Well Dined

6Jul/150

Ricotta and Chard Pizza

Well Dined | Ricotta and Chard Pizza

A few weeks ago, I talked about Cauliflower Crust Pizza and showed you a basic tomato and mozzarella version.  Now I want to tell you about this amazing version with creamy ricotta cheese and garlicky sauteed chard.

Well Dined | Ricotta and Chard Pizza

It all starts with the chard - and luckily Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) was growing some in her yard!

Well Dined | Ricotta and Chard Pizza

Saute the chard stems in olive oil - I love how bright and colorful they are!

Well Dined | Ricotta and Chard Pizza

Then add in garlic and the leaves, which cook faster than the stems, and finish with red wine vinegar.

Well Dined | Ricotta and Chard Pizza

Top a fully cooked cauliflower crust with fresh, whole milk ricotta and the chard mixture.  Enjoy!

3Jun/151

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Have you ever had squash blossoms?  It's kind of weird to eat flowers, right?  But these delicate blooms (stuffed with ricotta cheese and herbs, battered, and fried) are so, so delicious.  They are also extremely perishable and only last a few hours at home.  So it is best to cook them right away.

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I've only ever had squash blossoms in restaurants before, but as soon as I saw them at the farmers market, I knew that I had to try making them myself.  I really wanted to go with a stuffed and fried recipe, which is what I'm used to eating.  But I found a bunch of other cool recipes I'd like to try if they still have them at the market next week - soup, quesadilla, fritatta.

5May/142

Pea and Ricotta Tart

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

 

Hello, Spring!  I am so glad that you have finally come to stay!  I'd like to welcome you with this lovely little tart made with fresh peas, creamy homemade ricotta, scallions, herbs, and lemon.  Please stick around for a bit.

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

Well, Spring, I know that fresh English peas are kind of your thing, so I used them two ways just for you!  I pureed some peas and ricotta together with lemon juice, mint, and basil to make a creamy spread.  Then I mixed some whole peas with scallions, more mint and basil, and lemon zest.

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

I baked some puff pastry until golden, puffed, and crispy; then I spread the creamy ricotta mixture over the top; and sprinkled the whole pea mixture over that.  Look at all that green!

30Jan/142

Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

I had a plan to make spinach and butternut squash lasagna roll-ups last week.  But then I decided to add chicken so that Jasper would be more likely to eat it (note that this plan failed, ha).  And then I thought it would be good to make my own spinach whole wheat noodles, which turned out to be too fragile to roll up, especially with the heavy chicken added.  So it turned into a regular layered lasagna instead, and I'm not even sad.  The colors were so pretty, and it was gooey and cheesy and filling.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

So here's where I made a mistake - I thought I would be clever and puree the spinach in the food processor instead of the blender before adding  in my flour in order to reduce the number of dirty containers.  Except that the food processor didn't really puree the spinach very well.  I even had a moment where I stopped and thought I should transfer it to the blender and decided against it, *sigh*.  All those little flakes of spinach made the dough very fragile and difficult to work with, but I stuck it out.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

The noodles turned out fine (and they certainly tasted good) when cooked, but they were still too fragile to roll (and not very pretty).

Well Dined | Butternut Squash and Spinach Lasagna with Homemade Spinach Whole Wheat Noodles

So I just layered them instead and all was well.  Now, remember earlier this week when I talked about having leftover butternut squash?  Well, this is where it went.  I pureed the roasted squash and shallots together to make a sauce.  A little of that went on the bottom of the pan, then a layer of noodles.

6Jan/140

Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna Rolls

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

Oh my gosh, you guys.  This might be my favorite butternut squash pasta since the life-saving mac and cheese.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

Sheets of homemade pasta filled with roasted butternut squash, apple, onion, sausage, and three cheeses; topped with a creamy sage bechamel.  It's totally swoon worthy.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

The filling is a little complicated, but totally worth it.  While your butternut squash is roasting in the oven, mix up and brown your sausage mixture.  Did I mention that you are creating your own sausage, so you can adjust the spices to your liking?  And you can be sure that there are no weird preservatives or sugar?  Awesome.  Anyway, next you saute some onions, garlic, and apple.  Plus a little white wine - aww, yeah.

Well Dined | Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sausage Lasagna

Oh my gosh this filling.  It's insane.  You may want to make extra to use in other ways.  I'll talk about that later.

