Archive of ‘Italian’ category

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto

I recently made Chicken And Asparagus Risotto for our dinner. And let me tell you… it tasted GOOD. Lip-smackin’ GOOD. Creamy Arborio rice, chicken breast, Parmesan cheese, asparagus and mushrooms all come together in this flavor-filled, delicious meal! We loved it!Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I couldn’t get enough of this risotto! Even the leftovers for lunch the next day were wonderful! Did you know that risotto is made with Arborio rice, which is shorter and fatter than most grains of rice?  Arborio rice is almost exclusively used to make risotto, which is a Northern Italian classic dish of rice which has been cooked in broth or stock with other ingredients to a creamy consistency.  It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice, and let me tell you, risotto is DELICIOUS!

The recipe is pretty straightforward. If you do the prep work right at the beginning, then it is a breeze to put together.  I used some baked chicken leftovers, which also saved me some prep time!  Here’s how to make this delicious meal:

Do prep work first.  1)  Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Cut stalks into 2 inch pieces.  Place asparagus pieces into 1 inch of simmering water in skillet, and cook on medium high heat until asparagus is fork-tender, adding more water, if needed (about 10 minutes). Drain.  2) While cooking asparagus, in separate pan lightly sauté sliced mushrooms in 2 teaspoons butter until tender.  3) Cut and cook chicken into small bite sized pieces (boil, broil, grill OR use rotisserie chicken or  leftovers – I used leftover chicken from my recipe for Homemade Shake And Bake Chicken). See NOTES section of printable recipe for a quick way to cook chicken for this recipe.  Set aside cooked asparagus, mushrooms and chicken pieces.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Melt butter and olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add Arborio rice to onions; stir frequently and cook until rice begins to turn a light golden brown color.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add white wine. Let liquid come to a boil, then cook until it has been absorbed into rice.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour 1 cup of chicken stock (or broth) into pan. Stir frequently, and keep heat at a medium simmer.  Continue cooking until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, then add 1/4 cup more of the broth, stirring well.  Continue this process (rice absorbs liquid, add 1/4 cup more liquid) until all the broth is gone.  This will take between 20 and 25 minutes. (By adding the broth a little bit at a time then cooking until it has been absorbed, it allows the rice to get really creamy. Don’t rush this step!)

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After you’ve added the last portion of broth, but just before it is fully absorbed, add the cooked asparagus and mushrooms to the pan.  Continue cooking, letting liquid finish being absorbed into rice. When finished, rice should be creamy and tender.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Remove pan from the heat.  Add cooked chicken to rice.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese to rice. Stir to combine all ingredients.  Taste, and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Make sure everything is warm, then dish up and serve onto individual plates or bowls.  Garnish with finely grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh chives (or parsley), if desired.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Enjoy the flavors of creamy rice, chunks of chicken, Parmesan cheese, and the wonderful fresh asparagus in this dish. It truly tastes wonderful!  Sure hope you will consider trying this recipe. Have a great day!

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: http://www.thegratefulgirlcooks.com/mushroom-risotto-with-pan-seared-shrimp/

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Creamy risotto with chicken, asparagus, Parmesan cheese and mushrooms is a delicious and filling "all in one" main dish!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
For Add-ins:
  • 6-8 asparagus stalks (woody ends discarded, cut into 2 inch pieces), cooked until crisp-tender.
  • 2 pre-cooked lightly seasoned chicken breasts (baked, boiled, grilled,rotisserie), cut in 1-2" cubes.
  • 8 oz. package sliced mushrooms, (sautéed in 2 teaspoons butter)
For risotto:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (no substitutes)
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 2½ cups chicken stock (or broth)
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
For garnish:
  • Additional Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh chives, sliced thin (may substitute chopped parsley, if desired)
Directions
Do prep work first:
  1. Remove woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Cut remaining stalks into 2 inch pieces. Place asparagus pieces into 1 inch of simmering water in skillet, and cook on medium high heat until asparagus is fork-tender (about 10 minutes). Drain.
  2. While cooking asparagus, in separate pan lightly sauté sliced mushrooms in 2 teaspoons butter until tender.
  3. Cut and cook chicken into small bite sized pieces (boil, broil, grill OR use rotisserie chicken or leftovers. Set aside asparagus, mushrooms and cooked chicken.
To Prepare Risotto:
  1. Melt olive oil and butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add Arborio rice to onions; stir constantly and cook until rice turns a light golden brown color. Add white wine. Let the liquid come to a boil, then cook until it has been absorbed into rice.
  2. Pour 1 cup of chicken stock (or broth) into pan. Stir frequently, and keep heat at a medium simmer. Continue cooking until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, then add ¼ cup more broth, stirring well. Continue this process (rice absorbs liquid, add ¼ cup more liquid) until all broth is gone. This will take between 20 and 25 minutes. (By adding the broth a little bit at a time then cooking until it has been absorbed, it allows the rice to get really creamy. Don't rush this step!)
  3. After you've added the last portion of broth, but just before it's fully absorbed, add cooked asparagus and mushrooms and stir. Continue cooking, letting liquid finish being absorbed into rice. When finished, rice should be tender.
  4. Remove pan from the heat. Add cooked chicken to rice. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese to rice. Stir to combine all ingredients. Taste, and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  5. Make sure everything is warm, then serve onto individual plates or bowls. Garnish with additional finely grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh chives (or parsley), if desired. Enjoy!
Notes
If you do not have pre-cooked or leftover chicken, a quick way to get this done is to cut chicken breast into cubes, lightly season with salt and pepper, then quickly cook in a hot skillet (with a Tablespoon of olive oil) on medium-high heat. Will only take a few minutes.

