Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli with Red Pepper, Ham & Parmesan – – Ready in 20 Minutes!!

Quick, Easy and Good!!

If you’ve been following My Yellow Farmhouse for a while, you know I call these types of recipes Quick, Easy and Good. And you may also know – at times when the ‘cupboard is bare’ – I make up with a recipe using whatever I happen to have in the house.

And – this is one of those recipes!!  Looking through my ‘almost empty fridge’ I scored some ham, a red pepper and a hunk of Parmesan cheese – plus a bag of refrigerated KANA brand Spinach & Ricotta-Filled Ravioli.  With the addition of butter and onion, I had the makings of a quick, delicious meal.

(I like KANA refrigerated pastas.  Buitoni is good as well.)

So, see what you have on hand.  Only have a green pepper… or a bit of leftover green or orange peppers, sliced those up  and throw them in.  Like a lot of onion?  Slice up a bunch.  Want a bit more butter… add it in.  Make this recipe your own.  I’m  just giving you a place to start.     PS  I highly recommend preparing this with ham because it adds  quite a bit of flavor to the dish.       ; o )

 

INGREDIENTS

Recipe feeds two, but is easily doubled!

  • One (10 oz.) package Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli, cooked according to package directions   ++ RANA cooks in 4 – 5 minutes!!
  • 2 Tb. – 3 Tb. butter
  • sliced red pepper.. about half a pepper
  • sliced onion..about half a large onion
  • 1 cup ham, cut into short, rather thin slices    ++ If you are going to use deli ham, have it sliced thicker than for sandwiches.
  • about a 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese   ++ Invest in a cheese grater.  Freshly grated Parmesan tastes so much better!

While you’re waiting for the ravioli water to boil, slice the red pepper, onion and ham.

Place 2 Tb. – 3 Tb. butter in a large non-stick skillet.  ++ TIP  Add veggies once pan starts to get hot. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until veggies are softened.  Add ham, and cook just until heated through. Remove skillet from heat.

Drain cooked ravioli and add to skillet.  Sprinkle on 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  Stir to mix ingredients – and you’ve got dinner.  Enjoy!

COPY - Ricotta and Spanach Ravioli with Red Peppers, Ham and Freshly Grated Parmesan - My Yellow Farmhous
Ricotta and Spinach Ravioli with Ham, Red Pepper and Parmesan

 

Celebrating Christmas after December 25th & a Recipe for ‘Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce’

Tonight is New Year’s Eve but my extended family and I celebrated Christmas yesterday – and a merry time it was!

snowmen-at-twilight-myyellowfarmhouse-com
Snowmen at Twilight – My Yellow Farmhouse

Christmas Traditions – making buttery sugar cookies with new & old cookies cutters.  (The angel and poinsettia cookie cutters were my mother’s.)  

Christmas, even though celebrated after December 25th, still felt like Christmas to me and my extended family two days ago. There were happy, excited children, brightly wrapped presents, rum-spiked eggnog and lots of food and Christmas cookies – plus love, laughter and Bing Crosby singing Christmas Carols.    ; o )

I kept the menu for our ‘Christmas Meal’ simple and did much of the cooking the day before.  I baked three French Canadian Meat Pies, ‘spiral cut’and roasted the ham and prepared Make-Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes. I served only one vegetable – Wilted Spinach with Olive Oil and Pine Nuts, which takes only minutes to prepare.

To nosh on while we opened presents I made a platter featuring good old deviled eggs, various types of olives, and sliced tomatoes & fresh mozzarella drizzled with balsamic vinegar. I also served a few old favorites like one we like to call Vito’s Dip, and Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce.  (I think my twin brother ate half the Ham and Cheddar Cheese Balls because he loves them and I hadn’t make them in years.)

Below my directions for making Ham and Cheddar Balls you’ll find links to Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies, Make Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes and a link to Fabulous Foods.com‘s directions for how to cut and bake a spiral ham.

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Ham and Cheddar Balls with Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

 

Oven at 350F          Bake for 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups biscuit mix – such as Bisquick   ++  If Bisquick isn’t available, check online for directions to make your own.  It’s easy!
  • 1 1/2 cups diced ham
  • 4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (16 oz.)
  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard    ++  I use GREY POUPON’S ‘Country Mustard’
  • 2/3 cup milk

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbs. brown mustard
  • 1 – 2 Tbs. honey

METHOD

Lightly grease a cookie sheet ..  OR  ..  line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, using a large serving spoon, mix all ingredients until well blended.

Form dough into 1″ balls. Place balls 2″ apart on cookie sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes.  Balls will be lightly browned

While balls are baking, prepare sauce.  In a small serving bowl mix 3/4 cup mayonnaise, 3 Tbs. brown mustard and 1 2 Tbs. honey until blended.

++  ‘Ham and Cheese Balls may be baked the day before, placed in a big ziplock bag, refrigerated and reheated on a cookie sheet for a 6 – 7 minutes at 350F.

