Do you know what one of my favorite activities is? Dinner parties. I like sitting at the dinner table but I love being behind the scenes, in the kitchen! Brunch, dinner, special occasion, I love them all! Guess what else? I can make much more than pasta! I can design any menu to suite you, your party and your guests and you don’t even have to lift a finger in the kitchen. Let’s get started!
I’m feeling the love people! I’ve had enough requests to tell me I better get back in the kitchen! Here and there, I will be making big batches of something and offering it to those who have subscribed to my email list. If you want to get in on the action, sign up!
Ricotta gnocchi is pillowy soft and is jam-packed with cheesy goodness. Their richness lends itself well when paired with a tangy tomato sauce or a peppery pesto. Brown butter is another favorite pairing, especially when you feel like spoiling yourself. But these little morsels stand up well just on their own too, maybe tossed in a little olive oil and some fresh cracked pepper.
- 1 package of Prairie Bella Ricotta Gnocchi
- Grape tomatoes
- Fresh basil or other fresh herb, chiffonade(sliced thinly)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Good olive oil
- Fresh cracked pepper
- To make the balsamic reduction, simply cook 2-3 tablespoons in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until it reduces by half. Once slightly cooled, it should be the consistency of syrup. Watch the vinegar closely though, as it's easy to reduce it too far and burn it.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Meanwhile toss your tomatoes in olive oil and a pinch of salt and cook them under the broiler until they start to crack, turning occasionally. When your tomatoes are done, transfer them to a medium bowl and add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Drop your gnocchi in the boiling water and give a quick stir. Let them cook and when they float, scoop them put with a slotted spoon. Let as much of the water drip away before putting them in the bowl of olive oil and tomatoes. Toss the gnocchi with some salt, cracked pepper and your basil.
- Plate them as you wish and drop a few dots of the balsamic reduction around the plate (a little goes a long way).
These made a great appetizer for my husband and I the other night. Our dinner reservation wasn’t for a while and we were hungry! These took only minutes to prepare and tided us over perfectly.
I have never met anybody who doesn’t love this gnocchi. Prairie Bella’s potato gnocchi is delicious no matter what you do but is exceptional when it is fried in a little olive oil and butter to give it a nice little crust. A cream sauce and some fresh Parmesan cheese is a classic combination but you don’t have to stop there! This dish adds the saltiness of prosciutto, the freshness of peas and lemon and, what the heck, the heartiness of truffle oil. Any of these ingredients are optional. I garnished this dish with some fresh pea shoots that I got from Wally’s Market garden.
- 1 Package of Prairie Bella's potato gnocchi
- 1 Package of Prairie Bella's Parmesan Cream sauce
- ⅓ cup fresh or frozen peas
- 4 slices of prosciutto, cut into strips
- zest of 1 lemon
- truffle oil to garnish
- Parmesan cheese to garnish
- pea shoots to garnish
- In a large, non-stick pan saute the prosciutto in a little olive oil. Add the peas and remove from the pan. In the same pan heat 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and drop the gnocchi in. Cook until they float and gently remove them with a slotted spoon, be sure to drain away any excess water. When the butter and oil start to bubble, gently add the gnocchi and toss gently. You want to cook the gnocchi in small batches so that you do not overload the pan. Let the gnocchi cook until they are nicely browned, then turn them to brown the other side.
- Meanwhile, gently reheat the cream sauce.
- Add the peas and prosciutto to the gnocchi. Zest the lemon over the mixture and toss lightly. Pour the sauce in a bowl and spoon in the gnocchi. Garnish with Parmesan and pea shoots. Enjoy!
If anything were to send me daydreaming back to Italy, it would be this dish. The ducks at La Petraia would lay eggs so infrequently that they were never planned into the menus. When one would magically appear, it would often be sent home with whoever wanted it. That whoever was always me. ALWAYS. Maltagliati (the pasta scraps – translates to ‘roughly cut’) and chard or kale were plentiful and were also often sent home with me. My weekly market trips always kept my fridge stocked with some sort of cured meat and delicious olive oil. So….I ate this at least once a week in some variation. Sometimes it was with a fresh chicken egg, sometimes with kale, sometimes with prosciutto, or bacon, or whatever scrumptious cured creation I had on hand. But every time, I felt blessed. Ahhh, be still my heart.
