Category Archives: Dinner

Pork for Piggies

the finished product

the finished product

Well, the months of November through January really kicked my ass. And by kicked my ass, I mean made my ass grow. And my belly. And my chin(s). It’s time for a serious detox. Which is why, for the month of February (aka the shortest month of the year), I am going to cut out dairy and processed carbs. I’m not doing Whole30 because I love alcohol and truvia and diet coke, but I am going to try and start eating way healthier. So, before I started this healty eating (it’s literally been less than 6 hours), I made some delicious pork Bolognese for dinner while it was still January. It doesn’t suck, and serves about 6, with some definite leftovers. Wish me luck without my favorite food groups this month. I don’t know if I’ll make it. **UPDATE: I made it til exactly 8:15 before I messed up….I went to give my babe cheerios and tasted a few to make sure they weren’t stale. I spit them out, so it doesn’t count, but Crawdad definitely is claiming an early victory. Damnit. Anyways—here’s the recipe! If you have any non dairy, non carb recipes, hit me up @ Also-please excuse the less than stellar pics…I must have eaten my camera, because I can’t seem to locate it.


For the pork Bolognese and pasta…

  • 5 lbs. ground pork
  • 1 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 large cans San Marzano crushed tomatoes
  • 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 lb. whole wheat gemelli pasta (fusilli if they don’t have gemelli)

For the whipped ricotta…

  • 1 container of low fat ricotta cheese (usually 15oz)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbs. heavy cream
  • Squeeze of lemon juice

In a large skillet on medium heat, brown the ground pork for 5 minutes, stirring in the seasonings (garlic salt, pepper, crushed red pepper). It’s ok if the pork isn’t cooked through-it will cook more as the sauce simmers. Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil in a larger stock pot or Dutch oven until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the red wine, and cook for 5 minutes, until the wine has reduced almost all the way. Add in the crushed tomatoes, ground pork and basil and simmer on lowest setting for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. If you have a crock pot, you can put the sauce in there and cook for 4 hours on low (I’d recommend this way).  Cook your pasta according to the directions on the box, cooking times varies for different brands. While your pasta is cooking, combine all the ingredients for the whipped ricotta in a bowl and either whip by hand or with a hand mixer until all the ingredients are combined. You will definitely have leftover ricotta mixture, which you can add spices to and make a yummy dip with later in the week! Top the pasta with your sauce and garnish with a spoonful of whipped ricotta. Enjoy!



Party Pasta

Ok, so whenever I have people over I like to make pasta, because it is the easiest thing to make for a crowd. We tend to have people over a lot–mainly because mama doesn’t want to drink and drive, and having the luxury of a closet full of pj’s to change into when your jeans are cutting off your fupa is delightful. Pasta is also a great way to entertain people pretty inexpensively, so you won’t break the bank! You will, however, break the scale if you eat this all by yourself, so make sure to share with friends.


Pecan Pesto Toasted Orrechiete with Broccolini and Italian Turkey Sausage

Serves 6

  • 1 box of orrechiete pasta
  • 2 stalks broccolini
  • 2 cups of basil
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ c. toasted pecans
  • 2 lbs. of ground turkey
  • 1 tbs. Italian seasoning

Preheat your oven to 400

Step 1: Steam your broccoli. I infuse my water with a little bit of crushed garlic and lemon and steam in a steamer basket, but you can just do a regular steam on the stovetop or microwave. Set the broccolini aside for later. **You can use regular broccoli as well, I just prefer broccolini b/c the stalks are tasty

Step 2: Cook your pasta according to the box directions, minus one minute

Step 3: While the pasta is cooking, prepare the pesto. Toast your nuts and let them cool. In a food processor, combine the basil, 2 cloves of garlic, parmesan, nuts salt, pepper and drizzle the oil in. Once the pesto is done, set aside.

Step 4: Combine the turkey and Italian seasoning. Heat 1 tbs. olive in a large pan. Add the turkey and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until done. Since ground turkey has very little fat, I don’t drain the meat—you would want to drain if you used a different meat.

Step 6: Drain your pasta, but make sure you save 1.5 cups of the water that you cooked the pasta in (chef’s secrets!) and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Spread out on a sheet pan. Put it in the oven for 8 minutes, stirring every 4 minutes. This gives the pasty a nutty flavor and a great texture!

Step 7: Combine everything together, including the pasta water, and enjoy! I add lots of crushed red pepper and a bit of parmesan!


Chicken Parmesan Meatballs with Crispy Broccoli


I’m clearly on a meatball kick, and these might be my new favorites. If you want to mix it up and add in little pearls of mozzarella to the balls and they’d be even cheesier. You’ll love my balls, I promise….

Serves 4, total cooking time 45 minutes

Tools needed: blender, skillet, baking pan, microplane or lemon zester

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

2  tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs. tomato paste
2 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 bunch basil
1 cup fresh spinach
4 cloves peeled garlic
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 lbs ground chicken breast
1 cup Italian panko breadcrumbs (if store doesn’t have Italian seasoned panko, regular panko is ok)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package whole wheat linguine, or other whole wheat long pasta
1 jar tomato sauce-I prefer Michaels of Brooklyn or Rao’s tomato basil
Blend the first ten ingredients in a blender until the spinach and basil are incorporated. The result will look like a thick pesto. Combine the “pesto” with the ground chicken, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs until well mixed. Be sure not to overwork the meat, which will result in a less than desirable texture. Heat oven to 350 and Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Using wet hands, roll the meatballs in to golf ball sized balls and place in the pan. If you have the time, it is best to let the meat sit in the fridge for 2 hours before balling it, but it is definitely no necessary-just makes the meatballs easier to shape. Bake for 20 minutes then remove from the oven. Move all the meatballs into the center of the pan so that they are as close together as possible. Add a spoonful of tomato sauce to each meatball, the top with the shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake for an additional 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted. In a skillet, heat the remaining tomato sauce (there will be a bit of extra) until simmering. Once the meatballs are done, transfer to the sauce skillet.


clump the balls together and add sauce


add cheese to your saucy balls

add cheese to your saucy balls


Crispy Panko Broccoli


1 package chopped broccoli (1 lb.)

1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs. butter

Juice of ½ lemon. *Zest the lemon first and set aside for garnish

½ C. panko breadcrumbs (you’ll have extra from the recipe above)

½ C. parmesan cheese

½ tsp. garlic salt


Combine the butter, olive oil, garlic salt and lemon juice together in a large bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, until the butter is melted. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cheese,  then toss in the broccoli and combine with the breadcrumb mixture.  Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and spread the broccoli evenly across the pan. Bake for 30 minutes at 350, stirring halfway through. Top with the zest of the half lemon.