Monday, March 12, 2012

menu of the week

(image via Williams-Sonoma)

Last week I almost didn't even make five meals, but I squeezed one of these in yesterday afternoon. So glad I did, because the frittata was so good I was looking forward to having it today when I had barely finished off a piece yesterday.

- spinach shells - Our friend Alex made this simple pasta dish for a group of people when we went to visit her in Philadelphia a couple of years ago. I like to double the recipe and freeze half to save for one of those days when I forget to defrost anything. See recipe below.

butternut squash risotto - Anything with butternut squash in it is delicious. Period. I doubled this recipe because we were going to have it as a main dish and I wanted it to be a little more substantial. It turned out soft and creamy and the butternut squash flavor was so pronounced. Lucky for me, Matt likes the rice more than the squash so he didn't mind when I dished it out a little on the uneven side. As much as I liked it, I don't think I would make it again because I kind of detest the constant stirring risotto requires. Or maybe I just needed stronger arm muscles.

- spaghetti with tomato sauce - Kind of self-explanatory. I forgot to defrost the beef for the cheeseburger skillet pie (and although I had spinach shells in the freezer I didn't want to have them again so soon) so I made a quick tomato sauce and boiled water. I don't think there's anything easier than that.

cheeseburger skillet pie - Another quick and easy recipe (that seems to be my dinner time mantra, everything is either 'quick and easy' or 'super simple') that gave me a good return for the time spent preparing it. Matt and I fought over the biscuits on top, and I may have used just a tad more cheese the recipe called for. Okay, so it was double the amount of cheese. And the biscuits were from Whole Foods but I forget the brand. They were frozen and the box was green. Hope that helps!

frittata with greens - This made for a quick Sunday afternoon meal and while I had a few minor issues it still tasted great. Should I be embarrassed to say that I thought the addition of ketchup made it even better? Anyway, the main issue was not having a pan to flip the frittata into, thus the eggs didn't really set on top until the bottom was brown but not quite burnt. Let's just say Matt spent a good ten minutes washing the skillet.

This week I'm looking forward to squeezing in one more hearty soup (before the weather really warms up) and baking some Irish soda bread. Erin Go Bragh!

Spinach Shells (Thanks, Alex!)
1 lb. shells
4 beaten eggs
1/2 C olive oil
2 10 oz. packages frozen spinach, thawed
2 quarts tomato sauce
2 8 oz. packages shredded cheese
Parmigiano and Romano cheese to taste
1 T each dried basil, parsley, and oregano
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside. In a 13"x9" pan, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, olive oil, cheese, spinach, herbs, salt & pepper, and shells. Pour into the baking dish and cover with the rest of the sauce. Grate Parmigiano and Romano cheese over the top. Bake at 350ยบ for 30 minutes.  

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