Fries + Tomato Sauce = Delicious

12 12 2012

When I was in Chicago for my friend Leah’s birthday, we went to this restaurant called Three Aces. I had a brussels sprouts pizzeta, which was really yummy. But what really stole the show was our appetizer- the Bolognese fries. I wasn’t really expecting much- I mean, its just fries in a meat sauce, but holy cow, these things were delicious! I have been dreaming about recreating that dish ever since.

I finally had a chance, with my own spin on it.

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Bolognese fries are a pretty simple concept:  Makes some fries, heat some sauce, combine and voila! It could EASILY be made with frozen fries (I don’t judge!) and a jar of tomato sauce. Easy peasy.

I decided to take it up a notch and make my own fries and perk up the sauce with some sausage, onions and fresh basil.

I guess the whole topping fries with a gravy (sauce) is a spin on poutine, but I don’t really like the word “poutine.” Is it Poo- teen? Or Pout- ine? I dunno; let’s just call this Rutabaga Fries in Meat Sauce.

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Ingredients:

1 rutabaga, ~2 lbs
1-2 Tbs olive oil
Black truffle salt to taste (or regular salt)
1 jar of pasta sauce (your choice)
1 lb sweet Italian sausage
1/2 onion, diced
4-5 leaves of fresh basil
fresh shredded parmesan

How To:

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Peel and chop the rutabaga.

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In a bowl, toss the rutabaga with the olive oil and salt.

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black truffle salt

I got this salt at Downtown Disney back in October, and I’ve been dying to use it. Unfortunately, I was too stingy when I added it to my fries, because I couldn’t taste it at all! Of course, the flavored salt is optional. Regular salt will work just fine here.

Spread the fries out evenly on a baking sheet in one layer. When the oven is ready, bake them about 25 minutes, flipping once. Depending on your cookie sheet, you may need to bake these in two batches.

Meanwhile, make your meat sauce.

Brown the sausage in a frying pan.

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When it’s done, remove it from the pan (I put it on a plate with a paper towel to soak up some of the oil).

Saute the onion, so that it becomes soft and translucent. Add the meat back into the pan with the onions. Pour in the sauce and season with the fresh basil.

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Your fries should be just about done at this point. When they’re baked through, pull them out of the oven.

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Top the fries with sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan, and you’re all set!

Enjoy!





Superbowl Snack Idea: Italian Wontons

2 02 2012

This weekend is Superbowl weekend!! And you know what that means? Superbowl parties with lots of yummy food!

Buffalo chicken dip anyone?

Actually, I don’t have any Superbowl plans, and I despise the Giants (Sorry bloggies, I’m an Eagles fan). So, I’m not all that excited about the Superbowl this year, but I love football, so I still plan on watching!

Anyhow, when I was at my cousin‘s house on my way down to Tampa, we made a meal that would be a perfect Superbowl Party snack: Italian Wontons!

Crispy baked wontons with a cheesy meatball and spinach filling, served with marinara dipping sauce. Yumm! They’re pretty simple to make, but a little tedious to stuff and seal. These got the stamp of approval from both of us, and even Tara’s 1- year- old daughter gobbled up the filling!

Baked Italian Wontons

Ingredients:

1 to 2 cups frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup chopped onions, sautéed
8 – 10 small frozen meatballs, cooked
1 egg
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
wonton wrappers
water, for sealing the won tons
cooking spray

How to:

Thaw the spinach.

Sauté the onions.

Cook the meatballs as directed on the package.

Puree the meatballs, spinach, and onions together.

In a bowl, stir together the egg, cheese, onions, and meat mixture.

Line a cookie sheet with foil, and spray with cooking spray. Stuff the wontons and put them on the tray. This works better as a two person assembly line: one person puts about a tablespoon into the center of a wonton. The other person dips their finger in water, and dabs the water along two adjacent sides. Then, fold the wonton over, sealing the dry sides to the wet sides. Pinch out all the air.

Spray the tops of the wontons with cooking spray and bake in a 415°F oven for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are crispy.

 

Gotta love those crispy edges!!

Serve with marinara sauce on the side, and dig in!

They sort of resemble those paper footballs you used to make in middle school…

Enjoy your weekend!

Question of the day: Are you going to a Superbowl party? What are you making?