Thursday, March 16, 2023

Italian Pasta e Ceci


Italian Pasta e Ceci

Bursting with juicy tomatoes, hearty chickpeas and tender pasta in a light broth, this easy pasta e ceci is the the cozy weeknight meal you've been looking for. The best part: it all cooks up in one pot in about 45 minutes! Serves 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 medium celery stalk, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ounce or 400 gram) can chickpeas,drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup dried ditalini pasta (or another type of small pasta)
  • Salt and black pepper, to tastes


  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. Give the oil a minute to heat up, and then add the onion, carrot, and celery. Sweat the veggies for about 10 minutes, until they begin to soften up.

  3. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute more, until very fragrant.

  4. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, chickpeas, and rosemary.

  5. Bring the liquid to a boil, reduce the heat, and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes.

  6. Stir in the pasta and bring the liquid back up to a boil.

  7. Allow the pasta to cook in the soup at a low boil until al dente — this may take a minute or two longer than the time indicated on the pasta's package directions. Stir the pot occasionally while it simmers.

  8. Remove the pot from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

  9. Ladle into bowls and serve.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Aldi’s Italian Marinated Pork Tenderloin

 There are many methods to cook a pork tenderloin. Grill, oven or crockpot are my favorite ways and each are pretty easy. With either of these methods I always marinate the pork for 8-12 hours, then give it a good searing, about 2-3 minutes on each side. 

Do you have a favorite marinade or do you try the store bought versions like this Italian seasoned pork tenderloin from Aldis? 

Always use a meat thermometer to determine whether your pork tenderloin is done. It should register at 160 F for the meat to turn out white. You can also cook it until the internal temperature reaches between 145° and 160° F. At this temperature it will be a little pink inside, but still safe.

I cooked my pork roast at 375 F for 1 hour. It ends up being 20 minutes per pound. Therefore cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast and your oven. Start checking with a meat thermometer after 50 minutes.

Sunday, March 5, 2023

Cheater’s Lasagna….A Monday Meatless Meal

 I love cheater’s recipes, making something delicious in half the time. With this lasagna recipe we switched out lasagna noodles with cheese filled ravioli. Not much prep work with this recipe either. Again I’m using Bertolli’s Rustic Cut with Hearty Vegetables instead of their original Marinara sauce. The thicker the better if you are serving this recipe as a Monday Meatless Meal. You can switch it out with their Bolognese Sauce with meat, if you prefer 

While it’s baking make a side salad and don’t forget to serve it with your favorite red wine 🍷! Buon Appetito! Serves 4 


Olive oil for greasing baking dish

1 1/2 lbs cheese ravioli 

3 cups Bertolli’s Rustic Cut with Hearty Vegetables 

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 


Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Grease a 3 qt baking dish with olive oil and set on the baking sheet. 

Spread half the ravioli in an even layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat for the second layer. Cover dish with foil.

Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is golden brown on top, about 10 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes prior to serving.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Bertolli’s Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

According to Bertolli this Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore is an authentic Italian cuisine that is light, simple and flavorful. Made with a few of Bertolli’s ingredients: Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil and their new (not in Meijer 😡) Bertolli Rustic Cut Roasted Garlic Marinara with Hearty Vegetable Sauce. You can’t go wrong. Serves 4 Total Crockpot Time: 4 hours high or 8 hours low. 


6 - 8 boneless, skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed 

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 teaspoons Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 large yellow onion, sliced

5 cloves garlic, sliced

1 24oz jar Bertolli Rustic Cut Garlic Mainard with Vegetable Sauce

1/2 each green and red bell peppers, sliced

8 oz sliced brown mushrooms 

1 cup pitted Kalamata olives 

2 tablespoons capers

4 springs fresh thyme 

1 bay leaf

1/2 lemon, thinly sliced 

16 oz spaghetti, cooked

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese 


Pat dry and season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet on medium/high heat add the olive oil and add the chicken skin side down. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and then set aside. 

In the same skillet add the onions, cook 5-7 minutes until translucent then add the garlic and cook 30 seconds more. Transfer to crockpot.

In the crockpot also add the following: sauce, peppers, mushrooms, olives, capers, thyme, bay leaf and salt and pepper, to taste. Stir to combine. Nestle chicken into mixture and top with lemon slices. Cover and cook high 4 hours or low 8 hours. Remove bay leaf. Serve on top of spaghetti with chicken and the sauce. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese. 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Italian Spinach Parmesan Chicken or Is it Chicken Florentine?

It’s close, but I think it’s a bit more thick then the creamy Florentine also we are adding mushrooms. I’m going to make a Parmesan roux with some Italian seasoning and minced garlic. We are serving 4, so I need 4 chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked in a large skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Check the temperature prior to setting aside to insure the internal temperature reaches 165F. 

In the same skillet add a tablespoon of olive oil when heated add 8oz sliced brown mushrooms, sauté for 3-4 minutes.

Roux ingredients:

1 1/2 tablespoon butter 

1 1/2 tablespoon flour 

1 tablespoon minced garlic 

2 tablespoons Italian seasoning 

1 1/2 cups half & half

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 

Roux directions:

In a large saucepan add in your butter when melted whisk in the flour. Once combined gradually add in the half & half whisking as you go to get rid of any lumps. Add in your Italian seasoning, garlic and cheese and whisk until cheese melts. If too thick add in extra half & half. 

Pour the roux over the mushrooms and add in the spinach. Stir until the spinach wilts. Return the chicken to the pan and pour some of the mixture over the chicken cook until heated through. 

Friday, January 6, 2023

Penne Chicken Florentine My Way

 Basically Chicken Florentine is chicken in a cream sauce with some cheese and spinach. I added some ingredients to mine as you can see in the picture there’s a big mushroom on top. I did cheat and didn’t make my own cream sauce I used a jar of  

Bertolli Creamy Basil Alfredo Sauce with Aged Parmesan Cheese, Made with Fresh Cream and Real Butter

that I found at Meijer. 

With this recipe I had 2 skillets and one large sauce pan pretty much going simultaneously. I started with the 3 chicken breasts I found on sale at Meijer for 1/2 price (4.26) because they were close to sell by date. And they were delicious. 

Cooks Venture Pasture Raised Heirloom Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast Fillets

I added a tablespoon of olive oil to the larger skillet, salt and peppered the breasts and cooked them to the internal temperature of 165f. In the other skillet I added a tablespoon and a half of ghee (or a tablespoon of olive oil and a 1/2 tablespoon of butter) and cooked up some sliced brown mushrooms. Now I cooked the entire package and you only needed a third of the 8 oz package. But it’s up to you how many mushrooms you want…make this your way.

In a 3 quart sauce pan add water and salt when boils cook a 1/2 pkg or 8 oz. of penne pasta for 15 minutes. 

When the chicken was done I removed it onto a paper plate lined with a paper towel to absorb any oil. Same skillet add the 1/2-3/4th jar of Alfredo sauce (wish I used more and I will add some to my leftovers), 1/2 jar of chopped Sun-dried tomatoes and a good two handfuls of spinach. Here I go again, I had spinach in a spinach and spring salad mix and I just used that. Just as good. Cook until greens wilt, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the chicken, mushrooms, drain and add the penne pasta and top with some dried basil flakes. Add salt and pepper, if needed. Cook until heated through, about 5-8 minutes and serve. Buon appetito!

Remember: 1 breast per person per serving. More breasts and pasta, you’ll need more sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and greens. This recipe took me about an hour.