Category Archives: Main Course – Dinner

Meatballs with Red Sauce

These meatballs are tasty and versatile. In red sauce, they can be eaten with spaghetti or they can be made into a hearty sandwich. Leftovers can be frozen and used for a quick dinner on a busy day.

Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef, low fat
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Red Sauce

  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 large cans tomato sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

(Note: for a chunkier sauce, substitute one large can of diced tomatoes for one can of tomato sauce)

Grate or finely chop onion into a large mixing bowl. Reserve half of the grated onion in a separate bowl for the sauce.
Add bread crumbs and one tablespoon of EVOO.
Add two eggs and mix until the eggs are scrambled and the mixture is consistent.
Add ground beef and ground sausage to the mixing bowl by breaking the meat into small pieces and gently mixing and tossing the pieces with the egg mixture. Combine the mixture thoroughly but avoid squeezing the meat together as much as possible to avoid over-working the meat.
In a large sauce pan or dutch oven, place three tablespoon of olive oil and heat over medium flame. Form meatballs into approximately 1 ½” balls without overworking the meat. Brown the outside of the meatballs by gently turning them every few minutes. I find it easiest to cook in batches.
When brown, remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Continue until all of the mixture has been used.
Once all the meatballs are cooked, add the remaining onions to the saucepan and cook until the onions soften.
Add one small can of tomato paste. Fill empty can with water, add to pan and blend ingredients.
Add two large cans of tomato sauce to pan and mix ingredients thoroughly.
Season sauce by adding garlic, basil and oregano.
Add meatballs and allow sauce to simmer for at least one hour.
Adjust final seasoning with salt and pepper.

Farfalle with Sausage in Vodka Sauce

  • ¾ lb bulk Italian sausage
  • ½ lb farfalle
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 crushed peppercorns
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • 1 cup whole tomatoes
  • 1/3 heavy cream
  • salt

Melt butter with olive oil in wide pan with peppercorn. Add sausage and cook, breaking up the meat, until slightly brown. Lightly purée whole tomatoes in a food processor. Add farfalle to boiling water and cook until al dente.. Add cooked pasta then the vodka, tomatoes and cream. Stir and add salt to taste. Cover and cook on high for one minute. Serve immediately.

The Best Ever Steak Marinade

Per each pound of grilling steak:

  • 1 T fresh thyme
  • ½ T black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, finely grated
  • 2 T wine vinegar, white
  • 4 T EVOO (preferably Rosemary-Basil)
  • 1½T butter, melted
  • ½ lemon
  • salt to taste

In a bowl or jar, mix thyme, pepper, garlic, vinegar and olive oil thoroughly.
Add mixture to thawed steaks with basting brush, covering all surfaces.
Wrap steaks tightly in plastic wrap.
Let steaks sit for 2 hours at room temperature or for 4 hours in refrigerator. Rub steaks through the plastic wrap every 30 minutes.
Grill steaks at 400˚F. For medium rare, 1 1/2”, room temperature steaks: grill 5 minutes on one side and 3 minutes on the other side. Only turn steaks once and do not puncture the surface of the meat.
After steaks have been turned, squeeze the lemon to cover the surface of the meat.
Once the steaks are removed from the grill, add butter with basting brush to surface.
Salt to taste.
Note: Always let steaks set for 5 minutes before serving.

Creamy Leek Soup

Soup

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 5 leeks, (the white and light green section only), chopped (set aside a small amount for garnish, if desired )
  • 2 medium white onions, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 medium red potatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Garnish

  • Sautéed leeks
  • Chives, chopped
  • One leaf or two of flat leaf parsley
  • EVOO.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the leeks and the onions. Cool until soft, but not brown, approximately 10 minutes.
Add water. Cook an additional 10 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes.
Puree in blender (in batches) or with an immersion blender. Add milk and whipping cream. Heat until very hot but do not allow to boil.
To garnish: Sauté a few slices of leeks in 1 teaspoon EVOO for about 4 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sautéed leeks, chopped chives and a leaf or 2 of flat leaf parsley. Drizzle EVOO over garnish for additional flavor.

Farfalle with Vodka Sauce

  • ½ lb farfalle
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 4 crushed peppercorns
  • ¼ cup vodka
  • 1 cup whole tomatoes
  • 1/3 heavy cream
  • salt

    Lightly purée whole tomatoes in a food processor. Add farfalle to boiling water and cook until al dente. Melt butter with olive oil in wide pan with peppercorn. Add cooked pasta then the vodka, tomatoes and cream. Stir and add salt to taste. Cover and cook on high for one minute. Serve immediately.

 

Farfalle with Sausage and Escarole

 

  • (makes 2 very generous servings)
  • 1 large head escarole, washed and cut (or torn) into medium sized pieces
  • ½ pound Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4-6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Approximately 1/4 pound farfalle per person. Use less for lighter appetites. Add more sausage for meat eaters.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in the bottom of a large skillet. Add the garlic and sauté just until it softens. Do not brown. Add the sausage and, as it begins to change color, add pepper to taste. Continue to cook until sausage begins to brown. Add the escarole, a little at a time, and cook until the escarole is completely wilted.
Drain the pasta, setting aside a couple of cups of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the sausage and escarole mixture, stirring to combine. Salt to taste. Place in a large bowl to serve.
Note: If the mixture is too dry for your taste, add some of the reserved pasta water and stir.

Spaghetti with Fresh Picked Cherry Tomatoes

We are fortunate enough to be able to grow many varieties of cherry tomatoes, but you can use any variety, or varieties, you can find.

The amount of ingredients depends on the number of people you are serving and the amount of tomatoes you can harvest at the time.
Suggested amounts per quarter pound of spaghetti would be:
¼ pound of thick spaghetti
4-6 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
Salt, to taste
Fresh basil (do not substitute dried)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt. Add your pasta and cook to the al dente stage while cutting the cherry tomatoes in half.
Cover the bottom of a sauté pan with extra virgin olive oil. Add the tomatoes and, over low-medium heat, sauté the tomatoes until the mixture begins to thicken.
Drain the pasta and pour into the tomato mixture. Stir gently, add salt to taste. Pour the hot pasta in a large bowl and snip fresh basil on top.
Note: When you drain the pasta, it’s a good idea to save a little of the water in case your sauce thickens a little too much.