rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
[personal profile] rosefox

1 onion
2 large or 4 skinny carrots
0.25 c very good olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme, or leaves from 4 thyme sprigs
1 tsp chopped dried rosemary, or chopped leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs
12 sweet Italian sausages or 2 lb sweet Italian sausage meat
1 c red wine
56 oz (about 7 c) crushed tomatoes or passata
0.25 c chopped fresh parsley or basil
salt and pepper


cutting board and chef's knife
measuring cups and spoons
two medium-size bowls
large nonstick pot
wooden spoon
stove (one or two burners)
optional: pot with lid, strainer, and pasta


0) Mise en place. Gather your ingredients and tools. Peel and dice the onion and carrots and put them in one bowl. Peel the casings off the sausages and put all the sausage meat in the other bowl. Measure out the oil and wine. Open the cans of tomatoes. Chop the herbs.

1) Brown the vegetables. In the nonstick pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat with a piece of onion tossed into it. When the onion sizzles, put in the onion and carrot and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and aromatic, about 15 minutes.

2) Add everything else and simmer. Stir in the herbs and cook until aromatic, 1–2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until there's no pink meat left, about 8 to 10 minutes. Pour in the wine and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Simmer with lid ajar, stirring occasionally and adding a little water if needed to keep things from scorching, for 30 minutes or until sauce is thick and flavors have married.

2.5) Optional: make pasta. While the sauce is simmering, fill the second pot with water and bring it to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. About 10 minutes before the sauce is done, bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta until it's al dente. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

3) Finish, serve, and store. Off the heat, stir in the parsley or basil, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle sauce onto the pasta, stir in, and simmer briefly so the pasta finishes cooking by absorbing liquid from the sauce. Sauced pasta or sauce on its own will keep in the fridge for 1 week. Sauce can be frozen indefinitely.
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
[personal profile] rosefox
Note: If you feel like planning ahead, soak the blanched almonds overnight in cold water and reduce the added water in step 3 to 1 cup. If you only have raw almonds with the skins on, soak them, drain, cover them with boiling water for two minutes, drain, and then the skins should rub off easily.


1 lb (1.33 bags) ziti or penne pasta
1 jar tomato sauce
0.5 box/bag (about 70g) raw baby spinach, or 0.5 c cooked spinach
6 larger or 8 smaller homemade Italian-style meatballs, or 1 lb sausage
2 cups (about 0.7 lb) blanched almonds, or 1.5 c almond ricotta
A few leaves of fresh basil
2 cups grated vegan mozzarella


Scale (optional)
Conventional oven with broiler
Stove (2 burners)
Large pot
Medium pot
Microwave (for meatballs) or frying pan (for sausage)
Vitamix or other high-speed blender, or food processor
9" x 13" pan
Pie server
Plastic wrap and freezer bag for storing leftovers


0) Mise en place. Gather your ingredients and tools. Preheat the oven to 350F. Weigh out the pasta if you really care that much, or just eyeball it.

1) Cook the pasta. Boil water in the large pot and cook pasta until it's just al dente. Drain and toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.

2) Make the sauce. While the pasta is cooking, briefly heat the spinach in the medium pot until it's just wilted. Pour in the sauce and bring to a simmer. Nuke the meatballs or fry the sausage until thoroughly cooked (may need to be done in batches). Chop/crumble the meat and mix it into the tomato sauce. Mix about one third of the sauce mixture into the pasta, then stir in 0.5 c of the shredded mozzarella.

3) Make the ricotta. In the blender on medium-low speed or in the food processor, process the almonds and 1.5 cups water (or 1 cup if you pre-soaked the almonds), frequently stirring with the plunger stick, until it has a ricotta-like texture. Add more water if needed--you want a texture that's creamy but not entirely smooth. Blend in nutmeg, salt, and fresh basil to taste.