 

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Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi

What do you get when you combine chicken, fluffy Italian potato dumplings, Parmesan cheese sauce and spinach into an easy meal? This recipe for Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi, that’s what… a simple, yet absolutely delicious entree!  If you’re a Vegetarian, you can simply leave the chicken out and still enjoy this wonderful dish!Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I found the original recipe on Pinterest (where else?), and decided to fix it for dinner recently.  It was sooooo good!  The recipe serves 4, and only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, from start to finish!  Talk about Italian comfort food! Whoa… the potato gnocchi are a classic Italian pasta, the chicken breast chunks provide protein, the creamy Parmesan sauce is amazing, and the fresh spinach used in the recipe would make even Popeye proud!

Here’s how simple this recipe is to prepare:  Cut 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Lightly season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Heat olive oil in skillet on medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally until cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Basically, you add them to boiling water, cook, and when they float to the surface they are done.  This typically takes only a few minutes.  Drain the gnocchi. Set aside. Place the empty pan back on the stove.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add butter to pan and heat on medium until melted. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring well.  Add flour; stir well to remove lumps and form a roux (thick paste). Cook and stir for 30 seconds, just to “cook out” the raw flour taste. Add milk slowly to roux; stir or whisk it well to remove any remaining lumps. Cook this for 2-3 minutes only until the sauce has begun to thicken.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This is what the sauce will look like as it begins to thicken.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add chopped fresh spinach; stir well.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the sauce has thickened and spinach has wilted.  Add Parmesan cheese, then cooked chicken into sauce. Stir well to combine.  Add a bit more milk if the sauce is too thick. (I added about 1/4 cup additional milk).  Taste sauce, then season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Remove the pan from the heat, and add cooked, drained gnocchi. Gently stir until all ingredients are combined.  If necessary, reheat through on low. Serve this dish immediately upon reaching desired heat.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I dished up the gnocchi onto individual serving plates, then garnished with grated Parmesan cheese (can never have too much Parmesan, right?). Serve, and enjoy this wonderful chicken dish! It’s creamy, has great flavor, and is delicious and filling!

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I really hope you will consider making this chicken recipe. I think you will be surprised at just how simple it is to make in such a short time.  Have a wonderful day… and be KIND as you journey through this 24 hours you’ve been given!

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  http://www.lifeasastrawberry.com/parmesan-spinach-gnocchi/

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder (to lightly season chicken)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 ounces potato gnocchi (found in pasta section)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • Additional salt/pepper and milk, if necessary
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish, if desired)
Directions
  1. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Lightly season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally until cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
  2. Prepare gnocchi according to pkg. directions (add to boiling water, cook, and when they float to surface they're done - 3-4 minutes). Drain gnocchi. Set aside. Place empty pan back on stove.
  3. Add butter to pan; heat on medium until melted. Add minced garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring well. Add flour; whisk well to remove lumps and form a roux (thick paste). Cook and stir for 30-60 seconds to "cook out" flour taste. Add milk slowly to roux; stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes only until sauce has begun to thicken.
  4. Add chopped spinach; stir well. Cook for 3-4 minutes until sauce has thickened and spinach has wilted. Add Parmesan cheese, then add cooked chicken to sauce. Stir well. Add a bit more milk if sauce is too thick. Taste sauce; season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  5. Remove pan from heat; add cooked and drained gnocchi. Gently stir until all ingredients are combined. If necessary, reheat through on low. Serve immediately upon reaching desired heat.
  6. Serve, garnishing each portion with grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

 

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Veggie Lasagna Rollups

I am occasionally on the lookout for ideas for “meatless” meals, since one of our sons is a vegetarian.  I like finding new recipes we can enjoy together when he comes for dinner. Recently I came up with this simple recipe for Veggie Lasagna Rollups, after raiding my pantry and refrigerator for ingredients.Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here’s what I came up with:  Use lots of veggies and cheeses inside a rolled up lasagna noodle, then top with an Italian flavored pasta sauce, and bake. Sounded simple enough, and the recipe I ended up with had lots of flavor and tasted great!  Here’s how I made them:

Melt butter in large skillet. Add chopped veggies (yellow and green bell peppers, onion, spinach, and mushrooms). Saute until crisp-tender. Set skillet aside.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. When done cooking, remove noodles carefully and drain, then lay pasta flat on work surface and blot dry with a paper towel.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a bowl, stir together cream cheese, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder until fairly smooth. Reserve and set aside 1/4 of the cheese mixture to add to the top of the lasagna noodles prior to bakingSpoon a layer of remaining cheese mixture down the middle of each noodle, lengthwise. Try to leave about a half inch on either side of noodle clear.

