Tag Archives: Romano Cheese

Fettucine Carbonara with Crispy Roasted Shitakes

Fettucine Carbonara with crisp roasted shitakes and chives
Fettucine carbonara, sounds so rich and decadent and tastes just the same, but it’s much lighter than you would think from the taste of it.  The no cook sauce is super simple and super delicious, with just egg yolks, nutmeg, fresh herbs and cheese, yum! If you want to make it extra special and a little more decadent, you can add in just a little cream, half & half or even mascarpone cheese, but even without the extra creaminess the finished dish is delicious and elegant enough for company.  
egg yolks for carbonara


egg yolks with optional cream for carbonara
carbonara sauce
Most carbonara recipes you will find have the addition of pancetta, but since I don’t eat meat, I replace the pancetta with crispy oven roasted shitake mushrooms and chives, which I think is even better!
Shitakes and chives, ready to roast
Shitakes and chives, ready to roast
Fettucine Carbonara with Crispy Roasted Shitakes
Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
1 pound fettucine pasta (make it gluten free with your favorite GF pasta)
3 egg yolks
About ½ cup or a little more grated Romano cheese
Grated nutmeg – just a little
Olive oil
Chopped parsley and chives plus about 10 whole chives
6-10 shitake mushrooms – cleaned & sliced
Optional: about 2 Tablespoons cream or half & half or mascarpone – if you’re feeling decadent!

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Lentil “Meatballs”


Lentil Meatballs

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from: Sara Forte’s “The Sprouted Kitchen”

Meat free, gluten free, but full on flavor! These tasty lentil meatballs are the perfect prescription for any vegetarian missing that classic childhood favorite “spaghetti and meatballs”. But these little bites are so yummy even meat eaters won’t miss the meat. These are in regular rotation at chez Jones.


1 can black lentils – about 2 cups (*see recipe note below)

2 eggs

¾ cup ricotta cheese (I use part skim)

¼ cup freshly grated pecorino Romano cheese (Locatelli is the best)

2 cloves garlic – crushed

1 shallot – finely chopped

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 ½ teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

½ teaspoon fennel seeds

½ teaspoon sea salt

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)

Lemon zest – from about ½ – 1 whole lemon

1 Tablespoon olive oil (I use extra virgin always)

1 cup cooked quinoa (use leftover or cook ¼ cup dry with ½ cup water in advance)IMG_4271IMG_4278


Drain and rinse the lentils and place in a medium size bowl. Mash the lentils with the back of a fork or potato masher, but don’t completely pulverize, you want to still have some intact lentils.IMG_4275

Add to the lentils all remaining ingredients except the quinoa. Mix well to combine and then add in the quinoa and mix through.IMG_4280IMG_4282

To help keep the mix from falling apart, place in the refrigerator to chill for about 15 minutes. You could also mix this up in the morning and then have it all ready to go at dinner time or even mix it all up the night before.

While chilling…Preheat oven to 400 F. And if you plan to serve with spaghetti, start boiling your water and/or prepping the rest of your meal.

After your mix has chilled, line a rimmed baking pan with parchment paper or brush the pan with olive oil if you don’t have any parchment on hand.

IMG_4283Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and start forming balls, about 1 inch in diameter. I use my smallest spring loaded ice cream scoop to form the balls, place them on the pan and then press any loose ends together with my fingers once they’re all on the pan. This recipe makes about 28-32 balls. These don’t need a lot of space on the pan, so I pack them in pretty tight but don’t let them touch.IMG_4285

Bake for 15 minutes at 400 F, until the bottoms begin to brown and then carefully turn and bake another 10 minutes.

Serve atop spaghetti with your favorite tomato sauce, I like them with a spicy tomato sauce, but marinara is tasty too. Or if you’d like to skip the pasta, they’re also great atop sautéed greens, like swiss chard. You could even squish them between some Italian bread with tomato sauce for a yummy vegetarian meatball sub. A little extra grated Romano cheese over the top completes it. Enjoy!IMG_4292IMG_4300

Recipe notes: don’t be dismayed if you feel like this makes too many, cooled leftovers freeze great for a quick meal in the future, just defrost and reheat. You could also serve these as party hors d’oeuvres with a little pesto dipping sauce.

