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Chicken Milanese with Pesto Pasta
This is a recipe I make over and over again. Crispy chicken cutlets topped with an arugula, parmesan salad tossed with lemon vinaigrette and served with a homemade pesto pasta. Guaranteed to become a weekly favorite dinner in your house. Plus, every part of this recipe can be made ahead so its perfect for meal prepping. Pesto can be refrigerated for 1 week or frozen for at least 1 month. The vinaigrette can be made 1 week in advance and held in the refrigerator. The chicken cutlets can be frozen before or after cooking them and held for at least 1 month. Fry from frozen and finish cooking the chicken through in a 400 degree oven or reheat cooked cutlets in a 300 degree oven.
Escarole, Sausage and White Wine Pasta
I love making pastas that are simple to cook, in a short period of time, but still taste delicious and look impressive. This dish checks all those boxes; the Italian sausage adds so much flavor to the dish and works well with the slightly bitter escarole and sweetness of the wine. If you are timing this dish for dinner, make the sauce through cooking down the escarole and hold that until ready to serve. About 10-15 minutes before it's time to eat, cook the pasta and reheat the sauce and continue to follow the recipe from there.
Penne alla Vodka
Penne alla vodka was my go to order at Italian restaurants growing up in NJ. It was always a meal I ate out and so it felt like a treat. Once I moved to California, I loved making this treat for friends and family. If you want to time this pasta perfectly for guests, make the sauce stopping right before adding the pasta and pasta water. Pick up the recipe from there about 10 minutes before you want to serve dinner. The sauce will hold for up to 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.
Carbonara is the perfect pasta when you want to make dinner quickly and only have a few ingredients, you only need 5 not counting salt and pepper. Classically carbonara uses guanciale, which is cured pork jowl (its delicious) but if you can't find that use pancetta or bacon. The egg yolks make this so creamy and the secret to making sure not to scramble your eggs is tempering them with lots and lots of pasta cooking water.
Spaghetti and Meatballs
Spaghetti and meatballs is one of the first recipes I remember cooking with my family. It's the recipe I requested for every birthday dinner I had at home and its what I request now when I come back because its my ultimate comfort food. I like to make the sauce and meatballs and then cool them completely before freezing in quart containers. They defrost well and it lets me have my favorite dish whenever I want!
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