Once noodles have cheese layer, evenly divide the cooked veggies down each noodle.  Top with a bit of grated Mozzarella cheese.  Repeat process for each lasagna noodle.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread Italian pasta sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish (enough to lightly cover bottom of dish).  Roll each one of the lasagna noodles up, beginning at the short end.  Place lasagna rollups seam side down in the baking dish. Spoon reserved cheese mixture over tops of lasagna rollups.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour pasta sauce over tops and sides of rollups until covered (I used a can of Italian spaghetti sauce for simplicity).  Top the sauce with additional grated Mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake lasagna rollups in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until cheese and sauce are bubbly, and dish is heated through.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Remove dish from oven. Let it cool for just a minute, then carefully lift each rollup out of dish with a spatula and place onto individual serving plates.  Here’s a sideview of what it looked like once cooked and on the plate… a simple, meatless yet tasty veggie and cheese filled Italian lasagna rollup.  The recipe makes 8 rollups, so depending on how hungry you are, you can either get 4 servings (2 per person) or 8 servings (1 per person).

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will consider trying this recipe. Make it your own by adding any other veggies of your choice to the mix, as well. AND…if you want to add meat… simply brown some crumbled Italian sausage and add to the veggie mixture – whatever works best for you!  Have a great day, friends.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

Veggie Lasagna Rollups
 
Prep time
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Cooked veggies, four cheeses, and Italian pasta sauce in rolled up lasagna noodles make this an easy to prepare, delicious and meatless meal.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8 rollups
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (at room temp)
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small package frozen spinach, thawed and drained really well
  • 7-8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 8 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce (prepared canned marinara)
  • Additional grated mozzarella and Parmesan (for sprinkling on top of rollups before baking)
Directions
  1. Melt butter in large skillet. Add chopped veggies (yellow and green bell peppers, onion, spinach, and mushrooms). Saute until crisp-tender. Set skillet aside.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. When done, remove noodles carefully and drain; lay pasta flat on work surface and blot dry with a paper towel.
  3. In a bowl, stir together cream cheese, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder until fairly smooth. Reserve and set aside ¼ of cheese mixture to add to top of lasagna noodles prior to baking. Spoon a layer of remaining cheese mixture down the middle of each noodle, lengthwise, leaving about a half inch clear around edges of noodle.
  4. Evenly distribute cooked veggies down each noodle. Top with a bit of grated Mozzarella cheese. Repeat process for each lasagna noodle.
  5. Spread Italian pasta sauce on bottom of a large baking dish (enough to lightly cover bottom of dish). Roll each of the lasagna noodles up, beginning at short end. Place seam side down in baking dish. Spoon reserved cream cheese mixture over top of each rollup.
  6. Pour marinara sauce over tops and sides of rollups until covered. Top with additional grated Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese (as much as you wish).
  7. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until cheese and sauce are bubbly, and dish is heated through.
  8. Remove dish from oven. Let cool for 1-2 minutes, then carefully lift each rollup out of dish with a spatula and place onto individual serving plates.
Notes
The recipe makes 8 rollups, so depending on how hungry you are, you can either get 4 servings (2 per person) or 8 servings (1 per person).
Fresh baby spinach can be substituted for frozen (I was using what I had on hand).

 

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Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo

Lightly seasoned, pan-seared shrimp served on a bed of penne pasta covered in a creamy Alfredo sauce is a delicious meal we really enjoy! Guess what? Shrimp and Penne Pasta Alfredo is not only delicious to eat, it’s EASY to prepare in UNDER 30 minutes!!Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Over 30 years ago a friend told me how to make a quick alfredo sauce; the rest of the recipe is just one of the variations I have made through the years.  The shrimp in this dish, (lightly sprinkled with Cajun spices or seasoning of your choice) AND the sauce takes only minutes to prepare while the pasta is cooking, so the entire dish can be ready to go in under 30 minutes! And trust me… it is EASY to prepare… and quite yummy.

