Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup!

I can eat soup for every meal in the winter! I usually make broth and then add ingredients accordingly, very rarely making a cream soup. I do love a chowder!

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Broccoli Cheese is my favorite to make homemade. I’m sure it has something to do with my Cheese obsession! The cooking tv show I cohost, Between The Eats, partners with Beemster Cheese, so I thought I would try their creamy Beemster Lite this time. Here is the recipe…

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Broccoli Cheese Soup
Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
2 cups broccoli florets
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, chopped
2 tsp. salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup half-and-half
4 ounces Beemster Lite Cheese , ribbons for garnish

Directions:
Heat oil in a pan and add onion and garlic until soft and tender.
Add chicken stock and broccoli and cook until tender.
Pour into blender (I used my Ninja) and blend until fine.
Add in half and half and Beemster cheese.
Garnish with cheese ribbons and parsley.

Zuppa di Vongole! Clams in Broth!

Soup, kind of. This dish is more like clams in broth with some veg. The best part is sopping up the broth with some crusty bread! Clams are my comfort food, linguini clams for Sunday Supper, or just a simple broth warms my belly on a cold winter evening. For some reason the leftovers are even better the next day for lunch!

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The base is chicken stock with flavors of garlic, onion, and white wine. The red pepper flakes add the spice!

Enjoy one my favorite recipes ever…

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Zuppa di Vongole (Clams in Broth)

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 12 oz. package clam meat
1 cup white wine, I used chardonnay
10 cups chicken stock, homemade or store bought
1 cup Sliced button Mushrooms
2 dozen bottle next clams
1 cup cannellini beans
1/2 cup sliced grape, cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 cup kale
red pepper flakes to taste
salt/pepper to taste
Fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Crusty bread

Directions:
Heat olive oil in a soup pot.
Add garlic, onion, white wine, and clam meat, salt and pepper, and cook until onions are softened.
Add stock, mushrooms, beans, and clams.
Cook until clams open and all are heated through.
Remove from heat and add kale, sliced tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
Top with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano and serve with crusty bread.

Enjoy!
Ciao!

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Parmesan Princess is the proud US Ambassador for Parmigiano Reggiano in Parma, Italy. The real parmesan cheese, make sure its Parmigiano Reggiano.

Apple Butter & Pecan Spiced Cupcakes!

Apple Butter is probably the most underrated…condiment? Spread? Jam? Always refreshingly delicious, the sweet spread pairs well with flavors of the season-spiced- which is the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves combo. Add some sweet butter toffee pecans and you’ve create quite possible the best dessert ever!

Enjoy these delicious cupcakes …

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Ingredients:
1 white cake mix- or your favorite vanilla cake base mix (follow instructions, mixed) plus:
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
2 tbsp butter toffee pecans, crushed

Apple Butter Frosting
2 cups powdered sugar + more if needed
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup apple butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Butter Toffee Pecan for topping

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Prepare cake mix according to package and add spices to mixture.
Bake 18-22 minutes until a toothpick is clean when inserted into the middle of the cupcake.
Frosting:
In mixing bowl beat together butter and sugar until smooth.
Add Apple Butter and vanilla and incorporate.
Frost cool cupcakes.

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Enjoy!
Ciao!

Sausage & Parmesan Spinach Dip

Ok, so to be honest, the first time I made this dip I added pancetta in addition to the sausage and it was totally amazing! I have been toying with this question, Are double meats acceptable? I have no clue, but I seem to do it often.

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First of all, if you have never mixed ricotta, mascarpone, and Parmigiano Reggiano, you have not lived! Exaggeration? Maybe… The creaminess is unbelievable and the blend of cheeses adds so much deliciousness. I use the trio quite often when looking for that punch of Italian!

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This dip should be at every party, everywhere. Here is the recipe…

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Sausage and Parmesan Spinach Dip
Ingredients:
1/2 lb.ground sausage
2 cups spinach
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese, squeeze liquid out
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano + fresh grated for topping
salt/pepper to taste

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown ground sausage in a pan. Remove to a plate.
Add olive oil, onions, and garlic to the pan and cook until softened and onions are translucent.
Throw in spinach at the end to wilt.
In a mixing bowl, combine cheeses, sausage, salt and pepper and mix well. Hold a little sausage back to crumble on top.
Bake 18-25 minutes or until cheeses are melted together and firm.
Top with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano and serve with your favorite baguette, crackers and vegetables!

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Enjoy! Ciao!

I am happy to be representing Parmigiano Reggiano as their US ambassador! Don’t forget to make sure you are using the only parmesan! Real Parmigiano Reggiano from Parma, Italy!

Chestnut & Parmigiano Reggiano Stuffing!

With two turkeys stuffed and an extra pan for the vegetarians, I always have a ton of leftover stuffing!

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We eat some on the “leftover plate” or sandwich, but never really turn it into another meal. Lately, my eyes have been opened to the wonderful world of fresh chestnuts.  I was in an old Italian section of Pittsburgh, Bloomfield, and there was a chestnut stand on the sidewalk. I bought some and thought I would experiment.

