Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Little Olive Garden Dinner Party

For some reason early Spring weather makes me crave 
Italian food. Not just any kind of Italian food though, this is more of a chain restaurant, Spaghetti Warehouse, kind of hankering. The thing about Italian places I find perplexing is how you end up paying 15 dollars for noodles and sauce, the cheapest and easiest thing to make at home, otherwise known as a "bachelor dinner." Places like the Olive Garden (though recently well-reviewed) think that by decorating with plastic grapes and indoor fountains they can trick your family into believing that microwaved frozen food has been chef prepared. However unappetizing all of this sounds, anyone from a Midwestern suburb can honestly say that at one time in their lives eating at an Olive Garden, Bravo! Carrabas, Fazolis, etc made them feel fancy. In this issue I will be making spaghetti more work than it's worth. Cool craft too! 

Confirmed Bachelor Marinara Sauce
This is sort of an unexact science but it never fails. Note: (for winos) Less is is more with the wine.

1 can crushed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1/2 white onion
2 tbsp italian herb blend 
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves crushed garlic
splash red wine
2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

Step 1: Saute onion in oil with herbs, add garlic in last two minutes. 
Step 2: In a saucepan, mix tomatoes and sauce. Add onions and wine. Simmer two hours.

Time for meatballs!

Everybody Loves Meatballs
These made me really sick once, always make sure your balls are done in the middle. Self-induced food poisoning aside, best balls ever. 

1 lb ground beef (turkey doesn't substitute well)
2/3 c bread crumbs
1/2 white onion
splash milk 
1 egg
3 tbsp parmesan cheese (opt.)
2 tbsp fresh parsley
2 cloves minced garlic
salt & pepper

Step 1: Soak bread crumbs in milk. Meanwhile, saute onion in oil. 
Step 2: Mix meat, egg, onion, crumbs and seasonings, then form into balls. 
Step 3: Brown balls in onion pan, place in baking dish and cook 30 minutes at 375. 

Serve on top of spaghetti... all covered in cheese, if you wish. 

Holy Cannoli (mini)!

These always remind me of Italian festivals. My dad made these at Christmas so I'm recreating them here with a few more bells and whistles.

1 (12oz) container ricotta cheese
1 c powdered sugar
1/2 c mini chocolate chips
2 tbsp orange zest
1 tbsp orange juice
1 tsp pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 package cannoli shells

Step 1: mix all ingredients.
Step 2: Fill shells with mixture, top with powdered sugar.

1 comment:

  1. I get such a kick out of your blog. Leslie Merry