Nino’s Lenten Recipes Package # 2

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It’s mid-March and time once again for another installment of my Lenten entrée favorites.

These three recipes showcase three unique ways to create meatless dinners for your family, and each highlights a particular product at Nino’s of which we’re very proud.

And after Easter, keep in mind that ANY day is a great day to enjoy one of these delicious recipes.

My 3-Cheese Ricotta Torte shows off another great way to use Nino’s fabulous Artisan Pizza Dough while highlighting a few items from our Cheese Department.

It’s a pizza-like torte, which is full of authentic Italian flavors.

3-Cheese Ricotta Torte with Basil & Roma Tomato

Serves 4

1 Package Nino’s Fresh Artisan Pizza Dough
1 ½ Cups Fresh Ricotta Cheese, Well Drained
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, Shredded
½ Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
3 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced ¼”
½ Cup Fresh Basil Leaves, Torn
1 Extra Large Egg
1 Extra Large Egg Yolk
To Taste Salt & Pepper
To Taste Dry, Crushed Oregano
As Needed Fine Corn Meal

1. Preheat oven to 400 F to 450 F.
2. Divide pizza dough in half, and then roll out one piece of the dough into a round shape, approximately 12 inches in diameter (like a pizza).
3. Lightly sprinkle approximately ¼ cup of fine cornmeal on a nonstick cookie sheet and place the dough on the pan, reshaping to the round 12-inch diameter shape.
4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, and then fold in the three cheeses and the torn basil pieces.
5. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and then turn out onto the center of the dough round.
6. Carefully spread the mixture within 1 inch of the edge only.
7. Arrange tomato slices over the top of the cheese as if they were pepperoni slices.
8. Slightly sprinkle with crushed oregano and bake at 400 to 450 F approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese filling has firmed and is  lightly colored.
9. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 3 to 5 minutes and cut into wedges and serve.
10. NOTE: Remaining pizza dough can be wrapped and frozen for later use. To reuse, just thaw in the refrigerator overnight, and then allow to rest (covered) at room temperature for 1 hour.

Mushrooms, pasta and crab just go together. This recipe uses Cibo-brand Basil Pesto, which you can find in the refrigerated Italian products section of our stores. It’s one of the best-tasting Basil Pesto products I’ve tasted.

Don’t get hung up on Angel Hair pasta; just about any pasta will do.

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Gratin with Crab & Pesto Pasta

Serves 4

4 – 4” Portobello Mushroom Caps
1 Cup Pasteurized Crab Meat
½ Lb Angel Hair Pasta
As Needed Boiling Salted Water
½ Cup Basil Pesto (Cibo Brand or other)
1 Cup Salvaggio’s Italian Bread Crumbs
½ Stick Salted Butter, Melted
½ Cup Asiago Cheese, Shredded
To Taste Salt & Pepper

Optional Salvaggio’s Vodka Sauce or Palomino Sauce

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Lightly spray a cookie sheet with vegetable spray and place the Portobello mushroom caps (cup side up) on the pan.
3. Season the inside of the cups with salt & pepper.
4. Cook the angel hair pasta in boiling salted water until JUST al dente, and then rinse in cold water. (Be careful NOT to overcook the pasta.
5. Place the chilled pasta in a medium-sized mixing bowl and add the basil pesto. Gently toss together until the pesto is evenly mixed into the pasta.
6. Place approximately ¼ cup of crab meat in the cavity of each mushroom cap.
7. Divide the pesto pasta in four equal portions and add each portion carefully on top of the crab meat, staying within the edge of the mushroom cap.
8. Mix together the butter and the bread crumbs, and divide equally on top of the pesto pasta mounds.
9. Sprinkle the top of the crumbs with the Asiago cheese shreds and place the mushrooms in the oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until the mushroom is slightly tender and the bread crumbs and cheese gratin is golden brown.
10. Serve with optional sauce. Marinara or Palomino Sauce is suggested.

Fish Tacos are very popular nowadays. This recipe showcases some of the many delicious choices you have in our Seafood Department and is served not as a Taco but as a salad.

Fish “Taco” Salad

Serves 6

1 ½ Lb Boneless, Skinless Fish (Cod, Haddock, Tilapia, Orange Roughy or other…)
2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
1 -1oz pkg Lawry’s ® Taco Seasoning

1 Head Iceberg Lettuce, Chopped
3 Roma Tomatoes, Chopped
¼ Cup Black Olives, Drained & Sliced
1 Cup Monterey Jack / Cheddar Cheese Shredded
½ Cup Black Beans, Cooked, Rinsed
2 Cups Corn Tortilla Chips, Broken
½ Cup Sour Cream
2 TBSP Cilantro, Chopped
Optional Avocado, Peeled, Seeded, Chopped

1. Dice fish in 1-inch pieces, toss with taco seasonings, and then sauté in a non-stick skillet with the vegetable oil.
2. Cool fish and place in a large mixing bowl.
3. Toss seasoned fish with iceberg lettuce and ½ of the tomatoes, olives, black beans and broken tortilla chips.
4. Place tossed mixture in a service bowl and garnish with remaining ingredients.
5. Serve chilled.

What are your favorite meals to cook during Lent? Share with me in the comments below!