Category Archives: Side Dishes

Caramelized Onions

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium sweet onions, sliced thin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add onions and cook until they soften. Add salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium. Continue cooking, stirring periodically until the onions begin to brown.

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.

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.

Bruschetta

 

  • Italian bread, sliced
  • tomatoes, sliced
  • mozzerella cheese, sliced or grated
  • fresh basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or infused olive oil

Layer tomato slices onto of the pieces of Italian bread. Place mozzerella cheese and basil on top of the tomatoes. Drizzle EVOO over the top of the bruschetta. Place the bruschetta onto a foil-lined cookie sheet and place in oven. Cook on broil. Bruschetta served with a green salad makes a fantastic, quick meal.

During really hot summer days cook the bruschetta in a toaster oven or on the grill.