Isabel’s Scallop Orecchiette ~ Maggiano’s Best Italian Chef Winning Recipe

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I have had so many requests for this recipe and honestly, I thought I had previously shared.  Please enjoy and if you make it, please share how you enjoyed it!  Bella

leek scallops



Isabel’s  Scallop Orecchiette

1 Pound Sea Scallops

Salt & Pepper to Taste

Drizzle Olive Oil

1 Pound Orecchiette

1 Leek– Cleaned and Sliced

2 Clove Garlic

1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

1 Cup Dry White Wine

1 Cup Chicken Broth

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

2 Tablespoons Butter

In a pot of salted boiling water, cook orecchiette until al Dente.

Pat scallops with paper towel until completely dry. Salt and pepper scallops on both sides.

In a large skillet, on high heat, with a drizzle of olive oil, sear scallops for a couple of minutes on both sides until no longer opaque in the middle.  Set scallops aside.

In the same skillet with more olive oil (if needed),on medium heat, sauté the leek until just soft, add in garlic, continue to cook for another minute.  Deglaze the pan with wine, add broth, and season with  red pepper, salt and pepper,  let simmer until reduced by half.  Whisk in cream, cook until slightly thickened.  Place drained pasta into sauce and 2 Tablespoon butter.  Stir  to combined.  Place in serving dish and place scallops on top.  Serve.  Enjoy!



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Sausage Meatball Black Bean Soup


This soup was amazing!  I bought the beans to make a healthy vegetarian soup for my daughter.  Somehow sausage joined in and I’m so glad it did!  It was so earthy, rich and satisfying!  No worries; my vegetarian daughter did get a bowl of soup of her own.

1 Pound Bag Black Beans -prep according to package directions

1 Pound Sweet Italian Ground Sausage

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Onion-Diced

2 Stalks Celery-Diced

2 Carrots-Diced

2 Clove Garlic-Diced

8 Cups Chicken Broth

1 Teaspoon Pepper

2 Cups Diced Tomatoes

1 Bunch Kale-Chopped

Form small meatballs with ground sausage.  In a large fry pan, fry sausage on all sides on medium heat. Drain on paper towel.

In a large soup pot on medium heat add oil and  on medium heat, cook onion, carrot, celery and garlic until vegetables are tender.  Add in beans, broth, pepper, tomatoes and cooked meatballs.  Simmer for 30 minutes or until beans are tender.  Stir in kale and continue to cook about 10 minutes. Serve and Enjoy!

Serves 4- 6







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Spaghetti Pie


This is an Italian women’s comfort food!  I remember when I was a child and had this dish for the first time, I was visiting with my girl friend and we went to her grandmother’s house.  I have never eaten Spaghetti Pie before and it didn’t sound like I was going to like it either, my girlfriend promised me I would.  Well I did, in fact, I loved it. As I grew up this memory has stayed with me including the sit and spin memory of that day!  It has been in my families menu ever since.

I recommend ….Always play with you food, you can add any ingredients you like!

Spaghetti Pie

3/4 Pound Spaghetti

Drizzle Olive Oil

1 Medium Onion-Diced

2 Cloves Garlic-Diced

1-15.5 oz Diced Tomato

1/2 Cup Milk

4 Eggs

Pinch Nutmeg

1/4 Teaspoon Salt

1/4 Teaspoon Pepper

1 Cup Ricotta Cheese

1/2 Pound Mozzarella Cheese-shredded

1 Tablespoon Pecorino Romano Cheese

4 Slices Bacon/ 0r Sausage/or Prosciutto-Cooked- Crumbled

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

In large pot, bring salted water to boil.  Cook spaghetti, until al dente.

In a skillet, drizzle olive oil and saute onions for a few minutes on medium heat.  Add garlic to the skillet and cook another minute, then add tomatoes, saute until ingredients are hot and combined.  Set aside to cool slightly.

In large bowl mix together milk, eggs, nutmeg, salt, pepper, cheeses, bacon and onion mixture.  Place cooked spaghetti into bowl and mix thoroughly and place mixture into large greased, oven safe skillet. Cook on medium low heat until starting to bubble around the edges and in the middle. Place in preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes, or until center is firm.  Place under broiler to brown if desired. Remove from oven, let cool slightly and serve.  Enjoy<3





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Garlic & Oil Spaghetti w/ Toasted Bread Crumbs

Garlic and Oil Spagetti with toasted breadcrumbs

Such an easy, inexpensive dinner, but does not skimp on flavor!  I make a double batch and have it for dinner one night and for a side dish the next.

Garlic & Oil Spaghetti w/ Toasted Bread Crumbs 

1 Pound Spaghetti

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

4 Large Cloves Garlic-Chopped

Salt And Pepper to Taste

1 Tablespoon Dried Basil

1 Tablespoon Dried Parsley

1/4 Cup Dry White Wine

1/4 Cup Chicken Broth or Vegetable Broth

3/4 Cup Bread Crumbs

In a large pot of salted boiling water cook pasta according to package directions.

With a large skillet with olive oil cook garlic until soft and not brown( a couple minutes) add wine and let wine cook off, then add remaining ingredients except breadcrumbs.  Simmer sauce for about 10-15 minutes.


In a small frying pan toast bread crumbs on medium heat stirring often until toasty brown.