Here’s how simple it is to make:

Bring large pot of water to boil… cook penne pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, lightly sprinkle Cajun seasoning (or seasoning of your choice: garlic powder, Italian seasoning, etc.) onto peeled, deveined large shrimp (21-25 per pound). In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat.  When oil is hot, add shrimp and cook about 2 minutes per side, until pink and fully cooked. Remove, and keep warm.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To make the Alfredo sauce, melt 1 cube of butter in a large skillet. I make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add 1½ cups heavy whipping cream, stir, then grate 1½ cups of fresh Parmesan cheese into sauce (can also add more Parmesan, if desired).  Stir well to combine ingredients and cook on medium-low heat (stirring constantly) until cheese has melted, sauce has thickened, and is hot. Taste test sauce; season with a tiny bit of garlic powder, salt and pepper, if desired. Do not let sauce come to a boil.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then add to skillet with thickened hot Alfredo sauce.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Stir to fully mix pasta and sauce. Heat on low until sauce and pasta are hot and fully combined.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place a portion of the hot pasta onto each serving plate. Top each portion with pan-seared shrimp.  Sprinkle with dried parsley and additional grated Parmesan cheese (if desired), and serve hot.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

See how easy it is? I’ve been making Alfredo sauce this way for years and years… and it tastes GREAT with shrimp.

Hope you will consider making this great meal for yourself… and those you love!  Blessings~

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo
 
Prep time
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Lightly seasoned shrimp on a bed of Penne Pasta in a creamy alfredo sauce. Easy and delicious!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound shrimp (21-25 count per pound), shelled/deveined
  • Cajun seasoning (or seasoning of your choice: garlic powder, Italian seasoning, etc.)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cube butter
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • Approximately 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese (add more to taste, if desired)
  • Season lightly with garlic powder, salt & black pepper, to taste
  • ¾ pound penne pasta, cooked per package instructions
  • Dried parsley and/or additional grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (if desired)
Directions
  1. Prepare penne pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce and the shrimp.
To Make Alfredo Sauce:
  1. Melt butter in medium skillet. Once melted, pour in heavy whipping cream. Stir to combine. Cook on medium-low until heated through (but not boiling). Add grated Parmesan cheese to saucepan. Stir well, to combine. Continue cooking until cheese melts, and mixture thickens (but is NOT boiling). Taste and add additional Parmesan cheese (you can't get too much!) for thicker sauce and additional flavor. Season very lightly with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Keep sauce warm while you prepare the shrimp (or can cook both at the same time if multi-tasking).
To cook shrimp:
  1. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in large skillet.
  2. Lightly sprinkle shelled/deveined shrimp with Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine. When oil in skillet is hot, add shrimp. Cook shrimp for about 2 minutes per side, until pink and cooked through. Set aside and keep warm.
To Serve:
  1. When pasta is done, drain. Add drained penne to skillet with hot Alfredo sauce , and mix well to fully coat pasta with sauce. Place a serving of hot pasta on individual plates. Top with 4-5 cooked shrimp.
  2. Garnish with dried parsley and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
Fresh grated Parmesan is the best choice, but if all you have available is the "Green Container" shaker can of Parmesan cheese, by all means use it!

 

 

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Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash

Ever have those nights when you need to come up with something for dinner and don’t really feel inspired? Well, I did recently, but came up with this recipe for Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash… and it was a big hit.. and oh so delicious!Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This pasta dish is not swimming in a traditional sauce, but rather is a lightly seasoned portion of pasta, topped with a quick to prepare topping of Italian sausage, fresh vegetables and sun-dried tomatoes, then topped with a generous dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese!

I used 2 Italian sausages that I scavenged out of our freezer, added summer squash from our garden, and some sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) from our garden, as well, so it certainly wasn’t a budget buster! But it WAS packed with great flavor! I made the sausage topping while the pasta was cooking, so the entire meal was quick to put together!

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While pasta was cooking, I cooked the ingredients (Italian sausage, chopped onion, green peppers, yellow squash, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, minced garlic, and other spices).

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, I drained the little amount of grease (from the Italian sausage) from the skillet.

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I prepared spaghetti noodles (any pasta will do, though) according to package directions. When done, I drained pasta (don’t rinse), then put it back in the pan. I tossed the hot pasta with butter, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Divide the hot, seasoned pasta into serving dishes. Top with the Italian sausage mixture. Generously sprinkle pasta with additional Parmesan cheese, to finish.

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Grab a fork, and enjoy this tasty pasta dish!

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you enjoy this dish! I made it up as I went along (which is ALWAYS an adventure!), but was quite pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was… full of flavor!  My husband and I LOVED this simple meal.  Have a great day, friends.

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: My hungry brain.

