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Rania’s Recipes: Dinner At Halftime

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Rania Harris, Pittsburgh Today Live, PNC Steelers Huddle

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

This week, Rania Harris stops by Pittsburgh Today Live with more recipes perfect to feed your hunger during halftime of this weekend’s big game between the Steelers and Packers!

Cannelloni with Spinach and Ricotta

Fresh pasta sheets (8 – 4 1/2-inch squares)

Filling:
2 cups ricotta cheese – well drained
2 large eggs beaten
¾ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 cup seeded and diced fresh tomatoes – drained
2 – 10 ounce packages frozen chopped spinach – thawed and drained well
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
Salt / black pepper and nutmeg to taste

Sauce:
1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/3-cup all-purpose flour
3 cups heated milk
Salt / white pepper and ground nutmeg to taste
½ cup Parmesan cheese
Set pasta squares aside while preparing recipe.

Directions:
To make filling: in a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients and blend well

To make the sauce: melt the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a few minutes. Gradually add in the milk and continue whisking. Cook until thickened. Season to taste and set aside.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish. Spread 1 cup of sauce over bottom of dish. Form 1/3 cup of mixture into a log shape on the center of each pasta square and roll up into a cylinder. Place the rolls, seam side down in a single layer in the dish. Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the cannelloni. Sprinkle with cheese. Place baking dish in center of oven and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees.

Bake until bubbling and golden brown – about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and to rest for five minutes before serving. Carefully transfer the cannelloni onto individual plates with a metal spatula.

Serves 8 as a first course or 4 as a main course
Makes: 8 servings

Shrimp & Sausage Gumbo
1 pound jumbo hot Italian sausage links
Olive oil
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 medium celery stalks (I add more)
1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth
1 can ( 14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
1 ½ pounds shrimp

1 ½ cups long grain white rice (cooked according to package directions)

Directions:
Heat the olive oil in a heavy stew pot and add the sausage. Cook the sausage until fully cooked. Transfer to a plate to cool and cut on a diagonal.

Leave 1 tablespoon of drippings in the stew pot. Add a bit more olive oil (there should be ¼ cup fat total) and make a rue by adding flour gradually. Cook the rue until golden brown.

Add vegetables and cook until tender.

Return sausages, add broth, tomatoes, water, bay leaf, oregano, thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat to boiling on high. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes to blend flavors.

Add shrimp to Dutch oven and cook 2-3 minutes.

Serves: 4 – 6

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