Archive for October, 2008

This pasta e fagioli (pasta and beans) recipe is a classic Italian recipe, fondly known as “pasta fazool”.  I made it the other night since it was getting quite chilly here and it seemed right to do a nice warm meal.  Rachel Ray calls dishes like this “stoup” – a thick soup or a thin stew! 

My recipe for Pasta Fazool – makes at least 12 servings:

  • enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a large pan (I use my Dutch Oven)
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely choppped
  • 8 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 15-oz cans cannellini or great northern beans
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans
  • 2 15-oz cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 qts chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry wine (red or white)
  • 3 cups small pasta (I used Ditalini)
  • 4 cups raw spinach
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, at serving

Heat the oil in a large pan or Dutch Oven.  Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic; saute until translucent.  Add rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 3 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes, chicken broth and wine.  Bring to a boil.  Boil 3 minutes; reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Increase heat to medium.  Add pasta and spinach.  Cook for 10 minutes, until pasta is done al dente.  Reduce heat to very low.

You can leave soup simmering on low for quite awhile, or serve immediately.

Serve in large bowls, topped with parmesan cheese and accompanied with crusty bread for sopping up the soup. 

It is very good warmed over the next day.  Also easy to freeze.

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admin October 14th, 2008      No Comments »

With the weather getting a bit chilly, it is good to start thinking about warm, hearty meals.  The gist of this recipe works with just about any cut of pork roast:  Loin, Crown, Butt, Shoulder, Tenderloin.  The first pic below is a center tenderloin; the second pic is a pork shoulder – both I made recently.  The garlic is a natural marinade, moistening and flavoring the roast at the same time.

  • 3-4 lb pork roast
  • 10-15 whole cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half long-wise
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh rosemary branches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make 20-30 1/2-inch slices uniformly over the roast.  Insert half a garlic clove into each slice.  Place roast into a PAM sprayed roasting pan.

Rub outside of roast with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place rosemary branches on top of the roast.

Bake for 20-25 minutes per pound or until thermometer inserted into middle of roast reads 160-170.

Remove from oven.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Slice and serve.

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admin October 14th, 2008      No Comments »

We experienced a gourmet delight last night at Oceanside’s newest Italian restaurant – Rosina’s!  We were there celebrating our family’s September & October birthdays.  As a larger party, we were treated to “Cena di Stile di Famiglia” – Family-Style Dinner.

Starting off, fresh ciabatta bread was served with a sun-dried tomato and olive oil dipping sauce, as we enjoyed the Chianti and Pinot Grigio!

We had a superb Insalata del Oro - a spring mix of lettuce topped with pears poached in port wine, toasted pecans and gorgonzola cheese - served with a balsamic vinegarette. 

We were presented next with two different pasta dishes.  The presentation in the big, farm-style platters made it truly feel as if we were back at Ristorante Tredici on the outskirts of Rome!   Fusilli all’ Arrabbiata was the best I have ever tasted outside of Italy – with an appropriate “kick” of hot.   I don’t know the restaurant’s name for the other pasta dish, but I will call it Conchiglie con Cavolfiore i Uva Passa – shell pasta with cauliflower and plump golden raisins with an Alfredo-type white cheese sauce.  The raisins nestled into the shells making for a tasty bite.  Heaven!

Our main course was Pollo alla Cacciatora.  Tender chicken pieces with a robust rosemary sauce.  Normally chicken cacciatore is served with peppers and onions, but this was just chicken with the distincive rosemary.  If we weren’t so stuffed, we would’ve eaten til midnight!

Dessert was six or seven different desserts, also presented family-style — meaning we took a bite of each and passed it on down!  While not sure what they all were called, we had a creme brulee, cheesecake in a double crust, chocolate lava cake, and several torte type presentations.

Rosina herself lovingly welcomed us, gave us the background on each dish, and made sure we were all able to Mangia Bene!

Please make a point of taking a trip to Italy while staying in your own backyard – visit Rosina’s.

3613 Ocean Ranch Blvd, Oceanside   760-721-5000

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admin October 7th, 2008      2 Comments »

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