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
For Pasta "Sauce":
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Italian sausages, casing removed
  • ¼ cup chopped brown onion
  • ⅓ cup chopped green peppers
  • ½ cup chopped yellow squash
  • ⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
For Pasta:
  • 8 ounces pasta (½ pound)- I used spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Additional shredded Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Directions
  1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil (for pasta). When fully boiling, add pasta and cook per package instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, prepare the "sauce", by heating olive oil on medium high in large skillet. Add crumbled Italian sausage, chopped onion, green peppers, yellow squash, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, oregano and minced garlic. Cook for approx. 7-8 minutes, until done. Drain any grease from pan. Keep warm.
  3. When pasta is done cooking, drain, then return to pan. While pasta is hot, add butter, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well, to combine.
  4. Place seasoned pasta in serving bowls. Top with hot sausage mixture.
  5. Garnish (liberally) with additional shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

 

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Florentine Lasagna Roll

I’ve been making this meatless Florentine Lasagna Roll for almost 20 years… for potlucks and delicious dinners with our family! Filled with spinach, three kinds of cheese, garlic and onion, then covered in a simple Italian flavored tomato sauce, this recipe is easy and FABULOUS!Florentine Lasagna Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Even though this meal is “meatless”, you don’t need it with three cheeses, spinach and fantastic Italian flavors shining through in this meal!  The recipe is “simple”; all you do is cook lasagna noodles, mix together a cheese and spinach filling and spread it over the noodles, roll it up, cover with an Italian-flavored tomato sauce and bake. Easy, right? Right. Anyone can make this great dish!  Here’s how..

Cook spinach and drain well.

Florentine Lasagna Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In medium sized bowl, combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, cooked and drained spinach, chopped onion, garlic cloves, black pepper, and egg.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mix well, to completely combine ingredients. Set aside.

Florentine Lasagna Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cook the lasagna noodles according to package instructions. You need 10 cooked lasagna noodles for this recipe. I cook 12, in case any of them split or break. (Think of it as pasta insurance.) Once cooked, I drain the noodles, then arrange them on a large sheet of wax paper, overlapping the long (curly) sides to form a rectangle like this…

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once noodles are fully arranged, carefully spread the filling over the noodles. I put spoonfuls of filling all over the noodles, then use the back of a spoon to spread out the filling.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I spread grated Mozzarella cheese all over the cheese/spinach filling, then carefully roll up the pasta and filling.  To roll it up: Using the wax paper to help, begin tightly rolling the noodles up (starting with the side of rectangle with straight pasta edges). Use the wax paper to help roll noodles tightly as you go. Tuck the noodle edges under as you complete the first roll,  so you have a tight, firm roll to begin with.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I pulled back some of the wax paper as I rolled to show you what it should look like.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When pasta is completely rolled up,  place the finished roll on a large baking sheet (one with rimmed edges). Carefully remove the last bit of wax paper from underneath the roll. The lasagna roll should look like this.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a bowl, combine the sauce ingredients (tomato sauce, sugar, basil and oregano); stir to combine.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spoon sauce over the entire surface (top and sides) of Lasagna Roll. Use all the sauce.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When completely covered with sauce, grate Parmesan cheese all over the top and sides of the roll.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 35 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven, and let the Lasagna Roll stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

Florentine Lasagne Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

With a sharp knife cut slices of the Florentine Lasagna Roll, and place on individual serving plates with a large spatula. Serve with some crusty bread and a great salad, and BOOM! You’ve got yourself a great Italian “meatless” meal… just like that!

Florentine Lasagna Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Trust me… this meal is DELICIOUS. You won’t even miss having meat in it. The flavors are amazing, it’s really EASY to make, and looks quite nice, too! Sure hope you will give this recipe a try. I think you will be pleasantly surprised!

Have a great day during this busy holiday season. My husband and I made an intentional decision this year to NOT fill up this holiday season with “busy-ness” and constantly looking for “things” to entertain us, as our culture tends to promote. Instead, we are enjoying a simple holiday season this year, trying to focus on what Christmas really means to us… the birth of our Savior, Jesus. His humble birth changed everything, and for that we are GRATEFUL.

Florentine Lasagna Roll / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: unknown (wrote recipe on a 3×5 card over 20 years ago- didn’t note where I got it from)

Florentine Lasagna Roll
 
Prep time
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Meatless, but definitely not tasteless, this three cheese and spinach filled lasagna roll is absolutely easy to prepare and tastes delicious!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 10 cooked lasagna noodles
For The Filling:
  • 10 oz. package frozen spinach, cooked, and well drained.
  • 8 oz. package cream cheese (room temp.)
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese (do not add to filling-keep separate!)
For The Sauce:
  • 3- 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
For garnish:
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Directions
To Make The Filling:
  1. Cook spinach according to package instructions. Drain well. In small bowl, combine cream cheese, cooked spinach, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, chopped onion, black pepper, minced garlic and egg. Stir well until mixture is fully combined. Set aside.
To Make Lasagna Roll:
  1. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Remove from heat; drain.
  2. On wax paper, arrange the noodles overlapping the long (curly) sides to form a large rectangle.
  3. Spread cheese/spinach filling over surface of noodles. Spread grated Mozzarella cheese over the cheese/spinach filling.
  4. Starting at short ends of the pasta (non curly), roll up the pasta (in jelly roll fashion), using the wax paper to help. Tuck the ends under and firm up the roll, as you roll it up, continuing to use the wax paper as a guide. When it is roll completely, carefully transfer (might have to use two spatulas) the roll to a large (9x13) baking sheet. Carefully remove the wax paper. Seam side should be down on the sheet.
To Make Sauce:
  1. In a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, sugar, basil and oregano. Stir to combine.
To Finish Roll:
  1. Spread the sauce over top and sides of entire lasagna roll. Grate Parmesan cheese over top of the roll. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven. Let Lasagna Roll stand for 5 minutes before attempting to slice. Using a sharp knife, slice into serving sizes, and using a spatula, place slices onto individual serving plates. Enjoy!

