Oh Look, More Pasta

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Happy Sunday, readers! What are you up to? Are you sitting on your couch while your husband screams expletives at various Dallas Cowboys from past and present? Is he nervously putting on and taking off a random assortment of Cowboys merchandise deeming them good luck or bad luck depending on the play? Has he opened your “special occasion” wine in a panic on a random Sunday night in order to deal with the stress? Is going on hour three of standing two inches from the television with his arms folded? Oh, just me? Hmmm.

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The Capitol Husband in his Sunday stance. Dez Bryant’s three drops not pictured.

So, yes, it’s true that the Capitol Husband arguably burns more calories watching the Cowboys than Dez Bryant does playing for them, but as long as we’re on the category of “Things You Didn’t Know About Your Spouse Before You Said ‘I Do,'” I thought I’d be fair and share one about me: I could actually, literally, eat pasta every single night for dinner, something poor CH likely did not realize until it was all too late.

In my single days I would buy blue box mac and cheese by the cart load. I thought it was normal to eat buttered pasta with an entire head of garlic for dinner. I actually would unironically eat the packaged Ramen noodles by choice several times a week. But now that I’ve grown up, settled down and begun to cohabitate, I realized I need to somehow combine my love of pasta in all forms with a more mature, more gourmet approach.

That’s where this recipe comes in, adapted from Bon Appetite magazine: Linguini with Green Olive Sauce and Zesty Breadcrumbs.

Savory, springy and lemony bright, this dish has complexity from the abundance of green herbs, brine from the olives, anchovies and capers, a salty, satisfying crunch from the panko breadcrumbs and a delicious, silky sauce. A perfect option for a satisfying but light meal, as well as a surprising feat from the girl who is mostly always in the mood to rip open a package of $0.89 ramen and go to town.

Linguini with Green Olive Sauce and Zesty Breadcrumbs:

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Note: Fresh herbs are key here; there is no substitute.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (for four):

  • 1 tablespoon plus ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 12 ounces linguine or other long pasta
  • 4 oil-packed anchovy fillets
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted, halved
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • ½ ounce Parmesan, finely grated (about ½ cup), plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

WHAT TO DO, according to BonAppetit.com:

  • Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a medium skillet over medium and cook panko, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to paper towels to drain and toss with dill and lemon zest.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
  • Meanwhile, mash anchovies and garlic to a paste on a cutting board with the side of a chef’s knife. Combine with parsley, basil, and half of olives and capers in a large bowl. Chop remaining olives and capers and add to bowl, along with remaining ½ cup oil. Mix well; season sauce with salt and pepper.
  • Add pasta and ¼ cup reserved pasta cooking liquid to sauce. Toss, adding Parmesan a bit at a time, along with more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Add lemon juice; season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve pasta topped with panko and more Parmesan.

 

Peace, love, Cowboys and carbs,

The Capitol Cook

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A Summer Tomato Emergency

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I grew up in Miami, Florida where the concept of “seasons” means hurricane season or not hurricane season. We routinely swam in our pool on Christmas day and my mom was ready to bust out the pumpkin spice candles if the temp dropped to a brisk 72 degrees. As such, I honestly never had a clue that people changed their routines at certain times of the year and that produce could ever be “in season” or “out of season.” All I knew was that our overly tan, always stoned gardener-turned-drug-dealer Bruce brought us weird, most likely illegal fruit from his yard (or from a bin at a 7-11 on Calle Ocho) all 12 months of the year.

So color me shocked when I moved away from Dade County and into the United States and discovered that corn, peaches, strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon were not only cheaper, but tastier in the summertime. Ignorance is bliss, I tell you, because now this actually sends me into a state of panic that I only have a FINITE TIME to enjoy these items that I otherwise never think about. It also leads to an overly packed crisper full of corn on the cob that prompts the Capitol Husband to declare, quite simply, “WTF is with the 12 cobs of corn in here?” and my reply of “IT’S SEPTEMBER, OKAY? WE ARE ALMOST OUT OF TIME.” He thinks I have been watching too much “Doomsday Preppers.” And maybe I have.

At any rate, it was an afternoon in late August and I was reading the New York Times food section at my desk, when suddenly I read that “The Time Is Right to Make Tomato Sauce.” Well, shit. This clearly could not wait.

