Larry’s Italian Wedding Soup

© Can Stock Photo/ bruhum

Writing is something I truly love doing. Along with writing Rosie’s Riveting Recipes, I write contemporary romance novels under the name Marina Martindale. Each of my novels includes a scene in which a character cooks something wonderful, and I include the recipe at the back of the book.

This recipe is from my first contemporary romance novel, The Reunion. I love Italian wedding soup, so Larry, a seventeen-year-old aspiring chef, has prepared it for his ailing brother, saying it’s his grandmother’s recipe. In reality, however, this recipe is my own creation. It comes from a combination of several different Italian wedding soup recipes, along with a little trial and error.

Gayle Martin

Larry’s ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

For the meatballs

  • 1 pound ground beef*
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead together like a meatloaf. Roll into small meatballs, about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until brown. Set aside.

For the soup

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium sized yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced (optional)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (optional)
  • I package of fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 10 cups, (2 1/2 quarts) chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (such as Chardonnay)
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 cup small pasta (such as stars or small sea shells)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (if desired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 12 ounces fresh spinach, washed and trimmed**

While the meatballs are baking saute the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, (if desired), and fresh mushrooms, (if desired),  in olive oil in a stockpot for approximately 5 to 6 minutes. Add chicken stock and white wine and bring to a boil. Once the soup mixture is boiling beat egg in a small mixing bowl with a whisk until slightly frothy. Pour egg slowly and incrementally into soup mixture, whisking the soup mixture continuously until all of the egg has been added. Add pasta, salt, (if desired) and pepper and allow mixture to simmer for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until pasta is soft. Add meatballs and dill. Cover and simmer on low for another 10 minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes before serving. Once soup is ladled into bowls top with grated Parmesan cheese.

* Ground chicken or ground turkey may also be used, or 1/2 pound of your favorite ground meat can be mixed with 1/2 of ground pork.

**Frozen or canned spinach may be substituted for fresh spinach

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes includes many delicious historic soup recipes. Please click on the link for a free preview.

Cover photo by Robert Resetar.
0

Alex’s Macaroni and Cheese

© Can Stock Photo / MSPhotographics

When I’m not in the kitchen I write romance novels under the pen name Marina Martindale. So far, each novel has included a scene where my characters enjoy a home cooked meal, and I include the recipe in the back of the book.

In my second novel, The Deception, Alex is reunited with Carrie, his long-lost childhood friend. When he comes to her apartment to prepare dinner for her, he makes his mother’s macaroni and cheese; their favorite childhood dish.

They say art imitates life, and macaroni and cheese is one of my favorite childhood dishes too. Problem was, I had no family recipe, and, ding, ding, ding, I’d been buying the prepackaged mac and cheese dinners for years. I confess. It was a bad habit I picked up back when I was a starving college student, so the time had come to break it. I compiled several different recipes, did some test runs and tweaks, and soon came up with a mac and cheese recipe that was absolutely delicious. No wonder Alex and Carrie loved it. You will too.

Gayle Martin

ALEX’S MACARONI & CHEESE

  • 2 cups macaroni, cooked and drained
  • 2 1/2  cups milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups grated Mexican cheese blend
  • (or 2 1/2 cups cheddar)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 350F and cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. While pasta is cooking whisk milk and sour cream together in a medium-sized mixing bowl and add seasonings. Set aside. Chop two tablespoons of butter into small pieces. Chill in refrigerator until needed. Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, blend thoroughly and set aside.

Layer half of the cooked and drained macaroni, butter and cheese into an 8 x 8 inch baking dish. Top with the remaining macaroni, butter and cheese. Pour in the milk mixture and sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top. Bake for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is crispy and brown.

If desired, ham or sausage may be added. Low-fat milk, sour cream and cheeses may also be used. Penne pasta may also be used instead of elbow macaroni.

 

Cover photo by Robert Resetar.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

 

0

How to Make Minestrone

© Can Stock Photo/ robynmac

Minestrone has always been one of my favorite soups, but when I did an online search for recipes I found so many variations it made my head spin. Suffice to say minestrone is one of those dishes intended for using up leftovers, and for that it works quite nicely. I can clean out my fridge and create a tasty dish at the same time. Best of all, it’s never the same twice.

