Zucchini and Ham Pie [RECIPE]

Zucchini and Ham Pie
Our Zucchini and Ham Pie comes together in about 30 minutes! (Photo by Jathan Fink, Jadeworks Entertainment)

Every summer, zucchini always seems to grow plentifully. This is a fabulous way to transform that squash into a quick, easy, and delicious dish your family will love. Just serve with a tossed green salad for a complete meal or serve it as a yummy side that goes perfect with your favorite fish or grilled meats.

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Italian Scramble

Italian Scramble

Infused with salty prosciutto, sautéed vegetables and served with a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan cheese, our Italian Scramble elevates simple scrambled eggs to a whole new level of deliciousness.

One of the best things about having a day off from work is that we have time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast as a family. Time spent together, whether reading the paper or chatting about the events in our lives, is always made more pleasurable by dishing up something a little extra special to eat. Our Italian Scramble fits the bill, elevating simple scrambled eggs to a whole new level with bright, savory flavors that make our taste buds dance with joy. Infused with bits of salty prosciutto, sautéed vegetables and served with a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan cheese, this dish is also a great addition to a brunch with friends. Serve with homemade Buttermilk Biscuits and fresh jam (our Pineapple Jam is shown here) to round out the meal.

PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 10 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 slices prosciutto, diced
  • Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat a stainless-steel pan over medium-high heat, add oil. When oil shimmers, add onion and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the garlic, as it should not cook until golden. Reduce heat to low and remove pan from heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and pepper until light and frothy. Set aside.
  3. Place pan over low heat, add butter and swirl until melted. Pour egg mixture into the pan, and stir gently to mix vegetables. When eggs begin to congeal on bottom of pan, sprinkle prosciutto over top. Using a heat-resistant rubber spatula, slowly drag eggs toward center of pan until eggs cook through and all liquid is gone, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve eggs immediately. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top, as desired.

TIPS: For variety, add fresh rosemary and thyme to egg mixture when prosciutto is added. For a slightly stronger flavor, sprinkle grated Pecorino Romano cheese over instead of Parmesan.

YIELDS: 6 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment. All rights reserved.

Meatless Italian Dinner

A meatless Italian dinner with bread, salad and pasta.

Caesar Salad with Garlic Croutons, Bread with Herb Butter and Spaghetti Pomodoro comprise a hearty but meatless weeknight dinner.

As the weather warms up, sometimes you want filling, lighter fare served without a meat entrée. This quick, simple dinner pairs an authentic red sauce with pasta, soft flavorful bread and an easy salad with homemade croutons. Of course, if your family is comprised of die-hard carnivores, you can always add ground Italian sausage, ground beef or poultry to your pasta sauce for additional protein.

Caesar Salad with Garlic Croutons

The secret to a cold, crisp salad is found in the preparation of your greens. Wash the lettuce in a water bath, drain and repeat until water is clear. Then spin dry the lettuce leaves in a salad spinner (like the ones made by Oxo and IKEA) or lay them on a clean towel, then layered with a paper towel and another layer of lettuce. Roll and keep in the refrigerator until needed.

PREP: 15 minutes or more
COOK: 3 minutes

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups fresh bread cubes, cut 3/4-inch square
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, blemished or wilted out leaves removed, cleaned and prepare as instructed above, then cut into 1-inch strips (about 6 cups)
  • 2 large eggs, soft-cooked for 3 minutes in boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Anchovies (optional)
  1. Infuse 1/2 cup of the olive oil with the garlic by placing both in a small bowl. Set aside for a minimum of 15 minutes. (For best flavor, do this the night before.)
  2. When ready to cook, heat the garlic oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bread cubes and cook, stirring, until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain on paper towel and toss with 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and cracked pepper.
  3. Place cold lettuce in a salad bowl. Pour the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil over the lettuce. Add the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt and toss well. The soft-cooked eggs will break apart and combine with the lemon juice to coat the salad with creamy dressing. Add Parmesan cheese and toasted croutons, toss again, and top with pepper. Top with anchovies, if desired, and serve immediately.

YIELDS: 4 – 6 servings

Bread with Herb Butter

The great thing about this recipe is that it creates enough bread for two meals. I assemble both loaves simultaneously, put one in the oven for dinner and put the second loaf in the freezer for another night. If you have leftover herb butter, seal it in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator where it may be kept for up to three days, or wrap it in waxed paper and freeze it for up to three months.

