Archive for October, 2017

This baked pasta recipe from Bon Appetit is perfect comfort food on a chilly fall night. You will need a few hours to prepare this dish, but you can make it ahead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Unico canned tomatoes. Check the ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella to ensure they do not contain colour.

Make marinara sauce

Cook pasta shells

Pipe ricotta mixture into shells and layer over sauce

Top with more sauce and with mozzarella

Bake and then brown under the broiler

Stuffed shells with marinara sauce

Ingredients:

Classic marinara sauce

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 sprigs basil

2 28-ounce cans (796 ml) whole peeled tomatoes

Stuffed shells

12 ounces (340 g) jumbo pasta shells

2 large egg yolks

1 large egg

2 cups (500 ml) whole-milk fresh ricotta

3 ounces (85 g) Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving

¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped parsley

8 ounces (226 g) low-moisture mozzarella, coarsely grated, divided

3 cups (750 ml) Classic marinara sauce, divided

Preparation:

Classic marinara sauce

Heat oil in a medium heavy pot over medium. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 5 minutes; stir in basil. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go; season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months.

Stuffed shells

Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Cook shells in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente; drain. Run under cold water to stop the cooking and drain again.

Lightly whisk egg yolks and egg in a large bowl. Stir in ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, and 1½ cups (375 ml) mozzarella; season with salt and pepper. Transfer filling to a large re-sealable plastic bag.

Spread 1½ cups (375 ml) marinara sauce in a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 22 cm) baking dish. Snip off 1 end of plastic bag and, working one at a time, squeeze filling into shells, arranging them in a single layer in baking dish as you go. Top with remaining 1½ cups (375 ml) marinara sauce and remaining mozzarella. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake shells until sauce is bubbling throughout, 35–40 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes.

Carefully move rack to top of oven and heat broiler. Uncover pasta and broil until lightly browned on top, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano and more Parmesan and drizzle with oil. Serves 8.

Do Ahead: Pasta can be baked 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat, covered, at 375° (190° C).

From Bon Appetit

Nicoise salad usually features tuna, but this recipe from Canadian Living uses rainbow trout, which is a nice change. Hard boil eggs, cook green beans and mini potatoes, sauté or bake the fish, arrange on a plate with greens, olives and tomatoes and drizzle with a lemon and tarragon dressing.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Use freshly squeezed lemon juice and natural honey. I used President’s Choice Old-Fashioned Dijon and green garlic-stuffed olives; both are additive-free.

Cook the green beans until tender-crisp

Use the same water to cook the mini potatoes

Saute or bake the trout

Make the lemon-tarragon vinaigrette

Trout Nicoise Salad

Ingredients:

4 eggs

8 oz (225 g) green beans, trimmed

10 mini Yukon Gold potatoes

2 trout fillets, (1 lb/450 g total), halved crosswise

¼ tsp (1 ml) salt

¼ tsp (1 ml) pepper

1/3 cup (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice

2 tsp (10 ml) finely chopped fresh tarragon

1 tsp (5 ml) Dijon mustard

1 tsp (5 ml) liquid honey

4 cups (1 L) baby salad greens

20 nicoise olives

2 small tomatoes, cut in 6 wedges each

Preparation:

Pour enough cold water into a saucepan to come at least 1 inch (2.5 cm) above eggs. Cover and bring to boil over high heat. Immediately remove from heat; let stand for 18 minutes.

Drain and run cold water over eggs for 1 minute; drain and peel off shells. Cut eggs in half lengthwise.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling lightly salted water, blanch green beans until tender-crisp, about 1 minute. Remove with tongs to bowl of ice water to cool; drain.

Add potatoes to same pot of boiling water; cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain and cut in half.

Sprinkle trout with half each of the salt and pepper. In large skillet, heat ½ tsp (2.5 ml) of the oil over medium-high heat; cook trout, turning once, until fish flakes easily when tested with fork, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine lemon juice, tarragon, mustard, honey and remaining salt and pepper. Gradually drizzle in remaining oil, whisking until emulsified.

Divide eggs, green beans, potatoes, salad greens, olives and tomatoes among 4 plates. Top each with 1 piece of trout; drizzle each with one-quarter of the dressing. Serves 4.

From Canadian Living