Tag Archives: basil

Margherita Penne

27 Nov

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I love the Milk Calendar. I’ve been kind of obsessed with it since I was younger and I would read all of the recipes over and over again and ask my mom which ones we could try. Since we were vegetarian, there were only a few recipes we could try, so it was pretty easy to pick them out!

I was excited to get a copy of the 2015 Milk Calendar this year, even more so because I once again had the opportunity to try one of the recipes, with ingredients generously provided by the Dairy Farmers of Canada. The test recipe this time was Margherita Penne and I knew I would enjoy this dish as soon as I saw the ingredients list. Tomatoes, bocconcini, basil…..yum!

Margherita Penne

Link to the original recipe from the 2015 Milk Calendar recipe site (please note that I have not changed the original recipe, I’ve just included my own notes below) – http://www.dairygoodness.ca/recipes/margherita-penne

Course – Main Dishes

Prep. Time – 10 mins

Cooking Time – 13 mins

Yields – 4 to 6 Servings

This yummy pasta is based on the classic pizza margherita, which is topped with tomato sauce, cheese and fresh basil – sometimes the simplest things taste the best.

Sandy’s notes:

-The recipe calls for 1 1/2 tsp of dried thyme but I’m not a huge fan of thyme in pasta dishes so I only added a 1/2 tsp. It was more than enough to flavor the dish nicely in my opinion. I think 1 tsp of dried oregano would be a great substitute as well.

-If you want to be able to see the bocconcini in the dish then add it in seconds before serving it, otherwise it will melt into the pasta.

-While I enjoyed this pasta hot, I enjoyed it even more after I reheated it the next day. I just needed to add a few tablespoons of water to get the sauce going again.

-See additional tips from the Dairy Farmers of Canada below the recipe.

Ingredients:

12       oz  (375 g) penne pasta

2          tbsp  (30 mL) butter

4          cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2  tsp       (7 mL) dried thyme

1/2     tsp       (2 mL) salt

1/4     tsp       (1 mL) hot pepper flakes

2          tbsp    (30 mL) all-purpose flour

2 1/2  cups    (625 mL) Milk

2          cups    (500 mL) cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1/2     cup      (125 mL) grated Canadian Parmesan

12       1-inch (2.5 cm) mini Canadian Bocconcini

1/2     cup      (125 mL) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Canadian Parmesan, for serving

Preparation:

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta for about 11 min or until al dente, or according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic, thyme, salt and hot pepper flakes. Cook 1 min. Sprinkle with flour; cook, whisking for 1 min. Gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Whisk for 3 to 5 min or until smooth and thickened. Stir in tomatoes and Parmesan.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Pour in sauce; toss, stirring 1 to 2 min over medium heat to coat pasta. Stir in Bocconcini, basil and salt to taste, if needed. Serve with grated Parmesan.

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Tips from the Dairy Farmers of Canada:

-Bocconcini come in different sizes, so if you need to cut the balls, the pieces should be about ¾-inch (2 cm) in size.

-Try cubes of Mozzarella instead of Bocconcini.

-Add some of your favourite pizza toppings to the sauce, such as pepperoni, olives or sun-dried tomatoes. Or use your favourite short pasta in place of penne.

To check out the rest of the recipes from the 2015 Milk Calendar, please visit – http://www.dairygoodness.ca/milk/my-milk-calendar/recipes/year/2015

 

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Basil Omelettes with Brie, Onions and Red Peppers

9 Apr

Eggs. They are so versatile and since they last for quite some time, they have a knack for being around just when you need them. One of my favourite things to make with eggs is an omelette and thankfully my husband is an omelette “eggspert” : ) I thought I would give him a break today so I stuck my head into the fridge to see if we had any ingredients worth of a “fancy” omelette (fancy = any omelette that contains more than just eggs, salt and pepper). I found some fresh basil, a chunk of brie, a lonely red pepper and an onion. It turns out that I hit the ingredients jackpot and the results were pretty tasty, so I just had to share the recipe with you.

Basil Omelettes with Brie, Onions and Red Peppers

Makes 2 servings.

Ingredients:

4 eggs

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil

3 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 red pepper, diced

1 small onion, diced

2 thick slices of Brie, chopped into 1-inch pieces

Salt and fresh black pepper to taste

Directions:

In an 8-inch skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and red pepper to the skillet and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. At this point, you should reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for about 5 more minutes or until the onions and peppers become soft, sweet and slightly caramelized. Do not let the onions and peppers burn! Season lightly with salt and pepper. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, basil, salt and pepper (to your taste). Whisk until frothy. Then, wipe the skillet with a paper towel to remove any moisture and residue from sautéing and return the pan to medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter has melted and foamed, add half of the egg mixture and swirl the skillet to coat the bottom of it evenly. Using a rubber spatula, stir the eggs very lightly until almost set but still moist, for 1 minute. Pat the eggs back into an even layer with the back of your spatula. Sprinkle half of the brie onto the omelette and cook until the eggs are set but not too brown (this should take anywhere from 30 seconds to 1 minute). Add half of the red pepper and onion mixture (or as much as desired) onto the omelette as well. Then, lift an edge of the omelette with the spatula and fold the omelette in half to enclose the filling and make a half moon shape. Then, slide the omelette onto a large plate. Repeat the steps above to make the second omelette. Done!

The basil adds a bit of flavour to the omelette and the brie melts into the caramelized onions and red peppers to form a gooey, delicious filling. As rich as it sounds, you will eat this and still feel pretty great afterwards, as it doesn’t feel too heavy. Do you want to make this fancy omelette even fancier? Serve with toast, hash brown potatoes and a green salad. Perfect for a crowd-pleasing brunch or a quick after-work meal!

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