Ravioli with Spinach and Bacon

At some point in the last month and a half, I made this recipe for dinner.  Probably because the heading is ’20-minute meal’, and the ingredients are easy to come by.

This recipe is from Real Simple, May 2009.

No substitutions were made.

spinach ravioli

Ravioli with Spinach and Bacon

1 lb ravioli (fresh or frozen) – I used frozen cheese ravioli
6 slices bacon
2 tblsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 bunches fresh spinach, thick stems removed (about 8 cups)
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tblsp fresh lemon juice

Cook the ravioli according to the package directions.  Drain and divide among bowls.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over med-high heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.  Crumble.

Wipe out the skillet and heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the spinach, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Cook, tossing, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Stir the bacon and lemon juice into the spinach.  Spoon the mixture over the ravioli.

cartoon-strawberry-9Easy, yummy and only 20 minutes!  I tossed in some pine nuts to add a little crunch.  Put this recipe in your dinner rotation.

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Potato Salad with Bacon and Parsley

We’re big fans of the potato, and throw in some bacon?  SOLD.

This recipe is from Real Simple, June 2009.

Substitution made, noted below.

potato salad 1

Potato Salad with Bacon and Parsley

1 1/2 lbs new potatoes – I used red potatoes
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 slices bacon
3 tblsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tblsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 c fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped – I used about 1/4 c dried

Place the potatoes in a pot with water to cover and 1 tsp salt and simmer until tender, 15 to 18 minutes.  Drain and run under cold water to cool.  Cut into quarters – Because I used red potatoes, I cut them into 1 inch (ish) squares before cooking.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon over med-high heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.  Transfer to paper towels.  Crumble when cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, mustard, 3/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Toss with the potatoes, bacon and parsley.

potato salad 2

cartoon-strawberry-9I served this side dish with some BBQ pork roast and broccoli.   A great alternative to the heavy mayo based potato salad.

Cream of Pea Soup

Back in June husband and I hopped on a plane to Seattle to visit my sister and be there for my middle nephews HS graduation.  Happily, my mom and dad were with us too!  It was the first time our whole family had been together since my wedding (6 years!).  Thankfully it also meant we could celebrate my dad and my brother-in-law on Father’s Day.  This included Star Trek at the movies and English food.  We may not have been the rowdiest group in the place, but we feasted.  Fish N Chips and Bangers N Mash lined the table.

Marrowfat Collage

The restaurant also had a shop attached with all things English.  If only I had unlimited funds to bring home all the delicate china cups, each type of shortbread cookie on hand, and tins upon tins of tea.  What I did come home with was this bag of Marrowfat Peas.  I wasn’t quite sure how or why they’re different, but I thought it was worth a shot.

marrowfat peas 3

According to Wikipedia, Marrowfat peas are “green mature peas that have been allowed to dry out naturally in the field”.  Apparently this is also the type of pea used for Wasabi peas (one of my dad’s favorite snacks).

marrowfat peas 4

I followed the recipe on the back of the package for Cream of Pea Soup.  This included 2 medium onions and 8 pieces of bacon.

marrowfat pea 5

The simmering soup filled the kitchen with the aroma of onions, bacon and fresh herbs.  The immersion blender worked to break down the peas, bacon and vegetables.  In went almost a cup of heavy cream – hence the Cream of Pea Soup.

marrowfat peas 6

What a wonderful and filing soup!  The bacon I used was an applewood smoked bacon, so the soup was very dense with the smokey flavor.  It’s good, but plays second fiddle to Julia’s Pea Soup.

ps – I’m not sure if Marrowfat Peas are available all over?  If you’d like this recipe let me know and I’ll include it in the comments.

Summer Squash & Corn Chowder

My friends and family in California are dealing with fires and ridiculous heat, meanwhile, I’m making soup for dinner.  But it’s soup with ‘Summer’ in the name, so it’s not as bad, right?

This recipe is from Cooking Light, August 2010.