As I created my own version of minestrone I noticed I used a few ingredients consistently. The rest was whatever I happened to have on hand, which is why I’m leaving plenty of leeway on my ingredients list.

By the way, Rosie, of the Rosie’s Riveting Recipes historic cookbook, would have approved. She never let leftovers go to waste.

Gayle Martin

MINESTRONE

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter (optional)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (optional)
  • 1 cup sliced celery (optional)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (optional)
  • 1 or 2 carrots, sliced (optional)
  • 1 small (8 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • Other leftover vegetables, such as corn, lima beans, chopped zucchini or cubed potatoes
  • 3/4 cup small pasta, such as stars, small shells, or mini farfalle
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 package of spinach, fresh, frozen or canned

Heat oil and butter, if desired, in a stock pot and saute the onion, garlic, bell pepper, carrots or celery. Cook for approximately 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add tomato sauce and broth or water. Stir well. Add any remaining vegetables, garbanzo beans, seasonings and pasta. Heat to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for twenty minutes. Add spinach and simmer for another minute or two. Serve with bread, rolls or corn muffins.

 

Cover photo by Robert Resetar.

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

 

 

 

0

Quick and Easy Spaghetti and Meatballs

© Can Stock Photo / pstudio66

I usually make my spaghetti sauce from scratch. However, I sometimes get a hankering for spaghetti and meatballs when I don’t have the time to prepare my signature sauce. This is when I have to get creative, and I’ve came up with a tasty alternative. This modern recipe takes about thirty minutes to prepare, and it’s delicious.

Gayle Martin

QUICK and easy SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1  pound extra lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 (14 1/2 oz) cans Italian style diced tomatoes*
  • 2 small (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • splash of red wine
  • one small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced**
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pasta

Blend bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, black pepper, egg and ground beef together in a large mixing bowl. Knead together until well blended. Break off small pieces of meat mixture and roll into 1-inch diameter meatballs. Place meatballs on a plate. Pour olive oil in a large, deep skillet or saute pan. Turn stove on medium and heat the oil for about two minutes. Add meatballs, onions and garlic and stir frequently but very gently until meatballs are browned on all sides.

Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper and a splash of red wine. Blend well, being careful not to break the meatballs. Once sauce starts to bubble reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If sauce is too thick add a little more wine or a small amount of water.) While sauce is simmering prepare your favorite pasta according to package directions. Yields approximately 24 meatballs.

*If using plain canned tomatoes add two teaspoons Italian seasoning to sauce.

**1 teaspoon of garlic powder may be substituted for fresh garlic.

if you enjoy cooking and baking please check out Rosie’s Riveting Recipes. This historic cookbook contains many of the recipes for the dishes our grandmothers and great-grandmothers use to make. Available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

Book Cover for Rosies Riveting Recipes
Cover photo by Rob Resetar
0

Lemon Chicken Linguine

© Can Stock Photo/ Max Payne

I have no idea where this recipe came from, but it somehow found its way into my collection. Naturally I tweaked it. ThenI tried it last night and wow! It’s delicious and very easy to prepare. Best of all, most of us already have the ingredients in our pantries. While it may not be a historic recipe, I somehow think Rosie would have approved.

Gayle Martin

Lemon Chicken Linguine

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 pound cooked, seasoned chicken cut into cubes
  • 1 16 oz package linguine
  • 3 tablespoons parsley
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

Heat lightly salted water to a boil and cook linguine for about ten minutes, or to package directions.

Heat butter and olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in onions and garlic until tender but not browned. Add milk, oregano and salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat back down to medium and cook for about five minutes. Whisk chicken stock and cornstarch together in a small bowl and add to sauce. Add chicken. Cook until sauce thickens, about five minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add lemon juice, lemon zest and parsley and cook for one to two minutes. Add drained pasta to sauce. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

 

Cover photo by Rob Resetar

Rosie’s Riveting Recipes is available on Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

 

 

0