Mangia Questo!

No purists beyond this point.

Crustless Broccoli Cheddar Quiche April 4, 2009

Filed under: vegetarian — mangiaquesto @ 10:25 pm
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CrustlessQuicheOnce you try this, you’ll wonder why you ever bothered making a regular old quiche with a crust.  Save time and unnecessary fat and calories by making this healthier alternative.  You need:

1 bunch of broccoli (2 crowns)
4 large eggs
1 cup milk (I used 1%)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-3 dashes of hot sauce
2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously.  Chop broccoli and add to the pot.  Blanch for 2 minutes, then drain and shock (rinse under cold water).

Grease a glass or ceramic pie dish with margarine or cooking spray.  In a medium bowl, beat eggs and add milk, salt, pepper, hot sauce and flour.  Stir well to get rid of lumps.

Add the broccoli to the pie dish and cover with the grated cheese.  Pour the egg mixture over the broccoli and cheese.  Bake for 35-45 minutes.  You’ll know it’s done when a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Buon appetito!


Orecchiette or Gnocchi with Broccoli Sauce August 22, 2008

Filed under: Italiano,vegetarian — mangiaquesto @ 12:07 am
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This is a recipe straight from Italy that I learned while living in Milan last summer. The original recipe uses orecchiette, a kind of pasta that gets its name from its shape, like “little ears”. Tonight, though, I was craving gnocchi, so I tried that instead and it was almost as good. These two kinds of pasta work well because they go nicely with the mushy consistency of the sauce.

The picture shows the dish made with bacon, but I’ve also made it with thickly cut and cubed maple turkey breast (ask for about 3-1cm thick slices at the deli), pancetta, or no meat at all. All are excellent, depending on your tastes.

You need:

A bunch of broccoli (2 crowns)

1 kg of gnocchi or 500g of orecchiette

1/2 to 3/4 of a pack of bacon (or the turkey, or 10 or so slices of pancetta, or nothing)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

a pinch of chili flakes or powder (optional)

salt and pepper

If you’re using bacon, I suggest baking it. Preheat the oven to 400F. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a wire rack on it. Lay the strips of bacon on the rack, trying not to overlap. Bake for about 20 minutes, then break into pieces once it’s crispy. If you’re using pancetta or turkey breast, pan-fry it to brown it.

While the bacon is cooking, cut up the broccoli (big pieces are alright). Bring a large pot of water to a boil (use a lot of water as it will be boiling for a long time). Boil the broccoli until it is very soft and falling apart, then salt the water lightly and add the pasta to the same pot. Gnocchi takes less time than orecchiette, so if you are using orecchiette you can add it a bit earlier in the cooking process but the broccoli should be very soft first.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain the whole works (broccoli and all). Put the broccoli and pasta back in the pot and stir in the olive oil, bacon and chili flakes (or powder). Add as much salt and pepper as you like. Buon appetito!