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So, I did it. I bought 1000 tomatoes like a crazy person and squeezed the seeds out of them despite my Trypophobia and grated all 1000 of them into pulp. It smelled amazing. ‘This is going to be the best, most gourmet thing I’ve ever done in my life and The Capitol Cook is going to become an Internet sensation and I am going to get a book deal and be on the Today Show!,’ I thought to myself whilst grating away.

I followed the rest of the instructions and, because I am so skinny and health conscious, subbed a dainty portion of ricotta for six servings of burrata, poured myself a glass of wine, and dug in.

Friends, it tasted like Ragu…Prego at best.

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I considered lying to you and saying it was OUT OF CONTROL DELICIOUS, not that I’ve ever done that on here before or anything. But the fact remains that while I enjoyed it for sure, it tasted absolutely the exact same as any jar of spaghetti sauce that expires 12 years after you buy it, except this was more expensive, a lot more time consuming and did I mention the Trypophobia?

HOWEVER! I can honestly say there is a lesson in here somewhere and a making-lemonade-out-of-lemons moment to be considered. And that is that while I realized that making my own tomato sauce for pasta, summertime or not, is not worth it, what IS worth it is going through the same grating process to make Pan Con Tomate, which is DELICIOUS and is what I ate approximately three times a day for the six months I lived in Madrid during college. (Is butter a carb?)

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Moral of the story? When life cyber bullies you into buying 1000 tomatoes, make Pan Con Tomate, and buy the Prego. But in case you’re still interested, here you go:

NEW YORK TIMES TOMATO SAUCE 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 5 pounds tomatoes
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 basil sprig
  • 1 bay leaf

WHAT TO DO:

Slice tomatoes in half and squeeze out seeds. Using a box grater, grate tomatoes over a bowl on the largest holes until only the skin is in your hands. Discard skin. Using a large shallow pan over high heat, pour in pulp, olive oil, tomato paste, salt, bay leaf, basil and garlic. Bring to a boil then simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced by half.

NOTE: Mine remained very watery to the point that I regularly drained the water into the sink while it cooked. You may have to do the same.

ANOTHER NOTE: The burrata was the best thing about this. Screw the ricotta.

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Cheers,

The Capitol Cook

I’m Alive

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Hello, my dear readers! It’s been quite a while, and I know all four of you have been worried sick, but here I am. Nothing like a six month hiatus, am I right? An excellent way to boost your readership and gain followers, I assure you.

So no, after six months of silence I am not going to post about salmon and vegetables or salmon and vegetables or salmon and vegetables or chicken and rice or chicken and vegetables. I know you must be thrown off. No, instead, I thought we’d go with something just a bit more exciting so that you don’t unfriend me for life or, worse, unsubscribe.

So hang on to your hats, gang, we’re getting ethnic up in here!

Pad Thai. I actually never order it. But people who love it, like, LOVE IT, and I figured nothing is more interesting to do in the kitchen than cook something that I’ve basically never eaten and also probably won’t like, considering I hate peanut butter. In addition, what’s also a fun activity is making a dish with Sriracha hot sauce, dairy and an abundance of jalapenos on day two of being home sick with a stomach bug, which is what I decided to do.

As an aside, I think I must have missed some sort of universal memo about what to eat and what not to eat when sick with anything stomach-related. After spending two solid days where I legitimately could not walk or keep anything except small sips of ginger ale down, suddenly, the clouds lifted and I felt much better. Also, I was starving. Nothing sounded as good as Shophouse, because if a Southeast Asian street food-inspired American chain can’t cure a stomach flu, tell me what can. This is assuredly genetic, because while in the car to pick it up, I called my sister and had the following conversation:

Me: Do you think Shophouse is a little aggressive for my first meal post-stomach bug?

Hannah: I mean no I think it’s fine, right?

Me: What do you usually eat after being sick because I feel like we’re the only ones who do this…

Hannah: Actually now that you mention it, my roommates were really shocked last time I was sick because my first meal was a Chipotle burrito.

Me: Okay so I’m fine right? To eat curry?

Hannah: Yeah you’re good.

Capitol Husband was shocked and appalled by my choice to say the least, but man it hit the spot.

