Justice League Unlimited

Episode: The Balance
Pasta Shells with Peas

The number one reason I’m such a superhero nut, is because I stumbled into the DC Animated Universe at a very young age. (I didn’t get to really know Marvel until later.) I watched every episode of every show I could and I still wanted more superheroes. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to wait long before Justice League Unlimited was born. I already loved Justice League, but adding all of the extra superheroes just made everything more fun. The core seven will always be my favorites, but I got to fall in love with so many new people and I felt like I was becoming quite the hero expert. The greatest thing about JLU, is getting to go beyond the masks and capes and seeing the superheroes as “regular people” living and working together, fighting and playing, and even dating. (I wasn’t the only one falling in love.) Every interaction is so cute.

Just seeing the heroes eating together at the commissary in the Watchtower is enough to make me giggle. That still applies even when they’re being huffy with each other, like Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl. The Flash was trying to be sweet and have them eat dinner together, but they just couldn’t get along. (Their food wasn’t even a safe topic.) Judging from their trays and the trays of most of the other heroes, I’m figuring that pasta shells with peas is that day’s special. I don’t know who cooks up there, but they are feeding superheroes so I’d have to assume the food’s pretty good.

Recipe makes seven 1-cup servings.

Ingredients

1/2 pound large pasta shells

4 cups frozen peas, thawed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion

3 cloves garlic

1 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon parsley

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt

Pepper

 

Directions

Sauce with Peas:

Add the oil to a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the chicken broth, heavy cream, peas, parsley, salt, and pepper. Simmer until the sauce has thickened, 5-6 minutes.

Pasta Shells:

Bring a large pot full of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles have cooked through, 10-12 minutes. Drain.

Putting It All Together:

Lightly toss the hot noodles in the sauce. Add the Parmesan cheese and dish out!

JLU PastaJLU Pasta Peas (3)

This dinner is pretty humble compared to Flash’s overloaded tray, but I don’t burn through calories as quickly as he does. I have to say though, the pasta shells with peas taste better than most ( Okay, all.) of the cafeteria food I’ve had. I don’t know if it’s the pasta or the sauce or the two of them coming together to do some good. Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl may be like oil and vinegar, but everything in this dish mixes perfectly.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

Lady and the Tramp

Tony’s Spaghetti Especiale

For the longest time, Lady and the Tramp was my favorite movie. There are so many good things about the film, but I really loved it because of the title characters, especially Lady. I loved the Tramp, but I completely adored Lady. I grew so attached to her, that I needed my own Cocker Spaniel. I got her and I guess what I named her? Princess Candy Cane. (Yeah, I have no idea what was going on in that pea brain of mine.) Princess wasn’t a thing like Lady, but I wasn’t at all like Jim Dear and Darling. I get the whole baby thing, but my dogs are my babies. At least they aren’t nearly as bad as Aunt Sarah. (Is it wrong that I wish bad things on her?) Okay, enough with the silly humans. I watch this movie for the doggies.

Lady is so sweet and innocent. And I love how caring all the dogs are, even when the humans aren’t. The Tramp can’t resist lending a helping paw by sharing his experience with Lady and later rescuing her. Sure, he was first interested because he’s got a weakness for pretty girls, but it doesn’t take him long to fall under the spell of true love. You can kind of blame that on Tony’s. Had the Tramp shared a meal with Lady at any one of his other stops, it wouldn’t have been nearly as romantic. (Imagine them sharing a big piece of corned beef.) But, Tony pulls out all the stops for “Butch” and we get the mega iconic “Bella Notte” spaghetti sequence. We’ve got the singing, and the spaghetti kiss, and the Tramp giving Lady the last meatball! It’s too much! I can’t take it! Plus, that plate of spaghetti looks so good! I know. Way to ruin the romantic moment by focusing more on the food, but I’ve thought it since the very first time I watched the movie. It’s about time I make a plate of my own.

Recipe makes 6-8 servings.

Ingredients

1 ½ pounds spaghetti noodles

Sauce:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups beef broth

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

½ cup onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pepper

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons parsley

2 teaspoons basil

2 teaspoons sugar

 

Meatballs:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 pound ground pork

4 slices white bread

½ cup milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon basil

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon oregano

¼ cup onion, finely chopped

1 ½ cloves garlic, minced

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

 

Directions

Sauce:

Add the oil to a large skillet or medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the beef stock and crushed tomatoes. Add salt, pepper, sugar, oregano, parsley, and basil. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the tomato paste.

Meatballs:

Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.

Tear the slices of bread into pieces and place in a large mixing bowl. Pour milk over the bread and allow it to soak the bread through. Add the salt, pepper, basil, parsley, oregano, Parmesan, and eggs. Add the cooled onions and garlic and mix thoroughly. Add the meat and mix until just combined. Scoop out meat mixture the size of two tablespoons and place on a baking sheet. Form meatballs into rounds and chill for an hour to help the balls maintain their shapes while cooking.

Heat the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the meatballs in flour and give them a quick browning on all sides, about 5 minutes. Finish cooking the meatballs in the sauce for 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Any meatballs that can’t fit in the pot will just need an additional 5-10 minutes in the skillet.

Spaghetti Noodles:

Bring a large pot full of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles have cooked through, 8 minutes. Drain.

Putting It All Together:

Lightly toss the hot noodles in the sauce. Place the noodles and meatballs on a plate. Enjoy!

ladyandthetramp (2)LadyTrampSpag

Who would’ve thought that, along with the rest of the world, I would fall in love with a couple of dogs eating a plate of spaghetti? It’s not a pretty sight in my house, but that’s Disney Magic for you. Thanks to a little bit of my own magic, I can enjoy Tony’s Spaghetti Especiale whenever I want, bella notte or not.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!