Tag Archives: homemade

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

I have been making this Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce every holiday season, for many years now.  I like to make this before or after Christmas and keep it stocked in the fridge for a quick lunch or dinner.  This deliciously rich and meaty pasta keeps me going throughout the busy holiday season.  All the baking and cooking burns a lot of calories!  (Or, at least I’d like to thinks so…).  This dish is definitely an indulgence, which is why I only make it for special occasions.

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

I like to use rigatoni for this recipe because this type of pasta soaks up a lot of sauce, so you can really pile on the bolognese!  Packed with five types of meat, this recipe is dedicated to the carnivore lover.  Cooking the sweet Italian sausage in the rendered pancetta fat is simply divine, and is the heavenly base for this sauce.  Resist the urge to snack on all the crispy bits while cooking this recipe!  The sweetness from the balsamic, sausage, nutmeg and fennel helps to balance out the salty meats.  I really love adding balsamic vinegar to this dish, because the acidity adds another level of richness to the sauce.

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

I also like to the opportunity to use homemade ingredients when I make this recipe.  Earlier this year I canned tomatoes for the first time.  I love to use them in sauces and they taste so much better than store bought ones.  Fresh tomatoes are really the key to a tasty, light sauce.  I also started to make my own stock in my slow cooker after reading a lot about the health benefits of bone broth.  Making your own stock is so easy and I freeze them in 250 ml freezer containers for easy use.

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

When I need to refuel over the holidays, I rely on this protein packed pasta dish.  This Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce is sinfully delicious and is packed full of salty meats balanced with a bit of sweetness.  Another rich indulgence for the holiday season!

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

51

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4 large servings

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

  • sea salt
  • 1 pound (500g) rigatoni
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 2 sweet Italian sausages, links split open, casing removed
  • 1/3 pound ground pork
  • 1/3 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 pound ground veal
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • coarse black pepper
  • 2 medium carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 a fennel bulb, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock*
  • 1 quart canned tomatoes*
  • 5 tablespoons (or half a 156ml can) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 good balsamic vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water to taste and add the pasta, cooking until al dente. Drain pasta and return to pot to keep warm. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil.
  3. Add the pancetta to one half of the pan, and the sausage to the other. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon and brown while the pancetta renders, then combine and toss together for another minute.
  4. Remove sausage and pancetta with a slotted spoon. Add the pork, beef and veal. Brown and break up the meat with a wooden spoon. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Add the carrots, fennel, and garlic and cook another 5 to 6 minutes until soft.
  6. Add sausage and pancetta back to the pan. Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up all the good bits with a wooden spoon.
  7. Stir in the stock, then the tomatoes, breaking up the tomatoes into smaller pieces.
  8. Add tomato paste, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes to taste.
  9. Simmer over medium low heat until the sauce has thickened, 10-15 minutes.
  10. Finish with balsamic vinegar, and check seasoning. Simmer for a few minutes more.
  11. Divide pasta into four large bowls and generously top with sauce. Mix the sauce with the pasta to coat evenly.
  12. Top with freshly ground pepper, parsely and parmesan cheese.

Notes

*I use my own homemade beef broth

*or one 28 ounce can of whole or diced tomatoes. I can my own tomatoes so I use the whole quart. I like my sauce on the chunky side so I find the whole tomatoes break down in the sauce and there's no need to dice them, but with your preference!

*the thicker (more expensive) balsamic vinegar, the richer your sauce will be!

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/12/12/rigatoni-balsamic-bolognese-sauce/

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

Rigatoni with Balsamic Bolognese Sauce

What is your favourite pasta sauce to serve over rigatoni?  Did you like the addition of balsamic vinegar in this bolognese sauce?

Maha’s Egyptian Brunch – review

Chef's Appetizer Platter, Maha's Egyptian Brunch

Chef’s Appetizer Platter, Maha’s Egyptian Brunch

Look at this platter.  I mean, just LOOK at the presentation (and drool), do I even need to write a review to convince you to try Maha’s Egyptian Brunch?   Because, yes, this golden platter IS as fresh and tasty as it appears.  The East end of Toronto has really stepped up it’s brunch game in the past few years and Maya’s Egyptian Brunch is part of this movement.  Located on Greenwood just north of Gerrard, this small unassuming bistro opened it’s doors in 2014.  The inside is cozy and welcoming with Egyptian elements and decorated with personal trinkets.  Outside, there is a cute patio and we happened to score a spot on this unseasonably warm day.

The chef’s platter is perfect to share between two people and surprisingly filling!  I would have been content with just the platter but the menu was so enticing, I got greedy and ordered the Po’Boy to split as well.  The platter consists of a few homemade dips: babaghanoug (eggplant), hummus (chick pea), Egyptian beet salad, pickled onions, garlic tomatoes, Roumy (Egyptian) cheese, traditional Balady bread and pita, and the best falafels I have ever tasted.  Nicely spiced and delicately fried, these falafels are light and fluffy and not heavy at all.  Well proportioned with an interesting assortment of fresh flavours, this platter is an ideal way to sample a good selection of their side dishes.

The Po’Boy is an example of authentic Cairo street food, and consists of a pita stuffed with battered, deep fried shrimp topped with homemade tehina (tahini – sesame paste) and tomeya (garlic sauce).  The marinated shrimp are juicy and thinly battered, and the soft pita is a delicious vessel for the creamy, crispy goodness that is every bite.  Indulging in Egyptian street eats is the best way to enjoy the last day of patio weather!

