Puttanesca originated in Naples in the mid 19th century and is usually made with pasta, capers, tomatoes, garlic and hot peppers. Since I had a spaghetti squash I need to use up, I made this dish. It turned out wonderfully. Below is my own version of this!!
(Hidden under that luscious sauce is the shredded spaghetti squash!)
Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca
1 medium spaghetti squash cut in half horizontally with seeds removed
½ pound lean ground beef
1 diced jalapeno pepper or red pepper flakes (to taste)
2 stems of fresh basil leaves
1 T. olive oil
Salt and pepper
¾ cup of whole black olives (optional)
2 cups of Prego pasta sauce
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Drizzle olive oil over each half of squash and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place cut side down in a Pyrex dish and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven uncovered for 60 to 75 minutes.
Remove squash and let cool before shredding each half with forks. Be careful not to puncture the squash skin! Cover loosely with foil. Let it rest while preparing the sauce.
In a large frypan (or wok – I love using a wok when preparing sauce for spaghetti), brown the beef, stirring frequently. When there is no more pink, add the 2 cups of pasta sauce.
Stir to combine all of the meat, adding the diced jalapenos (optional) or red pepper flakes
Add the pitted black olives and 1 stem of basil LEAVES and stir to combine.
Uncover the bowl of spaghetti squash shreds and pour the sauce the shreds.
Garnish with Parmesan cheese and the leaves from the other basil stem.
What to do when you buy a Costco or grocery store rotisserie chicken and have leftovers? SOUP.
This will easily feed 4 to 6 people as a main course. The ingredients list seems long, but it can be simplified by making the changes noted in red.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 Rotisserie chicken (half chicken is enough)
1 15-ounce can Black beans (drained)
2 Celery stalks
3 tbsp Cilantro, fresh
2 cups Corn, frozen (1 small can or corn or more)
3 Garlic cloves
1 Lime, wedges
1 cups Peas, frozen (1 small can of peas)
1 Poblano peppers (Optional)
1 Red onion
1 Reserved red onion
28-ounce can Tomatoes
4 cups Chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp Taco seasoning (see elsewhere o the blog for homemade taco seasoning)
1 tbsp Olive oil, extra-virgin
Crispy tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips
1 Jalapeno, seeded and minced
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and sauté until the vegetables start to become tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the Poblano peppers and cook until the vegetables are very tender, 6 to 7 minutes more. Add the jalapeño and garlic, and continue to cook until fragrant, 1 minute more.
Season the vegetables with the taco seasoning, then stir in the tomatoes and chicken broth. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until a good flavor develops, 20 to 30 minutes.
Stir in the chicken, black beans, corn and peas. Return the soup to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with tortilla strips and just maybe, a touch of sour cream.
Okay, okay, I promise this is my last rhubarb recipe! Since it is very near to the season in Canada I thought some of you might want to try this one. We serve it over a block of Philly cream cheese and sometimes place a few anchovies across the top. Each bite gives you heat, sweet, salty and spicy. Just serve it with your favourite crackers. And, no need for pectin…the recipe is for a 15 oz. jar and keeps two weeks in the fridge. If you are into canning there are directions for that too.
1-2 large jalapeno peppers*, seeds and membrane optional for heat
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Place a small dish into the freezer to use for testing the jam.
In a large deep skillet, add raspberries, rhubarb, jalapeno, sugar, and lemon juice. Heat and stir until it reaches a rolling boil. Boil and stir until it thickens, 10 minutes. When it seems like it is gelling, take your plate out of the freezer. Put a small spoonful of the jam onto the plate and let sit for 30 seconds. Tilt it. If it slides too fast, keep cooking. If it moves slow, it is done. Test every minute or two and do not overcook it. Spoon into heat-proof container and cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
To can jam**
Wash one 8-ounce (or 6-ounce + 2-ounce) glass mason jar with a two-piece lid with soap and hot water. Dry completely.
Add the jar(s) and lid pieces to a large pot of boiling water deep enough for the jar(s) to be completely submerged in water. Once the water is boiling, leave the jar(s) in there until ready to use.
Remove the jar(s) and lids from water and drain out all of the water from the jar. Keep the water boiling. Spoon the jam into the jar(s). Wipe excess jam off the rim of the jar(s) so it will seal properly. Add the lid. You may want to use an oven mitt so you can hold the jar(s) still.
Place sealed jar(s) back into the boiling water and boil for 15 minutes. Make sure it is submerged in the water. Remove from the water and let dry on a heat-resistant surface for 18-24 hours. Once cool, press down on the lid. If it stays down, it is sealed. If it pops back up, put in the refrigerator and use within two weeks.