2Jan/140

Carrot Ricotta Ravioli

Well Dined | Carrot Ricotta Ravioli

Were you guys dying for another homemade pasta post?  Based on the popularity of the other ones, I bet you were!  So here is one for veggie lovers (but don't worry, there's also plenty of cheese).  Sweet and savory, with just a hint of nutmeg - so good!

Well Dined | Carrot Ricotta Ravioli

Carrots, shallots, ricotta, Parmesan, and a little cream, butter, and nutmeg go into this lovely filling.  I had a little filling leftover when I finished up, so I tossed it into some brown butter and sage to make a sauce.  And that's it!

If I had massive amounts of time, I would love to make a trio of veggie raviolis to serve together - this one, the beet and goat cheese one, and a spinach one (maybe with feta?).  Wouldn't that be fun?  And with the fresh pasta, you could see the orange, purple, and green fillings and it would be super pretty.  *Sigh*  One day!

Carrot Ricotta Ravioli
adapted from Food and Wine
serves 2-4, about 36 ravioli

Pasta:
2 cups flour
3 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp olive oil

Filling:
3 large carrots (3/4 lb), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp minced shallot
1 tbsp heavy cream
5 oz ricotta (1/2 cup firmly packed)
6 tbsp freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 large egg yolk

Pulse the flour in a food processor to evenly distribute and aerate.  Add the eggs and olive oil.  Process until the dough forms a rough ball, about 30 seconds.  (If the dough resembles small pebbles, add water 1/2 tsp at a time; if it sticks to the side of the bowl, add flour 1 tbsp at a time.)

Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead until smooth, about 1 minute.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours

Make the filling.  Preheat the oven to 400°.  In a baking dish, toss the carrots with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.  Let cool slightly.

In a small skillet, melt the butter . Add the shallot and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 3 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the carrots, shallot, and cream and puree until smooth.  Transfer the puree to a bowl.  Stir in the ricotta, Parmigiano, and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.  Stir in the egg yolk (taste for seasoning before you do this).

Roll out the pasta dough using a pasta roller.  Set the thin sheet of dough over a ravioli press.  Drop small balls of filling into the pockets.  Lay a second rectangle of pasta over the filling layer.  Seal the edges by pressing a rolling pin over the top.  Flip over, release from the mold (flouring the mold/pasta helps), and cut into squares with whatever cutter you have available.

Boil the ravioli, about a dozen at a time, for 4 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the ravioli from the pot to plates.  Top with sauce of choice (I recommend brown butter, or white wine cream) and a sprinkle of extra Parmesan.

One Year Ago - Food 'n Flix Roundup for Willy Wonka
Two Years Ago - Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Three Years Ago - Winter Soups

30Dec/130

2013 Wrap Up

Well Dined | 2013 Wrap-Up

Well, Folks - it's been a great year!  I look forward to keep sharing delicious and (sometimes) healthy recipes with you in the years to come.  Until then - here are my most pinned recipes of 2013!

Well Dined | Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepard's Pie

#1 - This healthy version of Shepard's Pie with Sweet Potato and Turkey.  I find this funny because the photos from this post are so bad!

Well Dined | Homemade Meat Ravioli

#2 - Homemade Meat Ravioli - yum!

Well Dined | Homemade Spinach Ravioli

#3 - Homemade Spinach Ravioli.  The raviolis are popular!

4Sep/135

Veggie Based Pasta Sauces

Well Dined | Roasted Beet Pasta Sauce with Ricotta and Herbs

I've been doing this thing lately where I pretend that making a pasta sauce out of vegetables makes up for the fact that I am eating pasta.  Leave me to my delusions, I'm not ready to face the truth.  I have three such recipes for you today, and the first is this gorgeous roasted beet sauce that will make your pasta intensely fuschia.  Simply roast some beets, allow to cool slightly, peel, and puree with some starchy pasta water.  Toss with cooked pasta, season, and serve.  I topped mine with ricotta and fresh oregano.

Well Dined | Broccoli Cream Sauce

Next up is a broccoli sauce - what could be more healthy than broccoli?  I am not really used to broccoli because my father is allergic and we never really had it growing up.  My poor husband loves broccoli (shocking since he is NOT a veggie eater), so I am trying to familiarize myself.

Well Dined | Broccoli Cream Sauce

Did you know that you should peel broccoli?  I didn't.  Apparently the outside part is tough and bitter.  Anyway, peel and chop the broccoli, steam, and then saute with butter, onion, and garlic.  Add some cream, puree, and toss with pasta and a bit of that magical pasta water.  Top with a gratuitous amount of Parmesan.  And before you start yelling at me - know that many vegetables need to be eaten with fat in order to allow the body to fully absorb the nutrients - FACT.

