Eggs and Veggies, The Perfect Pairing

egg with rapini

Eggs in combination with veggies have produced many a meal in my house for breakfast, lunch and dinner over the years and it’s still evolving. It’s still evolving because the variety of veggies are endless and because eggs can be prepared in so many different ways.

 

Take for example this crispy egg with leftover garlicky rapini, I’ve eaten this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, I always make extra rapini so I can make this combination. If you never had a crispy egg before just google “how to make a crispy egg” there’s a certain technique to it and the result will give you a souffled white with lacy, crispy edges and a nice runny yolk. I like to top mine with red pepper flakes, oregano, black pepper and salt.egg with asparagus

 

Here’s a winning combination fit for a fancy breakfast or brunch, a poached egg on a bed of roasted asparagus with crispy prosciutto and shaved parmesan, the creamy yolk when broken open oozes out and mingles with all the flavors, it’s heavenly!eggs with peppers

Peppers and eggs, I seriously grew up on this as a kid, the best sandwich ever with Italian bread, a great lunch or dinner with a salad on the side.eggs with artichokes

 

This is a favorite of mine, a recipe from Ina Garten, it’s her herb-baked eggs and it’s wonderful for a lazy Sunday morning. You can make this in individual gratin dishes like Ina, or as I did, all in one pan. My twist on it is to add in some artichoke hearts, a perfect addition I think to the creamy herbs and cheese, but make sure you have some toasted, crispy bread for dipping.

egg caprese

 

This caprese omelet can be a staple for you this summer made with fresh mozzarella, garden basil and summer tomatoes, nice for brunch and a light dinner..eggs with spring veggie

 

It’s spring here in Chicago and I love making my Spring Vegetable Frittata with Brie, with tender zucchini, asparagus and peas. I can go on and on about frittata’s they’re a staple. They’re not just for breakfast or lunch either, frittata’s make the best dinner with a side salad and crusty bread of course.

eggs with string beans

 

Pressed for time? You can always make this for dinner, Eggs in Purgatory, the way I make it has evolved over the years but here’s my basic recipe.

 

You can use chunky tomatoes or straight up marinara as I did above but I always add in some vegetables and herbs, here I added haricot verts with a few olives.eggs with broccolini

My clean out the fridge frittata with a little bit of this and a little bit of that like broccolini, mushrooms, red pepper and fresh mozzarella. It doesn’t’ take a lot of ingredients to put a meal on the table, a couple of mushrooms, a handful of broccolini and a red pepper sliced around some bruised spots creates a nice meal.

cauliflower steaks

 

The other day I sliced rainbow colored cauliflower into “steaks” and roasted them, basically I only get two or three nicely shaped slices from a head of cauliflower because I cut them an inch thick, the leftover florets can then be tossed into a frittata of course!eggs and cauliflower

 

Like this one, so delicious and colorful too..eggs with cauliflower

And lastly my version of “steak and eggs“. A crispy egg perched on top of a roasted cauliflower steak sitting in a pool of marinara, healthy, hearty and delicious and perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Endless meals can be made with veggies and eggs, these are just a few of my favorites. Go for what’s in season and just let your creative juices flow!

Follow me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up during the week.

Signature

Seared Scallops on Creamy Polenta with Broccolini

seared scallops

Seared scallops on creamy polenta with broccolini is such a fabulous dish, I promise it will wake up all your taste buds when you eat it, it’s quick enough for midweek and worthy enough for company.

A perfectly seared scallop is pure bliss and when cooked properly the most tender thing in the world, then paired with the corn grits of polenta you’ll be sure to have a match made in food heaven.seared scallops

However there are a few important factors when making this, let’s start with the scallops. You have to buy the large, dry sea scallops, fresh. The smaller bay scallops won’t work for this dish and neither will frozen, they hold on to too much liquid and you’ll never be able to get a good sear on them, which makes all the difference.

