Spinach and Cheese Filled Ravioli with Pesto Sauce – ★★★★★

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After I got comfortable with making pasta I couldn’t stop. Perry invited a few friends of ours over for dinner so I used it as the perfect excuse to show off my new found pasta making skills. I want to say that I like the raviolis better then the tortellini but I think that is only because I found them easier to make. I had the roll and press process down so it didn’t feel as tedious to me. Also the cheese filling is AMAZING. This is definitely the combo I’ll be using from now on. Hit the spot and our guests loved it too. Perry gave five stars and this is why:

“I like the pesto as a filling for the tortellinis, but after having these spinach and cheese filled raviolis I think I have to choose the spinach/cheese over the pesto as a filling. It is a nice mixture of creamy filling and flavorful sauce.”

Serves: 6-8      Calories: 800 (yes this is a once in a while dinner..)    Time: approx. 2 hours depending on how fast you work with the ravioli

Ingredients for Pasta Dough:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Spinach/Cheese filling:

  •  1/2 lb fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 lb ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pkg sargento provolone cheese, diced
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make pasta dough. Recipe found here
  2. While dough is resting, sauté spinach with garlic, shallots and olive oil. 
  3. Drain liquid and place in a mixing bowl with ricotta, mozzarella, and provolone.
  4. Mix well until nice and firm. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. After you’ve let your dough rest, separate it into 4 equal parts. Keep the parts of the dough you aren’t using right away wrapped in plastic wrap until you are ready to use it.
  6. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your clean and flat workspace. Flatten dough into a thick oval shape with your hands. Sprinkle a bit more flour on top of the oval and roll it flat with a rolling pin working from the center of the dough outwards. Constantly move the dough to keep it from sticking to your work surface.
  7. Once the dough is flat, using either a stencil or the rim of a drinking glass, punch out as many circles as you can. Roll up left over dough and cover with plastic wrap to be used again.
  8. Take two of the circles and roll them flat again because after you initially cut the shape it will probably contract a little bit. Once flat add about 1/2 tsp of the spinach/cheese mixture to the center of one of the circles. Place the other circle on top of the other and press the seam together. Using a fork press the edge of your circle to complete the seam. 
  9. Repeat with the rest of your dough and store uncooked ravioli in an airtight container for no longer the 24 hours in your fridge or freeze for up to 2 months.
  10. When ready to cook bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook until the raviolis start to float, about 5 minutes or so
  11. While ravioli is cooking whip up the pesto sauce by adding all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blending until paste like. 
  12. Top  raviolis with pesto or any other sauce you choose.
  13. Enjoy!

*Original recipe belongs to http://www.food.com and  Elise at http://www.simplyrecipes.com and Kelsey Nixon of http://www.cookingchanneltv.com 

*Photo is an original belonging to me

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Fresh Pesto Filled Tortellini – ★★★★★

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This was my first homemade pasta recipe and we all instantly fell in love. The pasta has a perfect combination of bite and chew while the pesto is packed with ridiculous amounts of flavor. Each bite is completely different but equally amazing. It did take me a quite a while to roll out the pasta dough and fill/form the tortellinis but if you get someone to help you make these you can bust them out really quick. I know that I will never EVER buy pre-made tortellinis ever again. Perry gave 5 stars and here is why:

“I really really really enjoyed this recipe. The sauce Kels whipped up was nice and light so it didn’t take away from the powerful pesto flavor but added a nice muted tomato taste. Everything came together so great and I am looking forward to having these again.”

Serves: 6-8     Calories: w/o sauce – 503…w/sauce – 618    Time: approx. 2 hours depending on how long it takes to fill/form tortellinis

NOTE: In the directions when I say “Check out this video I found to help you” or “Recipe Here” that whole sentence is a link to the video. For some reason my “link text” won’t differentiate from regular text.

