Comfort eating

Now that the temperature is dropping, nothing beats snuggling up on the couch with your favorite comfort food.

Baked spagetti pie (photo credit: Courtesy)
Baked spagetti pie
(photo credit: Courtesy)
This week we are focusing on comfort food. With the weather changing, and hurricanes approaching in certain parts of the world, we want food that makes us feel warm and snug.
Here are a few options.
Baked Spaghetti Pie
For those who prefer their comfort food to be dairy.
225 grams angel hair pasta, cooked and drained
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 (280 grams) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained well
1 (340 grams) container cottage cheese
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup grated mozzarella or pizza cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix pasta with eggs, butter and 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan. Pat down into greased 25 cm round pizza pan (or other baking pan). Spread sauce over pasta almost to edge of pan.
Mix together spinach, cottage cheese and remaining Parmesan and spoon atop sauce.
Sprinkle mozzarella over all.
Bake for about 15 minutes – until cheese is melted and, if your family is like mine, browned. Let stand briefly before cutting into wedges.

Moroccan Lamb Stew

Serves 12 – 16
The ultimate in rich, soothing comfort food.
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 generous teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1.3 kg lamb stew (cubes)
3 cups beef broth
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tablespoon lemon peel
1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup whole blanched almonds
Mix together olive oil, onion, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, ginger and pepper in a large Dutch oven.
Add meat and stir to coat. Add broth, cinnamon sticks and lemon peel. Bring to a boil, then simmer, partially covered for half an hour.
Stir in prunes and almonds and simmer for another one to one and half hours.
Lentil Stew
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients; it’s a really easy recipe – and delicious of course.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
½ cup canned chickpeas, drained
8 cups vegetable stock
4 cups water
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped, divided
3 teaspoons kosher salt
4 celery stalks, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup yellow lentils, rinsed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
150 grams orzo or spaghetti broken into pieces
½ cup pitted date, chopped
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Heat oil in a Dutch oven. Cook onions for five minutes. Add chickpeas, stock, and water and simmer until tender about 45 minutes.
Mash garlic, two tablespoons cilantro, and salt into a paste. Add paste, celery tomatoes, lentils, tomato paste, lemon juice, and spices to pot. Simmer until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes.
Add pasta and dates and cook, stirring until pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in the last tablespoon cilantro, and parsley. Garnish with extra parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
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