Anyway, the Pad Thai. I got the recipe from Peanut Butter Runner, the Internet’s favorite exercise anorexic, so I figured if it was good enough for her to take a picture of, blog about and then throw away, it was good enough for us to eat. PB Runner said this feeds four, so in real life that meant it’s enough enough for Cap Husband and me, plus a small portion for for lunch the next day. Gang, I am officially a Pad Thai enthusiast!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (as it turns out, a lot):

SAUCE

1/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock (or water would even work in a pinch)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce (if you don’t have this, just use 2 tablespoons of soy and omit the fish sauce)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons natural style peanut butter
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (if you don’t have this use white vinegar or 2 tablespoons lime juice and omit rice wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Sriracha or thai chili sauce (depending on your spice tolerance…if you know you’re not into spicy, go with only 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger (you can omit or use 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger if you don’t have this)
1 teaspoon minced garlic

PAD THAI

4 ounces of rice noodles, cooked to package directions and rinsed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large egg, beaten
1 chicken breast, cubed
1/2 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half
1/2 cup bean sprouts

GARNISH

Chopped cilantro
Chopped peanuts
Lime wedges
Sriracha

WHAT TO DO:

Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside. Note that the fish sauce SMELLS HORRIBLE but don’t let that deter you.

Cook noodles according to package direction. Rinse and set aside in a colander.

Preheat a skillet over medium heat and add oil. Add chicken breast and cook until browned and mostly cooked through. Push the chicken over to one side of the skillet and pour the beaten egg into the skillet in the space you’ve created and use your cooking spatula to scramble the egg in the skillet. Add the shrimp and keep cooking for about another minute.

Add the noodles to the skillet and then pour the sauce over the noodles. You might want to reduce the heat a little at this point to more like medium-low. The mixture will be saucy at first but let it cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. The noodles and proteins will soak up the sauce and it will thicken. Stir the bean sprouts in once everything has thickened and remove from heat. Use a pasta sever to scoop the noodle mixture from the skillet and into shallow bowls (or onto plates).

Top with desired toppings and adjust spice level with Sriracha.

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Sayonara friends,

The Capitol Cook

Spicy Shrimp Caesar Salad

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It was one of those days: warm, breezy, and the sun was just about to drop over the horizon, which I could see out of the window of my house on the beach. It’s afternoons like this that you just crave something as light and fresh as the nature outside.

Just kidding, it was a frozen effing tundra outside with icy stale snow on the sidewalk and a pitch black sky by 4 p.m. In between the honks and sirens I kept hearing from the traffic outside my apartment, and despite the misty frozen sleet that kept falling, I pulled on my stained Uggs and still-damp coat and made my evening pilgrimage to Whole Foods.

I needed something to pull me out of the winter doldrums. Something to make me think I was warm and not chilled to the bone, blonde-ish again and not dishwater brown, and full of something — for once — that wasn’t “hearty,” “earthy” or “comforting” for those chilly winter nights.

My girl Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere, a staple in my morning Tour de Blogs, came through. We are opposites in every way: Her blog is clean and professional, and mine resembles little more than a Live Journal circa 2002 (remember the emo girls who always had those? Am I the 2015 equivalent of the quiet girl in math class with blonde roots poking out of her fake black hair and Dashboard Confessional lyrics on her binder? Don’t answer that). She lives in Los Angeles, where it is always sunny and beautiful outside. I live in Washington with a salt-covered car and a federal employee’s salary. She has a professional camera and no sauce stains on her plates when she posts photos. I take photos with my iPhone 4s (as in “no you can’t borrow my charger because I still have a 4s”).

But despite our differences, we share a love for a light, crisp, briny Caesar salad. I mean really, does anything beat it? Topped with blackened shrimp and homemade, warm croutons, it’s enough to make you forget it’s January in Washington. Almost.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

For the dressing:

4-5 anchovy fillets

Juice of one lemon (her recipe called for two and it was way too tart in my opinion)

1 egg yolk

1 1/2 tbs dijon mustard

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 to 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2-3 heads of romaine lettuce, washed and hand torn into pieces

1 clove garlic, chopped

For the croutons:

A few slices of whatever bread you have on hand, cut into one-inch cubes

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

For the shrimp:

1/2 lb peeled and deveined shrimp (make your husband do this part because, ew)

Tony Chachare’s seasoning

WHAT TO DO:

For the dressing:

Put the anchovies, lemon juice, mustard and egg yolk into a blender and mix until all the ingredients are combined. With the blender still running, slowly pour in the olive oil. When done blending, pour the dressing into a bowl, mix in the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.

For the croutons:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Tear or cut bread into one-inch cubes. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil, then season. Bake for about 10 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the outside but still a bit soft in the middle.

