Welcome to PastaPete

Where food is more than just a comfort --It is a lifestyle!

Pasta Pete

Updated: 4 /8 / 2018

 

Our First Offering ~ Yummi French Waffles

 

French Waffles ~ From Nikki Juliano (My Mom)

The Waffles are cooked in standard waffle iron from Black & Decker. This waffle iron makes four squares. Put a helathly dob of dougn in each quadrant. Remove waffles when there is just a hint of golden brown.

 

Full Batch

13 Eggs

1.5 lbs of butter (3 cups)

1.5 lbs of Sugar (3 cups)

1.75 lbs of flour (about 7 cups)

3 tablespoons of Vanilla Butternut Flavoring (Baker’s Kitchen in Ohio)

 

Cream butter & sugar until fluffy (this means the butter has to be really soft)

Add eggs one at a time – beat well

[ Don’t make dough stiff or your cookies will be dry.]

Cook on a waffle iron about 1 tablespoon per drop. [I use a Black and Decker standard waffle iron $29 at Wal Mart –makes 4 at a time.]

½ Batch

6 eggs, 1.5 cups of butter, 1.5 cups of sugar about 3.5 cups of flour –1.5 tablespoons of flavoring.

¼ Batch

I have found a ¼ batch is quick to make and easier with a small hand mixer: 3 eggs, ¾ cup of butter, ¾ cup of sugar and 1.75 cups of flour – about 1 tablespoon of flavoring.

Pasta Pete ~ Chef in Charge 12/2015

 

The PPP or P Cubed ~ AKA Pasta Pete Pears

 

 

This my creation for baking and stuffing Bartlett pears. Take 4 or 5 semi-ripe pears cut in half , scoop out the center and bake at 325 Degrees until soft. Let Cool! Next taking 1/4 teaspoon of Creme de Mint spritz each pear half. Fill the center with Blue Cheese and Walnuts. Top with a Marachino Cheery. Serve Chilled.

Chef Pasta Pete 12/2015

 

 

Stuffed Shells (Full Bore Carb City)

This recipe involves the stuffing of Barilla Jumbo Macaroni Shells with a mixture of four different kinds of cheeses that have been blended with chopped Spinach. Of course what really makes this dish stand up and sing is the Secret Sauce. This recipe will divulge the Italian Mojo needed to make the stuffed shells along with the long held secret of the Secret Sauce. This is not a 15 minute recipe but takes a bit longer and guarantees to add at least one half inch to your already overbulging wasteline. Bit Ohhh so Italian and Ohhh so Good!

If you attempt to use "store bought sauce in a jar" the shells will self destruct in 3 minutes or less --we have a word (actually several words) in Italian (more like Sicilian) that describes the fate for those who would do that and loosely translated means "Concrete Shoes". You must scratch build the sauce --not that hard and besides you have to drink a glass or two of wine while you make this recipe --not all bad!

[For those who don't know I have two other websites involved with amateur radio http://www.n6qw.com and http://www.jessystems.com --so at times you may hear me use terms to describe cooking actions that sound a lot like engineering talk --and it is just that!]

The Stuffed Shell recipe is a two part build that should be done sequentially starting with the secret sauce. There is a magic to a tomato sauce when it has "settled and the mixture of aromatic flavors has a 24 hour fermentation process". So make a batch (a big batch) at least 24 hours in advance of the stuffed shell build.

The secret of the Secret Sauce is now revealed: Garlic (more than you would think reasonable) and fresh Basil. Did I also mention liberal use of Virgin Olive Oil? There is just something about a Virgin (Olive Oil --what were you thinking?) that adds the zest to say Ahhhh Yes!

 

Ingredients:

The Secret Sauce Part ~ Make 24 Hours in Advance.


1 medium onion diced (The size before dicing should be bigger than a baseball and smaller than a softball)
2 Fifteen Ounce Cans of Tomato Sauce
1 Bunch of Fresh Basil (Washed several times and de-stemmed, chop in small pieces)
6 Medium Cloves of Garlic chopped fine (if your hands don't smell like garlic for a couple of days --the garlic was too old or the cloves too small)
1 teaspoon of Salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of dried Oregano
2 tablespoons of Virgin Olive Oil


Begin by heating the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat to the point of just getting a whiff of the oil heating; add in the diced onion and cook until they are limp --not burnt.


