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.

Homemade Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup!

We all have our own favorite comforting chicken noodle soup recipe. When we crave to feel warm and loved inside, nothing else will really do!  When the air turns chilly and the house is cooler inside than out, it has to be a classic chicken noodle soup!

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My grandma’s recipe is the best, with homemade drop noodles and mounds of fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese!  I remember the smell, the taste, how hot it would be in the kitchen from the stove while eating the hot soup. (My pappap’s loud slurping.) ; ) One thing I still do is eat a few bites and and cover the top in cheese again before it melts back into the bowl.

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Is it necessary to make your own chicken broth?  No way!  But in my opinion, if you are going to cook the soup for hours anyway…why not?!  So when you roast the chicken anytime, always keep the bones and drippings.  I freeze them in a ziploc bag.  If you are starting from scratch, you will be roasting the chicken.  After it cools you pull the chicken off of the bones, gather the drippings from the roasting pan, garlic, the bones, the dark meat, bay leaf, and water to make a stock.  This is your soup! Cook the stock for 2 hours, strain and cook the broth with the veggies for the last hour.  If you roast the veggies in the oven at the same time, you get even more flavor without having them just boil.

Shortcuts that totally work; buy a rotisserie chicken and pull the chicken off of the bones, use store bought chicken broth, throw in 1/4 lb. of your favorite dry, fresh noodles.  But when the kids are sick, or when you will be home all day on a rainy Saturday, please try the homemade stock.  It is seriously a game changer.

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

(Feeds 4 + a bowl or 2 leftover)

Ingredients:

1-1/2 tbsp. butter

4 carrots, chopped

3 celery stalks, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 roasted chicken, meat off the bone shredded and chopped

2 quarts of chicken stock (homemade or bought)

Salt (if needed) / Pepper to taste

1/4 lb. Linguini noodles, cut into 3 2-1/2 inch noodles

Parmigiano Reggiano, fresh grated

Directions:

Cook the stock….

OR

Melt butter with garlic, and onion to a large pot and cook until the onions are translucent.

Add carrots, celery, and chicken and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Add pepper (and salt) to taste.

Add noodles 10-15 minutes before you are ready to eat.

Spoon into bowls and top with fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese!

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Enjoy!

Ciao!

Enjoy Parmigiano Reggiano, the only Parmesan, made in the PDO zone of Parma, Italy. I am thrilled to be US Ambassador for the brand!

Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Chili Garlic Dip !

Sometimes the naming game is half the battle. Take this dish for example. Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Chili Garlic Dip was the final decision, but really the shrimp are chili, too. How much of the ingredients of a dish should be in the title? Is it going to be a surprise that I also roasted corn off of the cob and served it all over rice? With over two years of blogging recipes, there is still so much more to learn!

 

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Shrimp have been on my brain all week! I wanted to do shrimp tacos for taco tuesday, but the kids wanted “meat” tacos so we did steak. And today, as the ruler of my castle, decided to tell my kids they are eating what I make. I should mention now they ate it all… and seconds. #Winning!

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I love to do a citrus flavor and it always ends up with a cumin, chili powder, garlic salt blast on something. You know, because logically those three ingredients totally complement lime. Just something I’ve picked up with my obsession with these spices.

 

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It is easy to overcook the shrimp in this dish because they are coated. Look for the pink and meat to turn white instead of translucent. There is nothing worse than a succulent shrimp dish that lost all of its succulency….Well, you know what I mean.

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Can we talk about this dip? Chili Garlic Dip from Oil & Vinegar is actually the finest form of a Thai Chili Sauce I have ever had! Try it, Buy it, it is amazing. Last night I made bacon wrapped chicken and we also dressed those with this delicious sauce. The cooking TV show I co-host Between The Eats partners with Oil & Vinegar, check out some other fun products we have used in fabulous dishes!

Here it is…

Cilantro Lime Shrimp with Garlic Chili Sauce
(Feeds4-6)

Ingredients:
2 lbs. unpeeled, raw shrimp
6 cups of your favorite rice, prepared or uncooked
3 ears corn on the cob, cut off the cob
2 tbsp. chili powder
1-1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic salt
black pepper
2 limes
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 Jar Chili Garlic Dip, or your favorite spicy dipping sauce

Directions:

Peel shrimp, leaving tails intact.
In a small mixing bowl, blend chili powder, cumin, garlic salt, and pepper together.
Place shrimp in a large bowl and coat with spice mixture.
Begin cooking rice according to package.
Heat olive oil in a large pan.
Add 1/2 shrimp, be sure not to overcrowd or overlap. I did 2 batches.
Squeeze 1/2 lime over shrimp.
Cook 3-4 minutes and flip for 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and start to curl up.
Remove from heat and add second batch. Squeeze other 1/2 lime. Repeat cook. Place shrimp on a plate.
Meanwhile, add corn to the pan with all of the seasoning drippings and goodness in the bottom of the pan.
Roast until slightly browned and softened. Try one, should have a pop but be tender.
Remove corn from the pan and place into a bowl.
Add rice to pan, top with shrimp, 3/4 chopped cilantro and 1/2 lime juice.
Serve with corn and a scoop of chili garlic dip!

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Enjoy!
Ciao!

Quick and Easy Homemade Cinnamon Rolls!

Cinnamon Rolls just look like they are hard to make. Their perfect cinnamon swirl twisting evenly inside the layers. Their golden brown finish teetering on the line of over and undercooked.

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The best is the sweet cinnamon aroma that fills the house for days. Baking bonus!

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I have mentioned many times, I am not a baker but I am always upping my baking game. This recipe uses a simple, no yeast sweet dough recipe that yields the most quick and easy homemade cinnamon rolls you’ve ever made.

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There has to be a trick? Make sure your knife is sharp when you slice the rolls. Isabella used a kids butter knife on her batch and they smushed into cinnamon roll globs.

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Here is the recipe…

 

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients:
Dough:
2 cups flour
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. baking soda
4 tbsp. butter
1/2-1 cup milk

Filling:
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. cinnamon
2 tbsp. pecans, crushed
4 tbsp. butter

Directions:

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, and baking soda and set aside.
Mix in butter and then milk with hands until incorporated and a dough forms.
Flour and roll out into a rectangle or oblong shape.
Spread filling onto the dough.
Roll the dough and cut into slices with a share knife.
Add rolled dough slices to a greased pan.
Bake 325 degrees 17-20 minutes or until golden brown.

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Enjoy!
Ciao!