For the shrimp:

Place shrimp in a bowl. Drizzle with about a tbsp of olive oil, then season generously with Tony Chachare’s. Place in a skillet on medium heat and saute on one side for about two minutes, then flip and saute for about two minutes more.

Assemble the salad and toss it with the dressing, then add in croutons and toss some more. Top with the shrimp while still warm.

Cheers,

The Capitol Cook

Boring But Important

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Every year in our stockings, my dad gets us a subscription to “The Week” magazine. In college, this served the necessary purpose informing me of actual news — not just my newsfeed — and teaching me the valuable lesson that there is life outside of Panehellenic Drive and University Avenue (who knew). These days, I like having it as a convenient recap of everything that happened that week. I especially get a kick out of their section called “Boring but Important,” where they go over the weedier items like what happened in the House or Senate, for example. (BORINGGGGG) (just kidding…I work there).

I had been meaning to blog about this recipe — we’ll call it “Asian Salmon” because I’m very creative — for a while, but there was just not much to say about it other than it is delicious and quick to make. So it’s a little boring, yes. But it’s an important recipe to have in your repertoire and is a good week night meal when you want something that is healthy but still has a ton of flavor. This excels on both fronts. See? Boring but important.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (serves two):

Two portions of salmon

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 cloves garlic, crushed but not chopped

2 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp ground ginger

WHAT TO DO:

Marinate all ingredients in a large plastic bag in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake salmon and sauce for 12-15 minutes, or until tender but still pink in the middle, basting it with the sauce every five minutes.

Serve with a side of steamed green beans topped with olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

Enjoy,

The Capitol Cook

Italian Chicken with Zucchini Fries

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I have owned a Kindle e-reader for a few years now, and the biggest difference it has made for me is that I now read significantly worse and more embarrassing books because no one can see the cover of them. I start out with good intentions in the Kindle Store, but inevitably I fall down a dark hole of browsing which, about two years ago, led me to the “Real Housewives-turned-authors” section. In turn, I not only purchased, but completed a book by Bethenny Frankel about how to be really skinny, or something to that effect. I’m not proud of this.

Basically the book is full of tips and tricks for how to never eat ever, but one of the biggest takeaways is that she said to never watch food shows on TV because it makes you hungry. This is literally the opposite of what I do, because I will legitimately plan out abundant snacks while I’m watching certain shows. And as last night was Top Chef night (yes I know it airs on Wednesday nights; we DVR, people), I knew I had to whip up something good.

Earlier in the week I bought zucchini with the intention of breaking out my brand new Spiralizer for the first time. This is a little plastic device that turns a vegetable into “noodles,” which I assured my husband we would use every night and that it was definitely a necessary registry item. But then a frozen tundra came to DC, and there was no way I was going to eat cold vegetables in any form– spiralized or not — for dinner when it was 10 degrees.

Alas, the Internet is a wonderful place and led me to a recipe for something I’ve also been wanting to try: zucchini fries. Basically you just dredge the zucchini in the flour-egg-bread crumbs mixture and bake it off. They were great dipped in a little marinara sauce, and went well with some chicken made with Italian flavors (we just baked chicken breasts with marinara, basil and Parmesan cheese on top at 425 for about 10 minutes). It was pretty simple and definitely delicious, and paired nicely with the gourmet meals the Top Chefs were whipping up (that’s a little joke…).

ITALIAN CHICKEN AND ZUCCHINI FRIES (Serves Two)

What You’ll Need:

Two zucchini

Two egg whites

1 cup Panko bread crumbs

1/2 cup flour

Garlic Salt

Italian seasoning

Olive Oil

Salt and pepper to taste

What to Do:

Preheat oven to 425. Cut zucchini lengthwise, then cut in half. Cut each half into four thin wedges. Fill a plate with the flour, another with the Panko and a bowl with the two egg whites. Whisk the egg until very frothy, almost soft peaks. One at a time, dredge the zucchini wedges in the flour, then the egg, then the Panko, pressing firmly so it adheres. Place on an oiled baking sheet. When done, sprinkle the zucchini with a generous pour of garlic salt, a bit of Parmesan and some Italian seasoning. Drizzle or spray the zucchini with olive oil so it browns on top. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until brown. Serve with a marinara dipping sauce.

