Picadillo is one of my daughter’s favorite meals. This mildly spicy Spanish and Latin American dish is super easy to prepare and there is always enough to re-heat the following day. It seems that when we need something simple to make for dinner, we always repeat the same old casseroles or pasta dishes. Your family will think you went the extra mile with this recipe with all the unique ingredients and flavors. I love the saltiness of the green olives and the sweetness of the raisins. We eat our Picadillo over rice and sprinkle it with cheese. It truly is a comfort food that you will feel great about serving to your family after a long day at work or school.

2 Tb olive oil
7 cloves garlic, minced
1- 1/2 cups chopped onion
1- 1/2 cups chopped green pepper
3 pounds lean ground beef
1- 5 ounce jar green olives, pitted and halved
5 ounces capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
2 dried bay leaves
1 Tb cumin
1/4 tsp. hot sauce
6 cups chopped canned tomatoes, drained 1/2 way
1/2 cup raisins
Cheddar cheese to top
This recipe serves 6

In a large stockpot heat 1 Tb of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, onions and green peppers until onions are transparent. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl and set aside. In the same pot, heat remaining olive oil and brown the beef and crumble. Drain beef and put back into pot.

In a separate saucepan, combine the olives, capers, vinegar, salt, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves, cumin, raisins, and hot sauce. Let simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Place the olive mixture and the onion mixture into the pot with the ground beef.  Add the half drained tomatoes and cook for one hour over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice and sprinkle the top with cheddar cheese if you desire.

pancetta-roasted asparagus over pappardelle

Lemeon-Pepper PappardelleIngredients
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, washed and trimmed
1/8 pound pancetta
Olive oil
1-package lemon pepper pappardelle pasta (I like Trader Joe’s brand)
Fresh ground pepper
Fresh parmesan cheese, shaved
Fresh basil, julienned

Asparagus Collage

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Brush the washed and trimmed asparagus lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle fresh ground pepper sparingly over the top. Wrap one strip of pancetta around each asparagus spear, starting at the bottom and wrapping mid-way up the spear (pancetta is usually cut into a circular shape but can be pulled apart into strips).

Roast the pancetta wrapped asparagus for approximately 12 to 15 minutes (you want the pancetta to be browned and somewhat crispy but not burned). Pull your roasting tray out of the oven and turn asparagus spears over. Roast for three to five minutes longer until perfectly crispy and browned.

While the asparagus is roasting, prepare the lemon-pepper pappardelle according to package directions. Divide the lemon-pepper pappardelle into four bowls and place 3 to 4 asparagus spears over the top. Sprinkle the top of the asparagus with fresh basil and shaved parmesan. Serve hot. Makes four servings.