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tuna timbale
Tuna Spaghetti Timbale with Ricotta

beans and tomatoes
Green and White Beans with Tomatoes, Shallots and Sage

 

Menu Plan for the week of Sept. 20, 2013:  Tuesday's Recipes

Tuna Spaghetti Timbale with Ricotta
Green and White Beans with Tomatoes, Shallots and Sage

Cooking time:  50 minutes for menu      Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

         Not quite a Spaghetti Pie; not quite a Tuna Casserole.  It's an updated, combined, healthier version.  If you have a spring-form pan (like for cheesecake) you could use that, let it rest 5 minutes, and unmold for a proper timbale.  I don't bother...  The beans are for 2 meals.

Tuna Spaghetti Timbale with Ricotta                 Preparation and cooking time: 50 minutes
    Pasta and tuna, but not with the usual cheese-y sauce.  Half of the ricotta and egg work with the pasta to make a 'crust' and the rest of the ricotta adds a creaminess to the tuna.  And there's a hidden layer of onion and mushrooms....

4oz (120gr) mushrooms
1 medium onion
2 ribs celery
2 cloves garlic
1 tbs olive oil
9oz (270gr) canned tuna, drained
4oz (120gr) spaghetti    make a circle with thumb & index finger,  app 1" (2.5 cm) in diameter
3/4 cup (6oz, 180gr) ricotta
1 egg
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. 
Chop onion, celery, and mince garlic.  Slice mushrooms.  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, celery, mushrooms, garlic and sauté until tender. 
Put tuna into a bowl and break it up with a fork.  Add half of the ricotta and mix lightly. 
In large bowl lightly whisk the egg.  Add the rest of the ricotta, herbs and whisk. 
When pasta is done, drain well.   Toss to cool a bit (do not rinse) then add to the egg mixture along with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese.   Mix well and put into a glass baking dish (mine is 9 inches square).  Pat into place.  Spread onion/mushroom mixture evenly over the spaghetti.  Spoon the tuna/ricotta mixture on top.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.   Bake, covered with foil (or lid) at 400 F (200C) for 20 minutes.  Remove foil (or lid) and bake 5 minutes longer.  Serve.  

Green and White Beans with Tomatoes, Shallots, Sage                 Time: 35 minutes  
   In the winter I love to make white beans with sage; this is a summer version, adding green beans and fresh tomatoes.  Fresh sage is at its best right now, giving a 'fall' flavor to the dish.  This is enough for 2 meals.  

8oz (240gr) green beans
1 1/2 cups (15oz, 450gr) white beans, cannellini, drained and rinsed 
2 shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 medium tomatoes
2 tsp olive oil
10 medium sage leaves
1 tbs Balsamic vinegar

Top and tail beans... cut off the ends.  Cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths (4cm).  Chop the shallots.  Mince the garlic.  Roughly chop the tomato.  Tear sage leaves in half. 
Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add shallots, sauté until tender and transparent, about 7 minutes.  Add sage, garlic and sauté another 3 - 4 minutes.  Add both kinds of beans and tomato, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, until green beans are tender and done.  If they start to dry out add a tbs of water or chicken stock.  When beans are done, uncover, stir in vinegar and serve.

Cooking schedule: 30 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, pot and colander for pasta, medium bowl,
large bowl, medium skillet (used 2X), lid, baking dish

Put water on high heat for pasta
Turn oven on, 400F (200C)
Chop onion, sauté
Chop celery, add to onion
Slice mushrooms, add to onion
Mince all garlic
Add garlic to onion along with herbs
Open, drain tuna
Start to cook pasta
Combine tuna with half of ricotta
Chop shallots, sauté

Top, tail beans, cut
Cut sage
Chop tomato
Add garlic, sage to shallots, sauté
Open, drain, rinse beans, add to skillet
Add tomato, green beans to skillet, cover, simmer
Whisk egg
Add ricotta, herbs to egg, whisk
Drain pasta, toss to cool
Add cheese, pasta to egg, mix
Put pasta in baking dish, pat down
Assemble rest of timbale, cover and bake
   20 minute break while everything cooks
Uncover timbale, finish
Finish beans
Serve