Add in the Sauce, stir, and then add the remaining ingredients. Stir again and reduce heat to low and let simmer covered for about 3 hours. If the house doesn't smell like an Italian restaurant at this point--you did something wrong! Let cool and place in a plastic storage container --refrigerate.


Part 2.

Get a large pot and fill to about 3/4 with water. Put this on high heat and while it is heating--get a glass of wine and take a small break.


1 Box of Barilla Jumbo Shells
1 small tub of Part Skim Ricotta
1 Egg (yolk and white)
1/3 Cup of Shredded Mozarella
1/3 Cup of Parmesan/Romano Mixed Grated Cheese
(or Kraft has a 5 cheese mixture use 2/3 of a bag)
2/3 Bag of Fresh Spinach ( wash, de-stem, and chop )
1 teaspoon of dried minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon of pepper


The water should be nearing boil and now add to the water about 1 tablespoon of virgin olive oil (this is like a lubricant get your mind out of the gutter) and a healthy pinch of salt, When the water is at a full boil add the jumbo shells --stir occassionally so they don't Stick. Now here is the tricky part --YOU WANT THE SHELLS TO BE SUPPLE BUT NOT LIMP! When they are so, they are not rigid; but also not limp. Remove from the heat. Rinse in cold water and return to the pan filled with cold water.


Start with the Ricotta in a large bowl, add the one egg; but get out the white afterbirth thingie. Stir and Mix, Add in the cheeses and the remaining ingredients. Stir the mixture --it may start to turn a little green from the spinach but that is OK. It should not be runny nor like hardened cement. If it is getting too hard add an egg white to make it thinner.
The filling part is tedious and may require another glass of wine.

A successful filling is best accomplished with a small spoon so that you force the filling into the shells. Pace yourself so that you don't overfill the early ones and skimp on the last ones. The final cooking pan should be a baking dish say about 15 inches long by 9 inches wide and two to three inches thick.


Spray the cooking pan with PAM before placing the filled shells in the pan. After filling the shells, arrange in rows for cooking (Remember presentation counts too.) After you have filled the pan, get the sauce from Part 1. and laddle the sauce over the top of the shells and sprinkle with some shredded mozarella cheese. Make sure the sauce fully covers the shells as the sauce acts as a medium for the final cooking.


Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for about an hour. For those who do not eat meat or who are observing a lenten protocol, or if you just would like something good to eat, this is the ticket. This same sauce and filling will work with manicotti. Forget calories, carbs and cholesterol on this one too.


Serve with a tossed green salad, Garlic Bread and Ruffino Chianti.
For dessert lime or orange/mango sherbert with small vanilla wafers (or coconut macaroons.)


While the stuffed shells are cooking time for another glass of wine and clean up the kitchen.
So there you have folks -- all secrets are out.


Chef Pete

 

 

 

Meatball Magic ~ Works with the Secret Sauce

 

The Meatball Magic

4 lbs. of lean organic ground beef
1 1/2 Cups of Seasoned Bread Crumbs
1 1/2 Cups of Kraft 5 Blend Italian Cheese
6 small eggs beaten
1 lot of minced garlic [Lot means 7 medium cloves minced into small bits --when it hits your mouth its magic!]
1 tablespoon of parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl until fully blended. Using a small scoop form each meatball by hand. The template is larger than a golf ball and smaller than a baseball. [For those of us who are both Italian and Engineers -- it is the size of a 32 C Cup.]

Fry the meatballs in olive oil until lightly brown all over and then place in the sauce. (Cook for four hours). [The Secret Sauce previously described has to be 4X the amount --lots of sauce needed or cut this recipe by 1/4. This recipe was developed based on feeding 12 people --an average Italian gathering! ] BTW -- I did invest in a very large cauldron (about 10 quarts) and that is what I use to cook the meatballs and sauce.

Select a cookong pan that is compatible with sauce (don't use aluminum --glass tray the best) When cool place the meatballs and sauce in the refrigerator for up to one day before use. This adds to the flavor. Warm the sauce and meatballs so before use so that they are hot but not boiling.

