Sausage and Roasted Cauliflower Flat Bread Pizza

30 03 2016

This pizza was a vehicle to use up the leftover Creamy Apple-Shallot Vinaigrette I made for Easter, and it was every bit as tasty as I thought it would be! Roast the cauliflower and make the dressing over the weekend, so you can get a weeknight din on the table in a flash!

Sausage and Roasted Cauliflower Flat Bread Pizza

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 pieces Mediterranean-style flat bread, I used wheat
  • 1 lb ground pork sausage
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • About 1 cup fresh spinach
  • About a 1/2 cup or so of roasted cauliflower florets (toss florets with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and lemon zest and bake in a single layer at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • Creamy Apple-Shallot Vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large skillet, saute the pork in a little olive oil until browned, breaking up into bite-size pieces with the back of a wooden spoon.

Mix ricotta with a heaping Tbsp or so of the grease from the cooked pork and salt and pepper to taste, then spread evenly among the flat bread. Next, add a layer of spinach, the cauliflower and the pork. Bake on a pizza stone for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, top with goat cheese and continue baking another 5 minutes or so until the cheese is warmed.

Drizzle some Creamy Apple-Shallot Vinaigrette on top before serving.

Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

31 03 2014

This past weekend we hosted an Italian themed dinner party with friends and I was excited to make homemade gnocchi for the first time. I called in the big guns to help teach me….my Italian mother-in-law!

Since this recipe is so easy and is equal parts, you can make whatever quantity you want! Just remember these are dumplings, so a little goes a long way!

Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi

The following is compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat (and my mother-in-law):

  • 1 cup unbleached white all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese (full, not part-skim)

Sprinkle some flour on your counter.

In a large bowl, combine equal parts of flour and ricotta (start with 1 cup of each) with a wooden spoon or spatula. When it starts to mostly clump, transfer mixture onto your floured counter. Using your hands,  continue to mix until well incorporated and a dough has formed. Add more flour to your hands and/or to the counter if the dough sticks to your hands.

Cut off a 3-inch chunk and set the rest aside. Dust your counter and hands with flour, then using both hands roll the small chunk into a long tube or rope, until it’s about a 1/2-inch thick. Using a knife, cut small dumplings about a 1/2-inch in size. Repeat these steps until you’ve used all your dough.

Dust the small dumplings you cut with a little more flour. Then using the back of a 4-pronged dinner fork, roll the dumplings with your fingers, pressing along the prongs to achieve a ridged effect. You can skip this step if you’d like, but the indents will make it visually appear more like gnocchi, and will help whatever sauce you use stick to the pasta.

At this point you can either cook the gnocchi or freeze to use later. If freezing, lay them on a baking sheet with a towel, dust with a little flour and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Transfer to your freezer and partly freeze them. You can then easily transfer them without sticking to a plastic zip lock bag or sealed container to store in the freezer until you want to cook them.

If you’d like to cook them immediately, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Drop gnocchi, a handful or so at a time (be sure not to overcrowd your pot), and cook for 2-3 minutes until they float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon and toss with a sauce of your choice. I’ve made these with a simple marinara, and my mother-in-law has served them simply tossed with melted butter and parmesan cheese – both delicious choices! A meat sauce, pesto or alfredo would also be lovely options.

Turkey and Kale Penne With Marinara

3 03 2014

Creating new dishes can be as simple as revisiting ones you’ve already made, and adding a new twist. I went back to my Zucchini “Ravioli” or “Lasagna” With Turkey and Kale Filling to make this pasta. This time I used the filling from the lasagna to make the base of the penne. A new vehicle for similar flavors, but just as tasty.

I’ve already thought of a third way to use these ingredients to make yet another delicious dish, which I’ll be serving at an upcoming dinner party. Stay tuned for that coming later this month!

Turkey and Kale Penne With Marinara

Turkey and Kale Penne With Marinara

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 box (13.25 oz) whole wheat penne
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup packed chopped kale
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 large can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • Handful fresh basil, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with salt. Add penne and cook to al dente, according to package directions.

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add half the diced onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add half the minced garlic and saute until fragrant. Season lightly with salt to taste. Add ground turkey and raise the heat to medium-high. Saute, until meat is cooked all the way through, about 5 minutes. I used a little homemade sausage seasoning to add some extra flavor to the meat. You can skip this step, but here’s the recipe for the seasoning I use:

While the meat cooks, make the marinara. In a saucepan, add another Tbsp or so of oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the rest of the diced onion and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add the rest of the minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, cook for another minute. Add tomatoes and basil, bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper to taste, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Off heat, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce slightly.

