken looks after baking.)

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT?

Browned chicken. Top with foil and bake
Browned chicken. Top with foil and bake

CHICKEN ALFREDO OVER LINGUINE
CHICKEN ALFREDO OVER LINGUINE

ITALIAN BREAD
ITALIAN BREAD

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BAKED ZITI (OR PENNE)

Baked Ziti, the Best
Baked Ziti, the Best

And home made Italian bread? Oh, my!
And homemade Italian bread? Oh, my!

Cooler weather is coming, and this is just the Italian feast you’ve been craving all summer.  This is the best ziti I’ve ever made. It’s so similar to my lasagna, but much less work.  If you’re a fan of Italian, I promise you will love it.

Whenever I bring it to a pot luck, it is the first thing to disappear.  I made a triple batch for a wedding rehearsal dinner once, and thankfully, I had the recipe in my head.  Many people asked for it. Right Calene and Rob?

You may think there are a lot of instructions, but it’s only because I’ve tried to thoroughly explain each step.  No worries, each step is very quick.  You will breeze through it, and be so happy, that you’ll start mentioning me in your prayers.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb box ziti or penne

1 lb ground beef or turkey

½ lb Italian sausage, sweet or hot, casings removed

1 medium to large onion, chopped

4-6 cloves garlic, chopped

6 + cups of your favorite spaghetti sauce (homemade is best)

2 cups Ricotta Cheese

1 ½ – 2 cups grated Italian Blend Cheese (divided)

¼ cup each, grated fresh Parmesan and Romano Cheese

Olive oil for drizzling on final layer

PREPARATION: 

Cook pasta, drain, and set aside.

Brown the beef or turkey with the onion and garlic in a skillet.  Drain grease and place it in a very large bowl. Set aside.  Cook the sausage in same pan until browned and cooked through.  Add to bowl with beef, stirring to incorporate.  If you’re going to add green peppers, mini sweet peppers or mushrooms, cook them in the same pan and add to the bowl.  Add the spaghetti sauce and cooked pasta, mixing with a large spoon.

Place Ricotta in a small bowl.  Add one egg, ½ tsp garlic powder, ½ tsp parsley, ¼ tsp basil, ¼ tsp pepper, ½ tsp sugar.  Mix with a fork or whisk until well blended.

Add the Ricotta and grated Italian blend to bowl, making sure to reserve a good half cup of Italian blend for the final layer. Do NOT over mix the cheeses, you want to leave a few clumps of it here and there.  (I’m all about pretty.)

Find one of your beautiful oven to table serving dishes that has tall sides, (or use a blah and boring 9 x 13 baking dish).  Lightly spray it with baking spray.  Spoon or pour the entire bowl of mixture into your dish.  Sprinkle with approximately 1/4 cup each of Parmesan and Romano Cheese.  Sprinkle the reserved Italian Blend Cheese and lightly drizzle with about 1 TBSP olive oil.

Cover with foil and BAKE at 375* for about 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is nicely browned.

OPTIONAL:  Mushrooms, mini sweet peppers, and green pepper.  Sauté them after cooking the meat.

Tika’s Notes: Freezes well right in a baking dish!  I cover with plastic wrap, which I press down to keep the air and freezer burn out.  Put labeled and dated foil on top of that.  If you’re going to create something this delicious, may as well have a spare in the freezer. It will take a good two days to thaw in the refrigerator.  I suppose you could use freezer bags, or foil packets.  I’ve never done either.

Great, I’m hungry now.  Ugh.

And home made Italian bread? Oh, my!
And homemade Italian bread? Oh, my!

Baked Ziti, the Best
Baked Ziti, the Best

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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT?