STUFFED PEPPERS WITH SAUSAGE AND FONTINA

My Hubby called from work the other day and with much excitement he said,”Guess what I got today?”so I’m thinking WOW!, maybe he got a raise or something! Instead he said, ” A gigantic bag of Melrose peppers!! I could see how happy he was so I said, “Great!!” It just so happens, my Hubby did a favor for some nice Italian man who grows tons of them in his backyard, and to say Thanks, he brought him a huge bag.

I previously wrote a post on Melrose Peppers a while back just because my Hubby loves them so much, and as I said before, he would just eat that for dinner with some good Italian bread. I normally just saute them in a pan with olive oil, a little garlic and salt and pepper, then add a little red sauce at the end. So, because there were so many, I did a bunch like that, and the ones that were really big, I decided to stuff them. I happen to have a big hunk of Fontina cheese in the frig, and some Italian sausage in bulk. So all I did was cook up the sausage, cube up the cheese, and stuffed the peppers, I also had some leftover marinara, that I layered in also.

There were pans of peppers everywhere!!! So I made a quick call to my Son,( who’s taking after his Dad in the Melrose Pepper department) to stop by on his way home from work for a care package to take home. And without hesitation he said, “I’ll be there”!! So ,as you can see , although they are a very simple dish they are one of my family’s favorite!!

For those of you who never heard of Melrose Peppers, they look like a Cubanelle, banana shaped, very sweet and tender. I wonder if any of you heard of them, or is it just a Chicago thing? I hope my pictures do them justice!!

Buon Appetito!!
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SPAGHETTI WITH PANCETTA AND MUSHROOMS

I like to make a pasta dish at least one night during the week, normally I do it with vegetables, whatever I might have on hand at the time. Yesterday I looked and saw this beautiful package of Cremini mushrooms, which also are called Baby Portabellas. I also had a small container of diced Pancetta. “Nice combo” I thought!! So I pulled out my trusty saute pan and started to cook up the Pancetta till nice and slightly crispy, after which I drained. Then back in the pan with a drizzle of olive oil & some onions, & garlic When the pasta was done I drained it and tossed it in the pan with everything. It was finished off with a generous amount of Romano cheese and a sprinkling of fresh parsley!! It’s a quick meal that doesn’t take much time, but definitely tastes like you did!!!

Buon Appetito!!

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LIMONCELLO RICOTTA TART

Tucked away in my freezer is this wonderful bottle of Limoncello that we bought on our trip to Italy. Every time I look at it I get reminded of the great time we had there. I try to savor every drop of it and only use it for special things. Yes, I could buy a bottle of Limoncello at my neighborhood liquor store at any time, but it just won’t be as “special”. And so, I pulled it out to make my Ricotta Tart, and just that little hint of Limoncello puts it over the top!!!

INGREDIENTS

2lb’s good ricotta, drained

1/2 cup of sugar

Zest of a whole lemon

3 lrg eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

1/2 cup of shaved semi-sweet chocolate

1 1/2 Tbl cake flour

2 Tbl’s or “More” of Limoncello liqueur ( according to your taste)

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 9 or 10 in. tart pan, and fill it with your favorite pastry dough.
Mix together in a large bowl the sugar into the ricotta, add your zest, cinnamon, and then fold in your shaved chocolate. **** IMPORTANT POINT HERE!!! At this point, before the eggs are added, I would take a spoon and taste your ricotta filling to see if all the flavors are strong enough to your liking. If not, you can add a little more zest, cinnamon, or Limoncello.
Next, add your eggs one at a time, along with the cake flour.

Now take your leftover dough and cut into strips to make a basket weave top, brush top of the dough strips with milk, this will make it golden brown.
Bake for about 55min’s or until toothpick comes out clean and golden on top
.
Buon Appetito!!!

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