Tag Archives: #comfortfood

Orecchiette…

This simple, one pot meal is a real crowd pleaser. Cheap & easy (like some people I know) you’ll have this prepared in no time. Step one is to coarsely chop a ton of fresh garlic and a bunch of fresh broccoli rabe (if you find yellow flowers on the broccoli rabe, it’s not fresh). Bring about 5 inches of water, with one bullion cube added, to a boil, add the the broccoli rabe and cook for seven minutes. Strain and refresh with cold water (to revive that gorgeous green color). Next, in the same pot, add a little EVOO, fresh sausage meat (uncased), red pepper flakes, and garlic and cook until all redness is gone. Toss this on top of the broccoli rabe that is sitting in the strainer. Now fill, the same pot, with water seasoned with kosher salt (don’t clean it, let all those yummy flavors season the water – work smarter, not harder!) When rapidly boiling, add orecchiette and cook until al dente – depending on the brand of pasta (I use Barilla) about 9 minutes (taste it before you strain it). Before straining, reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water. Now strain the pasta and return to pot, add the broccoli rabe and sausage meat with a little EVOO, black pepper, 1/2 of a freshly squeezed lemon and if you want to loosen up the sauce some of the reserved pasta water. Plate and add a ton of grated cheese (no one is judging!) more red pepper flakes to taste and freshly chopped parsley. Boun appetito!

The ONE POT….

Instant mood lifter…

There’s nothing better for the soul than a bowl of chicken soup. We’re down in Florida now and some will argue that it’s just too hot for soup. I say turn up the A/C and enjoy soup all year round.

I start with the trilogy (chopped celery-leafy tops included, carrots and onions) which I sauté in a large pot with a little EVOO. I season heavily with salt, pepper, thyme, tons of fresh dill and a packet of Sazon con Azafran (please don’t write me about color additives…) Once the veggies have sweated I plop in a whole cleaned chicken (as big as will fit in pot). Add water so the birdie is covered and season again with salt, pepper, thyme and yes, more dill. I cook this for about 90 minutes or until bird is cooked. Turn off heat and let cool a bit before removing the bird to debone (you can wrap the bird in cheesecloth before putting in pot for easier removal). One the bird has cooled enough to handle remove and toss any skin, bones and cartilage. Shred meat using a fork and return meat to soup. Turn heat on medium and let cook for another 20 minutes.

Plate soup over some cooked tubettini and serve with tons of fresh shredded parmesano, salt & pepper. I guarantee you will feel better just smelling the soup cook!

Pro-tip: My hubby likes potatoes in the soup sometimes instead of the pasta. To make with potatoes, add them about 45 minutes after starting the soup (so they don’t get too soft and fall apart). I use medium sized red potatoes which I cut in half and put in skin on.

Grabbing the bull by the horns…

A beloved, stick to the ribs comfort food in our house is simply prepared oxtails and/or short ribs.  Want to look like a genius cook without the degree from CIA?  Check this out: 

  • Purchase fresh beef oxtail and/or short ribs – salt & pepper generously
  • Slice up a sweet onion and place in bottom of slow cooker
  • Place oxtail/short ribs on top of sliced onion
  • Top with one jar each of Goya Sofrito and Recaito
  • Cover and cook on either 6 hours high or 8 hours low

Serve over either rice, yucca, spaghetti squash, polenta, whatever!  I (almost) feel guilty that this is both so easy and delish!