Cataldo Family Christmas Ravioli

The Cataldo Family has a wonderful family tradition at Christmas – homemade Ravioli!

They are so delicious and made from scratch!

A few months ago we all got together for a family gathering to make the ravioli ready for the holidays. I must admit that most of them did not make it to the holidays as we ate them all well before – but more will be made in time for Christmas Day where we serve them alongside Prime Rib and many other delights!

I will admit they are not a fast or simple dish to make – which is why we all made a HUGE batch of them to freeze and eat over time. The results are well worth the effort and time!

I have never made pasta or ravioli before – however the rest of the family had made it many times before! I am delighted to tell you that I passed the test, my Mother-in-Law said I did a great job and she should know she has been making them for decades!

Here’s me with my rolled out ravioli!!

I was very nervous to get started but I had excellent supervision and tutoring! Rolling out the dough is easier than it looks although I did have buff arms after a few batches!!

The family has a cool ravioli rolling pin that really makes the job easier! These gadgets come in all different sizes but we prefer the smaller ones.

After you roll out the dough you put filling in a very thin layer on one half of the dough and then fold the dough over the top and then roll it out using the fancy rolling pin!

Here’s the recipe: 


To make the dough:
28 C flour
6-8 eggs (depending on size and moisture)
a little oil
warm water
To make the stuffing:
3 medium onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3lbs ground beef
1lb ground pork, ground black forest ham or ground Italian sausage
4 bunches spinach or swiss chard (we prefer swiss chard)
3 carrots
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
4 C finely ground breadcrumbs
1 C grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
6 eggs
1 tbsp poultry seasoning
2 tbsp basil
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp allspice
salt & pepper to taste


  1. To make the dough: Mix together the ingredients, kneed well (use a machine to help with this stage!) Roll out thinly – so it looks like paper
  2. To make the filling: Chop onions and garlic very finely and saute in a large skillet. Add the ground beef and pork to to the onion mixture and brown. Set aside.
  3. Boil the carrots and and swiss chard/spinach in salted water. When tender, chop coarsely and add to the skillet mixture.
  4. Reserve spinach water in case you need to add any to alter the consistency of the filling.
  5. Add breadcrumbs. grated cheese and eggs to the skillet.
  6. Pour into the food processor and blend until mixed well.
  7. Add the spices and taste! Adjust seasonings to taste.
  8. To assemble the ravioli: Roll out dough very thinly on a well floured surface into a rectangle shape. Brush the entire top surface of the rolled dough with a lightly beaten egg.
  9. Spread ravioli stuffing very thinly onto one half of the rectangle. Fold the uncovered half of the dough on top of the filling and press down lightly.
  10. Using a ravioli rolling pin roll over the dough and PRESS DOWN HARD. Then cut between the ravioli using a ravioli cutter.
  11. If you are not cooking and eating the ravioli immediately:
  12. Place each ravioli on a baking tray covered in parchment paper and freeze. When fully frozen you can transfer them to a freezer proof bag and store until you are ready to eat them.

From our family to yours – we hope you have a fantastic time celebrating the birth of Jesus with your loved ones.

Merry Christmas from Captain America & His English Rose!

We are taking a little blogging break over the holidays and we will be back in the New Year!

30 Sensational Summer Salads

Summer is in full swing, kids are on vacation, days are long, time is short and meals are aplenty!

Check out this round-up of 30 Sensational Summer Salads for all occasions to get your tastebuds and inspiration flowing!

Whether you need a salad for lunch or dinner, a side salad, or some great ideas for salads to serve at a summer BBQ or picnic there is one here for every occasion and every palate!

Here are some inspirational recipes so let’s get cooking!!