Substitution made, noted below.

squash corn chowder 1

Summer Squash & Corn Chowder

2 slices applewood-smoked bacon
3/4 c sliced green onion – divided
1/4 c chopped celery
1 lb yellow summer squash, chopped
1 lb frozen white and yellow baby corn kernels, thawed and divided
2 1/4 c 1% low-fat milk, divided – I used 2%
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 c shredded extra-sharp cheese

squash corn chowder 3

Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over med-high heat until crisp.  Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 tsp of the drippings in the pan.  Crumble bacon, and set aside.  Add 1/2 cup onions, celery and squash to the drippings in pan; saute 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Reserve 1 cup corn; set aside.  Place the remaining corn and 1 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth.  Add remaining 1 1/4 cups milk, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper to the blender; process until just combined.  Add pureed mixture and reserved 1 cup corn to pan.  Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly.  Stir in 1/8 tsp salt.  Ladle about 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1 tblsp bacon, 1 tblsp onions and 1 tblsp of cheese.

squash corn chowder 4

cartoon-strawberry-9The sweet corn makes this soup.  Know how a good Pina Colada tastes like the beach?  This soup is a tastes like the best of summer produce.  Forget the heat and have some soup for dinner!

Bacon Tomato & Arugula Pizza

Who doesn’t love bacon?  Crispy, salty, rich bacon?  And what better way to have a BLT than on a pizza??

This recipe is from Cooking Light, October 2011.

Substitutions made, noted below.

BLT Collage

Bacon, Tomato and Arugula Pizza

1 lb refrigerated fresh pizza dough
cooking spray
5 applewood-smoked bacon slices
2 c grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise – I used 1 cup
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tblsp yellow cornmeal
1/2 c lower-soduim marinara sauce
3/4 c shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 c baby arugula
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil – I used grape seed oil
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar – I used balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. – I recently read a tip about baking homemade pizzas.  Put your baking sheet or pizza stone into the oven as it is preheating.  This will help to bake the crust evenly and avoid a soggy center. 

Place dough in a bowl coasted with cooking spray; let dough stand, covered, for 15 minutes.

Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon; crumble.  Add tomatoes and pepper to drippings in pan; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal; roll dough into a 12-inch circle on prepared baking sheet.  Spread sauce evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border.  Top with tomatoes and bacon.  Sprinkle cheese over top.  Bake at 450 on bottom oven rack for 17 minutes or until crust is golden.  Combine arugula and remaining ingredients; top pizza with arugula mixture.

BLT Pizza 1

cartoon-strawberry-9After a long day at work for husband, this was the perfect dinner, well after he picked off the tomatoes and gave them to me.  😉

Quiche

Oh Quiche.  What an easy friend, willing to take on any ingredients you may have on hand.  And this friend doesn’t mind stopping by for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

This is a favorite in our house.  Served with fresh fruit for breakfast, or a light salad for dinner.  Bacon and cheese, pancetta and spinach or tomatoes and zucchini, its all wonderful.  Below is my basic recipe and a few variations.

quiche Collage

Quiche

prepared 9 inch pie crust
5 large eggs
3/4 c milk
1/4 c water
Spices to taste:
salt, pepper, chili powder, mustard powder, onion powder, celery seed, paparika

Pancetta & Spinach
4 oz chopped Pancetta
1 sm onion, finely chopped
1 c spinach
– thawed from frozen, or wilted fresh spinach
1 c grated cheese

Bacon, Mushroom and Cheese
5-7 slices of bacon, browned and drained
1 cup roughly chopped mushrooms
1 cup shredded cheese

Tomato, Zucchini and Cheese
Layer ingredients from the bottom up, until the layers reach right below your pie pan lip.
Tomatoes (round slices)
Zucchini (round slices)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Italian Seasoning
Once layers have been completed, pour egg mixture over the top.

quiche 1

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  If using bacon or pancetta, brown and drain.  Place the pie crust in your pan.  Whisk together eggs, milk, water and spices.  Add other ingredients and pour into pie crust.

Bake for 40-45 min, until the middle is firm and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

quiche 2