4) Layer. Spread half the remaining sauce over the bottom of the pan. Dot with half the ricotta. Put in the pasta. Dot with the rest of the ricotta. Cover with the rest of the sauce, making sure to cover all exposed pieces of pasta. Finish with the rest of the mozzarella.

5) Cook. Bake 20 minutes at 350F, then remove from oven. Use the back of a wooden spoon to spread out/flatten the softened mozzarella. Set the broiler to High and place the pasta pan in the broiler tray. Broil 3 to 4 minutes or until top is nicely browned.

6) Serve and store. Serve in fairly small portions--it's dense! To store, let cool to room temp, then refrigerate uncovered until chilled through and solid. Divide into single portions and wrap each one tightly in plastic wrap. Place portions in a freezer bag, label, and refrigerate or freeze. To reheat a portion, unwrap plastic wrap, place in a microwave-safe container with a lid, optionally sprinkle with more mozzarella, and microwave with lid loosely on until hot all the way through. For crispy browned cheese, transfer to foil and broil in toaster oven 10 minutes or until cheese browns.



Sep. 2nd, 2014 04:55 am
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
[personal profile] rosefox

1 box oven-ready gluten-free noodles
4 oz shredded fake mozzarella
5 oz baby spinach

Tomato sauce:
56 oz crushed tomatoes
Olive oil
Balsamic vinegar or red wine
Fresh basil
Fresh oregano
Salt and pepper

Cashew ricotta:
4 cups (1 lb) cashews
20 leaves fresh basil
Ground or freshly grated nutmeg

Turkey sausage:
2.5 lb ground turkey
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder (or 1/2 tsp minced garlic mashed into a paste)
1.25 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed (or whole fennel seeds bashed with a hammer)
1/4 teaspoon brown sugar


Nonstick 9" x 13" pan
Nonstick pot
Nonstick pan
Wooden spoon
Flipper-type spatula
Food processor with chopping blade (NOT a blender)
Scraper-type spatula
Measuring spoons and cups
Large bowl or measuring pitcher


0) Soak the cashews. Put the cashews in a large bowl or measuring pitcher. Add enough cold water to cover them and soak them for 3 to 8 hours, adding more water as necessary. If you forget to do this, soaking in hot water for 1 hour will do nearly as well.

1) Mise en place. Gather your ingredients and tools. Measure all the turkey seasonings into a single bowl and mix them together. Preheat the oven to the temperature indicated on the lasagna noodle package. If you plan to freeze the unbaked lasagna, line the pan with nonstick foil, leaving enough foil extending over the edge to be used as a handle.

2) Make the sauce. Pour the crushed tomatoes into a nonstick pot and heat over medium heat until simmering. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar or red wine, fresh herbs, salt, pepper, etc. to taste. Simmer to allow flavors to marry and mellow.

3) Make the turkey. Put the ground turkey in a nonstick pan, add the turkey seasonings, and cook over medium-high heat, using a flipper-type spatula to break up larger chunks, until the meat is fully cooked and has the texture of crumbled sausage. Drain off any liquid. Add the turkey to the sauce and mix well. (Or, if you prefer, mix the turkey with the ricotta. Just don't try to add it as its own layer; the crumbled meat has no structural integrity.)

4) Make the ricotta. Drain the cashews and put them in the food processor with 0.5 cup cold water. Have at least another cup of water handy. Process the cashews until they have the texture of creamy ricotta, adding more water and scraping down the sides of the processor as necessary. When the right texture is achieved, add the basil leaves, plus nutmeg and salt to taste. Process just until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Rinse out the bowl the cashews soaked in and scrape the ricotta into it.

5) Arrange the workspace. Next to the lasagna pan, place the pot of sauce, the box of noodles, the ricotta, and the box or bag of spinach. Ensure that you have at least 12 intact lasagna noodles, or enough large pieces to make 12. Broken noodles should go in the middle layers of the lasagna; use intact ones for the top and bottom.