Enjoy,

The Capitol Cook

Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Olives

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It wasn’t long after we got back from the honeymoon that I looked around at our apartment full of boxes of brand new cookware and got so excited that I knew it was time: I promptly cancelled my subscription to Brides and subscribed to Bon Appetite.

It was one of those life moments where you can feel a pronounced shift from one phase of life to the next, like the first time you rode your bike without training wheels, bought mascara from Bloomingdales instead of CVS or passed your fake ID down to your Little when you turned 21.

In short, it felt great.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed wedding planning as much as the next female Millennial with a Pinterest account, but there comes a point of over-saturation, where the thought of deciding between black cocktail napkins with gold foil font versus ivory napkins with emerald green font LITERALLY MAKES YOU WANT TO SCREAM. (Hmmm, maybe I am still feeling that).

Anyway, I couldn’t wait for my first issue of Bon Appetite to come, so I browsed the website for recipe ideas and landed on Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Olives.

I am a person who loves food with strong flavors: I love a briny Caesar salad with anchovies, a room-clearing pungent cheese and the strongest olives available. So when I saw this recipe, I had to try it. And you should too, because it’s quite simple and easy to put together but yields a dish that is far more complex than the effort with which it took to make.

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I love using my new toys!!! A zester….swoon. 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Serves Two

Two chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks

1 bay leaf, crushed

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

3/4 lb fingerling potatoes

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

Salt and pepper to taste

WHAT TO DO:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix the spices together in a small bowl, crushing the bay leaf. Cut the potatoes in half and toss with half the oil, salt and pepper, and half the spice mixture.

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Season the chicken with salt and pepper and the spice mixture. Arrange the potatoes and olives around the chicken and bake until chicken is golden brown and potatoes are fork-tender, about 45 minutes.

image (13)Transfer chicken, olives and potatoes to a serving platter or plates and top with lemon zest and chopped parsley.

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Enjoy,

The Capitol Cook

Nanna’s Famous Lasagna

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One of the biggest annoyances about planning a wedding is that everyone asks you constantly how much weight you plan to lose and how little you are eating. So while we didn’t go into starvation mode by any means, the pressure to be decently healthy in the months leading up to the wedding was definitely there. And by healthy I just mean skinny, as our methods of weight loss were very 90s, i.e. heavy on the things they tell you are terrible for you by today’s standards. Think spray butter and artificial sweetener by the boatload, which are full of cancer-causing chemicals but are also, I can attest, very effective. Apparently seven sprays of spray butter is zero calories; they don’t tell you how many calories are in roughly 56-78 sprays, which was my personal average when hosing down my entire plate of grilled chicken and steamed broccoli. I figured it was about 5?

But!! The good news is that soon enough you are married and you are old news and suddenly your kitchen is full of incredibly specific but also very fun home goods, such as a creme brulee torch and a lasagna pan, not to be confused with a pan that can cook anything else. So given the abundance of new cooking inspiration that my kitchen is now full of, I decided to bake up a recipe that is a classic in the repertoire of by grandmother, who is quite the character and is an incredible cook. You can read more about her here and here.

This lasagna is not for the faint of heart and is certainly not for the pre-wedding days as it is made primarily with hot Italian sausage and enough salt to float, well, just about anything. It is perfect for entertaining as it can be made well in advance and will feed an army. We got finished with it last night and had to laugh at the tiny dent we made in the huge pan of it, despite being incredibly full. Here’s to hoping my coworkers like lasagna….

Nanna’s Famous Lasagna

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

12 sheets of lasagna

1/2 lb lean ground beef

1 package of hot Italian sausage; about 5 or 6 links

2 cans of whole tomatoes

2 cans of tomato paste

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 tsp fennel seed

1/2 cup chopped parsley

2 tbsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp crushed red pepper

1 package ricotta cheese (I used part skim)

Two packages of shredded mozzarella

3/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 egg

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WHAT TO DO:

Remove the sausages from their casings. In a large Dutch oven, brown the beef and sausage with the onions and garlic for about 20 minutes, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.

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Add in the tomato paste, salt, half the parsley, the fennel, the red and black pepper, a half a cup of water and the canned tomatoes, crushing them in your hands as you pour them in. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low, covered, for about an hour and a half, stirring occasionally, until your kitchen smells like heaven and the sauce has thickened.

image (3)In the meantime, boil the noodles in a large stock pot until just under al dente — nanna’s recipe didn’t mention this, but I left them slightly under cooked since they will be baked off later. Spread them out on paper towels. If you did this well in advance, cover the noodles with a damp paper towel to prevent them from hardening and drying out.

