Tag: Parmesan cheese

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!


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…


Chicken and Sausage Ricotta Parmesan
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
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


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.




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

Crispy Garlic Parmesan Green Beans!

Summer sides kill winter sides!! A few fresh, healthy vegetables tossed in a beautiful olive oil, sprinkled with garlic, salt and pepper, and grilled to perfection definitely beat winter sweet potato casseroles any day. Of course now I’m totally craving a yummy sweet potato casserole with a toasted marshmallow topping! See how that works? Ha!


My number one vegetable side is probably brussels sprouts, followed by asparagus, then zucchini and squash…I always forget about green beans. No offense to green beans, until I see them smiling up at me from their bin I always forget! So here is my favorite way to prepare them!


Garlic Parmesan Green Beans
2 cups fresh green beans
1/4 olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese


Rinse, dry and snap off stringy ends of green beans.
Put beans on an aluminum foil covered cookie sheet
Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat.
Shake and push to a single layer.
Sprinkle with chopped garlic.
Salt/pepper to taste.
Cook at 425 degree oven for 10 minutes. Flip and cook another 3-5 minutes until they are brown and crispy.
Remove from oven and sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan cheese.





Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops with Apple Pear Cranberry Risotto

My quick pan pork chops are just like grandma’s except I add a Parmesan crust. I use the traditional 3-step crusting process, egg dip, breadcrumbs, Parmesan topping. You might say why not mix the Parmesan and herbs with the breadcrumbs? Save a step? Yes, but you chance not getting half as much Parmesan to stick! We can’t have that! By tossing the pork chop twice, the tiny spots that the breadcrumbs didn’t cover get filled in with parm!



So I was totally in the mood for an apple -pear side dish to accompany these chops, something sweet but still fall. I came up with an Apple Pear Cranberry Risotto! The best part is I rehydrated the cranberries with Wigle Whiskey’s “Landlocked” rum!

With all of the favorite holiday flavors, this risotto would be fabulous alongside Thanksgiving dinner, your Holiday ham, or just because! Serve it with a savory meal or top it with ice cream for dessert!


Apple Pear Cranberry Risotto
Ingredients :
1/2 cup dried cranberries, soaked
in rum until plump
1 Granny Smith apple, chopped
1 red delicious apple, chopped
1 d’anjou pear, chopped
3 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp.sugar
2 cups arborio rice
3-4 cups milk
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Melt butter in a large sauce pan.
Add apples, pears, and sugar.
Cook until they turn golden and soften.
Add cranberries with any rum left in the pan and arborio rice. Mix well.
Heat milk until hot but not boiling. I used my large glass measuring cup.
Add milk 1/2 cup at a time, constantly stirring and allowing the milk to absorb into the rice and cook each time. You will need anywhere from 3-4 cups. Keep adding milk and stirring until rice is al dente.
Remove from heat and add spices.
Mix well and serve warm.


Parmesan Crusted Pork Chops
4 -6 bone in pork chops
2 eggs
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2 cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese
3 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 tsp. chopped basil
1 tsp. chopped parsley
Salt/pepper to taste

Set up 3 pie plates in a row.
In the first pie plate, whisk 2 eggs.
In the second plate, add the Panko breadcrumbs.
In the third plate, add the Parmesan and remaining ingredients.

Dip the pork chops in the egg, flipping to coat both sides.
Then cover both sides with Panko breadcrumbs, and then the Parmesan mixture.
Continue with all chops.
Heat 2 tbsp. Oil in a large pan.
Add pork chops, flip when brown approximately 5 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
Let stand to absorb juices and serve!


Cinnamon Raisin Egg Bagels

There is something so mouthwatering about sweet and spicy, sweet and savory, sweet and salty combinations. We can’t get enough when it comes to snacks, desserts, appetizers, soups, salads, and entrees. Why not bring these delicious flavor combinations to breakfast? Instead of accompanying your egg dish with a sugary bread, donut, or breakfast pastry, join the two together for a flavorful blast of yum!


