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Category Archives: Pasta

Creamy Springtime Risotto Primavera. 

Hey guys, it’s been a while since I’ve posted some of my recipes but, with working and all other of life’s hassles it’s been somewhat of a challenge.. Anyway,  I am SUPER excited to bring you this wonderful “Springtime” dish that is as pretty to look at as it is delicious to eat.  Risotto is something that I make a few times a month to swap out your usual side dishes. It does take a lot of babysitting while cooking but, it’s so worth the wait I tell you.  This is a simple variation of one of my most favorite side dishes and can really go with just about any protein or simply just by itself as a wonderful vegetarian dish. Hope you guys enjoy this goodie as much as my family and I did.
2 cups Orzo pasta
6 cups Chicken Stock
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
2 cups frozen peas
2 large carrots diced
3 cloves Garlic ( grated)
Salt and pepper
Fresh or dry Parsley for garnish

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add in grated garlic and diced carrots. Cook garlic and carrots for about 2 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and add in Orzo. Cook Orzo for roughly 2 mins. Add in 1 cup of chicken stock and continue stirring till most of the liquid evaporates ( make sure to scrap the bottom of the pan each time you stir). Once Orzo has completely absorbed the first cup of chicken stock, you will now add in the second cup you will do this step till all 6 cups of chicken stock has been used ( after each cup has been absorbed into the Orzo, you will then add the next cup of stock) . Once Orzo has a super Creamy and thick texture turn heat to low and add your freshly grated Parmesan and frozen peas. Stir and combine till peas are fully cooked though. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add to a large serving dish and sprinkle with either fresh chopped parsley or dry Parsley and serve.
Cooking time: approx 25 mins
Serves 6 peeps
VEG,EDF,LF

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Spaghetti with Basil tequila tomato sauce. 

   
 
Tequila you may ask? Yes, that’s what I absolutely said. Came up with this recipe by accident while running out of vodka to make a traditional “vodka” cream sauce. Although there is no cream involved in the making of this recipe it is sure to please and not to mention figure friendly.  This dish has a little bit of a spicy kick to it by adding some chili flake and a dash of Tabasco.   Of course you can omit both if ya can’t take the “HEAT”? Just kidding, it’s delicious either way!! 

2 can San Marzano tomatoes 

1/2 cup Tequila ( I use Jose Cuervo)

5-6 leaves of torn basil

2 cloves grated garlic 

1-2 tablespoons Tabasco sauce( you can dial it down by only adding 1 tablespoon or omitting completely) 

1 teaspoon dry chili flake

1 lb spaghetti or vermicelli pasta

Drizzle of olive oil

Salt and pepper 

In a large pot over med heat, add olive oil and grated garlic. Sauté garlic for about 1 1/2 mins. Add in both cans of tomatoes. Break up tomatoes using a wooden spoon. Once bubbling add in tequila, chili flake and Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper. Turn heat down to low and let simmer at a low boil for 1 hr. After 1 hr, stir in torn basil and taste for seasoning.( you might need to add more salt and pepper depending your own preference of seasoning) 

Boil pasta as directed salting the water before dropping pasta. Drain and add to tequila sauce, toss and serve with chopped flat leaf parsley/torn basil and grated parmigiano and serve. 

Cooking time: approx 1 hr 15 mins

Serves 6 peeps

EDF,VEG,LF

Greek olive and tomato tapenade spinach pasta.

   
 

I’m a salty girl. I would rather dive into a huge box of cheez-it’s than indulge in a giant piece of chocolate cake. So this recipe that I had happened to come up with on my long ride home from work today was right up my alley. My first time having olive tapanade was a few years back at a friend holiday party and I remember thinking “Geez” I should come up with a pasta recipe for this stuff! I’d literally eat it on and off of pretty much anything but, pasta seemed like a perfect choice?? Fast forward to a few later, well, today to be exact and “BOOM” !! Tapanade pasta!! Salty and tangy from the olives and feta and a tiny bit of sweetness from the cherry tomatoes that was also added. A great vegetarian dish and just Total-PASTA-HEAVEN!!! 