Even with the dry scallops I’ll bring them home and layer them between paper towels, just to make sure even the slightest bit of liquid is absorbed.

When you’re ready to sear them I place my heavy bottomed pan on the stove and turn the heat up to get it screeching hot, so hot where smokes starts to rise, so put your fan on and then drizzle the bottom with olive oil, just to get it heated and never use a nonstick pan you won’t get a good sear at all.

Salt and pepper one side of the scallops and place the seasoned side down in the oiled pan which you’ve now turned down to medium high and don’t move them until you can see a deep sear on the bottom, maybe three minutes or so, but honestly looking at them is more accurate.

When you see that deep sear on the scallops turn them over and basically take them out, they’re finished, they’ll continue to cook slightly after you remove them. With this method they’ll be sure to come out perfect every single time.

 

seared scallops

Regarding the polenta, the secret to making it nice and creamy is the ratio of liquid to cornmeal. I only know what is a success for me and works every time and that is, 1 part polenta to 5 parts liquid, finished off with some butter and a splash of half and half.

Any less liquid and it will become too thick and seize up, especially when cooling down. With this method even if it sits a few minutes it will remain creamy, and that’s what you want for this dish, smooth and creamy with no lumps.

You can serve this on a wooden board or a platter as I did, and you can change up the greens of your choice, I love it with the broccolini but I think any green would be good, even kernels of corn would be nice.

Either way I guarantee you’ll have a fabulous meal!

Find me on Instagram to see what else I’m cooking up daily.

Seared Scallops on Creamy Polenta with Broccolini
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. large sea scallops, dry and fresh
  • 1 small bunch of broccolini, trimmed and pre-cooked
  • 1 cup of polenta, I used quick cooking polenta
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • large knob of butter
  • splash of half and half or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Start out heating up your pan until it's screeching hot as stated in my post.
  2. Have the scallops seasoned and ready for searing as stated in my post.
  3. Proceed to make the polenta, getting the broth and water to a boil, then whisking in the polenta, lower the heat so it doesn't spit all over, but keep whisking until it all comes together.
  4. When the polenta comes together, remove from the heat and add the knob of butter and all the cheese, stir til combined then add a nice splash of cream or half and half.
  5. Get your scallops seared and ready for plating using the method I stated in my post.
  6. Pour the creamy polenta on to your platter or board, then placed the seared scallops all around and top with the cooked broccolini.
  7. Do a quick drizzle of olive oil on top and that's it, enjoy!

 

 

Signature

Shrimp, Pasta and Broccolini in Tomato Cream + A Pastaiola Giveaway

shrimp pasta and broccolini Happy National Pasta Day! Who doesn’t love pasta? It delicious, comforting, it comes in endless shapes and sizes and can be made countless ways with a variety of different sauces. It’s also crowd pleasing, a great party food, present at many family dinners and dinner for one. Many fond memories have been etched in our minds recalling favorite pasta dishes made by our dear loved ones hands.

So in honor of the day I made you a luxurious pasta dish that includes shrimp and broccolini in tomato cream sauce, and you won’t believe how quick you’ll get it to the table!

Lagostina Pastaiola  To further celebrate and to make me feel like an absolute pro in the kitchen, I used this absolutely gorgeous, and I mean gorgeous, Hammered Copper Pastaiola from Lagostina.

Lagostina Pastaiola

marinara in pastaiola First thing I did with my pastaiola was make a big pot of marinara, I normally keep a stash in my freezer and I was running low. I’m happy to say I was able to fit two gigantic cans of tomatoes both over five pounds each into the pot with no problem, it’s nice and deep, deep enough for making future stocks and seafood boils.

marinara in pastaiolashrimp and broccolini

This pasta dish comes together quickly once you have all your ingredients ready so when you begin to make the sauce get your water boiling!

