Chef Chuck's Baked Pasta and Eggplant

Pasta e Melanzane

Baked pasta and eggplant is a wonderful side dish, or appetizer easy to assemble and so impressive looking. I serve this vegetarian dish on the table and cut slices for everyone to enjoy.

Baked Pasta and Eggplant

1 eggplant
1 egg
parmigiana cheese, grated
salt and pepper
olive oil
1/2 pound angel hair pasta
marinara sauce

Prepare sauce, cut ends off eggplant, peel and slice thin, I used a mandolin. Lay out slices on paper towels and cover with paper towels, let rest 30 minutes, this takes out the bitterness of the eggplant. Use 2 bowls, scramble eggs, cheese, salt and pepper in one and the other bowl Italian breadcrumbs, or panko. Dip each slice of eggplant in the egg mixture and then coat with breadcrumbs. Heat olive oil and fry 4 at a time and lay out on paper towels. Cook pasta till al dente, drain and coat with sauce. Use a small bowl layer the eggplant slices, and fill with pasta, seal with a layer of eggplant slices. Cover with foil, place the bowl on a baking pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, invert onto the serving plate, cut slices.
Ricette by Chef Chuck's Cucina

Chef Chuck's Rice Pudding

Budino di Riso

A creamy rice pudding, that can be served warm or cold. I used arborio rice which is an Italian short grain rice grown in northern Italy. Arborio rice needs to cook longer than other kinds of rice and it gives this pudding a bit of a chew.

Rice Pudding

3/4 cup arborio rice
3 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla,
or 1/2 vanilla bean
pinch of salt

2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter
raisins, optional

Heat milk, sugar, salt and vanilla to a simmer then add rice. Simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring often, add eggs and butter and cook an additional 5 minutes. If mixture is too thick you can add more milk. Sprinkle each serving with cinnamon and add raisins.

Chef Chuck's Italian Beef with Green Beans

Carne con i Fagiolini

Slowly cooked beef submerged in crushed tomatoes, and fresh green beans. Start this dish in the afternoon, and in a few hours you will have very tender beef. A heart warming dinner served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes.

Italian Beef with Green Beans

1 - 2 pounds bottom round beef
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1 large can crushed tomatoes
1/2 pound fresh green beans
2 teaspoons dry oregano
salt and pepper

Bring meat to room temperature, wash and cut in 1/2 inch slices. In a heavy cast iron pot simmer olive oil and garlic for about 2 or 3 minutes, remove garlic and discard. Season beef with salt and pepper, brown on both sides, add salt and pepper. Pour in crushed tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer on low for 1 1/2 hours. Wash and cut off ends of green beans, cut in half add to sauce. Simmer an additional 1/2 hour.

Chef Chuck's Pasta with Grilled Vegetables

Pasta alla Verdure Grigliate

A Spring time pasta recipe with grilled vegetables, fresh picked oregano, olive oil and shavings of parmigiana. I purchased this pasta while visiting in Italy. I enjoy the vegetable pasta this particular one is made with tomatoes, spinach and chili and it's so colorful. A light and delicious Spring pasta dish, perfect for Sunday dinner.

Pasta with Grilled Vegetables

1 pound pasta
2 zucchini, skin on, cut up in chunks
1 yellow pepper
1 green or red pepper
1 cup or so of cherry or grape tomatoes
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
fresh oregano
salt and pepper
parmigiano cheese, shaved

Cut peppers in large flat pieces, cut zucchini in chunks and place on a oiled grill. Add tomatoes to grill and brush with olive oil, add salt and pepper. Grill till soft and you see some grill marks, turn over vegetables and brush with more olive oil. Remove and cut peppers in strips. If using cherry tomatoes after grilling you can cut them in half.
Cook pasta in salted boiling water till al dente.
In a large frying pan add the rest of the olive oil and all the vegetables, and the pasta along with a ladle of pasta water, mix to combine. Season with oregano leaves, salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of olive oil.