 

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Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce

Well, Fall weather has definitely come to the Pacific Northwest, bringing with it LOTS of rain and cooler temperatures, I have felt myself craving pasta lately. It’s funny- in the Summer I want to BBQ our meals; in Fall and Winter I crave “comfort food” recipes, much like this easy recipe for Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce.Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
My husband and I enjoyed this “meatless” pasta dish last week. Store bought tortellini is cooked, then served in a delicious cream sauce, which features the flavors of spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic, basil, and of course… Parmesan cheese! It’s a very easy dish to pull together, as well, which ALWAYS scores big with me. Here’s how you make it:

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook tortellini, according to package directions, while you are making the sauce. Time it so that the tortellini is done when the sauce is ready.

Cook frozen chopped spinach according to package directions (I didn’t have any so I used fresh baby spinach, chopped it, then cooked it for a couple minutes in boiling water to wilt it).

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Drain the spinach really well using a strainer. Set the drained spinach aside. (I drained it so well I BROKE this strainer. Oops. Be careful out there, folks!)

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a large skillet, sauté onion in oil until it is tender (3-4 minutes).

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once onions have softened, add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring well.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add tomatoes, spinach, basil, salt and pepper to the skillet.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Give it a good stir, then continue cooking the mixture on medium-high heat until almost all of the liquid has cooked out (this will take about 5-6 minutes).

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour in the whipping cream.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Grate Parmesan cheese and add it to the mixture.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Give the sauce a good stir. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to LOW and simmer for 8-10 minutes (or until the sauce has thickened). Leave the skillet uncovered while cooking.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

About the time the sauce is finished cooking and hot, the tortellini should be done cooking.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Drain the cooked tortellini, then add to the skillet full of the tomato-spinach cream sauce.

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Gently stir, to coat the tortellini with the sauce. Place tortellini and sauce in serving dish, or serve portions onto individual plates. Grate additional Parmesan cheese on top of each individual serving, if desired, and serve while hot!

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it! Serve this with a mixed green salad for a hearty dinner! The recipe serves 6 (if using 16 oz. frozen tortellini-see Note Section of printable recipe). We enjoyed the leftovers, too!!

Have a great day! Think of ways you can encourage a friend, neighbor, or family member today, and act on it… be someone who makes a positive difference in someone’s life!

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/tortellini-with-tomato-cream-sauce

Cheese Tortellini in a Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Cheese tortellini, enhanced with a cream sauce featuring tomatoes, spinach, garlic and Parmesan cheese. Comforting and filling!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 package (16 oz,) frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 small brown onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoonfuls olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach
  • 1½ teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, if desired
Directions
Make tortellini:
  1. Cook the tortellini according to package instructions. While the tortellini is cooking, make the sauce.
Make Tomato-Spinach Cream Sauce:
  1. While tortellini is cooking, sauté chopped onion in olive oil (in large skillet) for 3-4 minutes, until onion has softened. Add garlic to skillet; cook for one minute, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn.
  2. Add tomatoes (and juice), drained spinach, basil, salt and black pepper to the skillet. Cook this mixture (uncovered) for 5-6 minutes on medium-high heat, until almost all of the liquid has been cooked away.
  3. Stir in the whipping cream and the Parmesan cheese. Stir well, then bring to a boil. Once it reaches the boiling point, reduce heat back down to low; simmer and continue cooking for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened up a bit.
  4. When tortellini is finished cooking, drain it well, then add tortellini to tomato-spinach cream sauce in skillet. Gently stir to fully coat pasta with the sauce, then serve while hot.
  5. If desired (I recommend), garnish each individual serving with additional grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!
Notes
-No frozen spinach? Use fresh baby spinach. Place spinach leaves in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Drain. Use as directed.
-Can also use a 9 oz.. pkg. of FRESH tortellini. Makes a couple less servings (and extra sauce), but is good substitution for 16 oz. frozen tortellini.