Recipe adapted from Bisquick brand’s Holiday Ham Balls.

Directions for preparing Grammy Brouillette’s French Canadian Meat Pies

Recipe for ‘Make Ahead Loaded Mashed Potatoes’

slow-cooker-loaded-mashed-potatoes-myyellowfarmhouse-com

Fabulous Foods tells you everything you need to know to spiral and cook a ham.  My ham sure didn’t look quite as ‘pretty’ as this one, but it was delicious!

http://www.fabulousfoods.com/articles/957827/how-to-spiral-carve-ham

spiral-cut-ham-courtesy-of-farmpac
Photo courtesy of FARMPAC.

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Chocolate and Pistachio Swirl Cake

How the chocolate layer goes from the top to the bottom is a mystery to me!!

A dear friend of mine shared this recipe with me back in the 80s, when bundt cakes were the ‘in thing’.  Chocolate and Pistachio Swirl Cake  baked in a bundt pan does make a beautiful presentation, but I wanted something to bring to a Fourth of July picnic that could be eaten ‘out of hand’, so I went for the good old 13′ x 9′ pan and cut the cake into squares.

Because Chocolate and Pistachio Swirl Cake is prepared with a boxed cake mix, it’s really quick to put together. Once the cake was cooled and cut into squares, a little dusting of confectionery (icing) sugar was all that was needed and off I went to the barbecue.

3 - Chocolate and - Pistachio and  Swirl Cake - myfarmhouse.com

new type bundt cake pan
In case you’ve never heard of a bundt pan – here’s an example.

We had a wonderful time the Fourth of July at my cousin’s home on Lake George (Massachusetts), which a small lake and not the big, big Lake George in New York State.  And everyone very much liked what I brought for dessert!

Fourth of July - David's - 2016
Lake George, Massachusetts (USA)  Don’t you just LOVE having friends/family who live on the water AND who own a boat??!!

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Oven at 350F      

++  13″ x 9″ pan  (buttered & floured) – bake for 35 – 40 mins. 

++ bundt pan (buttered & floured) – bake for 55 – 60 mins.

++  Cake is cooked when it pulls away from the sides of the pan – and when a sharp knife (or toothpick) inserted in the middle comes out clean

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 yellow cake mix
  • 1 package instant pistachio pudding
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup chocolate syrup  ++  I use Hershey’s.  Be sure not to buy thick fudge topping.  You want the chocolate syrup used to make chocolate milk.

METHOD

In a large bowl beat yellow cake mix, 1 package instant pistachio pudding, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup water, 1/3 cup oil and 4 eggs for two minutes on medium speed.  Pour half the batter into buttered and floured pan.

++  To ‘flour a pan’, put some flour into the buttered pan.  Shake the pan around so that the butter is totally covered with a light coating of flour.  Turn the pan upside and hit the bottom of the pan so the extra flour falls out. 

Mix remaining batter with 3/4 cup chocolate syrup.  Pour batter on top of the pistachio layer.

Bake for 37 – 40 minutes (or so) if using a 13″ x 9″ pan.  (Oven temperatures vary.)

Bake 55 – 60 minutes (or so) if using a bundt pan.  (Oven temperatures vary.)

Allow cake to cool – in the pan – on a cake rack for 20 – 30 minutes.  ++  Allowing  the cake to cool thoroughly makes it easier to cut because this cake is very moist.

++  Here’s a trick to get that ‘dusting’ of confectionery sugar (icing) sugar on prettily – use a small strainer.  

small strainer
Photo courtesy of WebstaurantStore

3 - Chocolate and - Pistachio and  Swirl Cake - myfarmhouse.com

Got Leftovers? Make a ‘One Pan’ Biscuit Topped Pie!

Got Leftovers - Make a Pie with Biscuit Crust - myyellowfarmhouse.com (2)Don’t have time to shop?  Or, perhaps, its snowing and you prefer, like me today, just staying inside all snuggly?   Maybe you need to put a meal together in a hurry?  Never fear!! You can prepare a pretty darn delicious meal with whatever you find in your fridge, freezer or cupboard.  I promise!

Example, this yummy One-Pan Biscuit Topped Pie was prepared with leftovers and a few items I found in my pantry and fridge. Found – two cans of tuna, so that’s what I used. Have leftover chicken?  Use that.  Have leftover ham or pork?  Use that.  You get the picture!

What else did I find .. a can of mushroom soup and a container of turkey broth. I also had lots of all-purpose flour, so I decided to prepare a ‘One Pan’ Pie topped with biscuit strips, which I hadn’t made in years.

My friend, Chef Mimi, reminded me that leftover stew would be wonderful made into a biscuit topped pie.  Thanks Mimi!   Check out Mimi’s latest recipe – Thai Chicken Curry with Zucchini ‘Noodles’.

I believe the inspiration to top the pie with biscuit strips came from this recent post!

Follow this link to recipe for not one – but two – biscuit recipes!

