Tag Archives: Pasta

Cacio e Pepe

This is a simple pasta dish we fell in love with in Rome. Very easy to make in a very short time. You can eat it with a simple salad, side dish for a protein, or just by itself. You should really give this a try. You will be glad you did!

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound spaghetti or bucatini
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
  • Salt to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet until shimmering
  2. Add fresh ground pepper and cook until it is sizzling
  3. Remove from heat
  4. In a large skillet or pot, add pasta and just cover with water
  5. Add salt and cook until just al dente
  6. Remove from heat but do not throw out pasta water
  7. Return skillet with olive oil back to heat
  8. Add butter and 2-3 Tbsp of the pasta water
  9. Add the cooked pasta and the cheese on top
  10. Start shaking the pan and swirling the pasta
  11. Add more pasta water if needed
  12. The oil, butter, starchy water, and cheese will make a creamy sauce
  13. Place on plates or in bowls and drizzle some more olive oil for extra flavor
  14. Add more pepper if you wish
  15. Enjoy!

 

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Chicken Mascarpone Primavera

ChickenMascarponePrimavera

With all the fresh summer vegetables, I need to keep finding ways to use them. If you are in a hurry, you can always stop and buy a rotisserie chicken from the store. Use whatever vegetables look good to you. This dish is easily customizable. Serve with a nice salad too.

Chicken Mascarpone Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound penne rigate
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 4 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound green beans, cut into 1 inch lengths and blanched until al dente
  • 1 zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 yellow squash, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breast, grilled and diced or shredded.
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh basil
  • Fresh shredded parmesan cheese
  • Balsamic vinegar

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente.
  2. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the mascarpone and sherry vinegar.
  4. Cook over low heat until melted; keep warm.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  6. Add the green beans,zucchini, yellow squash, and shallots.
  7. Sauté until tender and lightly browned.
  8. Add the chicken, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste.
  9. Cook just until warmed through.
  10. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the skillet contents and the mascarpone sauce.
  11. Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if the pasta seems dry.
  12. Sprinkle with the basil and spoon onto plates.
  13. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  14. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

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Salisbury Steak Meatballs and Noodles

SalisburySteakMeatballs

This dish is an easy variation on Salisbury Steak. Comfort food to the max!

Salisbury Steak Meatballs and Noodles

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 10 Tbsp instant potato flakes
  • 1 1/4 pound 93 percent lean ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • Package of brown gravy
  • 1 pound egg noodles

Instructions:

  1. Whisk milk, potato flakes, salt and pepper in large bowl.
  2. Add beef and knead until combined.
  3. Shape into four ½ to 1 inch round meatballs and transfer to plate.
  4. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  6. Cook meatballs until well browned.
  7. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  8. Transfer meatballs to oven safe serving platter.
  9. Keep warm in oven while cooking onions.
  10. Add onion and remaining butter to empty skillet and cook.
  11. Cook until onion is softened and brown, about 10 minutes.
  12. Cook noodles according to package directions.
  13. Cook gravy according to package directions.
  14. Add gravy to onions.
  15. Drain noodles and put on serving platter.
  16. Cover with gravy, onions, and meatballs.
  17. Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.

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Tortellini Primavera

TortelliniPrimavera

This is a quick pasta dish with fresh vegetables. Use whatever is fresh or whatever you like the best.

Tortellini Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 carrots, small dice
  • 1 zucchini, small dice
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 whole basil leaves, chopped or chiffonade
  • ¾ cups cooked ham, large dice
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • extra parmesan, for serving
  • extra basil, for serving
  • 1 pound cheese or spinach tortellini

Instructions:

  1. Cook tortellini a couple of minutes less than package directions.
  2. Drain and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  4. Add the carrots, stir, and cook 3 minutes.
  5. Add the onions, zucchini, and garlic and stir to cook until softened.
  6. Splash in wine and broth, then cook for 3 minutes, until the liquid reduces a bit.
  7. Stir in cream and Parmesan.
  8. When the mixture is hot, stir in peas, ham, salt, and pepper.
  9. Allow them to heat up in the sauce.
  10. When the sauce is hot, stir in the tortellini.
  11. Check for seasonings, add more if needed.
  12. Serve with extra Parmesan and basil.

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Chicken Mozzarella Pasta

ChickenMozzarellaPasta

I cooked this last Saturday night, and it was delicious! Very hearty, cheesy, and filling after a long day at the robotics competition. Add a nice salad.

Chicken Mozzarella Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Penne or Rigatoni
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into half inch pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 onion, small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
  • 8 ounces, fresh mozzarella, cut Into medium cubes
  • ¼ cup parmesan, freshly shredded
  • extra parmesan, for serving
  • 12 whole basil leaves, chiffonade

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add chicken pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Allow to cook without stirring for 2 minutes, or until golden.
  5. Stir chicken around to brown on all sides.
  6. Remove to a plate.
  7. In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
  8. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden.
  9. Deglaze pan with red wine and cook until almost evaporated.
  10. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the crushed tomatoes.
  11. Stir until the onions and garlic are mixed in, then add the chicken back into the pan.
  12. Add the parsley and oregano, stir to combine, then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally.
  13. Make sure the sauce is bubbly and very hot, then gently stir in the mozzarella.
  14. Let it sit, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can see that the mozzarella is very soft.
  15. Drain the pasta and pour it onto a platter.
  16. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Immediately sprinkle on 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan.
  17. Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with extra Parmesan and the chiffonade of Basil, and serve immediately!

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Bowtie Pasta with Green Beans and Ham

BowtiePastaGreenBeansHam

My son has been out late all week preparing with his theater group, so I have been trying to cut back on the amount of food I cook. He will be off to college in a couple of years, so I will soon be struggling to cook for only two. I still cook for four since his sister left, but leftovers are good. With both kids gone, I will really need to scale back. Anyway, this recipe can be easily doubled if necessary. This comes together really quick and pairs nicely with a salad.

Bowtie Pasta with Green Beans and Ham

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces bowtie pasta
  • 8 ounces green beans, trimmed and cut into one inch slices
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 8 ounces thick cut ham, diced into quarter inch cubes
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Juice from half a lemon

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta per directions.
  2. Reserve 1 cup pasta water.
  3. Boil green beans in salted water for 7 minutes.
  4. Immediate place in ice water to stop cooking
  5. Drain and dry.
  6. Melt butter in skillet.
  7. Cook ham until starting to brown.
  8. Heat garlic until fragrant.
  9. Add lemon juice and green beans.
  10. Cook until heated again.
  11. Place pasta in a large bowl.
  12. Add dollops of ricotta cheese to pasta.
  13. Add green beans and ham to bowl.
  14. Top with parmesan cheese.
  15. Toss to combine adding some pasta water if too dry.
  16. Drizzle with olive oil.
  17. Top with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.

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Mac n’ Cheese

MacCheese

I am not a very big fan of macaroni and cheese, but my family likes it a lot. If I am going to make it, I am definitely not making it from a box! This recipe is simple and delicious and light years beyond the box. Next time you are in the mood for macaroni and cheese, give it a try. If you like your mac n’ cheese jazzed up, feel free to add bacon bits, jalapenos, etc.

Mac n’ Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 Tbsp salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
  • 4 Tbsp butter, melted
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 16 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar
  • paprika

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Bring water, salt, and oil to boil over high heat.
  3. Add pasta, bring back to a boil and cook until al dente, 8 to 9 minutes.
  4. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, evaporated milk, melted butter and salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese and add the pasta.
  7. Spray an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and add the pasta mixture.
  8. Top with remaining cheese and dust with paprika.
  9. Bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

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