- 1-200g package of Prairie Bella's fresh pasta
- 4 strips of bacon or any cured meat
- 250 g fresh swiss chard or kale, washed a roughly chopped
- 1 large clove of garlic
- good olive oil
- ½ tsp white vinegar (any kind will do)
- 2 eggs preferably free-range and/or local
- Parmesan Cheese
- Chop the bacon into small bits and cook over medium-low heat until almost crispy.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
- Bring a smaller pot of water to heat and add the vinegar to the water (this will help keep the egg together while it cooks).
- Mince the garlic and saute with the bacon.
- Increase the temperature to medium-high heat and add the greens. Cook just long enough to wilt the greens.
- Cook the pasta to your desired consistency (1-2 minutes) and toss into your bacon and greens mixture.
- Add enough olive oil to coat the pasta.
- Meanwhile, poach your eggs. To do this, bring your water to a simmer(water should have little bubbles but they shouldn't break the surface) and with a spoon, stir the water in a circle and crack an egg into the center of the pot followed by the second egg. (Stirring the water before hand helps the white stay with the egg.)
- Cook the eggs for about 2 minutes or until the white fully congeals. You want the eggs to be soft poached so that the yolk can be used as a sauce.
- Gently lift the egg out of the water and serve on top of the pasta.
- Garnish with cracked black pepper and Parmesan cheese.
- 2 kinds of Pasta; spinach and regular, both made with local eggs and DayBreak Mills organic, unbleached flour, 30% bran removed. Fettuccine, spaghetti and sometimes Pappardelle are available.
- A variety of sauces that change often; Cream sauce, brown butter, chicken, lamb or pork sauces,vegetable sauces and pesto
- Ricotta Gnocchi and/or Potato Gnocchi
- Occasionally Ravioli, market ingredients, always changing
- Chicken cannelloni, made with organic chicken
- Lasagne; roasted vegetable as well as beef (made with local beef)
All of the above are hand made and lovingly prepared by Chef Lindsay Janzen.
Each of the sauces are designed to compliment the pasta. However, they are not the only way to enjoy Prairie Bella’s pasta experience. A drizzle of nice olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan is a simple, Italian pleasure. We recommend organic, cold pressed olive oil for the best taste and nutritional value. We will also be posting recipes to pump up your pasta by adding in personalized ingredients.
All of the pasta can be cooked from frozen. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add in the pasta, stirring gently to break up the noodles. Cook fettuccine and pappardelle for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes or until desired texture is reached and spaghetti for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes or until desired texture is reached.
All of the sauces are designed to simply reheat. For best results, defrost them in the refrigerator and heat them gently on the stove.
Each week, we hope to have different sauce options to entice you; cream,tomato, meat, pesto, whatever Chef Lindsay fancies!
Both kinds of gnocchi should be kept frozen until cooking. Either gnocchi are a bit delicate and their lovely, light texture will delight you. Cream sauce is a favorite companion to the potato gnocchi and brown butter compliments the ricotta gnocchi perfectly. Fresh Parmesan never hurt anybody’s tastes either. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and drop the gnocchi in. Cook until they float and gently remove them with a slotted spoon. The ricotta gnocchi should be served immediately, whereas with the potato gnocchi, you have 3 options; eat them, fry them or store them for later. If you wish to fry them, be sure to drain away any excess water. Heat a large, non-stick pan with 1 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp butter. When the butter and oil start to bubble, gently add the gnocchi and toss gently. You want to cook the gnocchi in small batches so that you do not overload the pan. Let the gnocchi cook until they are nicely browned, then turn them to brown the other side. This dish should be served right away. The third option is a great way to prepare ahead if you are entertaining. Simply, cool the gnocchi in cold water. Once cool, drain the water away and toss gently in oil. Now they are ready to be fried.
For best results the lasagne and cannelloni should be thawed before cooking. Preheat your oven to 375F. Remove the lid and return any sticky cheese to the dish. Cover with foil and bake until the center is warm. You can check this by inserting a knife in the center for a few seconds and carefully feeling the knife on your lip or finger. The small lasagne will take approximately 25 minutes and the large, 40 minutes. Frozen meals will take at least twice that amount of time. When it’s warm, remove foil and let cook for an extra 15 minutes until the cheese is browned to your liking. Let cool slightly before serving.
We hope you enjoy your meal!