 

 

Easy Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage

When I make spaghetti sauce, I cook the sauce for several hours… BUT sometimes I don’t have time to spare, so I make this EASY and quick spaghetti sauce which is flavored with Italian sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and lots of spices. It’s delicious and filling, especially on a “cool weather” kind of day, like today in the Pacific Northwest.Easy Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!The sauce only takes about 10 minutes of prep work, then the rest of the time (30 minutes) is inactive “simmering” time. Not too much time to invest, and the results are wonderful! I like to make extra sauce to freeze for another day (the recipe serves 4-6 depending on serving size, but it’s always nice to have extra made up).

Start the party off by sautéing Italian sausage (which has been removed from the casing) with some chopped onion.

Easy Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add chopped green pepper and continue cooking until sausage is fully cooked.

Easy Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Drain the grease from the skillet, then add tomato paste, a large can of diced tomatoes, and water. Sometimes I add in 1/2 cup red wine, if I have an open bottle (optional, though).

Easy Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Next add the spices (oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper).

Easy Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add mushrooms. I used some of my dehydrated mushrooms (they ARE kind of handy to have around and re-hydrate wonderfully in the sauce), but of course, you can use the same amount of fresh, sliced mushrooms. If you don’t like mushrooms, just leave ’em out!

Easy Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or so. The sauce will reduce a bit, and all those yummy flavors will permeate the sauce. While the sauce is cooking, I cook the spaghetti noodles (or any other pasta I am using), drain, then place the drained pasta on individual serving plates, and top with a ladle of sauce, then some grated Parmesan cheese. That’s it! So easy… yet such a very quick… inexpensive, and delicious hearty meal.

Easy Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I grew up eating my Mom’s spaghetti sauce with ground beef in the sauce. My husband and I prefer the great taste of Italian sausage in our sauce. If you’ve never tried it, hope you will consider giving it a try.  Have a great day, and Buon Appetito (Italian, for “enjoy your meal!)!

Easy Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe source: My brain, in Italian mode.

Easy Spaghetti Sauce With Italian Sausage
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Quick, inexpensive, and easy to prepare, this delicious spaghetti sauce is flavored with Italian sausage, onions, green peppers, and spices!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 Italian sausage links (mild or hot), casings removed.
  • ¾ cup chopped brown onion
  • ⅓ cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
  • 1 large can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water (or substitute ½ cup water and ½ cup red wine, if desired)
  • 1½ teaspoons oregano (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon basil (dried)
  • 1¼ teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (dried)
  • 1½ cups sliced mushrooms
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (if desired)
Directions
  1. Remove casing from sausage links by cutting with a knife down the length of the link, and removing the sausage. Discard the casing. Crumble the sausage into a large skillet.
  2. Sauté the sausage and chopped onion on medium heat. Add the green pepper; cook until sausage is fully cooked. Drain the grease out of the pan (discard), and return skillet to stovetop.
  3. Add tomato paste, can of diced tomatoes (including juice), and water to skillet.
  4. Add oregano, Italian seasoning, basil, garlic powder, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  5. Add sliced mushrooms. Stir all ingredients well, to combine.
  6. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and continue to cook for about 30 minutes. The sauce will reduce down a bit, and the flavors will permeate the sauce. Taste test the sauce and add additional salt or spices as desired.
  7. While sauce is cooking, prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, then serve with sauce ladled over the top.
  8. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired, and serve HOT!

 

Recipe Source: My brain

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Florentine Manicotti

My husband and I love Italian food! One of the dishes we enjoy occasionally is this “meatless” recipe for Florentine Manicotti. Pasta shells filled with three cheeses (creamy ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan), spinach, and covered in spaghetti sauce. Yum. I like to think of manicotti as the Italian version of Mexican enchiladas!Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!For anyone unfamiliar with manicotti, it is a large, tube shaped type of pasta that is typically filled with meat or cheese and is baked in spaghetti sauce. This particular recipe is meatless; it’s delicious, and is a fairly easy dish to prepare.  I use a recipe I found years ago on a box of pasta, and tweaked it a bit by adding cooked spinach and a couple additional spices to the cheesy filling, to give it a true “Florentine” touch!

The first thing I do when I make this recipe is to cook a small box of frozen spinach, according to the package directions. Then I drain it very well, and let the spinach cool. When it has cooled off, I mix up the cheese filling, then add the spinach.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Here’s what manicotti pasta shells look like BEFORE they are cooked (they’re about 5 inches long):

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!The tubes of pasta are fragile, so be careful not to break them. Carefully add the pasta to a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook for 7 minutes.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!When done, carefully remove the pasta shells to a colander and drain them well.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Now put a layer of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a baking pan.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Gently fill each of the pasta tubes with the cheese and spinach filling. I hold the shell in my hand and fill one side with the cheese/spinach filling (using a spoon and sometimes a butter knife) clear to the middle, then switch to the other end of the shell and fill the other side. Try to get as much filling into the shell as possible without splitting it.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Once the shells are filled, lay them on top of the spaghetti sauce.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Now cover the manicotti with the rest of the spaghetti sauce. I like to cover the entire pasta shell with sauce, then sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese (or grated mozzarella cheese).