Chef Pete

 

Quiche ~ This is not Italian for a"Quickie"

 

Quiche

Ingredients:

 

1 deep dish pre-engineered frozen pie crust (Marie Callendar Brand-9 Inch keep Frozen)
1 package of shredded Monterey Jack Cheese (only use 2/3 of the bag)

1 package of fresh Baby Spinach (not frozen) (use about 1/2 of the bag)

 

1/2 pint of whipping cream

6 Mushrooms (Clean and slice into pieces)

3 Strips of thick Deli Type Bacon. All fat is cut off and the meat is cut into small pieces

4 Eggs ( remove the after birth white thingies and only use 2 and 1/2 yolks)

1/2 teaspoon of white pepper

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of minced garlic (Must be fresh no dry stuff here)

 

Step one --preheat your oven to 400F

Begin by cutting up the bacon and browning the bits and pieces in a small frying pan that has about a teaspoon of Virgin Olive Oil that has been heating over medium heat. Cook until the bacon bits start to stick to the pan. Drain and put aside

Next is the spinach. Eyeball about 1/2 a bag or so and put in a large bowl. Even though the bag says it is washed --wash and rinse several times. Using my German made cooking shears (used these on the bacon too), after washing I snip the stem ends off of the spinach. After that step is completed rinse again and this time with the shears cut up the Spinach so it is smaller pieces. Put aside

Next is the eggs. After getting out the white stuff out down to about 2.5 yolks whip with a hand whisk. Add in the cream and whip again to mix the contents. Next add the white pepper and minced garlic. Stir again. Now add the bacon bits and mushrooms. Finally add the chopped spinach. Add the pinch of salt.

Pour into the pre-engineered frozen pie crust. Smooth the contents since it is thick to even out the mixture. Top with a bit of Monterey Jack Cheese.

Place in oven for about 45 minutes. You can tell when it is done by observation. The center will turn golden brown and swell as though it is about 9 months pregnant.

Remove from oven and let stand for about 3.75 minutes and serve hot. A wedge about 3.95 inches as measured on the circumference is about the right serving size.

Adjunct dishes include a nice tossed green salad, some Italian bread and of course your favorite white wine.

For dessert -- something light such a strwaberries with cool whip is perfect.

For two people there is probably enough for a second meal. Don't count the calories, carbs,satuarted fat, cholesterol --it is off the scale but this tastes so good.

Chef Pete

 

Pizza From Pasta Pete ~ PFPP

Ok guys and gals here is another secret revealed --- Pasta Pete's Pizza. Start first by visiting the following Betty Crocker website for the basic recipe which you will dutifully modify according to my instructions.

1. To the dough mixture, as specified in the recipe, you will add 1 tablespoon of dry crushed rosemary, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt along with 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder. This pumps things up and is a lot better than dry tasting Bisquick biscuits.

2. Here is the secret sauce topping you will use and is enough to cover the pizza from the Bisquick recipe.

Ingredients:

1 can of Hunt's tomato sauce, 15 ounce size

5 cloves of medium sized Garlic --minced (Your hands should smell after doing this step.)

1 tablespoon of Virgin Olive Oil

1 tablespoon of dried parsley

3/4 tablespoon of dried Basil

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of pepper

1/2 teaspoon of dried onion

Begin by heating the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, add the garlic, salt, pepper and onion. Let simmer until the Garlic is limp BUT not burnt. Add in the sauce, parsley and basil. Stir and let simmer covered for about 1/2 hour.

The Final Assembly:

Make the dough (with the added ingredients) per the Bisquick instructions. Separate the dough into two pieces and place/form each piece to cover a 9 X15 inch cooking pan.

Smother the dough with the pre-made sauce and then add the topping in the following layers:

Pepperoni (Dietz and Watson sliced Pepperoni --don't be chintzy --fully cover the sauce)

Sliced Artichokes

Sliced (very thinly sliced) mushrooms

Back Olives

Skim Shredded Mozarella Cheese ( cover generously)

Finally top with grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook per the Bisuick instructions --serve hot with a glass of red wine.

 

Chef Pete

 

CFPP ~ Chili From Pasta Pete

 

For Christmas 2015 (since I am the cook) I made an executive decision to have an NTC. So OK NTC stands for Non Traditional Christmas where the food being served is not normally done for a Christmas Feast. This year the Bill of Fare included: Chili and Cornbread, Baked Potatoes, Biscuts and Gravy, Scratch Made Pizza, Lasagna, Slow Cooked Pork Ribs, Asparagus and Salad. For dessert we had French Waffles and Homebrew Cherry Pie.

One recipe in particular I wanted to share is the Homebrew Scratch Made Chili that is shown in the photo above. Yes that is an Industrial Sized Crock Pot and the volume made will easily feed 12 people (that is the Italian Standard of measure).