6) Build the lasagna. Pour a full cup of sauce into the bottom of the pan. This seems like too much but it's not. Add a layer of 3 noodles, leaving a little space between them for them to expand as they cook. Build three strata as follows: one-third of the ricotta mixture, one-third of the spinach, 1.5 cups of sauce, 3 noodles. When this is done, pour 1.5 cups of sauce over the top, making sure that all exposed bits of noodle are covered in sauce. (They need the moisture of the sauce to cook, so this is very important.) Top with the shredded mozzarella.

7) Bake or freeze. If making right away, bake according to the noodle package directions. If freezing, freeze uncovered until firm, remove from the dish using the foil, and wrap tightly in two layers of plastic wrap. (If you get it before it's entirely frozen solid, you can cut it into individual servings that can be reheated one at a time; just make sure each serving is thoroughly wrapped.) Label and freeze for up to 1 month. Before cooking, remove entirely from plastic and place in a lightly oiled 9" x 13" dish. Thaw overnight in the fridge and bake at 350F for one hour or until the center reaches 175F.

7) Serve and store. Use a nonstick-safe brownie cutter to cut the lasagna. Leftovers keep in the fridge for 7 days if the lasagna was made right away or 5 days if it was frozen before cooking.
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
[personal profile] rosefox
NOTE: This is not an X-friendly dish because of the high acid content of the sauce, so it can be made with wheat pasta.

NOTE: Ideally all ingredients are from the farmer's market or otherwise very very fresh. Only make this dish when local tomatoes are in season.


2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
At least five stems of basil
At least four stems of oregano
Any other fresh herbs you want to put in
1 tsp salt
1 lb orzo, pastina, or other tiny pasta


Medium pot with lid
Wooden spoon


0) Mise en place. Gather your ingredients and equipment. Clean out the sink for easy pasta-draining. Fill the pot with water, cover it, and start it heating over high heat. Rinse the tomatoes and herbs.

1) Blend the sauce. Put the tomatoes, herbs, and salt in the blender and blend on high speed until thick and creamy. Taste and add more herbs. Then more. And maybe a little more salt. You want it to be very, very flavorful.

2) Cook the pasta. When the water boils, cook the pasta until it's fully cooked but still slightly firm. Drain it and return it to the pot.

3) Mix. Pour the sauce into the pot with the pasta and stir until well mixed. Taste. It probably wants more salt.

4) Serve and/or store. It's delicious hot or cold, and keeps in the fridge for about a week.
rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
[personal profile] rosefox
Note: The vinegar and diluted almond cream are non-dairy substitutes for sour cream. You can also use 2 cups of room temperature (dairy or non-dairy) sour cream or unsweetened yogurt, and omit the water and vinegar. If you use a dairy ingredient, turn off the heat before you add it to the sauce so that the sauce doesn't break.

Note: If you have actual gravy, you can use that instead of the chicken broth and Gravy Master.

Note: If you don't have packaged noodles and want a GF DIY option, make a flour of 2 cups brown rice flour, 2 cups white rice flour (regular rice, not sweet/glutinous rice), and 1 cup cornstarch. Whisk together 1 egg or 2 egg yolks, 1 tsp water, 1 tsp oil, and a pinch of salt. Mix in enough of the flour to form a ball of dough. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it's very thin. Cut into noodles with a knife, pizza cutter, or pasta cutter.


2 lb ground turkey
12 to 16 oz (2 packages) fresh mushrooms, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 Tbsp Earth Balance
1 cup finely chopped onion (about half of a large onion)
1 cup chicken broth
0.5 tsp Gravy Master
2 tsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried thyme
0.25 tsp nutmeg
1.5 cup almond cream
0.5 cup water
1 lb pasta, ideally flat noodles


Chef's knife
Cutting board
Measuring cups and spoons
Pyrex 2-cup measure
Stove (2 burners)
Medium pot with lid
Large nonstick pan
Wooden spoons
Large strainer
Medium bowl


0) Mise en place. Gather your ingredients and tools. Fill the pasta pot 3/4 full with water, put the lid on, and start it heating over high heat. Make sure the sink is empty and clean, and put the large strainer in it.

