Beet Pistachio Ravioli

It’s February and that means all things hearts and all things red and pink.

Now I am the first to defiantly declare that I hate pink. But as I mature my mind has opened up a bit to taking an interest in the girly color. I actually own three articles of clothing in the pink family!

But when it comes to pink foods, I’m all for it!

We’re talking beets. Again!

These pasta purses are simple to assemble and would definitely make for quite the showstopper at your Valentine’s dinner this month.

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Using wonton or egg roll wrappers makes homemade ravioli a less daunting task. To cook the beets, either roast them in the oven or boil them until tender.

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Beet Pistachio Ravioli

Ingredients:

  • 2 beets, peeled, chopped, and cooked until tender
  • 1/2 C ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 C shelled pistachios
  • 3 tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 pkg (12 oz) wonton wrappers
  • water, for sealing the ravoili
  • melted butter, for serving
  • Meyer lemon olive oil, for serving
  • cooked pancetta or bacon, for serving (optional)
  • fresh mint, for garnish (optional)

Steps:

  1. Place cooked beets, ricotta, parmesan, pistachios, mascarpone, S+P in a food processor and puree until smooth.
  2. Place a small spoonful in the center of a wonton wrapper. Dip finger in a shallow bowl of water and trace the edge of the wrapper. Pinch wonton into a little purse. [see photos above] You can also simply fold the wonton wrapper into triangles.
  3. Cook assembled wontons in a pot of boiling salted water for approximately 4 minutes, until the wonton wrapper is clear and the ravioli float to the top.
  4. Serve ravioli warm with a drizzle of melted butter, Meyer lemon olive oil, S+P. Add some crispy pancetta or bacon for texture and fresh mint for freshness and greenery.

*This recipe is adapted from Erica at http://www.forkknifeandlove.com/easy-beet-pistachio-ravioli-with-lemon-butter-sauce/*

Beet and Pistachio Ravioli | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Blogger CLUE: Spring Green Risotto

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Today is my first month posting with Blogger CLUE. Much like the game, this blogger society involves secrecy, fun, challenge and cooperation with the other game playing members. The good news about this, however, is that in the end, everyone’s a winner. All of the participating bloggers are assigned a blog to find, pick, and make a recipe. But the twist with this group is that there’s a theme! 

This month I was assigned A Spoonful of Thyme and had the task of finding a recipe utilizing spring vegetables. I was on a personal mission to use asparagus. It’s my favorite spring vegetable, and while we do enjoy it year round, it’s always better in season! I found three contenders: Spring Green RisottoPasta with Proscuitto, Asparagus, and Peas; and Warm Salad with Grilled Asparagus.

I chose the risotto for a few reasons: I already had mascarpone in my fridge, which is very rare, I’ve been wanting to try fennel, and my husband had been asking for risotto for a few weeks. Win – win – win!

We enjoyed this risotto for Easter supper! My 9 month old even enjoyed it! I wasn’t sure how he’d handle the peas but they didn’t phase him. Which makes me very excited. It’s been hard getting him to eat vegetables – other than sweet potato.

I made a couple changes to the recipe: by using what I had I combined chicken stock and vegetable stock to have enough liquid and instead of blanching the asparagus and adding it later, I chopped it up to about the size of peas and added it with the leeks and fennel.

Spring Green Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 5 C stock (chicken, vegetable, or a combination of both)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 leeks, sliced
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, diced
  • 1 1/2 C arborio rice
  • 2/3 C white wine
  • 1 1/4 C frozen peas, thawed
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 C mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese

Steps:

  1. In a pot bring the stock to a simmer.
  2. In a dutch oven, melt butter in olive oil over medium high heat. Saute leeks, fennel, and asparagus for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the rice, stirring to coat in the veggies, cook a minute or two. Deglaze the pan with the white wine. Once the wine has been absorbed add the stock a ladleful at a time. Stir often and add more stock after the previous addition has been absorbed.
  4. At the halfway point, add the peas and lemon zest. Season to taste with S+P.
  5. When rice is creamy remove from heat. (Note: You might not use all of the stock, although I did.)
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and mascarpone. Stir into the risotto along with the parmesan cheese.

