These recipes were contributed by Victoria Sotelo, a Midlothian resident, and originally appeared in the MidlothianNOW May 2014 issue.
White Chocolate Cream Pie
- 6 1-oz. squares white chocolate (divided use)
- 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 3-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 cup whipped cream
- 1 9-inch pie shell, baked
- In a large, bowl, microwave 5 squares white chocolate and cream on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, or until the chocolate is almost melted, stirring halfway through heating time. Stir until white chocolate is melted and mixture smooth.
- Beat in softened cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar. Gently fold in whipped cream until no streaks remain. Spoon into crust.
- Melt remaining 1 square of white chocolate in microwave. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of pie. Refrigerate overnight.
Chicken and Penne in Vodka Cream Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. butter, unsalted
- 4 small shallots, minced
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp. red chili flakes
- 6 Tbsp. vodka
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced crosswise against the grain into 1/2-inch thick strips
- 1 lb. dried penne pasta
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallots and cook. Stir until shallots have softened and begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Transfer shallot mixture to blender. Add tomatoes with juice and tomato paste. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer tomato mixture back to skillet; stir in chili flakes, vodka, salt and sugar. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and flavors are melded, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in cream and season to taste. Stir in chicken and cook until just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Keep warm while pasta cooks.
- Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water. Toss pasta with sauce; add pasta water as necessary until sauce reaches desired consistency.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in basil. Serve immediately.
Quick Tomato Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 lb. sweet and/or spicy Italian sausages, casing removed and crumbled
- 1/4 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 28-oz. can whole, peeled, canned tomatoes in puree, roughly chopped
- Sprig fresh thyme
- Sprig fresh basil
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 lb. dried ziti pasta
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 3 1/2 cups Quick Tomato Sauce
- 1 lb. fresh mozzarella, cut half into 1/2-inch cubes and thinly slice the other half
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (divided use)
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- For tomato sauce: Heat oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Cook sausage until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add onion and garlic, stirring until lightly browned, about 3 minutes more.
- Add tomatoes and herb sprigs; bring to a boil. Lower heat; simmer covered for 10 minutes. Remove and discard herb sprigs. Season with salt and pepper.
- For ziti: Preheat oven to 400 F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously; boil pasta until al dente; drain.
- Toss cooked pasta with Quick Tomato Sauce, cubed mozzarella, half the Parmesan cheese, black pepper and red pepper flakes.
- Transfer pasta to oiled 9×13-inch baking dish. Cover top of pasta with sliced mozzarella; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake until lightly browned and hot, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.