1) Prep. Chop the mushrooms and onions (keep them separate). Measure and combine the chicken broth, Gravy Master, and vinegar. Mix the almond cream and water in the Pyrex pitcher and microwave until warm. Chop the thyme if it's fresh. Add the thyme and nutmeg to the almond cream and stir well.

2) Brown the turkey. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Put in the turkey and cook until no longer pink, stirring frequently so it doesn't turn into a single solid mass of turkey. Drain it in the strainer and set it aside in a bowl.

2.5) By now the pasta water is probably boiling. Add the noodles and cook until tender. When the noodles are done, drain them in the strainer.

3) Brown the mushrooms and onion. Heat the pan over medium-high heat. Put in the mushrooms, add a few grinds of salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms release their liquid and begin to brown (3 to 5 minutes). Add the Earth Balance and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is lightly browned.

4) Combine. Add the turkey back to the pan. Pour in the broth mixture. Stir to combine and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the almond cream and thyme and nutmeg, and stir to combine. If the sauce is too thick, thin with a little water; if it's too thin, simmer it down. Adjust seasonings to taste.

5) Serve. Plate the noodles individually and pour the sauce over them. Serve immediately. Makes about six servings.

6) Store and reheat. Store the noodles and sauce separately in the fridge; they'll keep for about five days. Reheat the noodles by immersing them in hot or boiling water until just heated through. Reheat the sauce in the microwave or on the stove. Combine just before eating.

rosefox: A cheerful chef made out of ginger. (cooking)
[personal profile] rosefox
Note: DO NOT ADD SALT. Pesto from a jar is very salty. The almond milk cuts the saltiness down to bearable levels. There is no need to salt the pasta water or add salt to the sauce or the finished dish.

Note: The recipe as given makes three generous or four moderate servings. To make more, increase the ingredients in proportion.


10 oz pasta
1 jar (7 oz) Seggiano raw basil pesto or equivalent
14 oz unsweetened almond milk (no need to measure in advance)
Freshly ground pepper (optional)
1 package GF parbaked ciabatta rolls (optional)


Medium pot with lid for cooking pasta
Strainer for draining pasta
Small nonstick pot with lid for sauce
Wooden spoons


0) Mise en place. Gather your ingredients and tools. Fill the pasta pot 3/4 full with water, put the lid on, and start it heating over high heat. Make sure the sink is empty and clean for easy pasta draining. If you're making rolls, preheat the toaster oven as directed on the rolls package.

1) Make the sauce. Remove the lid from the pesto jar and microwave the jar for 30 seconds. Pour the pesto into the pot. Fill the jar with almond milk, cover it with the lid, shake it to dislodge the remaining bits of pesto, and pour the pesto-milk into the pot. Fill the jar with almond milk again and pour it into the pot. Heat the sauce over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the ingredients have all combined and started to bubble. Simmer until the sauce darkens and thickens slightly. Cover the pot and turn off the heat.

2) Cook the pasta. When the cooking water boils, weigh the pasta (or estimate based on the size of the pasta package) and pour it into the water. (If you're making rolls, put them in the oven now, assuming it's finished preheating.) Cook the pasta for the time shown on the package, stirring occasionally. When the timer goes off, try a piece. If it's not yet done, keep cooking it until it is. Drain the pasta.

3) Combine. Put the pasta into the sauce pot and stir well, adding hot water if necessary. If you accidentally add too much water, just stir the pasta gently for a minute and the extra water will be absorbed. You can also briefly heat it to thicken the sauce. Serve immediately, ideally with rolls that you can use to mop out your bowl after.

4) Store. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a few days but should be eaten fairly soon for best consistency. This dish does not freeze well. Before reheating, add a little warm water to loosen up the sauce, since the pasta will have absorbed a lot of the water. Best reheated on the stovetop; if you microwave it, leave the lid on the container, pulling up a corner just enough to let steam out.


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