With friendly service, a relaxed vibe and inviting food at reasonable prices, Maha’s is a refreshing addition to the East end brunch scene, and gave me another reason to travel to Egypt!

Pharaoh's Po' Boy, Maha's Egyptian Brunch

Pharaoh’s Po’ Boy, Maha’s Egyptian Brunch

 

 

Shrimp Tacos with Dairy Free Coconut Coleslaw and Cilantro Pesto

Taco Tuesdays have become a weekly tradition for my boyfriend and I, but coming up with a new idea every week is a challenge.  I was in a bit of a taco slump.  This week I decided to create a special summer shrimp taco.  I wanted something fresh with a bit of crunch, along with a creamy element to compliment the shrimp.  Since my boyfriend is lactose intolerant, it’s been awhile since I topped our tacos with cheese.  With all these elements in mind, I came up with my best taco yet: Shrimp Tacos with Dairy Free Coconut Coleslaw and Cilantro Pesto!

Let’s face it, tacos need cheese and so do I!  To make the dairy free cheese I used unsalted cashews for a smooth texture, nutritional yeast and garlic powder to add a cheesy flavour and a bit of apple cider vinegar for acidity.  I was so happy with how well the cheese turned out, no longer will my tacos be deprived!  For the crunchy bite, I wanted to add creamy coleslaw to this taco. To keep the coleslaw lactose friendly, I rediscovered coconut yogurt hidden among the soy and Greek yogurts.  I combined this coconut coleslaw with the homemade cilantro pesto to give the ‘slaw some kick.  My tacos were now oozing with dairy free goodness!

My Shrimp Tacos with Dairy Free Coconut Coleslaw and Cilantro Pesto are the ultimate summer taco! Pan fried spicy shrimp are nestled in an authentic corn tortilla filled with fresh guacamole and creamy coconut coleslaw.  Topped with homemade sweet peach salsa, garlicky cilantro pesto and crumbly cashew cheese, this is my taco masterpiece!  Taco Tuesdays have been elevated to a new level of awesome, I don’t think I will get bored of this one anytime soon!

Shrimp Tacos with Dairy Free Coconut Coleslaw and Cilantro Pesto

Shrimp Tacos with Dairy Free Coconut Coleslaw and Cilantro Pesto

 

Shrimp Tacos with Dairy Free Coconut Coleslaw and Cilantro Pesto

51

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 8 tacos

Shrimp Tacos with Dairy Free Coconut Coleslaw and Cilantro Pesto

This summer shrimp taco masterpiece features an authentic corn tortilla filled with fresh guacamole and creamy coconut coleslaw, topped with pan fried spicy shrimp, homemade sweet peach salsa, garlicky cilantro pesto and crumbly cashew cheese.

Ingredients

    For the shrimp:
  • 400 grams peeled, divined, cooked shrimp. Thawed.
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 8 fresh corn tortillas
  • Your favourite salsa (I used homemade peach salsa)
  • Your favourite hot sauce
  • For the guacamole:
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled with pit removed
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, stems removed and finely chopped
  • juice from half a lime
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the cilantro pesto:
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
  • 1 green onion, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • juice from half a lime
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the creamy coconut coleslaw:
  • 2 cups coleslaw
  • 1/4 cup vanilla coconut yogurt
  • For the cashew cheese:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Marinade thawed shrimp in the juice of one lime, a tablespoon of olive oil and the taco seasoning. Let sit for 20-30 minutes.
  2. For the guacamole, combine the avocados with tomato, garlic cloves, cilantro, lime juice, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste and place in a small serving bowl.
  3. To make the cilantro pesto, use a hand blender or a Magic Bullet and blend cilantro, green onion, olive oil, lime and garlic clove. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. In a medium bowl combine the coleslaw with half the cilantro sauce and the coconut yogurt. Place remaining cilantro sauce in a small serving bowl.
  5. Using a Magic Bullet or food processor, combine the cashews, nutritional yeast, apple cider vinegar and garlic powder. Add one tablespoon of filtered water or just enough to bind the ingredients into crumbly "cheese-like" pieces, or add more water for a more creamy cheese. Season with salt and pepper and place in a small serving bowl.
  6. Heat the coconut oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat and cook the shrimp for three minutes, tossing halfway through. Pour remaining marinate over top for the last minute. Remove from heat.
  7. Wrap place corn tortillas on a microwaveable plate and wrap tightly with cling wrap. Microwave for 30 seconds.
  8. Place a dollop of guacamole on the warm corn tortilla. Top with coconut cilantro coleslaw, 3-4 shrimp, a spoonful of salsa, a drizzle with some cilantro sauce and hot sauce and sprinkle some cashew cheese over top.

Notes

There are many ways to change up these tacos! One of my favourites is to swap the coleslaw for some leafy greens (beet greens, swiss chard, spinach and kale). The creamy cilantro pesto and coconut yogurt is a winning flavour! I also like to add grilled peppers if I'm not using coleslaw, to give a bit of crunch. Finally, if I'm using tomato salsa instead of peach or mango, then I will remove the tomato from the guacamole, gotta balance out that tomato!

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/06/27/shrimp-taco-dairy-free-coconut-coleslaw-cilantro-pesto/

Shrimp Tacos with Dairy Free Coconut Coleslaw & Cilantro Pesto

Shrimp Tacos with Dairy Free Coconut Greens, Creamy Cashew Cheese & Cilantro Pesto

What substitutes for cheese do you like to use?  I’d love some more ideas!  Did you like the cashew cheese as a topping for these Shrimp Tacos with Dairy Free Coconut Coleslaw and Cilantro Pesto!