Well Dined | Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

Lastly we have a roasted red pepper alfredo.  I think this one might be my favorite - super creamy and cheesy with a ton of roasted pepper flavor.  I topped it with grilled chicken that I marinated in olive oil, lemon juice and zest, garlic, rosemary, and oregano.

Well Dined | Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

They sell roasted peppers in jars at the grocery store, but it turns out that it is super easy (and cheaper) to do at home - just pop them in a 500 degree oven for 30 minutes, allow to cool, then remove the stem, seeds, and core.  Toss the roasted peppers into a mixture of onion, garlic, half and half, herbed goat cheese, and Parmesan; puree and enjoy.

26Aug/130

Summer Pizzas

Well Dined | Tomato and Burrata Pizza

I really love authentic Italian pizza.  The kind with the thin crust that gets blistered and charred in the wood oven.  My favorite place to get it around here is Pizzeria Orso, but I have been trying to make it at home.  Step one is to get a pizza stone.  I leave mine on the bottom rack of the oven.  As long you are heating it with the oven (not sticking a cold stone into a hot oven) it will be totally fine to leave it in there all the time.  In fact, heating it frequently will help keep it clean by burning any spills to dust.  I've even left it in there on the self clean mode - totally fine and now very clean!  It will take longer for your oven to preheat with the stone in it, but it will help keep the temperature even and constant.  You will also need a pizza peel to transfer the pizza to the stone.

Well Dined | Jim Lahey Dough

Step 2 for great pizza - great dough.  I have tried many doughs, including whole wheat ones.  For authentic pizza - this Jim Lahey dough is the best.  It takes a long time to make though, so be prepared.  The idea behind this dough is that the tenderness and pocketed texture come from fermenting the dough (for 18 hours, I told you it takes time!), and then handling it as little as possible.  That means no kneading!

Well Dined | Jim Lahey Dough

After letting the dough ferment (like sourdough starter), you carefully remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a floured surface.  Then you separate it into four parts and gently fold (not roll, or knead) the parts into balls.  Use them quickly or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate.  This dough is only good for a couple of days so plan to make a lot of pizza!

Well Dined | Jim Lahey Dough

When you are ready to make the pizza (the oven and stone should be preheated at this point), carefully and gently stretch the dough.  Either in the air on your knuckles, or on a floured surface.  For some technique tips - check out this video.  See those bubbles in the dough, there?  That's what you are trying to achieve.  Those will blister up and make your pizza awesome.  Here's another handy trick - I always have trouble getting my pizza off the peel, no matter how much cornmeal I put on there.  So I have started putting the pizza onto parchment paper and sliding that onto the stone.  Then after about 2 minutes (you will smell it starting to char), I slide the parchment out from under the partially set dough - easy!

23Aug/132

Summer Tartines

Well Dined | Summer Tartines

So for the past few weeks I have pretty much been living off of fresh summer produce and cheese piled onto whole grain seed bread.  It's pretty much all I want to eat.  EVER.  The French call these open-faced sandwiches "tartines".  I like that, it makes them sound fancy (when really they are super simple).

Well Dined | Fresh Tomato and Ricotta Tartine

The farmers' market has been bursting with huge, gorgeous heirloom tomatoes.  This beautiful yellow, green, and red tomato made it onto pizza (which I will post about soon) AND some lovely tartines.  I wanted to eat some of this super sweet and juicy tomato raw so I toasted some bread and topped it with creamy homemade ricotta, basil from my garden, slices of tomato, high quality EVOO, high quality sea salt, and fresh cracked pepper.  Super simple and sooooooo delicious.

Well Dined | Fig, Ricotta, and Honey Tartine

Next up I paired some fresh figs with more of that homemade ricotta, black pepper, and honey.  Whether for lunch, dessert, or a snack - this tartine is awesome.

Well Dined | Broiled Tomato and Mozzarella Tartines

Lastly, I wanted to experiment with warm tartines and broiled tomatoes, so I placed sliced mozzarella and tomatoes on seedy whole grain bread, drizzled them with olive oil, and broiled them.  Then I topped them with fresh basil, salt, and pepper - yum!  Definitely very satisfying.

What are some of your favorite tartine ideas?  Leave them in the comments!