All posts by mohsin

Recipe Ideas for Nino’s Fresh Made Pasta Sheets

It’s no secret that Italian cuisine is one of, if not THE most, popular cuisine in the world. Italian restaurants are on nearly every corner, and a meal with pasta is almost as familiar to Americans as burgers, dogs, steaks, and fast food.

Yet, despite our love for pasta, nearly all the pasta Americans consume is cooked from dry pasta not fresh.

What’s the difference?

Don’t get the idea that I’m knocking dry pasta entirely; I’m not. Dry pasta certainly has its place in modern Italian cuisine and in my home pantry.

Dry versus fresh pasta is not entirely a good versus better scenario. I’d liken it to, let’s say, enjoying both ground beef and a beef steak. Both are beef, but each texture is different, and each has its own subtle flavor nuances.

We’ve been making our own fresh pasta at Nino’s ever since our Clinton location opened in 2003. Our pasta is made fresh daily from a mixture of durum and semolina flours, eggs, and water.

Simple and 100% authentic, our pasta is extruded into many different shapes, including sheets that many people use to make their own homemade lasagna and ravioli.

Using fresh pasta makes lasagna a bit easier to cook because you can skip the step of boiling dry pasta to partially cook and soften it before layering it with the rest of your ingredients. Fresh pasta also has a particular “chew,” which I find adds that additional “stamp” of authenticity to homemade pasta dishes.

Of course, the only way you can make ravioli at home IS with fresh pasta and, for that reason, buying it already made for you is labor-saving and less messy. Win-win.

If you’ve never made ravioli at home, it’s not really that difficult. You only need to make a filling mixture of nearly anything you want, lay out a sheet of pasta, portion your filling in about 1 TBSP mounds about 2” apart from one another, and brush a beaten egg around the filling mounds and over the exposed pasta. Then, place an equal size sheet of pasta on top, gently press it down and over all the filling mounds, and cut between each to create separate ravioli pieces.

As far as how your ravioli looks, you have two choices. You can either use a ravioli tray mold (which will make your finished ravioli a bit plumper, uniform, and usually square), or skip that and just lay out your pasta on a flat table and go from there, cutting your somewhat-flatter ravioli into squares or rounds.

If layering or stuffing isn’t your thing, rolling might be an even simpler way of enjoying Nino’s fresh-made pasta sheets!

I’d suggest you try making Chicken Cannelloni!

First, buy one of our delicious rotisserie chickens, allow it to cool, and then pull off all the cooked meat and tear it into ½” to 1” pieces.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1 cup of ricotta cheese with 1 beaten egg and season with salt and pepper.

Lastly, have on hand some fresh basil pesto, some shredded mozzarella cheese, and a pasta sauce of your choice.

Lay out 1 full pasta sheet, and cut into equal thirds. Spoon approximately 2 TBSP of the ricotta mixture along the bottom edge of each sheet, and place some of the pulled chicken, shredded cheese, and basil pesto on top.

Roll each pasta sheet into a tube shape around the filling, and place them SEAM SIDE DOWN in a small casserole dish that has been prepped with some pasta sauce over the bottom surface.

Pre-heat your oven to 375F.

Pour an additional amount of pasta sauce over your stuffed pasta, and sprinkle with some additional shredded cheese. Bake until heated through and bubbly. That will take approximately 20 minutes.

You can, of course, make all sorts of different fillings to suit your tastes.

And here’s a short tutorial.

Pasta sheets can be used to cut your own wide egg “noodles” for all sorts of pasta dishes. They can also be fried in oil as an alternative chip snack.

If you’re in the mood to try something that’s not only unique but also authentically Italian, stop by Nino’s and pick up some fresh pasta sheets to create what I’m sure will be a truly memorable meal.