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, then remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes longer or until the manicotti is hot and cheese filling is bubbly. Let cool for a minute or two (easier to serve up) , then remove manicotti to serving plates using a spatula. The only thing left to do is grab a fork, dig in, and enjoy this tasty dish!

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Hope you will give this recipe a try!  I may not have the most mouthwatering “professional” photos to share (staged of course by a photography assistant), but trust me… these are delicious, and I really think you will enjoy them! Have a great day.

Florentine Manicotti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe adapted from: Box of American Beauty Manicotti Pasta Shells.

Florentine Manicotti
 
Prep time
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Manicotti pasta, filled with ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, covered with spaghetti sauce is a filling, easy to make Italian dish.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 6-8 uncooked manicotti pasta shells
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese (1¾ cups)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach (cooked per package directions, and drained well)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground oregano
  • 3 cups (or one 28 ounce jar) prepared spaghetti sauce
  • Additional Parmesan or mozzarella cheese (for garnish, optional)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cook frozen chopped spinach per package instructions. Remove from heat; drain WELL. Let spinach cool.
  3. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, grated mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, pepper, garlic powder and ground oregano. Stir well until fully combined.
  4. Add spinach to the cheese mixture. Stir well, to combine.
  5. Cook manicotti shells according to package instructions (add to boiling water-7 minutes cook time is typical). When done, remove from heat, drain gently, and let dry.
  6. Fill each shell using a spoon until full of filling.
  7. Spread some of the spaghetti sauce over the bottom of 13x9 baking pan (enough to fully cover); put the filled pasta in a single layer on top of sauce.
  8. Spoon the rest of the spaghetti sauce over the top of the manicotti. Sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan cheese (or mozzarella), if desired. Cover pan with aluminum foil.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes; remove foil, then cook an additional 15 minutes. Manicotti should be hot and cheese bubbly when done. Remove pan from oven. Let sit for a minute or two, then gently remove manicotti to individual serving plates using a spatula.
  10. Serve with a green salad and a slice of crusty french bread, and enjoy!

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Make Grilled Pizzas On Your BBQ!

Want to beat the heat in the kitchen this summer? Why not make grilled pizzas on your BBQ grill? That way you can kill two birds with one stone… keep the ol’ kitchen cool, AND enjoy a great homemade pizza! Make Grilled Pizzas On Your BBQ!! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I heard someone say they loved grilled pizzas right off the BBQ grill. Wait… Whhhhaaat?????? It sounded like a great cooking experiment so I decided to give it a try. Result? Completely awesome!  It’s really much easier than I thought it would be! Get your hands on some pizza dough. Purchase it at the grocery store or make your own. I like to make my own. If you want to see the recipe for the dough I use, you can find it on my blog post for “Make It Yourself! Pepperoni Pizza”. The most important tip about this way of making pizza is to have all the pizza toppings ready to go (chopped, diced, etc.) before you put the dough on the grill!

Make the pizza dough (or open the package of pre-made dough – whatever). When done, divide dough into 6-8 little balls (if wanting small individual sized pizzas) OR (as in my pictures), divide dough into 2 medium sized dough balls. Roll or stretch dough out into a round shape (don’t worry if they’re not perfectly round shaped… no biggie).

Heat your BBQ grill on medium high heat. Brush olive oil (important-don’t forget this step – this will keep dough from sticking to grill, and will crisp the dough up a bit!!!) on both sides of the circle-shaped pizza dough. Carefully slide the pizza dough onto the grill rack. Cook dough for 3-4 minutes on the first side. The bottom should be lightly browned and have grill marks. The top of the dough will look done. Carefully remove dough and turn it upside down (*GRILLED SIDE UP) onto a cutting board. Quickly add the sauce and toppings to your pizza. If you’re feeling brave, just flip the pizza over and add the sauce and toppings while it is on the grill. (that was too hot for me…I just had a wood cutting board outside and transferred it back and forth. Worked like a charm.

Make Grilled Pizzas On Your BBQ! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Carefully slide pizzas back onto grill and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes. We put the lid on the BBQ, which helped the cheese melt. The bottom of the dough should again be lightly browned. Remove pizzas from grill and serve, with any last minute garnishes. Serve immediately… enjoy!

Make Grilled Pizzas On Your BBQ! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Make Grilled Pizzas On Your BBQ! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!We loved the taste of the grilled pizzas… and I personally loved the fact that our kitchen stayed cool! We loved our grilled BBQ chicken pizza, and our veggie delight pizza! Will definitely make again this summer!

Have a great weekend.

Make Grilled Pizzas On Your BBQ! / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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