1 lb tagliatelle verde ( spinach fettuccine)

2 cups kalamata olives ( about 2 jars)

1 cup cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons capers 

3 cloves garlic 

2 teaspoons dry oregano

3 tablespoons lemon juice 

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and  pepper

Feta cheese for garnish

In a food processor, combine drained olives and capers( I save about a tablespoon of olive juice to add into my tapenade) tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, oregano, 2 teaspoons black pepper and pulse while drizzling in your olive oil. Pulse till mixture is thick and somewhat chunky ( texture is somewhat like a really thick and chunky pesto sauce). Set aside. 

 ( you will not need to add ANY salt to the tapanade because the olives and capers give it all the salt flavor you’ll need) 

Cook pasta as directed making sure to salt your water before dropping the pasta.  Once pasta has the ever so loving “al dente” BITE, drain and add back to your pot. Pour in tapanade and mix thoroughly. Serve in pasta bowls and add some crumbled feta right on top and enjoy, enjoy, ENJOY!! 
Cooking time: 5-7 mins

Serves 4-6 peeps

EDF,LC,VEG 

Gluten Free Spaghetti and meatballs with slow simmered Tequila “Marinara. 

  
Yes, I know, “Tequila” Marinara you ask?? Not the usual suspect of “liquor” you would add to a “Marinara” sauce but, I thought, eh, what the heck!! Well, it was great!! Wonderful actually!! I’m a total wine girl but, adding just a small amount of tequila was just the right touch I needed to make this homemade marinara sauce “SPOT ON”!! 

Meatballs: 

3/4 lb ground sirloin

1/2 cup GF bread crumbs 

3 cloves garlic grated

1 med onion grated 

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 egg beaten 

1/4 cup milk

Salt and pepper

In a large mixing bowl, add sirloin, breadcrumbs, egg, milk, grated garlic and onion, Parm cheese, salt and pepper and mix. After mixture is fully combined, spray a baking sheet with non stick cooking spray. Make meatballs using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon and roll meat into your hand s to form a complete ball. Put meatballs on baking sheet and cook at 350 for 25 to 30 mins. Remove and set aside. 

Tequila Marinara:

2 cans whole peeled ( San  Martzano) tomatoes with Basil leaves 

1/2 cup Jose Cuervo tequila 

3 cloves garlic chopped or grated 

1 med sized onion diced

1 teaspoon dry oregano or fresh 

Drizzle of olive oil 

Salt and pepper 

In a large pot. Heat olive oil in med high heat. Add garlic and onion and cook for about 2 mins. Add can tomatoes, and oregano and break tomatoes up with a wooden spoon. Next add tequila and a dash of salt and pepper. Cover and reduce heat to med low, add meatballs to pot. Simmer for 4 hrs. 

Note: halfway through, about 2 hrs in, always make sure you check your seasoning. 

In a large pot of boiling “salted ” water add 1lb of GF spaghetti ( I use any brand of “corn” spaghetti).  Cook till al dente. Drain and add back to the pot. 

Place cooked spaghetti into a bowl and add sauce and meatballs. Garnish with some fresh basil and grated Parm and serve. 

Cooking time 4 1/2 hrs

Serves 6 peeps

GF,EDF,KF,

Tomato and Ricotta Gemelli with ground veal. 

  
One of the things I was made to eat as a small child was veal. I never really knew what it really was until I had gotten older and kind of figured it out on my own. I wasn’t too keen on veal when I was a kid but, now that I have gotten older and cook for myself now, I really do enjoy it. This was just a simple little recipe that combines some great ingredients. Reminds me of some sort of a “Lazy” Lasagna in a way. 😋😋😋
1 lb Gemelli pasta

2 cans whole peeled tomatoes 

2 cups low fat ricotta 

3/4 lb ground veal

2 teaspoons dry or fresh basil

2 cloves garlic grated 

1/2 grated onion plus juice

Olive oil 

Salt and pepper

Grated Parm and pecorino

Chopped Fresh parsley or basil for garnish 
Heat medium size sauce Panther Mee high heat, drizzle olive oil and ads grated garlic and grated onion/juice.

