Seasons by the Sea: Warm Food, Warm Relations - Recipes

It’s time to break out the Dutch ovens and make a casserole, such as this one with penne, tomato, cream, and five cheeses. Laura Donnelly

Beverly’s Chicken Chili
    Let’s begin with this chili, which can certainly be included as a casserole . . . if you have any left over!
    I’m guessing this serves six to eight.
Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
Fresh red chili pepper, seeded and minced
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 lb. boneless chicken, cubed
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. cumin
3 ears corn, kernels cut from cob
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

    Cook onion, fennel, and chili in olive oil.
    Add chicken and sausage and cook 10 minutes. Stir in broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, and cumin. Simmer. Stir in corn, plum tomatoes, and basil. Cook a few more minutes, then serve.

Penne With Tomato, Cream, and Five Cheeses

    This casserole dish is rich and decadent. Personally, I don’t have five cheeses lying around the house, so I made some substitutions, which are at end of recipe. This made for a slightly lighter version of Al Forno’s famous penne.

    Serves six to eight.

2 cups heavy cream
1 cup chopped canned tomatoes in heavy puree
1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano (11/2 oz.)
1/2 cup coarsely shredded fontina (11/2 oz.)
4 Tbsp. crumbled gorgonzola (11/2 oz.)
2 Tbsp. ricotta
2 small fresh mozzarella cheeses, sliced (1/4 lb.)
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
6 basil leaves, chopped
1 lb. penne rigate
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter

    Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

    Bring five quarts salted water to boil.

    In mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except penne and butter. Stir well to combine.

    Cook penne until barely al dente, drain, and add to other ingredients in mixing bowl, stirring well to combine.

    Divide pasta mixture among six to eight individual, shallow ceramic gratin dishes (one and a half to two-cup capacity). Dot with butter and bake until bubbly and brown, about 7 to 10 minutes.

    For my version I skipped the ricotta and mozzarella, which I’m sure add lots of extra-unctuous gooey stringy cheesy dairy goodness. I also didn’t have canned tomatoes so I added one and a half cups chopped yellow and red cherry tomatoes. The fontina, pecorino, and gorgonzola, however, are essential for the flavors of the dish.

Garides Giovetsi
    I love Greek shrimp and feta recipes such as Garides Giovetsi and Saganaki Tourkolimano.
    Here is a great recipe from an old friend, Ellen Weiss. She serves it with brown rice.

    Serves four.

1 lb. large shrimp or prawns
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
2 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
Chopped parsley for garnish

    Clean shrimp.

    Saute green and yellow onions and garlic until tender. Add tomatoes, wine, two tablespoons parsley, and oregano. Cook 30 minutes or until thick.

    Heat oven to 350. Spoon half of the tomato sauce into casserole. Cover with shrimp. Top with rest of sauce, sprinkle cheese over sauce.

    Bake 15 to 20 minutes until shrimp are pink and cheese is melted. Garnish with parsley.