Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Italian Broiled Scallops with Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon and Black Olive Relish


This Broiled Scallops with Apple-Wood Smoked Bacon makes an excellent appetizer or entree. If serving as an appetizer use skewers instead of toothpicks. Appetizers like antipasto platters include seafood along with cheeses, marinated or grilled vegetables, smoked meats and olives. Did you know that antipasto means “before the pasta” and are traditionally served before a hearty pasta course. If serving as an entree include a pasta side dish, salad, bruschetta bread and your favorite white wine. Why bruschetta bread this recipe also includes a black olive relish! Enjoy! Serves 4, 3 scallops per serving. 


6 slices of apple-wood smoked bacon, cut in half 

12 large scallops, patted dry

1 tablespoon lemon zest 

1 sprig rosemary, minced 

1/3 cup black olives, pitted and chopped 

2 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons capers, drained

1 clove garlic, minced 

2 tablespoons fresh chives or 2 teaspoons dried chives *tip 1 tablespoon of fresh = 1 teaspoon dried

Extra-virgin olive oil 


Preheat oven to 350. Place bacon on a baking sheet and precook 5 minutes. You want it to be almost done, but still flexible. Drain on a paper towel. Discard grease or if you are serving a salad you might want to make a warm bacon dressing. Drain grease into a small skillet, set aside. 

On a flat workable surface lay scallops out evenly and sprinkle with the lemon zest and rosemary. Wrap each scallop with bacon and secure with a toothpick. 

In a small bowl combine the olives, tomatoes, capers, garlic and 1 tablespoon freshly chopped chives or 1 teaspoon dried chives. Add in 2 tablespoons olive oil to glaze the mixture together. 

Turn oven on broil. Brush each scallop with olive oil and lay them on a baking sheet. Boil 1-2 minutes on each side or in a hot nonstick skillet. Until slightly caramelized. Serve with a dollop of olive relish for your bruschetta bread. Sprinkle on the remaining chives, optional. 

Warm Bacon Vinaigrette: 

In your small skillet with bacon grease heat up on medium heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (depending on how much bacon grease you have it should be close to even) and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard. Stir. Taste test if needs adjusting. Pour immediately on salad. 

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.