Monday, March 22, 2010

Pizza with Truffle Oil

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to make pizza from scratch, rather than using the trader joe's pre-packed dough. Instead I used Tyler Florence's recipe and it wasn't bad. It made about two thick-crusted pizzas, and I decided to make Garlic Balls with the leftover dough...mmmm. On one of the pizza's I did half pepperoni (for my picky boyfriend Brett) and half potato truffle pizza. The second pizza was covered with sauteed onions, truffle oil, and arugula.
Surprisingly, the potato pizza was more of a hit with my guests than the other. I tried potato pizza for my first time while I was living in Florence. There was a little store by my school that sold it by the slice. It's amazingly delicious. Next time I'll have to make an entire potato pizza, rather than just half, and maybe I'll force Brett to eat it :)

Potato Pizza Ingredients:

prepared pizza dough
1 yukon gold potato
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded fontina cheese (optional)
olive oil
truffle oil

Turn the oven to 450 degrees and place an empty pizza pan in it to heat up. Meanwhile,
roll out the pizza dough, and then finely slice the potato VERY thin. When the pan has been in the oven to heat, remove from oven, place dough on top and quickly brush dough with olive oil. Sprinkle with a dash of salt, pepper, and garlic granules. Quickly add a layer of the cheese, then a layer of potato slices (kind of fanned out). Drizzle with olive oil and throw it in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Once the pizza is ready, remove it from the oven and lightly drizzle with truffle oil if you have it.

Onion and Truffle Oil Pizza Ingredients:

Prepared pizza dough
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
shredded mozzarella cheese
shredded parmesean cheese
olive oil
truffle oil

In a saute pan on medium low heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil, onions, and mushrooms and allow them to carmelize. Stir the onions frequently until they are translucent, then take onions and mushrooms off the heat. Turn oven to 450 degrees and place an empty pizza pan in it to heat it up. Roll out the pizza dough and when the pan is heated, quickly place it on the pan and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle with a dash of salt and garlic granules. Add a layer of sauteed onions and mushrooms, then top with a generous layer of mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with the parmesean cheese, then throw in the oven to bake for 12-15 minutes. Once the pizza is ready, remove from the oven and add a layer of arugula on top. Drizzle with truffle oil and voila!

Garlic Balls:

prepared pizza dough
freshly chopped garlic
olive oil

Roll out the dough into 1 1/2 inch thick balls. Place on a sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and mix, so that each ball is covered in olive oil. Bake in a 450 degree oven until golden brown. Once removed from oven, toss in the remaining olive oil from the sheet pan and serve.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Five Cheese Penne

Italian food is my absolute favorite food in the world. That's probably why I gained so much weight when I lived in Italy-I just can't get enough. So I'm constantly on the lookout for new pasta recipes, because there are SO many and SO many different options. I came across this Barefoot Contessa recipe a while back, but I decided to change it and make it my own. I made it for my 24th birthday and my family loved it, so I decided to make it again. It's definitely not figure-friendly, but it's worth it.

Five Cheese Penne Pasta
Serves 6

Sea Salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese
1/4 cup parmesean cheese
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese
1 pound penne pasta (you can use gluten free pasta too)
2 tablespoons olive oil,
2 cloves finely chopped garlic

Turn on oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Meanwhile, combine all the cheeses (except the ricotta) in a bowl and set aside. In a saute pan add the olive oil, tomatoes, and spinach and cook on medium low heat until just wilted. Add the garlic once the spinach has wilted and let cook for a minute or two, but be sure not to let it burn, then add the cream and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and turn off heat.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain, and put back into the large pot. Add the tomato and spinach cream mixture and 3/4 of the pre-shredded cheese that was set aside (reserve 1/4 of the cheese to go on top of the pasta). Mix the cheese in the pasta until incorporated, then add to a baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbly. Top the pasta with freshly chopped basil and voila!

Banana Almond Butter Smoothie

I've recently dove into obsession with almond butter, so naturally I decide to try it in a smoothie for breakfast. I like to top it off with granola for texture and flavor. So good!

Banana Almond Butter Smoothie

1 banana, chopped up and frozen
3/4 cup soy milk (or regular)
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 cup non-fat vanilla yogurt
1 cup ice
1 tsp of agave (if you're a sugar head like me and need smoothies extra sweet)

Blend until creamy and top with gluten free granola or fresh fruit!

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