Entree Salad Dishes (Meat Free)


Quinoa Tabbouleh

Kale Salad with Pear, Berries & Walnuts by Simply Fresh Dinners

Almond, Mango, Kale, Pasta, Green Bean Chopped Salad by Kitchen Chopper


Entree Salad Dishes with Meat/Poultry


Cobb Salad

Taco Salad

Warm Spinach Salad

Chicken Salad with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

Tuna Nicoise Salad

Crab, Tangerine & Fresh Herb Salad by Simply Fresh Dinners

Southwestern Cornbread Salad by Recipes For Our Daily Bread


Side Salads


Traditional Coleslaw

Red Cabbage & Broccoli Slaw

Three Bean Salad

Simple Green Salad

Berry Salad by Coffee With Us 3

Roasted Corn Salad with Feta & Tomatoes by Coffee With Us 3

Cranberry Green Salad by Coffee With Us 3

Fresh Tomato & Feta Salad by Eat It & Say Yum


Potato & Pasta Salads


Cheesy Ranch Potato Salad by From That’s My Home

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad by A Kitchen Hoor

Pasta Salad with Zing! by My Freshly Brewed Life

Healthy Potato Salad by Simply Fresh Dinners

Grandma’s Potato Salad by Coffee With Us 3

Summer Pasta Salad


Dessert Salads


Simple Fruit Salad by Coffee With Us 3

Pistachio Salad by Thrifty Treasures

Strawberry Pretzel Salad by Thrift Treasures


Salad Dressings


Greek Style Vinaigrette

Italian Balsamic Dressing

Ranch Dressing Mix

Dairy Free Leftover Lamb Stroganoff

We LOVE lamb! Especially roast lamb!

We recently had some leftover and wanted to make a delicious dinner using the leftovers. Dairy-free leftover lamb stroganoff was born!

You may remember from a few weeks ago our recipe for Dairy-Free Chicken Stroganoff well this turned out even better!

This is the same recipe except using the leftover roast lamb. It was even more delicious than the chicken stroganoff – and that was amazing! This is the ultimate dish for leftover lamb and it is so simple to make!

I love the fact that it takes a classic dairy dish and makes it dairy-free – as you know Captain America cannot eat dairy (except cheese….weird we know!) With this recipe he doesn’t miss out and doesn’t have to worry about any adverse side effects!

We served this dish with the classic pasta noodles on the side but you could serve it with crusty bread or potatoes for an alternative.


1 white onion, slivered

1lb roast lamb, cut into chunks

4oz mushrooms, sliced

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 1/2 C beef broth (or lamb stock)

4 tbsp flour

1 C rice milk

3 tsps Dijon mustard

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp rosemary

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp dill

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp parsley

1 tsp garlic salt


Place the cubed lamb and onions in a pan and cooked on a moderate heat until the onions begin to soften.

Make a small hole in the center of the meat and add the coconut oil and cook until it melts.

Then add in the flour and stir into all the meat. Cook for 2 minutes.

Gradually add in the beef/lamb stock, stirring constantly.

Gradually add in the rice milk and continue stirring until a thick sauce is formed.

Reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add in all the seasonings and mushrooms. Stir well. Simmer for a further 10 minutes on low heat.

Serve with pasta noodles

Carbonara with a Twist

Carbonara with a twist

We love Carbonara!

It is my favorite dish when we are eating at a genuine Italian restaurant.

This is Carbonara with a twist!

Finding a genuine Carbonara dish outside of Italy is a real challenge…..and this is no exception! This is Carbonara with a twist because it’s not really Carbonara at all! However, it is very similar, except that we also added extra vegetables and mushrooms, and the only version I can make with a husband who is allergic to milk based dairy products – therefore I cannot use cream, a necessity  for creating genuine Carbonara.

We made this dish a long time ago, and it was a real challenge to get right.  We did-but made no notes and took no photographs! Therefore I was determined to make our Carbonara with a twist again to share it with you.

Carbonara with a twist

If you or your family are allergic to cream or milk based dairy (yes I know this has cheese in it….but Captain America is not allergic to cheese for some reason!) then this is a way you can eat classic Carbonara with a twist, but still enjoy the classic taste!

What is your favorite Italian dish?

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Dairy Free Chicken Stroganoff

Dairy-Free Chicken Stroganoff

Captain America was craving Stroganoff-being the dutiful wife I wanted to fulfill his craving!!

