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Carpese Chicken Breasts

This is a guaranteed way to cook chicken breasts that will turn out juicy, tender and delicious. The cheese and tomatoes create a moist and flavorful filling enhanced by the basil leaves. 

Resist the urge to over-stuff the breasts. All that extra filling looks beautiful,but most of it will wind up in the bottom of the pan. You should be able to close the pocket and secure it with a toothpick or two.

Searing over high heat insures a nice light crust without the need for breading. The oven finishes the cooking process quickly and evenly.

This is a time when a meat thermometer becomes your best friend. Check at the 15 minute mark. Once it is flirting with 140 degrees remove it from the oven. It will continue to cook as you garnish it with the pesto.

This will lend itself to any filling you can dream up. Just keep the filling moist and the amount in moderation. 

Carpese Chicken Breasts
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Servings
2
Servings
2
Carpese Chicken Breasts
Print Recipe
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven heats prepare the chicken
  2. Carefully cut a pocket in each of the chicken breasts. Do this at the thickest part being careful not to cut completely through.
  3. Fill each breast pocket with half of the tomatoes, 1/2 ounce of cheese, and 4 of the basil leaves. Gently pull the pocket closed and secure it with tooth picks,
  4. Heat an over proof skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and heat until it begins to ripple.
  5. Sprinkle the Italian herb blend evenly over the chicken. Carefully place the chicken in the skillet. Brown for 3 minutes, turn the breasts, and brown the other side 3 minutes more.
  6. Carefully pour in the chicken stock and transfer to the oven.
  7. Bake 10 minutes. Add the remaining cheese to the top of the chicken and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness (140 degrees).
  8. Remove the chicken to serving plates. Pour a little of the pan drippings over the chicken. divide the pesto evenly on top of the chicken and serve.
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Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Pizza

Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Pizza
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This is a great recipe for the grill, but it can also be done in the oven.
Servings
2
Servings
2
Roasted Tomato and Ricotta Pizza
Print Recipe
This is a great recipe for the grill, but it can also be done in the oven.
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Slice the tomatoes in half. Toss on a foil lined sheet pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 425 for 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the ricotta, pesto, half & half, and Romano cheese. Set aside.
  3. Heat the grill . Place the nan bread on the grill to toast one side (2 - 3 minutes). remove from the grill.
  4. Spread the toasted side of the bread with the ricotta mixture and top each bread with the tomatoes. Divide the Italian blend and feta cheeses evenly between the two breads.
  5. Grill covered for 7 - 10 minutes until the cheese begins to melt and the bread is golden brown.
  6. Remove from grill. Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with the shredded basil. Serve.
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Artichoke Lasagna

Artichoke Lasagna
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Artichoke Lasagna
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Servings
6
Servings
6
Ingredients
Bechamel Sauce
Lasagna
Servings:
Instructions
Bechamel sauce
  1. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Add the flour and cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes or so. Add the milk slowly whisking constantly to keep things smooth.
  2. Bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Set aside in a warm place. If sauce gets too thick add a little more half & half.
Lasagna
  1. Cook the lasagna according to the package directions. Drain well and lay out on wax or parchment paper. Prepare the filling while the pasta cooks.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the bell peppers and mushrooms and cook another 3 minutes. Stir often during this step to insure everything is softening.
  3. Add the garlic and artichoke hearts and cook 3 minutes more or until everything is soft, fragrant, and lightly browned. Allow to cool before adding to the other filling ingredients.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, pesto, and 1/3 cup of the Italian Cheese Blend. Mix everything together. Add the cooled vegetables and stir it all together.
  5. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Place 2 lasagna noodles in the bottom of the dish. Spread half of the filling evenly over the noodles. Sprinkle with a little of the remaining cheese blend and drizzle a tablespoon or two of the Bechamel over the layer.
  6. Repeat the process with two more noodles and the other half of the filling. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with sauce as for the first layer.
  7. Top with the remaining two noodles. Spread the rest of the Bechamel sauce on top and sprinkle with the last of the cheese blend.
  8. Cover loosely with foil and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Check to see if things are beginning to bubble. If not cover and bake another 5 minutes or so.
  9. When the lasagna is bubbly, remove the foil and raise the oven to broil. Broil the lasagna for 3 - 4 minutes or until it is lightly golden brown and even more bubbly.
  10. Allow to rest 10 -15 minutes before cutting and serving.
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Italian Tomato Soup with Farro and Cannellini Beans

Italian Tomato Soup with Farro and Cannellini Beans
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Italian Tomato Soup with Farro and Cannellini Beans
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Servings
4
Servings
4
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
Farro
  1. Toast the farro: Rinse 1/2 cup farro and allow to dry. Place the farro in a dry fry pan. Turn heat on stove to medium and toast the farro, stirring frequently until it is golden and fragrantly nutty, 10 -15 minutes
  2. Bring 2 cups of water (or broth) to a boil. Stir in the toasted farro and return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until most of the liquid is absorbed, 30 minutes or so. The farro should be chewy but tender. Drain any remaining liquid and set aside.
Soup
  1. Heat a soup pot over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir to coat with the oil and cook for 5 minutes or so until the onion begins to soften.
  2. Stir in the stock, tomatoes, Italian Seasoning, and Marsala. Bring up to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for 20 - 30 minutes. Use a potato masher to create a chunky soup. Hit it with the immersion blender if you want it smooth.
  3. Stir in the farro and beans. Simmer for a little longer; 15 minutes is about right.
  4. Ladle into soup bowls and garnish with the pesto and croutons if desired.
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Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu: Italian Style

Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu: Italian Style
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Servings
2
Servings
2
Grilled Chicken Cordon Bleu: Italian Style
Print Recipe
Servings
2
Servings
2
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Place the chicken in a zip top bag. Mix together the lemon juice, grated garlic, chopped onion, one teaspoon of the herb seasoning, and one tablespoon of the olive oil. Pour into the bag with the chicken squeeze and turn the bag to coat the chicken evenly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  2. Remove the chicken from the bag and place on a hot grill. Grill until lightly browned. Turn and grill until the second side matches the first.
  3. Remove the chicken from the grill and lay three sage leaves on each breast. Top with a slice of the cheese and wrap with the prosciutto. Return the chicken to the grill cheese side up and cook for a few minutes to melt the cheese and crisp up the prosciutto.
  4. While the chicken is grilling, combine the zucchini, onions and the remaining olive oil and herb blend in a baking dish. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes.
  5. Top the zucchini with the Romano cheese and broil until the cheese is golden. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.
  6. Top each chicken breast with 1 tablespoon of the pesto. Plate it up and serve.
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