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!
- 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
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet until shimmering
- Add fresh ground pepper and cook until it is sizzling
- Remove from heat
- In a large skillet or pot, add pasta and just cover with water
- Add salt and cook until just al dente
- Remove from heat but do not throw out pasta water
- Return skillet with olive oil back to heat
- Add butter and 2-3 Tbsp of the pasta water
- Add the cooked pasta and the cheese on top
- Start shaking the pan and swirling the pasta
- Add more pasta water if needed
- The oil, butter, starchy water, and cheese will make a creamy sauce
- Place on plates or in bowls and drizzle some more olive oil for extra flavor
- Add more pepper if you wish
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
- 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
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the penne until al dente.
- Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the mascarpone and sherry vinegar.
- Cook over low heat until melted; keep warm.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add the green beans,zucchini, yellow squash, and shallots.
- Sauté until tender and lightly browned.
- Add the chicken, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Cook just until warmed through.
- In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the skillet contents and the mascarpone sauce.
- Add some of the reserved cooking liquid if the pasta seems dry.
- Sprinkle with the basil and spoon onto plates.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
This dish is an easy variation on Salisbury Steak. Comfort food to the max!
Salisbury Steak Meatballs and Noodles
- 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
- Whisk milk, potato flakes, salt and pepper in large bowl.
- Add beef and knead until combined.
- Shape into four ½ to 1 inch round meatballs and transfer to plate.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Melt 2 tablespoon butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook meatballs until well browned.
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
- Transfer meatballs to oven safe serving platter.
- Keep warm in oven while cooking onions.
- Add onion and remaining butter to empty skillet and cook.
- Cook until onion is softened and brown, about 10 minutes.
- Cook noodles according to package directions.
- Cook gravy according to package directions.
- Add gravy to onions.
- Drain noodles and put on serving platter.
- Cover with gravy, onions, and meatballs.
- Garnish with parsley and parmesan cheese.
This is a quick pasta dish with fresh vegetables. Use whatever is fresh or whatever you like the best.
- 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
- Cook tortellini a couple of minutes less than package directions.
- Drain and set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium high heat.
- Add the carrots, stir, and cook 3 minutes.
- Add the onions, zucchini, and garlic and stir to cook until softened.
- Splash in wine and broth, then cook for 3 minutes, until the liquid reduces a bit.
- Stir in cream and Parmesan.
- When the mixture is hot, stir in peas, ham, salt, and pepper.
- Allow them to heat up in the sauce.
- When the sauce is hot, stir in the tortellini.
- Check for seasonings, add more if needed.
- Serve with extra Parmesan and basil.
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
- 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
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken pieces in a single layer and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Allow to cook without stirring for 2 minutes, or until golden.
- Stir chicken around to brown on all sides.
- Remove to a plate.
- In the same skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions, red pepper flakes, and garlic.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are deep golden.
- Deglaze pan with red wine and cook until almost evaporated.
- Reduce the heat to low and pour in the crushed tomatoes.
- Stir until the onions and garlic are mixed in, then add the chicken back into the pan.
- Add the parsley and oregano, stir to combine, then allow to simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Make sure the sauce is bubbly and very hot, then gently stir in the mozzarella.
- Let it sit, undisturbed, for 2 to 3 minutes, until you can see that the mozzarella is very soft.
- Drain the pasta and pour it onto a platter.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil. Immediately sprinkle on 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan.
- Pour on the sauce, sprinkle with extra Parmesan and the chiffonade of Basil, and serve immediately!
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
- 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
- Cook pasta per directions.
- Reserve 1 cup pasta water.
- Boil green beans in salted water for 7 minutes.
- Immediate place in ice water to stop cooking
- Drain and dry.
- Melt butter in skillet.
- Cook ham until starting to brown.
- Heat garlic until fragrant.
- Add lemon juice and green beans.
- Cook until heated again.
- Place pasta in a large bowl.
- Add dollops of ricotta cheese to pasta.
- Add green beans and ham to bowl.
- Top with parmesan cheese.
- Toss to combine adding some pasta water if too dry.
- Drizzle with olive oil.
- Top with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.
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
- 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
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Bring water, salt, and oil to boil over high heat.
- Add pasta, bring back to a boil and cook until al dente, 8 to 9 minutes.
- Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
- In a large bowl, mix together eggs, evaporated milk, melted butter and salt and pepper, to taste.
- Stir in 3/4 of the cheese and add the pasta.
- Spray an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with nonstick spray and add the pasta mixture.
- Top with remaining cheese and dust with paprika.
- Bake until the cheese is golden and bubbly, about 30 minutes.