Dating advice from Momma Angelina

โ€œDonโ€™t drink so much coffee in the morning Andrea. Youโ€™ll never find a man if your teeth turn brown and rot out of your head.โ€

On that pleasant note we said our goodbyes and got off the phone. I quickly ran to the bathroom to brush my teeth once more with whitening toothpaste. Just in case.

-Excerpt from The Case Files of Andie Adams

Momma Angelina’s at it again

“Jesus, Mary and Joseph you look like you’ve lost weight. Have you been eating? Holy Mary Mother of God, where did I go wrong? My daughter the waif…“- Momma Angelina (The Case Files of Andie Adams)

Photo by MyManhattanKitchen.com

Momma’s Eggplant Rollatini Recipe:

1 large eggplant

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 (12-ounce) container ricotta cheese

4 ounces mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup fresh basil chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Cut eggplant lengthwise in slices. Rinse slices & dry with paper towel or napkin.

1. Preheat oven to 350ยฐF

2. Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Season eggplant with salt & pepper & dip in flour. Saute till golden brown & drain excess olive oil on paper towels.

3. In a bowl, mix together the basil, ricotta & mozzarella. Season with a pinch of salt & pepper.

4. Place several tablespoons of filling on one end of the eggplant slices then roll up & secure with toothpicks (or shish kabab sticks).

5. In a lightly greased casserole type dish, spread a 1/4 cup of marinara sauce. (recipe for marinara sauce below)

6. Place rollatini in dish & cover with remaining sauce. Bake for about 40 minutes.

Photo by Kerri Maniscalco

Mommaโ€™s Marinara Sauce Recipe:

1 can of whole tomatoes ( I like to use the blue can of Tuttorosso whole peeled tomatoes, but thatโ€™s just my preference.)

1 Tablespoon of dried basil

2 Cloves of fresh garlic (minced)

(For a zestier sauce add a pinch of dried oregano.)

First run tomatoes and garlic through a food processor. Add tomatoes, garlic and herbs to a saucepan. Bring sauce to a boil and then turn stovetop down and let simmer on low heat for about an hour and a half. Stirring occasionally.

Photo by Kerri Maniscalco

Character Recipe: Momma Angelina’s Pesto Change-o!

To celebrate summer and some of the character’s in my mystery novel, I’ve decided to share some fun recipes. Today’s recipe comes from the very Italian matriarch of the family, Momma Angelina. She’s on a first name basis with Jesus, Mary and Joseph and can cook up a mean pesto. Enjoy the recipe. And yes, some basil was harmed in the making of this sauce.

First you start out with some fresh basil, as depicted in the picture below:

Photo by Kerri Maniscalco

Pesto Change-o:

2 cups (packed) fresh basil

2 cloves garlic

1/4 tsp. each, salt and pepper

1/2 cup each, freshly grated parmesan & romano cheese

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Chop everything evenly in a food processor, and add the olive oil last. Serve over pasta, bread or even rub it on steak or chicken!

Photo by Kerri Maniscalco

“As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices:ย  take it or leave it.”-Buddy Hackett