Homemade Pizza With Burrata & Beet Sausage

Best pizza ever. I got these amazing beet and onion sausages from The Meat Hook, and the creamy burrata cheese and fresh ramps from The Brooklyn Kitchen. Two places you should definitely stop by if you haven’t already! It was definitely one of my favorite pizza recipes I have made so far. The sausage is so delicious, it has a subtle beet flavor, but nothing too wild. By the way, this was the first time I ever put burrata on a pizza, and it will not be the last. I was concerned that it would make the pizza watery, but it didn’t, it was perfection. And ramps… because it’s ramp season for only so long! Ramps are also called “spring onions” or “wild leeks” – they are in season for a very short time in early Spring, and people go nuts for them. They are from the leek family, but are stronger tasting than leeks and have a garlicky taste to them as well. Get em’ while you can!

1 pizza dough (I was lazy and got mine at Trader Joes!)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 beet sausages, casings removed (if you can’t make it to The Meat Hook, sweet Italian sausage would be a nice alt)
8 oz fresh burrata
6 ramps
1/3 tablespoon fresh Oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a large floured surface, roll out your pizza dough. I like to roll it out, let it rest for a few mins (as it will scrunch up) then roll it out again to ensure it stays on the thinner side. Set aside.

Add a little olive oil to a pan and cook the sausage over medium high heat, breaking it up into smaller pieces until cooked thoroughly. Pour out any extra oil drippings. While that cooks, get a small pot of water boiling, and blanch the ramps (whole) for about 30 seconds. Then remove and set aside. For the burrata, simple cut it up in a bowl so that you have smaller chunks.

To assemble, place the dough onto a baking sheet. Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil on the dough, then lightly salt and pepper, and spread on the pasta sauce. Spoon the burrata all over the top, followed by the cooked crumbled sausage. Finish with the ramps and fresh oregano. Place in oven for 15-20 mins, or until the crust is golden brown and the top is bubbling. ENJOY!

Homemade Lemon & Ricotta Pancakes

Breakfast for dinner always feels special for some reason! I came home from work today and was looking at a bunch of lovely lemons that I got in my CSA this week, thinking of what I could make. Then I was reminded of these amazing lemon and ricotta pancakes that were on the breakfast menu at a restaurant I used to work at in Rhode Island. What I loved most is that they didn’t mix the ricotta into the batter like most people do, but instead put actual dollops of ricotta after pouring each pancake into the pan. It’s so delicious when you get individual bites with ricotta in it. So, needless to say, I made enough pancakes for a (non-existent) family of 5, then ate most of them myself. Because I do what I want!

1 1/4 cups milk
2 eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (my go-to is King Arthur flour!)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder

Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. Place the eggs and milk in a large mixing bowl. Using a standing mixer, or hand mixer, mix on medium-high for about 3 minutes, or until light and foamy. Stir in the melted butter, lemon juice/zest, vanilla, and poppy seeds. Next add the dry ingredients a little at a time until fully incorporated. Let sit for about 10 mins.

Lightly butter a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter, then immediately place nickel sized mini dollops of ricotta into each pancake. Cook until bubbles form and pop, then flip and let cook for another 1-2 minutes. A nice little trick I learned from my dad, is to butter the top of the pancakes right after you flip them. This definitely adds some magic! It’s also important to cover the pancakes once off the grill to ensure they stay warm. No one wants a cold pancake! Continue with the rest of the batter. Serve warm with maple syrup. Sharing is optional…

Vegetable Samosas With Yogurt Sauce

Ever had a samosas? They are small triangles of love filled with deliciousness. And you can’t eat just one! I had about 5 before hiding them from myself – which never works by the way, because as the person hiding the items, you know where they are, so you end up being the “finder” of the items about 5 mins later. I really loved these and was so glad they came out as great as I had hoped they would. They were fairly easy, too. The most time consuming part is the fillo dough, but even that wasn’t too bad. The yogurt dip was an afterthought and ended up being one of the best parts, so glad I went for it!

The following morning I made some hash out of the leftover veggie mixture, and topped with with a poached egg. It was SO GOOD. Adding a photo of that as well, just to make you jealous.

2 garlic cloves
2 large golden beets, peeled and cut into chunks
5 baby potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (this is what I had on hand, but you can use 1 regular potato)
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large shallot, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced well
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Good pinch salt
1 box fillo dough, defrosted
Olive oil

For the dip:
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon lime juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the beets and garlic cloves in a large aluminum foil pack with some olive oil, and roast for 45 minutes or until fork tender. Boil the potatoes and carrots together until fork tender, then rinse under cold water. In a few batches, place the beets and potato/carrot mixture in the food processor and mix until smooth, but still a little chunky. Saute the shallot and ginger in some olive oil, then add the combined vegetable mixture along with all add all the spices, adding more olive oil as needed. Mix well for 1-2 minutes, then turn off the heat.

For the fillo dough – place one sheet on a flat surface and brush with olive oil. Place another sheet on top, and brush that with olive oil as well. Continue until you have 4 sheets total. Cut the dough into 5 longs strips. Place a dollop of the mixture onto the end of the dough, and fold like you would a flag (see below video after the photos!) Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and cover with a damn towel until all samosas are ready for the oven. This will help the dough to not dry out. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.

To make the dip, simply mix all the ingredients together. Serve with the warm samosas!

Morning hash leftovers with a poached egg!

Spinach Ricotta Manicotti

I’m so glad this came out great, because I was having one of those frustrating days where it seemed that the universe was testing my patience, and I needed the day to end on a happy note! The day started with me walking my usual 20 mins to the subway, to realize that I left my wallet in my other coat. Back home and back to the subway I went. Then when making dinner I realized I forgot to get ricotta, so I had to run back to the store, to soon realize that the ricotta I purchased was expired and moldy. Back to the store I go. So, I was relieved when this manicotti came out great. It was a nice reward for powering through the rough day I was having! Moral of the story, PASTA FIXES EVERYTHING!

1 box manicotti shells
15 oz fresh spinach, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella chesse
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon dried basil (I wanted to use fresh basil but the store didn’t have any, if you use fresh use 2 tablespoons chopped)
1 egg
24 oz jar of marinara sauce
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Get a large pot of salted water boiling. I like to add a little olive oil as well to help the pasta from sticking. Cook the pasta per the box instructions.

In the meantime, sauté the the garlic in some olive oil for a minute, then add the chopped spinach. Cook until the greens are wilted. Try to press out as much of the water as you can before setting aside, otherwise the ricotta mixture will be watery.

In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, basil, cooked spinach, salt and pepper. Place the mixture inside of a plastic Ziploc bag and twist so that you make a piping bag to fill the manicotti.

When the pasta is ready, rinse under cold water. I placed all the shells on a sheet of parchment paper to make clean up easy, and to help the pasta from sticking to my cutting board. Cut the tip off the corner, and squeeze the ricotta mixture into each pasta tube. Pour one cup of the marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, and arrange all the filled pasta in a single layer. Top with the remaining marinara sauce, and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling a bit!

Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese!