italian rigatoni & spicy meatballs

italian_rigatoni_w_spicy_meatballs__ copy

this is one of my favorite easy recipes. you can go all out and make your own marinara sauce or you can use a big short cut and buy your favorite jar of store-bought marinara and enhance.

ingredients for the meatballs:

  • 1/2 cup finely diced onions (optional- i didn’t use them)
  • 2 teaspoons evoo
  • 2 crushed & minced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup parmesan reggiano
  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground meat (I used 1/2 pound beef, 1/2 pound veal, 1/2 pound spicy italian sausage)
  • 1 cup italian breadcrumbs
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

directions for meatballs:

  1. begin by heating up the extra virgin olive oil in a sauce pan. add garlic and the onion. cook until soft.
  2. preheat oven to 350 f.
  3. mix the meats, breadcrumbs, parmesan, parsley, salt, water and red pepper flakes.
  4. sear meatballs for a few minutes in a pan just to brown the outside.
  5. finish cooking the meatballs in the oven for 15 minutes.

ingredients for assembly:

  • cooked rigatoni pasta
  • 2 table spoons of evoo
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella
  • 1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce
  • parmesan to taste
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • fresh chopped italian parsley to garnish

for the assembly:

  1. cook rigatoni according to package.
  2. heat extra virgin olive oil in large sauce pan. my favorite is the le creuset “every day pan.”
  3. add crushed garlic, salt, italian seasoning and any other spices that you’d like until browned.
  4. add your favorite jar of marinara sauce and mix together.
  5. add cooked rigatoni.
  6. add mozzarella, parmesan, and meatballs. mix together.
  7. bake in oven for 2 minutes.
  8. top with italian parsley garnish and serve.

enjoy!

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italian rigatoni & spicy meatballs

TOM KHA GAI

What a fun dinner! This is one of my favorite dishes when we go out for Thai food. My favorite Thai restaurant is Thai Kitchen in Austin on Guadalupe. There I was, sitting in Houston craving Thai Kitchen so I decided to make Tom Kha Gai (I believe it translates to ‘chicken coconut soup’) myself! My mother in law makes this soup during the Christmas holidays and my husband has always loved it. I have looked and combined many recipes to create my own.thom kha gai

Ingredients:

  • 1 half package of cellophane or vermicelli noodles (or more if you like, it doesn’t matter)
  • 2 Thai peppers (or jalapenos) seeded and sliced
  • 3 minced cloves of garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 1-2 cups of sliced white or shitake mushrooms (you can also use any other kind that you have)
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breats- cut these into skinny strips
  • Few teaspoons of chili oil for garnish
  • Few tablespoons of chopped coriander for garnish.

Here is my recipe:

  1. Begin soaking your vermicelli or other cellophane noodles in boiling water for about 10 minutes or until tender, then drain.
  2. In a medium pot on medium-high, add the grated ginger, lemon juice, lemon and lime zest, salt, garlic, fish sauce and Thai peppers. Cook 2 minutes.
  3. Add chicken broth slowly and bring to a simmer.
  4. Add mushrooms. Simmer 3 minutes.
  5. Add coconut milk and chicken. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the chicken is cooked all the way through. Add the spinach and cook 1 more minute until the spinach is wilted.
  6. Using tongs, divide the noodles into the bowls and then ladle the soup on top.
  7. Top with chopped coriander and a few sprinkles of chili oil.

You could also get creative and add in more veggies such as snap peas or top with other garnishes. Ours was delicious and I can’t wait to make it again!

 

TOM KHA GAI