Thursday, May 10, 2012

Mother's Day Steak & Pasta

Mother’s Day Rigatoni
Serves 4 as an entrée or 6 as a side


1 pound rigatoni pasta
½ teaspoon salt (for water)
1 medium red onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
16 ounces fresh or frozen broccoli florets
1 small jar roasted red peppers, sliced
¾ cup whole green or black olives
1 cup Fontina cheese


¼ cup red wine
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ tablespoon Greek or Italian seasoning (If Greek watch adding salt!)
2 cloves garlic, minced into a paste
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey or 1/2 tablespoon sugar


To a pot of boiling salted water, add pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions or to al dente. About 12 minutes or slightly more.

While pasta is cooking., heat a large pan on med high with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Tilt pan to distribute oil and add onion slices. Sauté for about 2 minutes and add broccoli. Cook until florets are tender when tested with a fork, but still firm. Add sliced red peppers and olives. Cook until heated through. Turn off heat and move to a cool burner.

Make sauce. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Drain pasta well with a colander and return to pot. Add contents of skillet to pot and add grated cheese. Toss well, add sauce to taste and toss again. Serve warm.

Mother's Day Steak

Lighter meals are usually served on Mother’s Day, but this year I thought pasta and steak sounded like a good change up. So here’s the low down on a perfect steak. If possible, buy a good cut of meat. And by good cut, I mean, Rib Eye, New York Strip Steak, Sirloin, T Bone or Porterhouse. If you have to buy a lesser cut, then make sure you tenderize the meat well. I think 1 ½ inch in thickness is perfect. Most men will say 2 inches. Buy steaks with nice marbling. By this I mean with the white fat lines running about. This will insure the best flavor and tenderness. For seasoning, yes, I know you can buy all the bottled stuff with your favorite hometown’s stamp, but for me, it’s simply equal parts of salt, pepper and garlic. My Grandmother and mother’s go to seasoning mix. It still works for me and doesn’t cover the scrumptious steak flavor up. Finally, cooking time…well, here’s the old test method and the best one I know or use a thermometer. The hand thing is definitely more fun : D. I was going to try to write this method, but NO! Here’s a hand chart I found on line. Much less confusing.

One last thing. I love butter or composite butters, especially on steak. This recipe is simple and delicious for this meal of pasta and steak.
1 stick of butter
1 handful of chopped fresh Italian herbs (your choice), oregano, thyme, fennel fern, parsley
If you don’t have fresh herbs where you are, then 1 tablespoon or to taste of dry Italian herbs will work just fine.

Mix ingredients together. Spoon down the center of a piece of wax paper and roll into a sausage. Freeze until ready to use.  Slice into coins and serve atop steak.

So this just about wraps up my extensive steak knowledge. NOT! Well, this is the best I can do, so get a good steak and enjoy it!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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