Of course adding cheese and chestnuts, changes the flavor of traditional stuffing completely. Add turkey, chicken, or sausage and turn the dish into a hearty meal!  Here is the recipe…

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Chestnut Stuffing
Ingredients:
2 cups chestnuts
2 loaves white bread, cubed
1 stick butter
1 onion, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt/pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh grated
1 cup pulled turkey

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut an “X” shape on the chestnuts with a sharp knife.
Place into a saucepan and cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil, then lower the temperature and simmer for 30 minutes, or until tender
Drain and let the chestnuts cool.
Peel skin and chop the inside.
In a large pan, melt butter and add onion, celery, garlic, salt and pepper.
Add sage and chestnuts and stir.
Mix 1/2 cup of mixture with 2 cups of cubed bread in a large mixing bowl until incorporated.
Add chicken broth as needed until just moist.
Stir in pulled turkey and Parmigiano Reggiano.
Transfer to a casserole dish and bake 40 minutes.

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Enjoy!
Ciao!

 

I am happy to be representing Parmigiano Reggiano for Parma, Italy as their US Ambasador.  Remember, Parmiginao Reggiano is the only parmesan = )

Chicken and Sausage Ricotta Parmesan!

Even during busy weeks I cook delicious meals for my family by keeping the ingredients simple! We have had chili the last two weeks, once per week, because it is easy and I can throw it together and let it cook while I’m working.

I always have ricotta and parmesan cheeses in my refrigerator, what a great combination. So the possibilities begin with, I can make a lasagna, manicotti… This time I wanted to try layers of our favorite flavors!

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Brady wanted chicken and Bella wanted sausage. Brady has always loved Italian sausage, but since we have run out of the Signorino family sausage stash, he won’t eat the bought stuff. Spoiled?

I decided to make a layered dinner with chicken, sausage, ricotta, tomatoes, and basil. Only a salad on the side. It was delicious! I used my traditional breading, panko breadcrumbs, parmigiano reggiano, herbs, salt and pepper. Its perfect! Here is the recipe…

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Chicken and Sausage Ricotta Parmesan
Ingredients:
1-1/2 lb. thin boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 lb. spicy Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano + fresh grated for topping
salt/pepper
1 tbsp. basil, finely chopped or dry 1-1/2 tbsp.
1 tbsp. garlic olive oil
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh diced tomatoes, or roasted tomatoes
Parsley for garnish

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Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a pie plate, mix Panko breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, salt/pepper and chopped basil.
Rinse and dry chicken breasts.
Dip into egg, and coat with breadcrumb mixture.
Meanwhile, remove sausage from casing and brown and drain.
Using the same pan, brown breaded chicken breasts until golden and almost cooked through.
Top chicken breasts with a layer of ricotta, sausage, and tomatoes.
Bake for 6-10 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 160 degrees.
Remove and top with fresh grated parmesan and parsley.

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Enjoy!
Ciao!

I am happy to be representing Parmigiano Reggiano from Parma, Italy as their US Ambassador. Remember, Parmigiano Reggiano is the only parmesan = )

Garlic Rosemary Roast Beef!

A beautiful carved roast beef doesn’t have to be a menu item reserved for fancy buffets. Whether you are building roast beef sandwiches for the game or a roast beef dinner with all of the trimmings, you can serve a rustic beef full of flavor. Cook a delicious roast beef at home with this quick and easy recipe!

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I love my roast beef pretty rare, but it can be cooked longer to a medium to medium well doneness. I have paired the beef with roasted tomatoes and a lemon rosemary aioli in this recipe.

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My go-to sandwich roasted tomatoes are tomatoes, sliced into wedges, drizzled with olive oil, topped with salt and pepper and roasted until they begin to shrivel and wrinkle. The tomatoes add a burst of flavor and pair well with the tang of the aioli. Enjoy this delicious recipe!

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Garlic Rosemary Roast Beef

Ingredients:
2 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped + 2 sliced in half
Salt/pepper
1-1/2 tbsp. rosemary leaves
3 lb. beef top sirloin roast
Rolls
Roasted Tomatoes

Lemon Rosemary Aioli
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. spicy mustard
2 tsp. rosemary, finely chopped

Directions:
Whisk together olive oil, chopped garlic, salt/pepper, and rosemary leaves.
Add the roast to a large Ziploc bag and add liquid.
Let the roast sit for a few hours or overnight.
Remove the roast from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Coat the roast with excess liquid and transfer to the rack of a baking pan.
Roast 90-120 minutes, until the internal thermometer reads 130 degrees.
Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board, let cool before carving.
Grill the bread with butter, Spread the Aioli, Build the sandwich with sliced roast beef and roasted tomatoes.

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Enjoy!
Ciao!

 

Garlic Ricotta and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Pizza!

This is cooking stripped down to the bare bones. No need for fancy herbs, spices, or ingredients. The best brussels sprouts are tossed with olive oil salt and pepper and roasted until crisp on the edges.

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My Brady ,7-years-old, will not eat brussels sprouts even if they are “candied”. My mommy description that should win the war. Technically? Yes, they caramelize, thus that makes them candied. So I was making him a pizza and ended up making a second with ricotta and Brussels sprouts! This combination is delicious!

Here is the recipe…

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Garlic Ricotta and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Pizza

Ingredients:
2 cups brussels sprouts
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt/pepper
1/3 lb.thick pancetta, cut into small cubes

For the ricotta base mix,
2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt/pepper

Your favorite prepared pizza dough or shell.
Parmigiano Reggiano for topping. (I used 14 month aged)

Directions:
Preheat oven 400 degrees.
Clean and slice brussels sprouts in half.
Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast until browned to desired likeness and remove from pan.
Meanwhile, cook pancetta bits in a pan until crispy.
Add the pancetta to the brussels and mix well.
Cover the pizza shell with ricotta mixture.
Add brussels sprouts/pancetta layer.
Top with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

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Enjoy!
Ciao!

Always make sure you are buying Parmigiano Reggiano from Parma Italy, the only Parmesan. Parmesan Princess is happy to represent Parmigiano Reggiano as their US ambassador.

In this recipe I used 14 month aged Parmigiano Reggiano. It is younger and creamier, a perfect finish to this amazing dish.

Red Wine – Braised Beef and Porcini Mushrooms over Rice Noodles

Slow braising beef gives you the opportunity to add so much flavor to the meat, not to mention the drippings that are perfect for a gravy/sauce base. This time of year, when comfort is king, the slow-braise cooking technique is used for many pulled meat dishes, short ribs, and of course hearty stews.

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The top round cut, sometimes labeled London Broil, goes through an interesting process where the meat can be grilled, or quickly seared on high heat to have a rare middle. The seared beef is usually thinly sliced and served. So when the same meat is cooked longer, it goes through a period of being very tough and then the tension loosens and the meat gets tender and falls apart. I will warn you, cooking it longer will result in really dry, tough meat. Finding the meat’s sweet spot isn’t hard, it just takes some careful attention for the last hour.

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This dish is an asian fusion of traditional comfort food. The rice noodles add a base for the meat to be topped, and
the dried porcini mushrooms come to life as if they were meant for the red wine, beef broth. I added sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallions to finish the dish. Here is the recipe…

 

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Red Wine-Braised Beef with Porcini Mushrooms over Rice Noodles
Ingredients:
1 3lb. top round roast (sometimes labeled london broil)
salt/pepper
3 tbsp. olive oil
salt/pepper
2 cups beef broth
1-1/2 cups dry red wine, I used a cabernet sauvignon
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 medium onion, sliced
5 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
3 tbsp. cornstarch, for thickening sauce
14-16oz. dried rice noodles
sliced scallion
sesame seeds

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat olive oil in a pan.
Salt/pepper the meat.
Sear on all sides at high heat until browned.
Deglaze with a splash of wine and scrape the bottom of the pan.
Add the rest of the wine, broth, tomato paste, onion, garlic, and cinnamon.
Cover and cook for 1-1/2-2 hours until the roast registers 180 degrees or is at the sweet spot.
Remove and drain liquid into a stock pot, thicken with cornstarch, water method.
Add mushrooms and cook for 20 minutes until rehydrated.
Place roast on a cutting board and slice, it will basically fall apart.
Add boiling water to the rice noodles, according to package.
Strain and serve on a plate, topped with the meat, sliced scallions, and sesame seeds.

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Enjoy! Ciao!

Spicy Roasted Eggplant Linguini!

I always make Eggplant Parmesan when I have an eggplant. Lately, I have been roasting eggplant and squash in the oven with olive oil and salt and pepper, it is delicious!
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These roasted vegetables can be ingredients or stand alone as a side dish! In this pasta dish, the roasted eggplant is garnished with red pepper flakes, oregano and Basil, fresh tomatoes, and of course the fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

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Adding the red pepper flakes to the pasta dish adds a new layer of flavor without being overwhelmingly spicy. Here is the recipe…

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Spicy Roasted Eggplant Linguini
(Serves 4)
1 large Eggplant
2 tbsp. Olive oil +1/4 cup
Salt/pepper
1 tsp. Oregano
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Roma tomatoes, wedged
2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. Fresh basil, finely chopped plus some for topping
1 lb. linguini, fresh or dry
Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh grated

Directions:
Preheat oven 425degrees.
Slice Eggplant and place in a single layer on an inset cookie sheet.
Salt/pepper and let sit for 20 minutes.
Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes until softened and starts to brown.
Meanwhile, sautéed garlic and onion in a pan with olive oil.
Add tomatoes, Basil, pepper flakes and oregano. Let it bubble until it thickens.
Remove Eggplant and continue to simmer 10 minutes.
Being a pot of water to boil, cook pastas until al dente and drain.
Add 1/4c cup pasta water and incorporate pasta into pan with the sauce.
Top with red pepper flakes, Basil, parsley, and fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano.

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Enjoy!
Ciao!

Remember, always use fresh Parmigiano Reggiano, the only real Parmesan cheese from Parma, Italy.

Parmesan Princess is a proud US Ambassador Parmigiano Reggiano.