Category: Entrées

artichoke-stuffed shells with lemon ricotta béchamel

artichoke-stuffed shells with lemon-ricotta béchamel

Any dish that has the word artichoke in the title is sure to capture our attention. It is one of our favorite vegetables, from globe artichokes hearty enough to feature in a meal to bite-sized marinated hearts on a classic Italian deli sandwich. So when we discovered this great recipe we were immediately intrigued, especially since these baked shells are not filled with the usual ricotta, but rather with brighter and more interesting ingredients. With caramelized onions and artichoke hearts sautéed in browned butter, a splash of white wine, and savory parmesan and pecorino cheeses, this delectable filling is complemented by a silky lemon béchamel enhanced with a touch of fresh ricotta, making an elegant baked dish that is unique and delicious.

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creamy sun-dried tomato rigatoni with arugula

creamy sun-dried tomato rigatoni with arugula

This past December, we were visiting family in Portland and happened to find this newspaper clipping laying on the kitchen counter. Ryan’s mom is always cutting out new recipes, and she was excited to try this one with us. What’s really great about this pasta is that it’s made up of ingredients that may be in your kitchen right now, just waiting to be made into a delicious meal. This dinner has quickly become one of our favorites, especially since the entire dish uses just one pot and can be made in under 30 minutes.

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tofu gruyère melts

tofu gruyere melts

There is something truly special about eating outdoors. Nothing beats the smokey, buttery flavor of fresh barbecued corn, sharing a bottle of wine with a close friend at a park, or simply enjoying a peaceful lunch on a bench under a shady tree. Being outside can transform any meal into a magical occasion. One of Ryan’s favorite childhood memories was going to summer concerts at the Oregon Zoo with his family and enjoying the wonderful picnics that his mom would thoughtfully pack in a woven basket filled with assorted snacks, drinks, and sweet treats. The best part was sitting on a big, comfy blanket with everyone enjoying hot and delicious sandwiches while watching great live music. This mouthwatering recipe inspired by those fond memories, in which savory melted Gruyère cheese blends with sliced scallions, aromatic dill, white wine vinegar, and cubed tofu on a toasty buttered roll, makes a hearty vegetarian sandwich that is light and perfect for a summer day.

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pasta puttanesca

pasta puttanesca for two

This classic Italian spaghetti is irresistible not only because of its robust flavors, but it has some alluring history too. They say that in the olden days in Italy, the ladies of the night would simmer this fragrant tomato sauce near an open window and the inviting aromas of garlic, tangy capers, savory olives, and fresh herbs would lure customers off the street. And since it is so easy to make, they could have a quick dinner in between appointments. Well, thanks to their ingenuity, we can all enjoy this seductive dish no matter what kind of work we do.

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risotto with carrots and feta

risotto with carrots and feta

Homemade risotto is the ultimate Italian comfort food. This bright, flavorful dish is surprisingly simple to make, and can be enjoyed any time of year. The price of risotto at many restaurants would seem to suggest that it is difficult or time-consuming, but in fact it is quite easy and does not take long at all. This delicious risotto combines fresh golden carrots with tangy feta cheese, stirred gently with sharp flavors of minced garlic, lemon, fragrant dill, and white wine. And since it only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, it is the perfect weeknight dinner.

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