7 Days-7 Easy Ways “Italian” Style

Prologue

A great marinara is essential as a base for many Italian dishes and as all good Italians (and lovers of all things Italian) know, marinara’s origin = alla marinara or “sailor-style”.

“What has that to do with our dish,” you might ask?

Well, nothing really, just an interesting side note.  It hints at how long this delicious concoction has been an integral part of yummy Italian food dating back to the 16th century.  Some say it was invented after the introduction of the tomato to the Italians by the Spanish.  There are other folk tales as to marinara’s origin, but we’re set on this version.

Back two generations ago, making a perfect marinara was an all day process:  good, simple ingredients and an all day process of simmering the tomato sauce, herbs and onions until it had just the right sweetness and proper acidity.

Today, nearly all over the world, delicious versions of marinara is available in jars and cans, ready to become the star ingredient in a plain pasta dish or one of the key ingredients in dishes like spaghetti and meat balls to the base for meat &/or vegetable ragu, al forno  sauces, pizza sauce almost into infinity.  Make your own if you wish, but there is perfectly good marinara to be had from the shelf of the grocery market and our 7 Ways/7 Days we are going to access that resource.

I.

Pasta Al Forno

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbs. evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 2 c. sliced zucchini  (young tender)
  • 2 c. sliced egg plant (young tender)
  • 1 c. onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 lg. cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 c. marinara sauce
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 c. fresh mozzerella, chopped
  • 1 c. smoked fontina, grated
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan (parmigiano reggiano)
  • 6 qts. boiling water
  • 3 tbsp. sea salt
  • 10 oz. ziti or penne pasta

Method:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water for 10 – 11 minutes.  Drain
  2. Sauté vegetables, garlic, parsley in sizzling hot olive oil for about 3 minutes
  3. Add  salt and toss to stir for about 30 seconds
  4. Add marinara, black peppers and pepper flakes.  Stir to distribute.
  5. Stir in  cooked pasta, mozzerella, fontina and stir to distribute.
  6. Pour into a greased casserole dish, cover with grated parmesan
  7. Bake in 350° F oven for 25-30 minutes until cheeses have melted and bubbly.

Serve with a side salad, garlic bread and Chianti or medium bodied Italian Red wine.

Salute!

II.

Farfalle Strati

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbs. evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 c. sliced artichoke hearts (young tender)
  • 1 c. thinly sliced zucchini sliced lengthwise (young tender)
  • 3 cups fresh spinach (thoroughly washed and dried)
  • 1 c. onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 lg. cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c. flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 1/2 c. marinara sauce (Your pre-made ingredient)
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 c. fresh mascarpone

Grate and toss together:

  • 1 c. grated provolone
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan (parmigiano reggiano)
  • 1/2 c. grated pecorino romano

____________

  • 6 qts. boiling water
  • 3 tbsp. sea salt
  • 16 oz. Farfalle

Method:

  1. Cook pasta in boiling, salted water for 10 minutes.  Drain
  2. Sauté artichoke hearts, onion, garlic and parsley in hot olive oil for about 3 minutes
  3. Add  salt and stir for about 30 seconds
  4. Add 1 c. marinara, black peppers and pepper flakes and mascarpone.  Stir to incorporated spreadable consistency.  Add pasta water, a little at a time, if mixture seems too thick to be spreadable.
  5. Begin layers in  a greased casserole dish, with a smear of  reserved marinara, then zucchini strips, a layer of marinara/mascarpone/artichoke mixture, single layer of pasta, sprinkle with  a layer grated mixed cheeses, more marinara, a layer of spinach. Repeat, ending with marinara sprinkled with grated mixed cheeses.   Again, add a little pasta water if dish seems too dry.
  6. Bake in 350° F oven for 25-30 minutes until cheeses have melted and bubbly.

Serve with garlic bread and a good medium bodied Italian Red wine.

Buon mangiare!

 

This entry was posted in 7 Ways / 7 Easy Days, Cookbook, EASY, Free Recipes, Full Menu + Wine Suggestion, Light & Healthy, Pasta, Quick -Easy, Taste Proven Recipes, What's for Dinner? Yum!. Bookmark the permalink.

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