Feel free to get creative! Top cinnamon bread, a donut, or even a cinnamon roll using this “baked in egg” method! Basically you need to make a nook for the egg. This can be done by either pulling out some of the bread, smushing it down , or in the case of the bagel, pressing the middle dough together. You don’t want the egg to roll away! It totally will! LOL If cooking your dish in a skillet, this hole problem is no big deal because you are directly on the heat source.

Of course I added parmesan cheese, too! HA!


“I want the recipe!”- There really isn’t a serious recipe, but here are the super simple guidelines ; )

Cinnamon Raisin Egg Bagels
Makes 6
6 cinnamon raisin bagel or other sweet breakfast pastry or make your own!
6 farm fresh eggs
fresh grated parmesan cheese
parsley for fancy styling

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Close center of bagels by pressing dough together and squeezing to secure.
Naturally, the bagels will create a nook for the egg. If using bread or another pastry, remove to create a nook.
Crack eggs into nooks – its ok if a little spills over.
Grate fresh parmesan cheese over eggs and salt/pepper to taste.
Bake 16-22 mins or until eggs are set. Note: The egg will appear runny, give it the shake test to see if yolk is set. Seriously, shake the cookie sheet and watch for jiggling. If no serious jiggling you are good to go : )
OR- Cook in a pan until egg cooked through.
Top with chopped parsley for a fancy finish!



Winter Warm Up: Butternut Squash Soup!


More often than not, the winter days in Pittsburgh are gloomy, cold, and dark. However, we are lucky to have the beauty of all four seasons and even more lucky to have all of the beautiful seasonal food varieties that go along with them!


In the winter our menus consist of comfortable, warm-bellied foods like casseroles, pastas, and my favorite, hot soups! Some soups are a beautiful meal accompaniment and some are simply dinner!

Never a fan of thick, blended soups, I found a wintery, flavorful combination that I love and I hope you do, too!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup


1- medium Butternut squash
1 cup chopped kale
1/2 cup chopped carrots
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups of whole milk
1/2 tbsp. Cumin
1/2 tbsp. Onion powder



Cut butternut squash in half vertically and scoop out the seeds.

Roast cut side down for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees until softened. Check it with a fork 😉


Using a spoon scoop roasted squash from skin.

Blend all ingredients except the milk and Parmesan cheese in a food processor or Ninja. (I used my Ninja)


Heat the mixture in a medium sauce pan on low/medium heat.

Stir continuously and be careful not to burn it, just heat it.

Slowly add the milk 1/4 cup at a time or until the soup reaches the desired consistency.

Continue to stir while heating and add the Parmesan cheese a little at a time until melted and blended.

Remove pistachios from their shells and crush with pinenuts for a beautiful garnish!


Garnish, grab a spoon, and enjoy! Keep Warm!

Lemon Parmesan Grilled Artichokes!! The Perfect Spring and Summer Side Dish!

Lemon Parmesan Grilled Artichokes

The three A's of Spring! Asparagus, Artichokes and Avocados!!
The three A’s of Spring! Asparagus, Artichokes and Avocados!!


6 artichokes washed, cut in half up and down.
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper

Fill a sauce pot with 3 inches of water and place artichokes in the pot to steam on the top rack of your grill.

You can always steam the artichokes on the stove!  Just do not overcook- about 15 minutes if you are grilling!
You can always steam the artichokes on the stove! Just do not overcook- about 15 minutes if you are grilling!

Steam for 15-20 minutes until the artichokes soften and a sharp knife easily pierces the stem.

Cut along the axis of symmetry -up and down.

The bit of char mixed with Parmesan, olive oil and lemon is amazing!! And enough! No need for a butter/ Dijon dip!
The bit of char mixed with Parmesan, olive oil and lemon is amazing!! And enough! No need for a butter/ Dijon dip

Brush olive oil on both sides – salt, pepper.
Grill cut side down until grill lines appear and they have a nice char.

My grill gets the 6pm sun! What a beautiful evening!
My grill gets the late afternoon early evening sun! What a beautiful evening!

Serve with drizzled lemon juice.

Bursting with flavor! Serve grilled artichokes as an appetizer on a Friday paired with a refreshing Reisling !
Bursting with flavor! Serve grilled artichokes as an appetizer on a Friday paired with a refreshing Reisling !

Always top with freshly grated Parmesan! Enjoy!