Fresh, fast and frugal!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Ravioli with garden fresh vegetables...

Harvest time is here and you can get very busy!

So, sometimes dinner gets thrown together but that does not mean it can't be brainy...

Just gather some fresh veggies from the garden and mix it up with whatever you have in the fridge or freezer. Tonight its beef ravioli with diced red ripe tomatoes from the garden, new Ratte potatoes and a salad.

Never heard of Ratte? They are a French fingerling variety of potato about 6 inches long; creamy, earthy and rich with a hint of nut flavor, the 'La Ratte' potato is a culinary treat that's simple to grow in the home garden.

 ~Tutti a Tavola!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Cooking with summer fruits...

In Europe, this time of year is full of flesh and I mean yummy purple plum flesh, juicy and sweet. Generally, Europeans love to cook with a variety of summer fruits and plums especially either fresh or dried. The best chicken cacciatore is made with dried plums - prunes. Check out Brainy Archives for summer fruit dishes!

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Beef or Chicken Minestrone Soup...

Choose a beef or chicken stock as a base and get cooking. Add to that base stock, your favorite vegetables (any kind of bean is optional) and include diced onion, garlic and tomatoes along with a pinch of salt then some dried herbs: rosemary, mint and oregano.

Boil your pasta preference on the side to add to individual bowls, put out the Parmesan and serve!

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Mark's Spaghetti de Tuna...

Whether you have heard of spaghetti de tuna or not doesn't matter... its just delicious and that's what matters most. Yes, Italians do make this dish. Italians living on the seaside eat a lot of seafood and pasta with it... ever heard of 'Frutti de Mare'?  That means fruit of the sea.

For this dish you will need: tomato sauce, canned tuna in oil, onion, red pepper flakes, garlic, fresh dried herbs and linguine. Essentially, the sauce is an Arrabbiata sauce... spicy hot tomato.

To begin, chop one onion and 2 cloves of garlic to saute in olive oil. Once browned, add one large can of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 tsp of sugar, 1 tsp of red pepper flakes (1/2 depending on your taste buds or more if your brave), fresh dried herbs: rosemary, mint and oregano and the canned tuna un-drained. Let simmer while you start a pot of water to boil for the linguine. with Parmesan

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Friday, August 2, 2019

Mark's Brainy Summer Salmon Bake...

Fresh salmon with butter and lemon is summertime delicious!

For this delicious summertime dish you will need: a large fillet 'slab' of fresh salmon, lemon, butter, and olive oil, herbs: rosemary, dill, mint and oregano.

To begin, turn the oven to 400f, take a large roasting pan and drizzle the olive oil, lay in the 'slab' of salmon skin side down, top with garlic powder, lemon slices and herbs. Once the oven is hot, pop it in until the meat is just turning from dark pink to light pink. Turn the oven temp down to 350.

Next, add fresh washed asparagus spears laying them in along side the salmon. Drop in about four pats of butter and back into the oven until the asparagus is tender.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

What to Do for a Brainy Quick Asian Fix...

If you have red or orange peppers and spinach leaves in your fridge, purple onion in your pantry along with linguine pasta, some soy sauce and or Teriyaki sauce... you have all you need for a brainy quick Asian fix.

Just stir fry slices of peppers and onion together in a blend of olive oil and coconut oil until browned. Add fresh washed spinach leaves and you already have the basic mix to toss over a bed of linguine; top with soy sauce. Of course, you can spice it up any way you like...

If you would like to add meat, then move the veggies to a serving plater to keep warm while you quick stir fry in the same skillet any meat (beef/pork/chicken) or seafood you prefer. Bring it all back together and serve over linguine pasta or rice noodles.

~ Tutti a Tavola!

What makes good Italian food, makes good food...

If you have been disappointed eating out or cooking at home, it means that you either made or were served over cooked food, or worse under cooked food or experienced an over/under complicated recipe. And, you might have used or were served a dish which had ingredients that were not fresh but pre-made.

Many ingredients that are pre-made can be used but most are not good quality because they are cheaply made as in prepared and packaged.. boxed, jarred or frozen.

Yes, there are some good quality products out there to buy that are packaged, boxed, jarred and frozen but knowing the difference is not always easy though not so difficult.  Check the amount of salt, sugar and added ingredients.

Find products that have limited salt, limited sugar and limited added ingredients (added for flavor/color/texture/preservatives) whether artificial or not ...added ingredients are not always a good thing. You want to buy products that are 'clean' ... simple.

For instance, when making spaghetti, choose quality tomato sauce (making your own preferably) and pasta.  Most of all, be a masterful conductor in the kitchen and know when to finish your dish and serve! 

~ Tutti a Tavola!