Winter Citrus Fruits and Spring Greens Salad with Maple Teriyaki Dressing

Winter Citrus Fruits and Spring Greens Salad with Maple Teriyaki Dressing
Serves 4
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  1. This recipe may entice you to try a couple of new ways to enjoy Michigan’s "winter-time" citrus fruits (grapefruit, oranges, clementines) other than at breakfast.
  2. 1 pkg. Nino's Spring Mix Greens
  3. 1 cup Citrus fruits, peeled and segmented (save the juices)
  4. ¼ cup Teriyaki Sauce
  5. ¼ cup Pure Michigan Maple Syrup
  6. 2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
  7. 1 Green Onion, chopped
  8. ¼ cup Red Bell Pepper, cut in 1" matchsticks
  9. 1 Tbsp. Fresh Ginger, finely mashed or pureed
  10. 2 Tbsp. Cilantro leaves, chopped (Optional)
  11. Salt and Black Pepper, to taste
  1. Segment the citrus fruits of your choice and reserve the resulting juices separately in a medium size bowl. Hopefully you'll have about a quarter cup of juices to help make your dressing
  2. To the citrus juices, add the teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup, green onion, red bell pepper, ginger and cilantro leaves. Whisk together well and season with salt and pepper
  3. In a larger serving bowl, toss together the Spring Greens and the citrus segments then dress with your Maple Teriyaki Dressing
Nino Salvaggio

Arugula, Orange and Fresh Fennel Salad

Arugula, Orange and Fresh Fennel Salad
Serves 6
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  1. 1 Fennel Bulb, shaved fine
  2. 1 Red Onion, medium, sliced fine
  3. 2 cups Orange Segments, fresh
  4. 6 bunches Fresh Arugula, trimmed & torn
  5. ¾ cup Slivered Almonds, toasted
  6. ½ cup Red Bell Pepper, julienned
  7. ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar
  8. 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  9. 1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard
  10. 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
  11. 1 tsp. Light Brown Sugar
  12. ½ tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  1. Trim off stem and bottom ½ inch of fresh fennel bulb, cut in half through the core and shave very finely
  2. Place in a mixing bowl with red onion, orange segments, arugula, almonds and red bell pepper
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mustard, salt, sugar and black pepper and pour this dressing over salad mixture
  4. Toss, chill and serve
Nino Salvaggio

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
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  1. 2 Lbs. Brussels Sprouts
  2. ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  3. 2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  4. 1 Tbsp. Lt. Brown Sugar
  5. ½ tsp. Chili Powder
  6. 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  7. ½ tsp. Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to roast at 375°F
  2. Peel the outer layers off of the sprouts, trim off the ends and then cut brussels sprouts in half
  3. In a large bowl, toss together ALL of the ingredients
  4. Lightly oil a non-stick sheet pan, then spread out the brussels sprouts, cut side down
  5. Roast in oven for 15 minutes, flip the sprouts to cut side up, then roast for another 10-15 minutes or until gently browned
  6. Serve warm
Nino Salvaggio

Honey & Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs with Red Skin Potatoes & Root Vegetables