USE - Southern-Style Biscuits No. 2 - myyellowfarmhouse.com

OK, now for the refrigerator.  I found some chunks of cooked potato and just a bit of fresh Italian parsley. So out they came.  ++ If you find some cooked rice or cooked macaroni, add that to your collection of ‘found things’.  I also dug up half a bag of frozen mixed vegetables- perfect.  ++  Now’s a good time to use-up any leftover peas or cooked broccoli you have lying around !!

Oh yeah!  I could already imagine the finished casserole coming out of the oven … the filling all hot and bubbly with lightly browned strips of biscuits crisscrossing the top.

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INGREDIENTS      Oven at 375 F

       Pie Filling

++  I used a 9 1/2″ cast iron skillet but any oven-proof skillet would work just as well.  OR – a medium oven-proof casserole.

  • olive oil – about 1 Tbs.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • about a cup of cooked potatoes — or rice — or macaroni ++   Use whatever you have.  And if you have more than a cup – so much the better!
  • 2 cups veggies   ++ Veggies should be cooked or you can use frozen, but uncooked veggies won’t work.
  • 2 cans DRAINED tuna  – OR – about 1 cup cooked meat or fish   ++ Again, if you have more than a cup, that’s fine.
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup  ++ Hey – it’s leftovers.. whatever works, right?
  • 1/2 cup turkey or chicken stock – OR – 1/2 cup hot water and 1 bullion cube
  • 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. salt
  • freshly ground pepper – to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt with parsley
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. browning sauce   ++  I use ‘Gravy Master’.  Browning sauce adds flavor and color.

       Biscuit Crust

++   To save time you can just drop scant tablespoons of biscuit dough on top of hot filling instead of cutting it into strips. 

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 cup CHILLED butter  (1/2 stick)
  • 6 Tb. milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • sesame seeds – optional

METHOD

Add about 1 Tbs. olive oil to skillet. On medium heat cook 1 medium onion, chopped, until tender.  Add 1 cup (or so) cooked potatoes, rice… whatever you may have.  Add 2 cups veggies, two cans tuna – OR – 1 cup cooked chicken, pork, ham, fish etc., 1 can cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 cup turkey or chicken stock, (OR – 1/2 cup hot water and 1 bullion cube), 1/2 – 3/4 tsp. salt, freshly ground pepper, 1/2 tsp. garlic salt with parsley, 1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce, 2 tsp. fresh parsley, minced and 1/4 tsp. browning sauce.

++  If you add cooked rice – or more of some of the ingredients – add a bit more stock.

Gently stir the ingredients until well mixed, lower heat and allow to simmer about 5 minutes.  Turn off heat but leave skillet on burner.

Got Leftovers?  Make a 'One Pan' Biscuit Crust Pie!   myyellowfarmhouse.com

Now for the biscuits – this is super quick and easy!!  In a medium bowl place 1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder. Mix briefly with a fork. Add 1/4 cup CHILLED butter  (1/2 stick), cut into large pieces. Using either your fingers or a pastry blender (a.k.a. a pasty cutter), cut the butter into the flour until the mixture looks crumbly.  (I recently learned its not necessary to have every single smidge of butter mixed in.  The biscuits are actually flakier if you can see tiny bits of butter.)   Add 6 Tb. milk and mix until just combined.

pastry blender
Pastry cutter

  

Don’t have time to bother making the strips?  Drop biscuit dough by scant tablespoons onto hot filling.

 

Place dough on a well-floured surface – either a dish towel (tea towel) or even the counter. Pat into a 9″ circle (if you’re using a 9 1/2″ – 10” skillet) and cut into 8 strips.

Got Leftovers?   Make a 'One Pan' Biscuit Topped Pie! - myyellowfarmhouse.com.jpg

Starting with the middle strip – ‘cause it’s the longest – place it in the middle of the skillet on top of the hot filling.   Add 2 biscuit strips to the right and 2 strips to the left of the first – for a total of 5 strips. Now add the three remaining strips diagonally to the first 5.

++  You don’t have to do the ‘over and under thing’, I just wanted to ’cause it reminded me of my Memere – who was an AWESOME cook and baker.  And she also had an amazing green thumb!

Got Leftovers?   Make a 'One Pan' Biscuit Topped Pie! - myyellowfarmhouse.com.jpg

Beat 1 egg in a small bowl and brush over biscuit strips.  ++  I couldn’t find my brush, so I used my fingers, which worked just as well !!  Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

I baked my ‘One Pan’ Biscuit Crust Pie for 22 minutes until the filling was bubbling and the biscuits strips were browned.  ++ I’d ere on the side of cooking the pie a bit longer if you’re not sure – just keep your eye on the biscuit crust to make sure it’s not over-browning.  Enjoy!!

I’ve got my Cranky Pants on at the moment simply because I spent the whole day trying to work on this post.  Between the site crashing and then not saving my work…. well, you can just imagine . . .

 The good thing is, I’m enjoying a beer AND I’m going to eat more of this pie!    ; o )