PREP: 5 minutes
BAKE: 15 to 20 minutes

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • A few tablespoons fresh flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • A few tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 baguette
  1. Combine butter, parsley and oregano to make the herb butter. Make a slit in the baguette 3/4 of the way through, making sure not to cut all the way through.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  3. Wrap the baguette in aluminum foil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

YIELDS: 6 servings

Spaghetti Pomodoro

This recipe has become our family’s go-to sauce. It is simple and quick to prepare and has marvelous flavor. It may be served with pasta, pizza or your favorite bread sticks.

PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 30 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, lightly pulsed in a blender
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Small pinch of sugar
  • 1 spring fresh basil
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  2. Place the olive oil and garlic in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan to coat the garlic with oil and heat until garlic sizzles but doesn’t brown, about 30 seconds. Add the red pepper flakes and stir. Add the tomatoes, salt, black pepper and sugar and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Cook for 25 minutes. Add the basil and cook an additional 5 minutes. Remove basil before serving.
  3. Meanwhile, 10 minutes before the sauce is done, generously salt the boiling water. Add the pasta and cook until tender but slightly firm. Set the timer for 2 minutes less than package instructions. Taste for doneness. Pasta should be slightly al dente (firm, but not too hard). Drain the pasta. Place 1/2 cup of sauce in bottom of a serving bowl, then top with pasta. Using tongs, toss the pasta in the sauce to coat. Add additional sauce to each serving as desired, then top with Parmesan cheese, a drizzle of olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper.

YIELDS: 4 to 6 servings

© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.

Marvelous Minestrone


Fresh veggies, herbs, seasonings and Parmesan cheese blend to create an authentic Italian minestrone with fantastic flavor.

No matter what time of year it is, there is something comforting about homemade soup! If you are craving a hearty vegetable soup, look no further than this authentic Italian minestrone. Unlike the heavy tomato version you get when you pop open a can of store-bought soup, this has a clear meatless broth base that gets its delicious full-bodied flavor from a bounty of fresh veggies, herbs, seasonings and our secret ingredient, Parmesan cheese! Serve this minestrone up for lunch or dinner, accompanied by a market salad, grilled cheese sandwich or a warm slice of Italian bread.

PREP: 30 minutes
COOK: 1 hour
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 small zucchini, trimmed and quartered lengthwise, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 celery stalks (the tender inner stalks with leaves), sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cored, florets removed and separated into bite-sized pieces
  • 6 ounces green beans, sliced in 3/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
  • 1 small head cabbage, cored, outer leaves discarded and thinly sliced
  • 16 ounces fresh tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 1 rind of Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 large whole basil sprigs
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Place 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the onion and garlic in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot over medium heat. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and the celery and keep cooking, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes more. Add another tablespoon of the olive oil and the cauliflower and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, as the vegetables slowly begin to soften. Stir in the green beans, cabbage, and remaining olive oil, and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and 2 cups water and simmer until all of the vegetables are softened, 10 minutes or more.
  2. Add the salt, pepper and Parmesan cheese rind and stir. Add more water if needed for the desired consistency—it should be very thick. Cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add the chickpeas and basil sprigs and cook until the chickpeas are heated through, about 8 minutes. Serve in bowls with Parmesan cheese grated over top, freshly ground pepper and drizzled with olive oil.
YIELDS: 8 servings
© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment

Rigatoni with Rapid Ragu

Rigatoni with Rapid Ragu

Sweet Italian sausages combine with diced mortadella to create a delicious and complex ragu that will satisfy your biggest appetite in just over thirty minutes.

Sometimes putting dinner on the table takes a little versatility, particularly when you look in the fridge and ingredients seem a bit random. If you have sweet Italian sausages or even ground pork, some mortadella (a slow-smoked Italian meat found in your grocer’s deli section), and a few other kitchen staples, you can have dinner on the table in no time with this simple homemade sauce. If you don’t have rigatoni available, use pasta you have on hand.

PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 32 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Put the olive oil and garlic in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan over medium heat and cook until the garlic sizzles and is slightly golden, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the pork and mortadella and cook, while stirring, until the pinkness is eliminated, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and 2 tablespoons of water. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parsley.
  3. Meanwhile, with 15 minutes left for the sauce to cook, generously salt the boiling water. Add the rigatoni and cook until tender but still firm. Set the timer for 2 minutes less than then package instructions specify and taste for doneness, drain. Toss the rigatoni with the sauce and serve topped with Parmesan cheese and pepper.
YIELDS: 6 servings
© 2011 Jadeworks Entertainment.