The Ingredients:

4 lbs of Chuck roast that has had most of the fat surgically removed (got to love those ceramic paring knives)

Three 15 Oz cans of Bush's Pinto Style Chili Beans in Mild Sauce ( We spice it up later.)

Three 10 Oz cand of Rotel Tomatoes with Chilies (Don't get the ones with Cilantro)

1 heaping tablespoon of Chili Powder

1 heaping tablespoon of Cumin

7 Medium Cloves of garlic minced into small pieces

1/4 of an onion finely chopped (Again our Italian/Engineer Standard about a 32 C Cup is the full onion)

1 teaspoon of Salt

1 teaspoon of Pepper

2 large Green Peppers chopped inot sqaures about half the size of a postage stamp

7 Medium Carrots sliced to about the size of a quarter.

 

The slow cook full flavore development takes 16 hours on slow cook so adjust your serving time to 16 hours before that and that is when to light off the pot.

Begin by cubing the vhuck roast into cubes about 2 inc cubed. Later you will come back and shred the meat after about 12 hours of cooking.

Start by placing about 2 tablespons of Virgin Olive Oil in the bottom of th crock pot and then place the cubed beef on top of the oil base. The remaining ingredients are added in any order your hearts desires. When the lats ingredient is added stir the pots os everything is mixed uniformly. Turn on the pot and wait for 12 hours to pass.

Once you hit the 12 hour mark stir the contents of the pot to bring the parge chunks to the surface. My Mechanical Engineer Son, Nicolas came up with a quick and uniform procces. The tools needed are a large non metallic spoon and a pair of tongs. Once a piece of meat is fished out the spoon holds the meat and the tongs are used to shred the meat and th shredded part is placed into the mixture. Continue doing this process until all the meat is shredded.

Stir the pot to achieve an uniform mixture and recover for 4 more hours of cooking.

The Chili can be served in a bowl or placed on top of a baked potato. Typical toppings include chopped onion, sharp cheese and even sour cream. About at the 15.5 hour mark make the corn bread!

 

Chef Pete 2015

 

New Recipes for 2016

Stuffed Cabbage

 

 

Here is my recipe for stuffed cabbage --yes stuffed cabbage! Really Yummy. Typically the ingestion of cabbage is guaranteed to give you a severe case of flatulence. Do not enter small spaces or ride the subway after a meal of my stuffed cabbage!

 

The Fixins:

One pound of 93% Ground Beef

I and 1/2 cups of cooked rice

1 small cabbage

2 cans of Hunt's Tomato Sauce (15 oz size)

1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese

1 heaping Teaspoon of Garlic Powder

1 Tablespoon of minced dried onion

1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

1/4 Teaspoon of Groud Pepper

1 Dash of Chili Powder

1 Tablespoon Of Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon of Dried Basil

1 Tablespoon of Dried Parsley Flakes

 

Begin this Odyssey by first prepping the cabbage which entails carefully peeling off the cabbage leafs and removing the central cord. This process provides the medium that is large enough for stuffing. The prepared leaves are par boiled in a large sauce pan so that they become supple for stuffing but not limp --we all have heard the term limp dick --this is not what is desired! The two photos below show the leaves with the central cord.

 

 

While the leaves are boiling, by the way -- when they are just about right (not a limp dick) I remove them from the heat and add a large measure of ice cubes to quickly cool down the leaves -- this is now time to prepare the stuffing. I use Minute Rice and cook it in the Microwave. In a large mixing bowl combine the ground beef, cooked rice, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, pepper and chili powder. Mix thoroughly! Then add 1/2 can of tomato sauce (about 7 oz). Mix thoroughly!

I use throw away aluminum cooking pans and start the process by draining any water from the cabbage leafs and add a heaping table spoon of stuffing to each leaf and sinply roll it up and place in the pan. Gage the stuffing so you will fill the pan (there is enough for a second meal). See the photo below.

The secret sauce is simply the 1 and a half cans of the Hunts Tomato sauce to which is added the olive oil, parsely, onion flkaes and basil. Just for luck I add a pinch of salt a bit of pepper and some garlic powder. Use the bowl where you mixed the stuffing and combine these ingredients and then place over the cabbage rolls. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

 

 

The dish is then covered in aluminum foil and baked in an oven set to 300 Degrees for a period of about 2.5 hours. You are done. Enjoy with a tossed green salad and some vanilla ice cream for dessert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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