Honey & Soy Braised Beef Short Ribs with Red Skin Potatoes & Root Vegetables
Serves approximately 4 persons
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  1. 4 Lbs. Beef, Short Ribs
  2. 2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
  3. 1 cup Sweet Onion, cut 1” dice
  4. ½ cup Carrot, cut 1” dice
  5. ½ cup Celery, cut 1" dice
  6. 1 each Garlic Cloves, chopped
  7. 1 ½ cups Beef Broth
  8. ¼ cup Honey
  9. ½ cup Soy Sauce, low sodium
  10. 2 Tbsp. Kitchen Bouquet® Liquid Seasoning
  11. Pinch Oregano, dry crushed
  12. Pinch Basil, dry
  13. To Taste Salt and pepper
  14. 1 Cup Rutabaga, cut in 1” pieces
  15. 1 Cup Carrots, cut in 1” pieces
  16. 1 Cup Red Skin Potatoes, cut in 1” pieces
  17. Roux (cook together over medium heat approximately 3 to 5 minutes)
  18. 3 Tbsp. Butter
  19. 5 Tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  1. Heat oil in skillet then sear the short ribs on all sides until well browned then place the short ribs into a deep, oven safe pot, with a tight fitting lid of the appropriate size to hold all the short ribs
  2. In that same skillet, sauté onions, carrots, celery and garlic cloves for a few moments to soften and then add to the beef
  3. Pour beef stock, honey and soy sauce over beef. The pan size should be selected so that the liquids just cover the meat
  4. Add Kitchen Bouquet® and seasonings to the liquids and cover the pan tightly
  5. Cook in a 325 F oven for three hours or until the largest piece of meat is fork tender being careful NOT to break apart the meat pieces
  6. After meat is tender, carefully remove meat from the cooking liquids being careful not to break apart meat pieces. Carefully trim the meat away from the rib bones and place all the meat pieces in deep sided service dish. Cover and keep warm
  7. Strain the resulting cooking liquids into a saucepot and add vegetable and potatoes. Cover and simmer until vegetable are tender (approximately 20 to 30 minutes)
  8. With a skimmer or slotted spoon, remove vegetable and add them to the reserved beef then skim off ALL the resulting fat from the surface of the remaining liquid and whisk in the prepared roux a little at a time, until the liquid is JUST thickened slightly
  9. Strain sauce once more. Adjust the sauce’s seasonings with salt and pepper and ladle the sauce over the meat and vegetables to coat
  10. Reserve additional sauce for those who would like more sauce
  11. *Additionally, if you love mushrooms, sear large diced white mushrooms and serve over the ribs or stir them into the sauce.
Nino Salvaggio

Savory Cabbage Strudel

Savory Cabbage Strudel
Makes 4 Strudels
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  1. 1 Head Green Cabbage, shredded
  2. 1 Sweet Onion, medium, finely sliced
  3. 1 cup Carrots, julienned
  4. 6 Bacon strips, cut in ¼ pieces
  5. To taste Salt and pepper
  6. 8 Sheets Filo dough (typical sheet size is approximately 10” x 12”
  7. 2 sticks Butter, melted
  8. 2 cups Marinara or Pasta Sauce of Choice
  1. In a medium size sauce pot or large skillet, cook bacon pieces until crisp
  2. Add onions to bacon and the resulting grease and continue to cook while stirring until the onions are soft
  3. Add the carrots and cabbage to the mixture and cook while stirring until the cabbage is tender
  4. Turn out the cooked vegetable mixture into a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and allow it to cool
  5. Pre-heat an oven to 400 F
  6. Melt butter
  7. Unfold filo sheets onto a flat working surface
  8. Lightly brush butter on one sheet then place a second sheet on top. Butter the second sheet also
  9. Strain off any excess juices from the cooled cabbage mixture then place ¼ of the cabbage mixture in a tube like shape along the bottom edge of the narrow end of the buttered filo sheets
  10. Fold the bottom edge of the filo dough over the cabbage and roll forward and away from you to create a large egg roll tube-like strudel shape
  11. Repeat for the remaining mixture and strudel dough sheets and place each, seam side down, on a non-stick baking sheet
  12. Brush the tops of each strudel with the remaining melted butter and bake in a 400 F oven until medium brown (approximately 20 minutes).
  13. Serve the strudels with heated marinara or pasta sauce
Nino Salvaggio

Sparty Chicken on a Stick

Sparty Chicken on a Stick
Serves 8
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  1. 2 Lbs Chicken Breast, Sliced Thin on the Bias
  2. 1 Cup Fresh Basil Pesto
  3. 8 Spinach Lavosh
  4. 1 Cup Marinara Sauce
  5. 1 Cup Shaved or Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  6. 8 9 Inch Wood Skewers, Soaked in Water
  1. Take the thin strips of chicken and toss with the basil pesto until well coated then fold each strip over itself once or twice and skewer with the point of the wooden skewer. Repeat with additional pieces of chicken until you have approximately 3” to 4” of chicken on the end of the skewer with about ½” of point of the skewer exposed.
  2. Grill or griddle the chicken until fully cooked over medium heat making sure the sticks do not catch on fire,
  3. Serve by rolling the cooked chicken skewers meat inside a spinach lavosh and garnish with Marinara sauce and Parmesan cheese.
  4. In addition, you may also garnish with diced tomato, shredded romaine lettuce and sour cream.
Nino Salvaggio