*This recipe is adapted from Kate at http://aspoonfulofthyme.blogspot.com/2010/05/two-fer-one-grilled-herb-shrimp-and.html*

spring green risotto | Sew You Think You Can CookHere’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

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#FoodieExtravaganza: Grilled Cheese

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Happy April everyone! Did you know April might just be the best food month EVER?! Coffee cake day, caramel popcorn day, and healthy kids day are among the fun food holidays this month, along with BLT month and soft pretzel month. But today, Foodie Extravaganza is celebrating grilled cheese month, hosted by Lauren of From Gate to Plate.

Grilled cheese is a go-to lunch or dinner in my house for days we just don’t feel like cooking. I’m looking forward to the great list from this event to add some twists to the classic sandwich.

I decided to go sweet. I was going to use cream cheese, but I had mascarpone in my fridge and decided to use that. To be honest, I would have preferred the extra tang from the cream cheese, but my husband loved it as is. Use whatever you enjoy best. I only used two slices of bacon but next time, I’m going to up that to 3. Those bacony bites were the best ones!

An Original Recipe

Bacon Apple Mascarpone Grilled Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 strips center cut bacon
  • 1 small Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone cheese
  • butter, for spreading

Steps:

  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove and set on a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Cook apple in the bacon grease until tender. Stir in the brown sugar, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Crumble the bacon and stir into the apples. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread.
  4. Spread 1 tbsp mascarpone cheese on the non-buttered side of two pieces of bread. Top with half of the apple mixture.
  5. Spread a thin layer of more mascarpone cheese on the non-buttered side of the remaining bread. Place cheese side down on top of the apples.
  6. Cook grilled cheese until golden brown, flip and repeat until cheese is soft and gooey.

BAM grilled cheese | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out the rest of these ooey-gooey grilled cheese recipes:

Caramelized Onion Bacon Grilled Cheese by Rebekah at Making Miracles

Grilled Cheese in the Garden by Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Spicy Pear Grilled Cheese by Kelly at Passion Kneaded

Griddle Baked Quesadillas with Poblano Rajas by Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm

Ham, Apple, and Sharp Cheddar Grilled Cheese by Carlee at Cooking with Carlee

French Toast Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Berry Compote by Rholinelle at The Joyful Foodie

Grilled Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Spinach by Tara at Tara’s Multicultural Table

Chicken Cordon Bleu Grilled Cheese by Marissa at Rae Gun Ramblings

Muffuletta Grilled Cheese by Stacy at Food Lust People Love

Open Faced Italian Grilled Cheese by Kathleen at Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Chicken, Bacon, and Avocado Grilled Cheese by Jacklyn at Mrs. Penguin

Southern Grilled Cheese by Teri at The Freshman Cook

Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese by Lauren at From Gate to Plate

Sun-dried Tomato Risotto

Creating your own recipes can be daunting, but using a neutral flavored base is a great way to learn how to play with flavors. Rice, chicken, potatoes.

I like to get creative with risotto. There’s something therapeutic to me about stirring a pot of soon-to-be-creamy Arborio rice.

I planned to make this dish the first Friday of Lent as a way to “sweet talk” my husband. As he isn’t Catholic, I don’t force upon him a fast or expect him to abstain from meat on Fridays. But if we’re eating in, we’re having either seafood or a meatless entrée. Most often I’ll make pasta, and brown up some meat or grill some chicken for him.

We ended up ordering pizza that Friday instead so this risotto became a beautiful “fancy” side dish to some baked chicken on another night. I wouldn’t recommend using this recipe as your main dish anyway. Now that I think about it, risotto isn’t often, if ever, served as a main dish – unless it has meat in it.

An Original Recipe

Sun-dried Tomato Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 5 C chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 C Arborio Risotto Rice
  • 1/4 C vegetable stock or white wine
  • 10 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped
  • 1 C fresh spinach
  • 1/4 C mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp grated asiago cheese
  • 1 lemon

Steps:

  1. Bring chicken broth to a simmer over low to medium heat.
  2. In a large pot (I use a dutch oven) saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil over medium-high heat. Season with S+P. When onion is translucent add garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add rice and toast 2 minutes.
  3. Deglaze the pan with vegetable stock or white wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the pan.
  4. Once liquid is absorbed add 1-2 ladles of warm chicken broth. Stir often. Once liquid is absorbed repeat until rice is tender and creamy. You may not need all of the chicken broth.
  5. Once rice is cooked through reduce heat to low and add tomatoes, spinach, mascarpone, and asiago. Stir until spinach is wilted and cheese melted. Squeeze with lemon and serve.

Sun-dried Tomato Risotto 1 Sun-dried Tomato Risotto 2

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