Feeding the World One Ravioli at a Time

Mama D ravioli best 2019 copyMy Aunt-in-law was Minneapolis St. Paul’s beloved Mama D. No matter how busy she was, when hungry college students, who could not afford a meal, came to her restaurant, she would feed them at no charge.

To honor her husband, she would open her restaurant on St. Joseph’s Day and serve free delicious homemade ravioli to everyone who came.

Feeding the world ravioli is such a friendly, caring, and peaceful way to be. She made a difference in a way I hope I can.

You don’t have to make the ravioli from scratch, although you could if that makes you feel more connected to the meal. For some of you, buying fresh ravioli from the grocers makes it easier and less stressful. Buy or make some pasta sauce. Choose a way with the sauce that makes your heart sing. Read More


Anasazi Beans in a Crockpot

Ingredients:

1 lb dried Anasazi beans
4 1/2 cups water
2 T olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 t New Mexican Chili Powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t Mexican oregano
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 pinch of either ground Guajillo or Cayenne pepper (optional)
Pinch sugar
12 oz smoked sausage, sliced
2 t chicken base
1 large jalapeno, cleaned, but left whole Read More


Mayocoba Bean and Sausage Stew

Mayocoba canary beansIngredients:

1 crockpot
1 lb dry Mayocoba beans
5 cups water
1 T olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t cumin
1 t Mexican oregano
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 t annatto
1 bay leaf
1 t chicken base
1 t olive oil
1 lb smoked sausage, cut into pieces
Additional water if needed
Optional: 1 jalapeno destemmed, but left whole or 2 serrano peppers, chopped

Garnish: Tabasco sauce, chopped cilantro Read More


Lamb Stew

Ingredients:

1 lb boneless lamb cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 T flour
1/2 t ground black pepper
2 pinches of salt
2 T olive oil
3 strips of meaty bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 medium sweet onion, cut into chunks
8 oz cremini mushrooms, rinsed, patted dry, and cut into thick chunks
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
1 lb unpeeled yellow or red potatoes, scrubbed, bad spots removed, and cut into large pieces
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 t tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 t dried thyme
1/8 t dried rosemary
1 T parsley, chopped
Optional garnish: chopped chives or sliced green onions Read More


Bolognese Sauce with Beef Pork and Bacon

Ingredients:

4 strips meaty bacon
8 oz cremini mushrooms, cut into large chunks
1 t olive oil, optional
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 large or 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into pieces
4 garlic cloves minced
1/2 lb ground lean beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 (28 oz can whole peeled Italian plum tomatoes, crushed by hand, shoulders removed
1 rounded t dried thyme
1/4 t dried Mediterranean oregano
1/4 t dried garlic
1 pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt (you may add when you taste but you can’t take it out!)
1/4 cup milk
Read More


Chicken Breasts with Prosciutto and Mushrooms

Plated with Timbale

Serves two

Ingredients:

1 thick (about 3/4-1 lb) boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced in half laterally to create two thinner pieces
2-4 slices provolone
2-4 slices prosciutto
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
4 large cremini mushrooms, rinsed, dried, and thickly sliced
1/3 cup sweet onion, cut into 1 inch chunks
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 t Mediterranean oregano
1/8 t ground black pepper
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup slightly sweet white wine Read More


Spicy Ropa Vieja

Ingredients:

1 T olive oil, preferably a fruity oil
1/2 of one large sweet onion, sliced into 3 inch lengths about 1/2 inch thick
1 green bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and sliced as you did the onion
4 cloves garlic, chopped or smashed
1 1/2 T tomato paste
3/4 t cumin
3/4 t Mexican oregano (please do not use Mediterranean oregano)
Ground black pepper, at least 1/4 teaspoon
1 good splash of white wine
1 T soy sauce
1 bay leaf
1 large whole jalapeno, rinsed and dried
1 lb flank steak cut across the grain into four pieces
Several red jalapenos, left whole, rinsed and dried
1/2 t white vinegar Read More


Calabrian Style Beef Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

Nutrition analysis for 8 servings

1 T olive oil
1 lb lean minced or diced beef steak
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1 Calabrian hot chile, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
2 1/4 cups beef stock
1 (15 oz) can Italian tomatoes, crushed by hand
1 t ground garlic
3/4 t dried basil
1/2 t dried Mediterranean oregano
1/4 t dried rosemary
1/4 t dried thyme
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
2 medium red potatoes, cleaned, left unpeeled, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup cut green beans, fresh or frozen
1 T minced fresh parsley Read More


Feasting in Frascati

a beautifully delicious day in Frascati. Wish I was there, but at least we can read about it. What is your favorite part of this meal?

Charles Scicolone on Wine

On our recent trip to Rome, Michele and I were fortunate to be invited to the home of Josephine Wennerholm, a food blogger and cooking teacher in Frascati. We follow her blog Frascati Cooking That’s Amore  and have always found it full of good information, not just on Frascati, but on Rome and the surrounding area.

Josephine’s husband Pino picked us up in Rome and drove us to Frascati, which is about 30 minutes from Rome, unless there is traffic. There we met a group of their friends, great food and wine lovers all. Josephine had prepared a real feast, and several of her guests contributed their specialties.

We started with an amazing assortment of antipasti. Josephine had made delicious suppli, Roman style rice balls, that were flavored with mushrooms and tomato and fried in a crispy breadcrumb coating.

Next we had little fried turnovers filled with greens and cheese.

There…

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Pot Roast for a Small Family

Ingredients:

1 (small 1 1/2 lb) chuck roast
2 T all-purpose flour
Fresh ground black pepper to cover the roast
a little bit of salt to accompany the pepper
1 1/2 T vegetable oil (or your favorite high heat oil)
1 small sweet onion, cut into large pieces
3 slender carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal into 1 1/2” lengths
1 stalk celery, include some leaves, and cut into large diagonal pieces
1/2 green bell pepper, deseeded and cut into large pieces
3 garlic cloves
1 cup beef stock
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 t dried thyme
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 bay leaf

Optional: 2 sprigs fresh thyme Read More