Add pasta to skillet and mix add in breadcrumbs stir to coat pasta with bread crumbs.  Serve and Enjoy!

Serves 4






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Stuffed Eggplant

Stuffed Eggplant 3


Are you a fan of Eggplant like I am?  This is one of my favorite winter time eggplant recipe!  An Italian comfort food my family looks forward to!

2 Small Eggplants

Drizzle Olive Oil

1/2 Pound Ground Beef

3 Sweet Italian Sausage

Pinch Salt & Pepper

1 Onion-diced

2 Roasted Red Peppers-diced

1/4 Cup Italian Style Bread Crumbs

4 Cloves Garlic-diced

1 Tablespoon Dried Basil

1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley

1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese

2 Eggs

2 Cups Tomato Sauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut eggplant in half length wise. Scoop out eggplant, leaving some around skin.

Take the eggplant that was scooped out, then boil in a pot of water, until tender, and drain.

Salt and pepper the ground meat, then take sausage out of casing. In skillet with oil, cook meat on medium heat breaking into small crumble, until slightly brown and cooked through. Remove and set aside.

In the same skillet, cook onion until soft, add in cooked, diced eggplant, peppers, bread crumbs, garlic, basil, parsley and 1/4 cup of the cheese. Take off heat and let cool slightly. Return meat to skillet and mix together.

In separate bowl, mix eggs, then add to skillet and mix thoroughly.

Take stuffing and evenly stuff each eggplant. Top each eggplant with sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Bake for 45 Minutes. Serve, Enjoy!
Serves 2-4
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White Bean and Kale Soup


Drizzle Olive Oil

1 Large Onion-Diced

2 Stakes Celery- Diced

2 Carrots-Sliced

2 Garlic Clove – Diced

1 Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

Salt and Pepper To Taste

1 Teaspoon Parsley

1 Teaspoon Basil

12 Cups Organic Chicken Broth

3 -14.5 Ounce White Beans-Drained

3 Cups Kale – Stem Removed and Chopped

In a large soup pot with a drizzle of olive oil, cook onions, carrots, celery and garlic on medium low heat for about 7 minutes or until vegetables are cooked and tender.  Add in remaining ingredients and let simmer for about 20 minutes.  Serve and enjoy!

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Stuffed Spaghetti Squash


Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

 1 Large Spaghetti Squash

Drizzle Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste

2 Gloves Garlic-Diced

1 Small Onion-Diced

1-28 Ounce Can San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes

1 Teaspoon Dried Basil

½ Teaspoon Dried Oregano

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out all the seeds and brush the inside with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.


Fill each squash evenly with all ingredients.  Place in oven and cook for about an hour or until squash is tender.  Scrape squash with fork to loosen spaghetti squash and mix ingredients together, season with salt and pepper if needed and serve. Enjoy!


Serves 4

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Caramel Spiced Apple

Caramel Spiced Apple

A Perfect Autumn Cocktail, and don’t think it’s a sissy girl drink, it packs a punch! Well maybe I’m just a sissy!  lol   My husband will ask for one, for his dessert!

Caramel Spiced Apple 

4 Shots of Spiced Rum

4 Shots Orangecello

1 Quart Unsweetened Apple Cider-Extra For Glass Rim

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Caramel- For Drizzling

4 Cinnamon Sticks

4 Sliced Apples

Mix together rum, orangecello and apple cider. Set aside.

In a small flat bottom bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together.  Place a little cider into another flat bottom bowl.  Dip glasses in cider, then in cinnamon sugar.  Drizzle caramel into the inside of each glass.  Pour apple cider mixture evenly into each glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick an apple slice.  Cheers!

Makes 4 Cocktails


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Maggiano’s Best Chef Winner Video

Maggiano’s Best Chef Winner

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Grown Up Blueberry Pastry


I love summer!  I love to be warm, having outdoor parties and creating new recipes from  fresh in season ingredients.  Every year we go to Maine and put as much of a dent we can on the supply of lobster and blueberries!  Most years I leave pretty proud of a job well done.  I brought some fresh blueberries home this year and  served this a dinner party I had.  BIG HIT!

Grown Up Blueberry Danish 

1 Sheet Puff Pastry

1 Quart Fresh Blueberries-I used Maine Blueberries

3 Tablespoons Frangelico

2 Tablespoons Corn Starch

3 Tablespoons Organic Local Honey

1 Sprig Fresh Thyme

¼ Cup Hazelnuts- crushed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cut puff pastry into six equal pieces, two cuts up from the sides and on cut lengthwise.  Cook pastry for 15 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked through.  Take from oven and set on cool rack.

Meanwhile; in a medium saucepan add washed blueberries, frangelico, corn starch, 2 tablespoons honey and thyme. Gently stir ingredients together and cook on medium heat until juices form on bottom of pan (about 5-7 minutes), stirring carefully often.  Turn off heat remove thyme stem and let cool.

Cut cooled pastry in half lengthwise.

In a small bowl melt the remaining honey in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  Brush tops of pastry and sprinkle with nuts.

Place bottoms on serving plate, scoop blueberry mixture on top and place on top.  I recommend serving with vanilla ice cream, which I forgot to buy.  Can be served warm or at room temperature.  Enjoy!

Makes 6 Pastries.



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