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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spinach Burgers

When my brother-in-law, Evan, was a boy, he wanted nothing to do with vegetables.  So, my mother-in-law invented this recipe to "hide" the spinach.  The result is a family favorite - a really juicy, delicious burger.  I'm happy to report that Evan now loves his vegetables and we don't have to hide them anymore.

1 box frozen, chopped spinach
1 small onion, chopped
1 – 2 T. oil
Sauté spinach and onion in oil until onion is transparent and water is absorbed.  Cool.
1 ½ lbs. ground chuck
1 egg
1 ½ t. oregano
1 t. salt
½ t. pepper
Combine meat, egg, spices and spinach mixture.  Form into 6 patties and grill until desired doneness.
Serve on Kaiser Rolls.

Pasta Rustica

This is a Williams-Sonoma recipe that a friend made me after one of my kids was born.  It's a really yummy/naughty pasta recipe!
2 T. olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ lb. chicken or pork sausage, casings removed
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
¼ t. hot red pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes in puree
Salt, to taste
1 lb. penne pasta
1 ¼ c. ricotta cheese
½ c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm oil.  Add onion and cook until golden, about 5 min. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 min.  Add sausage and cook, breaking it up into bite size pieces, until no longer pink, about 6 min.  Stir in basil, oregano and red pepper flakes.  Add tomatoes with puree and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 – 12 min.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil a baking dish.  Bring a large pot three-fourths full of water to a boil over high heat.  Salt the water, add pasta, stir well and cook until barely al dente (tender but firm to the bite), 10 – 12 min.  Drain well.  In a large bowl, toss pasta with sauce, ricotta and mozzarella.  Spread in prepared baking dish and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Bake until cheeses are melted and tips of pasta are crusty, about 30 min.  Let stand 5 min. before serving.  Serve hot.  Serves 6 – 8.