Ingredients for Pasta Dough:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 extra virgin olive oil

Ingredients for Fresh Pesto:

  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for (Optional) Light Tomato Sauce:

  • 1 carton of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters depending on how chunky you want your sauce
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp italian herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make your dough ball. Recipe found here
  2. While dough is resting assemble pesto sauce. Recipe found here
  3. After you’ve let your dough rest, separate it into 4 equal parts.
  4. Keep the parts of the dough you aren’t using right away wrapped in plastic wrap until you are ready to use it.
  5. Sprinkle a bit of flour on your clean and flat workspace. Flatten dough into a thick oval shape with your hands. Sprinkle a bit more flour on top of the oval and roll it flat with a rolling pin working from the center of the dough outwards. Constantly move the dough to keep it from sticking to your work surface.
  6. Once the dough is flat, using either a stencil or pastry cutter or a plain ol’ knife cut out as many squares as you can. Roll up left over dough and cover with plastic wrap.
  7. Take one of the squares and roll it flat again because after you initially cut the shape it will probably contract a little bit. Once flat add about 1/4 tsp of the pesto to the center of the square. Fold the square in half (making a triangle) and pressing the seam together. Using a fork press the edge of your triangle to complete the seam. Roll the triangle to make a crease where the filling is cupped. Take the outer edges of the triangle and fold the across to “hug the filling” and press to seal. I would recommend watching this video I found on youtube to demonstrate how tortellini is rolled.
  8. Repeat with the rest of your dough and store uncooked tortellini in an airtight container for no longer the 24 hours in your fridge or freeze for up to 2 months.
  9. When ready to cook bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook until the tortellinis start to float, about 5 minutes or so
  10. If you are whipping up my light sauce just combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over medium until tomatoes start to “wilt” and let out their juice
  11. Top tortellini with sauce of your choice and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from Kelsey Nixon of http://www.cookingchanneltv.com and Elise at http://www.simplyrecipes.com

 

Cheese Enchiladas with Spanish Rice – ★★★★★

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Perry has been asking me to make enchiladas for a few weeks now so when he told me a few of his band mates were coming over for dinner I had to make them for him. I’ve made chicken enchiladas before, but I personally hate the way chicken tastes when it reheats. I used the excuse of having a vegetarian coming for dinner as a reason to skip the chicken and go right to cheese. I’m SO glad I did because these came out amazing. Everyone enjoyed them which not only makes me happy but also proves I made the right decision going 100% bean and cheese. These bad boys were filled with creamy deliciousness and covered with a cheesy tomato sauce. I’m not going to lie, I surprised myself with this one 🙂 The rice was just your typical Spanish rice. Nothing too special but it really complimented the enchiladas perfectly. Perry gave five stars and this is why:

“When I rate a recipe 5 stars it is because I keep going back for more. If I go to the stove and start scooping out of the pan after I’ve already cleaned my plate you know it is a five star recipe. I have wanted enchiladas for weeks now and Kels really nailed my craving with this dinner. The sauce itself could be an appetizer with chips. I’m hungry just thinking about it. The rice was a nice side for the enchiladas because it wasn’t anything over the top. Five stars!”

Serves: 6-8      Calories: 364/2 enchiladas   157/half cup         Time: 35 minutes for Enchiladas    30 minutes for Rice

Ingredients for Enchiladas:

  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese + 1/2 lb grated cheddar cheese , divided
  • 2 (11 oz) cans of red enchilada sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can of pinto beans
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 tbsp canned green chilies

Directions for Enchiladas:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. Over Medium heat add pinto beans to a large pan. Mash the beans a little bit then add butter and water. Simmer for 5 minutes
  3. Add salt, pepper and onions. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes
  4. Add green chilies and 1/2 lb of grated cheese. Mix well. 
  5. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray and pour one can of enchilada sauce in bottom of pan. 
  6. Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of cheese mixture. Roll the tortilla and place seam side down in pan
  7. Pour remaining can of sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top 
  8. Bake for 20 minutes
  9. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Spanish Rice:

  • 1 (15oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1.25 cups of rice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp cumin

Directions for Spanish Rice:

  1. In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. 
  3. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until rice is done.
  4. Enjoy!

*Both original recipes can be found at http://www.food.com

**Photo is an original belonging to me