Archive for the 'Italian food' Category


Olive oil
2 lbs. eggplant, cut into 1″ cubes (no need to peel)
1 large yellow sweet onion
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
6 oz can tomato paste, thinned with 1/4 cup water*
6 oz. green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup (3 fl. oz. jar) salt-packed nonpareil capers, drained
3 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place the eggplant cubes on baking sheets, drizzle with oil and salt. Roast for 25 minutes.

In a pot with oil saute onion and celery until softened. Add the thinned tomato paste and cook down. Add olives, vinegar, raisins, capers and sugar and simmer. Add the eggplant, simmer for 15 minutes and turn off. Best if set in the fridge for a day or two before serving. Serve room temperature or warm.

*The tomato paste made this very rich and perfect for winter (there’s three feet of snow on my front lawn!) In the summer time to lighten it up I would use 1-2 Tbsp of thinned tomato paste plus 1 can of drained diced tomatoes instead.


Meatballs and Gravy

I can’t believe I don’t have meatballs and gravy posted here already, but I went looking through and realized that, 1) my consistency in categorizing recipes kind of sucks and 2) I don’t have the recipe posted. So, let’s fix that. Also, I really need to make some meatballs now.

Traditional Meatballs

1 lb ground beef (I like 85/15 or 90/10)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 egg
1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmigiano-reggiano or romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Paleo Meatballs

1 lb ground beef (I like 85/15 or 90/10)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 egg
1 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste
(can add 1/4 cup almond flour if the mixture needs binding, but I usually don’t have a problem without it)

Primal Meatballs (how I usually make them)

1 lb ground beef (I like 85/15 or 90/10)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 egg
1/4 cup grated parmigianno reggiano cheese
1 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp basil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix all the ingredients, form into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake for 12-15 minutes. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t cooked through, they’re going to simmer in the gravy.


1 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb Italian sausages (optional)
1 lb spareribs (optional)
1/2 onion diced
1 clove minced garlic
2-3  28oz cans crushed tomato or tomato puree (use 3 if you’re using all the meat, 2 for just meatballs)
Parsley, basil, salt and pepper to taste

Place olive oil in a large pot. If using sausages and/or spareribs add the meat in batches (not overlapping) so that it’s browned on all sides. Remove and set on a plate. Drain off excess fat (leave a little or add more olive oil) and saute the onions and garlic until soft but not browned. Add the tomatoes and seasonings and bring to a boil, stirring consistently. Add the meatballs (and other meat, if using), cover and turn heat to lowest setting to simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Serve over pasta or as desired.

Bolognese (Paleo)

I was watching the Food Network and someone was making a bolognese sauce and I decided I needed to do that, immediately! I like my bolognese really thick so it’s a meal in itself since I don’t serve it over pasta. I mean, you COULD serve it over pasta, but I chose not to. I chose to serve mine over chicken instead. Haha! Meat sauce on meat!


2 strips bacon
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb grass fed ground beef
6-10 oz tomato paste
1 cup water (or more, based on need)
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 Tbsp parsley
salt, pepper, red pepper flake to taste
4 chicken legs (optional)

Render the bacon in a large pan. Set aside and add a little olive oil then saute all the veggies. Once tender but not browned add the ground beef and cook through. Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil then lower heat. Add more water if it gets too thick. Simmer for 10 minutes then add the chicken legs and cover. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, then remove the chicken legs, shred the meat and add to the sauce (or to the bottom of your bowl and spoon the sauce on top). Chop the bacon and add to the sauce.

Serve in a bowl as is or with pasta or rice.


Chicken Cacciatore (Paleo)

I was ecstatic to find a locally raised, organic, pastured chicken at Whole Foods and knew I wanted to make cacciatore. I asked my butcher to cut the chicken into pieces for me and he gladly did. This is simmering on the stove now and it smells so good in here, I can’t wait to dig in later. I’ve always preferred my cacciatore over rice rather than pasta. To keep mine primal I’m serving it over cauliflower rice.

Chicken Cacciatore

1 whole chicken, cut in pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large bell pepper, chopped (I used red)
1 ( 28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth (I used organic, free range)
1/2 cup large green olives, cut in half
1 tsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried parsley
pinch red pepper flake
a few splashes of red wine vinegar
a few leaves of fresh chopped basil


Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. In a large heavy saute pan, heat the oil. Add the chicken pieces saute just until brown, about 5 minutes per side. Set the chicken aside. Drain some of the fat out of the pan leaving just enough to saute the vegetables. Add the bell pepper, onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onion is tender. Add the tomatoes, broth, olives, oregano, parsley and red pepper flake. Bring to a simmer. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and continue simmering for about a half hour.

Place chicken in a large serving bowl. Add a few splashes of red wine vinegar and cook for about 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat and add the basil to serve.

Linguine Aglio Olio

Excellent for traditional Italian Christmas dinner! Or, you know, anytime you want pasta.

Linguine Aglio Olio (Linguine with garlic oil)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 – 3 Tbs minced garlic
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flake
1/3 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 lb linguine
kosher salt

Heat the oil and cook the garlic and red pepper flakes over medium heat until just lightly brown and fragrant. Stir in the parsley and turn off the heat.

Cook the linguine in salty, boiling water until al dente.

Set aside a ladle full (about a cup) of the starchy cooking water, then drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the skillet with the garlic oil and parsley. Cook over medium until the pasta is well coated, adding the reserved cooking liquid if it seems too dry. Enjoy!

Personal Blog

Hi All!
I hope you enjoy the recipes! If you want to read about my random musings you can find me at
July 2018
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