Butternut Squash Mash with Orange

Butternut Squash Mash with Orange
Makes approximately 4 to 6 servings
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  1. 1 ½ Lbs Butternut Squash, Peeled and Cubed
  2. ½ Cup Milk
  3. To Taste Salt & Pepper
  4. 1 Orange, Juiced and Zested
  1. Boil the squash in water until tender (about 15 minutes).
  2. Drain off water and add milk, and orange juice. Mash well.
  3. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with the orange zest.
Nino Salvaggio

Teriyaki Sweet Potato Salad

Teriyaki Sweet Potato Salad
Serves 4
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  1. 4 Medium Sweet Potatoes, Skin On
  2. ½ Cup Bok Choy, Cut in ½” x 1” Pieces
  3. ½ Cup Snow (Flat) Pea Pods, Cut in Half
  4. ½ Cup Bean Sprouts (Fresh)
  5. ¼ Cup Red Onions, Cut in Slivers
  6. ¼ Cup Red Bell Pepper, Cut in Slivers
  7. 2/3 Cup Teriyaki Glaze / Sauce
  8. ¼ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar or Lime Juice
  9. 2 TBSP Honey
  10. 2 TBSP Sesame Oil
  11. 1 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
  12. ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
  13. 1 TBSP Black Sesame Seeds (optional)
  1. Lightly oil the outside skins of the sweet potatoes and roast them in a 375 F oven until tender (About 45 minutes), the chill, peel off the skins and dice into 1” pieces.
  2. Toss the sweet potato pieces with the (raw) vegetables.
  3. Whisk together the teriyaki glaze, rice wine vinegar, honey, sesame oil and optional red pepper flakes.
  4. Pour the dressing over the sweet potato and vegetables mixture and toss.
  5. Sprinkle with black sesame seeds to garnish.
Nino Salvaggio

Ragin’ Cajun Potato Salad

Ragin’ Cajun Potato Salad
Serves 6
If you like spicy, if you’re looking for a potato salad with a “kick!” this potato salad will fit the bill and it’s a perfect for just about ANY barbecue fare.
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  1. 2 Lbs Baby Red Skin Potatoes, cut in half
  2. ¼ Cup Salvaggio’s Cajun Seasoning Blend
  3. 3 to 4 TBSP Vegetable Oil
  4. 4 Strips Bacon, Cut in ½” pieces
  5. 1/3 Cup Sweet Onion, diced ½”
  6. 1 TBSP Garlic, Chopped
  7. 1/3 Cup Colorful Bell Peppers, diced ½”
  8. ¼ Cup Celery, diced ½ “
  9. 2/3 Cup Mayonnaise
  10. 2 TBSP Spicy Brown Mustard
  11. 1 TBSP Salvaggio’s Cajun Seasoning Blend
  12. 1 tsp Tobasco
  13. 2 tsp Kosher or Sea Salt
  14. 2 TBSP Chopped Parsley
  1. Toss halved red skin potatoes in Cajun seasonings and vegetable oil and roast in a 375 F oven for approximately 40 minutes or until tender. Chill.
  2. While potatoes are roasting, sauté bacon until crisp then add onions, garlic, bell peppers and celery to the bacon and grease and cook one additional minute only.
  3. Reserve bacon, the cooked vegetables and 2 TBSP of the resulting bacon grease and toss with the cooked potatoes while warm. Allow this mixture to cool.
  4. Toss potato mixture with the mayonnaise, mustard, Tabasco and salt.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.
Nino Salvaggio