oven baked spinach and goat cheese stuffed pork chops

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I love anything that’s dipped in bread crumbs and fried. It’s my weakness. So, lately I’ve been trying to slow down on the pan frying, and increase the oven baked deliciousness that is so much healthier for you. This dish is creamy, juicy, and very filling, and definitely one of my new favorite ways to make pork! I served this dish with some homemade spaghetti with pesto (you can find my pesto recipe here)!

Ingredients

2 boneless pork chops
bread crumbs
small log of goat cheese (I used homemade, will be posting the recipe soon!)
a few handfuls of spinach
a clove of garlic
a shallot
a couple tablespoons of mayonnaise
parmesan

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mince a shallot and a clove of garlic. Brown in a pan and add your spinach. Once the spinach is wilted, and dark green remove from the heat. At this point you can either use the full leaves, or throw the spinach, shallots, and garlic into the food processor to get a nice fine chop.
Slice your pork chop through the center, aka butterfly it, and pound it out so it is nice and thin. Spread your spinach mixture and sprinkle with goat cheese. Roll up the pork chop and tie it with some butchers string. Spread a little bit of mayo over the top and sprinkle with bread crumbs and some parmesan. Bake on a cooling rack, on top of a cookie sheet. This will allow the air to reach all around the pork and will keep it from getting soggy. Bake until it reached 170 degrees, about 30-40 minutes. Serve with your favorite side and enjoy!

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ricotta and leek ravioli with pesto

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I bought myself a pasta roller almost a month ago now- It’s been sitting on my counter, ready to go, but I was too intimidated to use it. Finally today I just went for it! Ravioli has always been one of my favorite foods so I decided I’d try that first. And because I was making fresh pasta, I thought it would be best to make fresh ricotta as well! It’s definitely a time consuming process overall, but very fun, and very worth it!

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Ingredients

Pasta

2-3 cups of all purpose flour
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
tiny pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Ricotta

3 cups of whole milk
1 cup of heavy cream
pinch of salt
juice of one lemon

Filling

1 cup of ricotta (home made or store bought)
2 caramelized leeks & 1 clove of minced garlic
salt & pepper to taste

Pesto

a few handfuls of basil (remove stems)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of pine nuts
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
olive oil

Instructions

Ricotta

Add the heavy cream and milk to a large sauce pan or stock pot. Once it begins to boil and foam, add the juice of one lemon and turn off the stove. Give it a few stirs, and then allow to rest for a couple of minutes and form curds. Once the curds have formed, strain them through a cheese cloth and allow to separate from the whey. Refrigerate once everything is separated and to the desired consistency (for this I’d recommend a slightly thicker or stiffer ricotta).

Pasta

Make a little well in your all purpose flour and carefully crack your eggs into the center. Add the salt, nutmeg, and olive oil and slowly mix, starting with a fork, and then moving to your hands. When everything is combined and not too sticky (you may have to add more flour), split into four pieces. Make each piece into a patty, so it’s thin enough to go through the pasta roller. Continue rolling out until you get a pasta sheet of desired thickness. Put pasta sheets in the fridge while you assemble everything else.

Filling

Dice up your leeks and make sure to thoroughly clean. Add leeks, minced garlic, and a few tablespoons of butter to a sautee pan and allow to cook down until they are a nice golden brown. Once these are complete, you can either keep them at a rough dice, or quick throw them into your food processor to make a little bit more of a paste. Mix this with your ricotta.

Pesto

Add all of your ingredients into a food processor and blend, slowly adding olive oil until it reaches desired consistency.

Assemblage

Take one pasta sheet and dollop a teaspoon or so of filling, and make sure there will be enough room to cut into individual ravioli at the end! Take your second pasta sheet and carefully lay over the top, and lightly press down around the filling to form your ravioli. Cut apart and to make sure the pasta sheets are sealed together, stamp with the end of a fork.

Cook ravioli for 2-3 minutes, or until they float. Gently strain them and drizzle with pesto. Top with a bit of parmesan or romano and enjoy!

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penne with brown butter, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli

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ingredients:

1/2 box of penne
1/4 c. olive oil
zest and juice of one lemon
3 or 4 heirloom tomatoes
one small head of broccoli
a few handfuls of spinach
half a stick of butter
a handful of pine nuts
salt and pepper

this recipe is a take on one of giada di laurentiis’ recipes which consists of penne with brown butter, arugula, and tomatoes. i took what i had in the fridge and made my version! i started out by boiling half a box of penne for 8 minutes (al dente), and toasting a handful of pine nuts for about 5 minutes. then i mixed up a little dressing, consisting of 1/4 of a cup of extra virgin olive oil and the zest and juice of one lemon. whisk this together with some salt and pepper and set aside. when the pasta is about half way done, brown half a stick of butter- once it is melted down completely it will only take a few more minutes until it is the right ‘caramel’ color. also steam cook some broccoli to throw in with the pasta. once the pasta is done cooking throw it in with the browned butter, a few handfuls of spinach, chopped heirloom tomatoes, and your steamed broccoli. once the spinach is wilted down, add the dressing and toasted pine nuts. serve up and enjoy!

repurposing leftovers!

personally I hate leftovers. Which isn’t good for me considering I’m only cooking for myself. So tonight for dinner since I didn’t have time to do anything, I repurposed my green garden soup!. I added a touch more garlic, basil, and olive oil, and turned it into a pesto! I used thin spaghetti, a dollop of ricotta, and my left over sausage links and it made for the perfect quick dinner!

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