Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rustic Italian Food Week

Wow, this was a full week of cooking!  We never even went out for dinner as I spent the week experimenting with beautiful looking food.  On a positive note, most of it was of a vegtable nature but as always, there were various cheeses with a little ground sausage thrown in for fun.
So, let's begin with the appetizer.  As I discussed in an earlier post, I found these beautiful minature peppers that would make a great appetizer.    I took them home and looked at them for a couple of days, trying to determine what to put inside.  The decision was to try two different fillings and off I went. 

The tops were cut off and cleaned out (not an easy task for the tiny peppers).  I took a fresh bunch of broccoli rabe, cut off the ends and placed it into a pan of salted boiling water for just four minutes.  In a large saute pan, EVOO went in along with a small onion for a few minutes and chopped garlic for 30 seconds.  Add a pound of ground sausage, brown along with a half pint of grape tomatoes cut in half. 

The broccoli rabe was cut in small pieces and placed into the pan, finished off with asiago cheese and a little hot pepper.

For the second batch, I peeled an eggplant and chopped in small pieces.  Sauted the onions and garlic, added the eggplant and cooked until tender.  Once cooled, I added ricotta and parmesan cheese.  Oh, of course, both had salt and pepper and fresh parsley. 

They were stuffed (again, not an easy task) and placed into a 350 oven for 20 minutes.  The sweetness along with the goodness inside was heaven. 

Once again, I made too much of everything so the next day some went to Momma and I made a pizza using the broccoli rabe and sausage mixture.  It looked good when it came out of the oven, we couldn't wait to take the picture so you get half a pizza! 
I added a few more tomatoes and of course more asiago cheese on top with a few hot pepper flakes.  This pizza came out so tasty, I decided it was the recipe for a pizza contest I wanted to enter.  The entry went in the next morning!  This is a keeper and cannot wait to make it again for my family.  

The second mixture went into last nights dinner.  Daniel was over and once again pulled up a chair, wanting to help.  He just might be my Chef in training!  We took one pound of cooked pasta, baked a second delicious purple eggplant in slices, bright green spinach, more tomatoes, fresh parsley and of course mozzarella cheese, mixed it all together and baked it for 30 minutes.  Now if I can only get him to stop saying "Yuk" everytime we discuss vegtables. 

With all the crazy weather outside our window, it was a great way to spend the week.  I see a treadmill and Jenny Craig in my future...

Fino a quel momento (until that time)



  1. I love peppers. I am a Costco regular and they often have jumbo packs of beautiful peppers. I have purchased them when cooking for a party. Because the package is so large, I use the remaining peppers as fun and colorful garnishments. I love your commitment to veggies! I am really trying to change my waistline and as crazy, and counter intuitive, as this may sound, the more time I spend in the kitchen the more successful I am in reducing my paunch! I love the touch of sausage. What brand did you use. By the way, nothing against Jenny Craig but you can NOT go there! The best frozen food in the world will never hold a candle to what you are doing in your kitchen. I hope that you are getting some nice catering jobs!

    Denise Burks

  2. i love your display of your pepprs and pizza linda. you are incredible. your style of making these delicious meals and different is truly an art. good luck angel... momma.....