Meanwhile, add kale to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add ricotta, 2 Tbsp grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. Process until smooth. Once the turkey is cooked through, mix in the kale-ricotta puree.

Drain the cooked penne and add to the turkey and kale mixture. Cook over low heat for a minute, tossing constantly, until well combined.

To serve, plate some of the turkey and kale penne and top with a little marinara. Garnish with parmesan cheese.

Roasted Veggie Naan Pizza with Lemon-Ricotta Sauce

27 01 2014

Who says pizza isn’t healthy?! This meatless pizza is scrumptious and good for you thanks to the whole grain naan and lots of veggies. To make this super easy on a weeknight, roast your veggies over the weekend so all you have to do is whip up your sauce, build your pizza and bake. See This Girl’s tip below.

Roasted Veggie Naan Pizza with Lemon-Ricotta Sauce

Roasted Veggie Naan Pizza with Lemon-Ricotta Sauce

The following makes 2 individual pizzas (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 3/4 cup part-skim Ricotta
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 package whole grain Naan (2 flat breads)
  • Roasted veggies, whatever combo you like – I used zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper and red onion
  • 1/2 cup sharp provolone cheese, shredded
  • Baby arugula
  • Fresh parsley

This Girl’s tip: Roast veggies in advance to save yourself time the night you want to make your pizzas. Cut veggies (like zucchini, yellow squash, red pepper and red onion) in 3/4-inch thick slices, toss with olive oil, salt, garlic and a dried herb like rosemary. Roast in a 400 degree oven on a baking sheet, tossing occasionally, for 25-30 minutes until tender. Remove from the oven, cool and store in covered tupperware in the fridge. One extra time-saving thought – I like to roast more veggies than I would use just on the pizza alone, so I have a quick side dish ready to go for another meal during the week.

The night you want to make your pizza, preheat oven to 475.

Stir ricotta, lemon zest, 2 Tbsp olive oil and salt to taste in a bowl.

I like to bake these on a pizza stone, but a baking sheet would work too. Assemble your pizzas on a pizza stone or baking sheet by spreading the ricotta mixture on the flat breads, followed by roasted veggies and cheese (divide ingredients among the two).

Bake until the crust is golden brown; 10 – 15 minutes and cheese is melted and bubbly.

While the pizzas bake, toss some arugula with a little lemon juice, olive oil and salt to taste.

Serve pizza garnished with parsley, alongside the dressed arugula.

BBQ Chicken-Broccoli Pizza with Ricotta Cheese Sauce

7 12 2011

This is such a tasty BBQ chicken pizza recipe…and it’s easy to make! I like to serve this for dinner, but cut it up in bite-sized pieces and it would make a great appetizer too!

BBQ Chicken-Broccoli Pizza

Below is for 2 servings; two small Flat bread pizzas. If you’re cooking for more, just double or triple the ingredients:

  • 2 Flat bread
  • 1 cup part-skim Ricotta
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed (I used one large breast for 2 servings or leftover rotisserie chicken)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups broccoli or 3 cups broccoli rabe chopped
  • 1/4 cup purchased barbecue sauce (use whatever brand you like)
  • 1/2 cup red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Dried oregano, salt and red pepper flakes
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Cube the chicken breast and saute in 1 T. oil in a non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Toss in dried oregano, salt and red pepper flakes to taste (depending how spicy you like things will depend how much red pepper you add). Cook until brown, 4-5 minutes. Then add broccoli or broccoli rabe and 2- to 3 T. barbecue sauce and saute until wilted or cooked down a few minutes.

While the chicken is sauteing; stir Ricotta, 2 T. olive oil and salt to taste in a bowl and set aside. I cooked these on a pizza stone, but a baking/cookie sheet would work too.

Assemble your pizza spreading the Ricotta mixture on the Flat Bread first, followed by the cheese. Next add the sliced onion and then the chicken and broccoli mixture – dividing everything evenly between the two pizzas.

Bake until the crust is golden brown; 10 – 15 minutes. Just keep an eye on them to make sure the crust bakes and the cheese melts.

Before serving, finish with some chopped cilantro or parsley and the remaining barbecue sauce.