However, stroganoff has milk and sour cream in it – both of which he is highly allergic to. I therefore set about creating a healthy Dairy Free Chicken Stroganoff which turned into a huge success.

“How do you make a Dairy Free Chicken Stroganoff?” I hear you cry, “surely that changes all the fundamental ingredients of a stroganoff?” Well, we don’t think so.

We found a solution to keep the great, comfort-food taste of the classic dish but making it healthier by using chicken instead of beef and substituting dairy for rice milk, chicken stock and an excellent seasoning mix-creating our delicious Dairy Free Chicken Stroganoff!

Dairy-Free Chicken Stroganoff

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Last Minute Valentine Ideas

Last Minute Valentine Ideas

Are you struggling for Valentines Day ideas? Are you on a tight budget?

If so then look no further – here is the best of the best of Captain America & His English Rose’s Valentines ideas and recipes!

Whether you want to bake something quick and easy, or make something more dramatic we have the perfect recipes for baking up a storm.

If you are looking for date night ideas on a budget, we have some great recipes that you can make at home, some are a little more technical (but remember neither I or Captain America are professional cooks!), some are quick, easy and delicious, and some are a way you can replicate a take-out meal to save you money!

Whatever you do to celebrate Valentines Day – make the most of the opportunity to celebrate the ones you love! Continue reading

Captain America’s Poultry Pasta

Captain America's Poultry Pasta

This is another of Captain America’s pasta delights!

This one is particularly special as it is an adaptation of the very first thing he ever cooked on his own!

Apparently, he did it to try and impress and girl! It worked on her, many years ago and now it worked on me!

This is also special as it is one of the simplest things he has ever made!  It doesn’t have too many ingredients, except seasonings, of course! It really is very simple, quick and delicious!

Captain America's Poultry Pasta

The sauce may sound very rich, but it’s actually quite light and delicate, the seasonings are perfectly balanced, and it’s pasta so you can’t possibly go wrong!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup


Chicken Noodle Soup has become the must have soup when you get sick….which I think gets it quite the reputation and does such a wonderful soup a disservice!

I love Chicken Noodle Soup, especially in winter, ironically here in California, winter bypassed us this year as it is around 70°F right now, so Captain America and I are walking around in t-shirts, with all the doors and windows open eating soup, pretending it is winter! However I must say I am currently quite happy with the sunshine and warm weather after returning from a decidedly cold and rainy month in England!

Captain America made this soup – it is one of his signature dishes! Last year, he made a HUGE pot of it and we were eating it for months – this time we halved the recipe (to save on freezer space).  This soup keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator or for a few months in freezer safe containers in the freezer.  The joy of this is that the soup is concentrated – very concentrated – so add lots of boiling water as you serve it, also the orzo absorbs a lot of the liquid so it will thicken with time.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Apparently, Captain America tells me, that it has been proven that Chicken Noodle Soup actually can help you get better when you are sick as it has a high level of antioxidants… if you are sick, or you know someone who is then make this soup and eat it….it may help you heal!

Enjoy…..even if you are not sick!!! Continue reading

Sicilian Meat Sauce

Sicilian Meat Sauce

Captain America makes a delicious Sicilian Meat Sauce.  

It is an adaptation on a family recipe that has passed through generations.

Apparently, there is no definitive recipe, each person takes the ‘original’ and adapts it to suit their tastes.  This is Captain America’s version of his Mom’s recipe, that she adapted from her Mom, but her sister’s version was totally different…..and if you can follow that you are better than me!

I love it!  It’s rich, hearty and meaty….with a little kick of heat (which you can chose to add or not!)

Sicilian Meat Sauce

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30-Minute Meals: Shrimp Arrabiata

Shrimp Arrabiata

Here is a yet another really quick and easy dinner recipe that you can throw together in minutes.

One of the joys of being married to a Sicilian is that he grew up around traditional family recipes, and after studying in Bologna for a season he actually learned this recipe while living there……this is the US adaptation obviously – however the roots are there!

This is so simple, I barely had anything to photograph……but there’s what you need to know: Continue reading