Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category


Also no picture of this one, I haven’t made them in a while so I’ll do it again soon and take some =)



3/4 cup warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1/8 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups flour
1 egg white, beaten (I’ve used the whole egg before, it turns out fine)

Olive Oil
Garlic powder
Dried oregano, or basil, rubbed to a powder


Mix water, oil, and yeast, let rest 5 minutes.

Add flour and salt to a large bowl.  Add liquid.

Mix till soft dough forms


Knead into cigar shaped pieces.

Place 3 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.

Let rise about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until doubled in size.


Brush sticks in oil, dust with garlic and rubbed spices.


Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes till golden brown.


Vegetarian Lasagna

I’m sure I’ve taken a picture of this at some point, but I can’t seem to find it just yet so I’ll add one soon, I usually use my all-edges lasagna pan =)

I love making this when I have meat-eating friends over because it often draws out “I thought you said this was vegetarian” comments when I use Morningstar Grillers

Vegetarian Lasagna
Marinara Sauce (pre-made will work, but I usually use my homemade)
Lasagna noodles (the no boil ones are great)
1 lb Ricotta cheese
2 eggs
Grated Mozzarella (I use pre-grated for times-sake)
Parmesan Cheese
Morningstar Grillers if desired


Mix together Ricotta and eggs

Layer sauce, noodles, ricotta mix, mozzarella, grillers (in that order)

For the top layer, just use noodles, mozzarella and add parmesean.

Cover with foil

Bake 25 minutes at 375 degrees, take the foil off for the last 5 to brown the cheese

Marinara Sauce

So this one is probably my favorite thing to make, I’ve never been a fan of the canned ready made marinara sauces, but goodness I love homemade.

I figure this is a good one to start with out of my recipes, since I’ve got a few friends who insist I make it for them when they are in town =)

This recipe started out as my mom’s recipe she brought over with her from England, she converted the measurements for me, and I slowly changed parts of it over a few years partly for personal preference, but also partly just to make it faster… prep and cooking time total around 20 minutes.

Marinara Sauce

2 Tbsp Olive Oil (I really just splash some in the pan so there is enough to fry the onion in)
2 garlic cloves, minced (I use pre-minced from Costco)
1 small onion, diced
1 14-16 oz can tomato sauce (I always use Hunts, it tastes better)
1 6 oz can tomato paste (also prefer Hunts)
1 14-16 oz can stewed tomato, do not drain! (I usually use petite diced for smoother sauce, once did the jalapeno kind, and it was a great spicy version)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp basil
1-2 tsp oregano

The garlic, onion, salt, basil and oregano are pretty flexible, use more or less depending on what you have on hand or your preferences, I often skip on the oregano and go heavy on the basil and garlic

Dice the onion, put it in the pot with the oil on medium to brown.

Once the onion is golden, toss in the garlic to roast it a little.

Add the canned ingredients, then the rest, stir

Cook for 5-20 minutes.

If you are using larger stewed tomatoes, you will want to cook a little on the longer side, so they can soften, if you are using diced you wont need to.

Veggierific lasagna

This is a great vegetable lasagna by Shanti Ellis, as always lasagna takes a bit of prep time, but is always worth it… If you are cooking for one, I find lasagna is a great dish to make on the weekend, and take a bit along for lunches or on busier evenings for dinner, because it always warms up well.  I can’t quite make it as she does since I’m allergic to bell pepper, but there is so much yummy stuff in here, I bet it would do just well without =)

Veggierific lasagna

(I don’t know whether this still counts as lasagna, but it’s awesome!!!)

This is considerably more time consuming that most of my other posts, but it’s just fantastic!  My neighbors, who aren’t veggie, said they were fighting over the last bite of the portion I gave them.

lasagna noodles
1 – 2 zucchini
1 – 2 portobello mushroom
1 Field Roast Italian sausage (vegan)
1 colorful bell pepper (sliced)
1 package of silken tofu, crumbled (optional)
6 spears of asparagus (woody stems removed and snapped into 2-inch pieces)
1/2 can of artichoke hearts (rinsed)
1/4 yellow or white onion (diced)
1 medium sized carrot (sliced)
3 large leaves of kale or Swiss chard (or spinach in a pinch, but it cooks much faster; so just add it raw to the lasagna and let it cook as the lasagna bakes)
olive oil
pasta sauce
16 oz. herbed ricotta or goat cheese (fresh basil, thyme, oregano, dill, pepper)
mozzarella to cover

Start with 2 square casserole dishes.  I have one that’s metal and one that’s glass, and they seemed to come out exactly the same; so don’t worry about whatever you have.

Get the herbed cheese started now so that the flavors can mingle while you’re preparing the veggies.  Place the cheese in a large bowl (if using goat cheese, let it sit out a little so that it’s easier to mix).  Cut the basil into ribbons and add.  For the thyme and oregano, just remove the leaves from the stems by lightly pinching the top and running your fingers along it.  They usually will just pop right off.  You don’t want the woody stem in your lasagna (but it can go in your broth bag in the freezer!)  Tearing the dill up by hand seems the easiest, and a few cranks of pepper should do.  Then stir and let it sit.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil and sautee the onion for about 3 minutes.  Then add the carrots and garlic.  After about two more minutes, add the greens.  Stir occasionally.

Slice the zucchini into strips about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and then line the bottom of the pans with them.  Not only do they soak up the juices wonderfully, but it helps keep your lasagna from sticking to the bottom!

Slice the portobellos and place in a single layer directly on the zucchini slices.


Now place one layer of the noodles.  For the size of my pans, this was two noodles.  Don’t worry if they’re broken.  You’re going to cut them up with a fork and knife anyway.

Top that layer of noodles with some pasta sauce and then layer sliced bell pepper and “sausage.”


Add another layer of noodles and then the crumbled silken tofu and raw asparagus.  Just breaking it by hand into 2 to 3 inch pieces is fine.



Add another layer of noodles and the sauteed onions, garlic, carrots, and greens and also add the artichoke hearts.  They should be quartered straight out of the can.  Directly on top of this add the herbed cheese.



Add one more layer of noodles and then top with more sauce and then cover with mozzarella.    Cover with foil and place in a preheated 375 degree oven.

Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.  Remove the foil after 20 minutes to brown the cheese on top.


Mushrooms as Pizza

So I posted a recipe for mushroom pizza, how about mushrooms as the pizza? Just nix the turkey and use a tomato slice instead!


Much like the large one, just not large =p Really though, you can buy pizza dough, grated cheese, sliced mushrooms, pre-made sauce and many other things to include in these, so they are a great dish, that, as this recipe mentions, can be made ahead of time and frozen for later.

Barley Risotto with Mushrooms

I’d probably be more likely to buy Trader Joes mushroom risotto and add some stuff to it, but this actually seems pretty simple to prepare