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In a small mixing bowl, combine the rest of the salt, the rest of the parsley, the ricotta and the egg until incorporated.

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When the sauce is ready, it’s time to assemble the lasagna. In a 9×13″ pan, pour a cup and a half of the sauce into the bottom and spread. Then layer with six lasagna noodles, followed by half the ricotta mixture. Layer on another cup and a half of sauce, then 1/3 of the mozzarella. Top with 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan.

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Keep layering. Add the rest of the noodles, then the rest of the ricotta, 1/3 of the mozzarella, another cup and a half of sauce, and another 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Finish with the rest of the sauce, the rest of the mozzarella and the rest of the Parmesan. At this point, you can refrigerate until you are ready to bake, or you can bake it now.

image (7) Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and cover the lasagna with foil. Bake the lasagna, covered, for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

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If you don’t eat this with a crisp salad and a heavy pour of red wine, I don’t even know you.

See you on the treadmill!

Cheers,

The Capitol Cook

Married!

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We did it! About three weeks ago, on what was the very best day of my life, we got married surrounded by all of our family and friends. It was magical and wonderful and incredible and all the hard work paid off.

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Instagram photos will have to suffice for now until we get our photographer’s photos! 

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Then we spent a week laying in the sun like little raisins at the most beautiful resort I’ve ever been to. Do you know what it’s like to go from the busiest you’ve ever been to the most relaxed you’ve ever been? It’s amazing. We would stay on the beach or by the pool and watch the sunset every night. With views like this, wouldn’t you?

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After a long day of being horizontal and reading novels, we needed to regain our strength. So we ate food like this:

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Octapus carpaccio with lemon and chili oil. I mean…!!!

And this:

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Spiny lobster, the local specialty.

And this:

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Whole fresh caught red snapper. No words. 

And now, my kitchen is fully stocked with the most amazing pots, pans, tools, platters and dishes thanks to our wedding registry and the generosity of our friends that will certainly and hopefully elevate this blog to it’s full potential!

Stay tuned for many more recipes coming your way.

XOXO,

The Capitol Wife Cook

Baked Salmon with Brown Sugar Soy Glaze

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Nothing says food styling and blog-worthy iPhone photography like the Capitol Fiance’s green bachelor plates from Walmart.

It’s a Wednesday in the midst of the dog days of August recess. You’re mindlessly surfing the Internet and have checked all of your usual boxes of Internet surfing: your borderline pro-ana fitness blogs, Cupcakes and Cashmere, your mommy blogs, Who What Wear, your sister’s gorgeous Tumblr, Facebook x 4 and you even took the test to figure out your Love Language. You fear that you’ve gotten to the end of the Internet before 10 a.m. — a new record — until suddenly you realize you still need to come up with dinner for tonight!

Where to? You mentally dismiss Smitten Kitchen, because even though you admire her gorgeous photos and have a special place in your heart for unnecessarily long-winded food blogs, her stuff is simply too rich and sinful for your pre-wedding days. You head to Foodnetwork.com but feel uninspired and, actually, better than that, as if you’ve graduated from Bobby Flay’s turkey burgers and the Neely’s fried chicken. You pause, asking yourself, ‘are the Neely’s still a thing?’ You move on. Your Pinterest page is too annoying these days, and your stage-five obsession with Ina may have gone too far lately. A light bulb goes off, and when that happens, the answer is the same almost every time: Martha Stewart

Martha has you covered when you want something simple, warm, flavorful and satisfying. This salmon is all of the above, plus it is easy, folks. Trust me when I say preparation from start to finish takes a mere fraction of the time spent wasted in the bowels of the Internet trying to find it.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED (Serves 2):

Small portion (about 6 oz.) of salmon

1/8 cup of brown sugar

1 and 2/3 TBSP soy sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 and 1/2 TBSP olive oil

1 TBSP dry white wine

1 TBSP lemon juice, plus wedges for serving

WHAT TO DO:

Whisk ingredients together in a bowl, then pour into a freezer bag with salmon and marinate in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place salmon and marinade on a baking dish and bake for about 15 minutes, basting marinade over salmon about every five minutes. 

Squeeze lemon over fish and enjoy.

 

Cheers,

The Capitol Cook