Add some garlic and olive oil to a pan then toss in shrimp, (I had eight large) and steamed broccolini, when the shrimp is cooked remove and set aside.

tomato cream sauce Deglaze the pan with three cups of marinara, preferably homemade or a good quality store bought brand then splash in about a quarter cup of  heavy cream, stir and combine then it’s time to bring back the shrimp and broccolini.

boiling pasta Did you know there are over 600 known shapes of pasta? I love seeking out different and unique shapes, for this dish I used Festoni, it’s like a pappardelle with ruffled edges.

drained pasta Looks done to me, nice and a dente, now It’s time to drain it and toss it into the creamy tomato sauce making sure everything gets coated well. ( I used 8 oz. here)

shrimp pasta and broccolini Silky, slurpy and luxurious!

shrimp pasta and broccolini

Happy Pasta!

CONTEST IS OVER AND CLOSED

 

( Disclosure: I received one pastaiola for review, and as always opinions are my very own)

 

Signature

Curly Long Spaghetti with Broccolini, Chilli and Homemade Breadcrumbs

curly spaghetti with broccolini and chilli

I haven’t posted a pasta dish in a while so I thought it was about time. This is so delicious and easy to make, you can get it on your table in no time at all. It’s a little twist on regular broccoli and pasta because it uses broccolini.

Broccolini is nothing like regular broccoli or broccoli rabe it has a much sweeter taste and when cooked it has a nice tender bite to it, and in this dish I love how the long thin stalks get intertwined with the pasta.

ingredients for curly spaghetti with broccolini and chilli

You can use what ever long pasta you like but I happened to have a bag of fusilli lunghi in my pantry better known as long fusilli or curly spaghetti. I also used a nice fresh red chilli instead of flakes, it’s really not that hot if you remove the seeds. The other important ingredient is homemade breadcrumbs, larger in size, filled with flavor that will give the finished dish a nice tasty crunch on top.

curly spaghetti with broccolini and chilli

You boil your pasta first then at the last five minutes you throw your broccolini in with the pasta, scoop everything out and into a pan with olive oil, lemon zest, garlic and the chilli and cheese, but don’t throw out all of the pasta water, that’s key to creating your creamy sauce!

curly spaghetti with broccolini and chilli

This would be a great dish to whip up quickly and serve to guests that might be dropping by during the holiday.

curly spaghetti with broccolini and chilli

And I must admit it looks a little festive with the red and green going on, don’t you think?

Follow Proud Italian Cook on Instagram and you’ll see what I’m cooking up daily!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Curly Long Spaghetti with Broccolini, Chilli and Homemade Breadcrumbs
 
A quick and delicious pasta dish that showcases broccolini Adapted from Taste.com AU
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. long spaghetti, preferably curly
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped and 1 more for breadcrumbs
  • 2 bunches of broccolini, trimmed
  • 1 or 2 long red chilli, deseeded and sliced thin
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 cup of grated romano or parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • HOMEMADE BREADCRUMBS
  • breadcubes from a day old baguette, olive oil, 1 garlic clove smashed and fresh parsley
Instructions
  1. For breadcrumbs, take a small baguette or half of a large one, cut into ¼ inch chunks, drizzle and toss it into olive olive add a small smashed garlic clove and a handful of chopped parsley and place on a rimmed baking sheet in a 375 degree oven until golden and crunchy.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot with salted water, cook according to directions on package adding the broccolini for the final 1 minute of cooking time.
  3. Meanwhile drizzle olive oil all over the bottom of a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the 5 chopped garlic cloves, chilli and zest, stirring until fragrant, just a few minutes.
  4. I like to use a spider and scoop out the pasta and broccolini leaving the pasta water, but if you don't have a spider and want to drain the pasta and broccolini be sure to save at least two cups of the water.
  5. Toss it into the saute pan mixing everything together, add the grated cheese, maybe some more olive oil, black pepper and little by little add some of the pasta water until it loosens up and creates a little sauce.
  6. You might not use all the water, just add it little by little.
  7. Place on a platter or individual bowls and top with your homemade breadcrumbs and adding more cheese if you wish.

 

Signature