Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Progressive Dinner Party

Happy Holidays, one and all! As busy and hectic as the holiday season gets, one thing we all look forward to is good food with good family and friends. That is the purpose of this Progressive Dinner Party. I hope you find some great recipes you may even want to try this year. Thanks to Nicole at Linus's Blanket, for organizing this. You should have just come from Notes From The North where you were treated to a recipe for Meatballs with Homemade Lingonberry Jam. What a treat!

I'm going to pick up the round of holiday recipes in this wonderful Progressive Dinner Party and offer up some delicious vegetarian fare. Tonight I'm sharing the recipes for Vino Marinara Pasta and 3-Cheese Spinach Quiche.

If any of you are familiar with my character Sophia Stone (yes, HER), you may recognize this pasta sauce as the very one Sophia made during her sojourn to Positano, Italy! Oh, yes: Sophia's ability to make this sauce is what allowed her to be useful in the bistro of Mystery Woman (no spoilers!) which of course put her in line to meet Mystery Man (no spoilers!) which as readers may know, sort of saved her life.

But, enough! (Isn't it just like Sophia to always try and steal the limelight for herself??) Let's get on with the party! Readers and guests, esteemed fellow bloggers and cherished friends, I give you...

Vino Marinara Pasta



3 TB olive oil (extra-virgin for the best taste)
2-3 TB chopped garlic (adjust amount to taste)
1/2 - 3/4 cup table quality red wine (adjust to taste)
2 28-oz cans crushed tomatoes
1 28-oz can tomato puree
1/3 - 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (adjust amount to taste)
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
black pepper, to taste

PASTA - 2 one-pound boxes of mini penne

Needed: One large saucepan and one large cooking pot.


Over medium-low heat, saute garlic in the olive oil, keeping careful watch so that it doesn't burn - about five minutes. Add one can of crushed tomatoes, the wine, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for five minutes. Add the remaining can of crushed tomatoes and the can of tomato puree; add the parmesan cheese and basil. Simmer on medium-low for an additional 20 minutes.

As the Vino Marinara sauce cooks, prepare the pasta. Boil a large pot of fresh, cold water. You can reduce your sodium intake by not adding salt to the water. Cook the pasta until al dente, about 15 minutes. Check often so that it is cooked to your liking. Drain; put pasta back into the cooking pot and pour the sauce over. Drizzle additional olive oil over the top and sprinkle with extra parmesan cheese and black pepper. Serve with good, crusty bread, your plate garnished with a sprig of fresh basil. Bon Appetite!

Next up...


3-Cheese Spinach Quiche


1 (one) 15 oz. container of part skim Ricotta cheese
1 (one) 8 oz bag shredded mozzarella cheese
1 one-pound (453 g) bag frozen cut leaf spinach
3 eggs
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
few dashes garlic salt
few dashes black pepper - to taste
olive oil baking spray

Needed: Small saucepan, large mixing bowl and one deep dish pie plate.


Preheat oven to 350F. In a small saucepan, combine the olive oil and chopped onion. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until onion pieces are translucent, about 10 minutes. As the onion is cooking, take out a large mixing bowl and prepare to combine the remainder of the ingredients.

First to the bowl, pour the entire bag of chopped frozen spinach. Add the entire container of ricotta cheese and the 3 eggs. Add a few dashes of garlic salt and black pepper; mix well. When cooked, stir in the onions including all the olive oil. Stir in the entire bag of shredded mozzarella.

Spray the deep dish pie plate with a coating of olive oil cooking spray. Spoon the quiche mixture into the dish and bake in pre-heated oven for 45-60 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick in the center comes out moist but not wet. If the top of the quiche is browning too quickly, cover with an aluminum foil tent to prevent further browning.

Enjoy hot or cold. Store remaining quiche in the refrigerator.

Thanks for stopping by! From my home to yours, Yuletide Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or Happy Solstice! Your next stop: BookNAround. Can't wait to see what's in store there!

Be sure to stop by the Book Blog Social Club for a round up of all the recipes from this Progressive Dinner Party.

christmas Pictures, Images and Photos


Jemi Fraser said...

Yummy! Thanks :)

sarımsak hapı yorumları said...

We all eat vitamins and store garlic are used in his great taste and flavor is also good natural antibiotics even swine flu.

smck27 said...

Sounds very good! Thanks for sharing!

Zee said...

They both look so yummy!!! Thanks for sharing!

andrew-wolter said...

Great recipes! I'm looking forward to cooking them.

Beth F said...

I love both of these, but especially that lovely pasta sauce.