*Also a note about lentils, I use black lentils also known as French lentils here, they are a bit firmer and hold up better than brown or green lentils when mashed and I like that slightly al dente bite they lend to these meatballs. If you can’t find them canned, you could easily cook up a batch of dried, lentils are the one bean that cooks up quickly without any need for overnight soaking.

For printable version click here


Broccoli Rabe Pesto

This recipe is a delicious variation of the traditional basil pesto.  I make a lot of pestos and find that so many different vegetables can be prepared this way.  It’s a great way to get kids to eat their veges (at least some kids!), it doesn’t look like a veg, but a nice tasty spread.  I also like my pestos creamier and much less oily than the traditional, but if you prefer yours to be looser, by all means add more olive oil, but you may need to adjust the seasonings to account for the extra oil.  This pesto is fantastic mixed with pasta or any filled cheese pasta such as tortellini or ravioli, but it’s also equally good spread on a sandwich of grilled Mozzerella and Provolone or I imagine with grilled chicken a la Colin’s favorite sandwich from our local pizza joint of grilled chicken with broccoli rabe on a hero roll, or a nice spread on crostini or even drizzled over roasted vegetables.  

IMG_3126_Broccoli Rabe Pesto

Broccoli Rabe Pesto

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones



1 Bunch Broccoli Rabe

1 clove Garlic

¼ cup shelled Pistachios

Zest of ½ Lemon

Juice of ½ Lemon

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (or more to taste)

¼ tsp Sea Salt (or more to taste)

1/3 – ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese (I always use Locatelli)




Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil.


While the water comes to a boil, wash the Broccoli Rabe and cut the ends off the stems.  Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with ice.


When the water comes to a boil, add a large pinch of salt and then the Broccoli Rabe to the pot.  Blanch for about 1 minute and then immediately remove the Broccoli Rabe from the pot using tongs or a large handled strainer and place in the ice bath. 


Once the Broccoli Rabe has cooled a bit, drain it from the icy water.  Roughly chop.


Add the chopped Broccoli Rabe and all other ingredients, except the cheese, into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture forms a paste. 


Pour the pesto into a bowl and then mix in the Romano Cheese.  Enjoy!


Serving Notes & Suggestions:


  • If serving over Pasta, scoop out a bit of the pasta cooking water to thin out the pesto to make it more of a sauce..
  • For Crostini, thinly slice a crusty loaf of baguette or Ciabatta bread, toast lightly with drizzled olive oil if you like and then top with Pesto.  Additional toppings could be a thin sliver of Romano cheese or a small dollop of Ricotta cheese or some crumbled goat cheese or even some chopped Sun Dried Tomatoes.
  • Stuffed Portobello mushroom, grill or roast Portobello and then fill with Pesto and top with cheese of choice.



This is how we enjoyed the pesto most recently.

 IMG_3130_Grilled Mozzerella & Provolone with Broccoli Rabe Pesto Sandwich

Grilled Mozzerella-Provolone Broccoli Rabe Pesto Sandwich


Heat a grill pan or large skillet over medium heat and add some olive oil to the pan.  Cut slices from a nice crusty loaf of Italian bread.  Spread each slice with some pesto and place in the heated skillet pesto side up.  Top half the bread slices with slices of fresh Mozzerella and then top the other half with slices of Provolone cheese.  If you like you can also add slices of fresh tomato or chopped sun dried tomatoes on half of the bread.  When the cheese begins to melt, put the sandwiches together by combining a Mozzerella topped bread with a Provolone topped bread.  Continue to cook until the cheese has melted completely and the bread is nicely toasted.  Enjoy!

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