Add can tomatoes,basil, salt and pepper. Once sauce comes to a boil, reduce heat to med and let simmer for 30 mins till safe becomes thicken and reduced( every so often keep breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon to get it going) 

In a skillet over med high heat,  add a touch of olive oil. Next add ground veal, salt and pepper and cook till veal is browned. 

Once veal is cooked, add to tomato sauce. And reduce to low heat. Taste for seasoning. 

Cook pasta as directed, salting water before adding pasta to boiling water. 

Add drained and cooked pasta to sauce and stir. Now add your ricotta. Combine and serve with either chopped parsley or basil and sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese. 

Cooking time: approx 45 mins

Serves 4 to 6 peeps

EDF

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo lasagna . 

    
Well, I’m finally back after a little “Hiatis” !! Sorry it’s taken me forever to update my little blog but, due to work commitments as well as other priorities going on, it’s been a tad bit difficult to get a little bit of time to get my booty back to blogging. I have tons of recipes that I have written since my last update and in due time they will all be posted accordingly. Anyway, this dish was a fantastic way of combining some of all my favorite ingredients. Chicken, broccoli, Parm, garlic, and more CHEESE.. Lasagna is just one of those great dishes that you can get so creative with. This one happens to be a great  a twist on 2 all time “Italian ” classic’s .. 

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed

1 1/2 boxes of “No boil”  lasagna noodle

4 tablespoons flour

4 tablespoons butter

16 ounces part skim ricotta cheese

1 (16 ounce) bag frozen broccoli florets

12 ounces chopped basil

3 cups shredded mozzarella 

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pecorino Romano

1 egg beaten 

4 cloves garlic grated/chopped 

4 cups “fat free” half and half

Salt pepper

Chopped parsley for garnish 

Cook Chicken in skillet . Remove, cool, cube or slice and set aside. ( you can also use “Frozen” breaded chicken strips as we’ll, just bake in the oven before adding to lasagna or bread your own) 

In a medium sauce pan on med high heat, add butter and grated/chopped garlic. Once bubbling, stir and flour. Cook flour out for about 1 min. Next whisk in cream. Keep whisking until sauce starts to thicken. Once thickened, whisk both Parm and pecorino into sauce . Add a dash of salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. 

In a mixing bowl, add ricotta,chopped basil, beaten egg, salt and pepper . Mix and set aside

In large baking pan, lay down 1 layer of Noodles. Next laddle about 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce down ( 1/2 to 3/4 cup each layer) then ricotta ( a little bit goes a long way when spreading over Alfredo) , chicken, broccoli and then a about 1/2 cup of mozz. Do this till you have 3 layers. Top with the rest of mozzarella. 

Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 45 mins taking the foil off and cooking and extra 15 mins till the top is browned.  

Remove and let stand for 20 to 30 mins

Garnish with some dry or fresh chopped parsley. 

Cooking time: 1 hr

Serves 8 to 12 peeps

EDF,KF

Creamed crab and mascarpone pappardelle with pancetta and peas 

    

This was a HUGE hit when I made this recipe yesterday. I had made something similar last year with adding crab and cream cheese and stuffing them inside some manicotti( recipe is also up) Such a great and super quick and easy recipe. 

1 can minced crab meat drained

6 oz Mascarpone cheese

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 medium onion chopped 

3 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon old bay seasoning

2 tablespoon smoked paprika 

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 

1 lb pappardelle of tagliatelle

1/2 cup cooked pancetta

1 3/4 cup milk or half and half 

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour 

Salt and pepper

Freshly grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Cook pappardelle as directed salting the water before adding pasta to water.

Sprinkle pancetta in cooking sheet and cook in a 375 degree oven for 8 mins or till crispy. Remove and drain on a plate covered with some paper towels. 

While pasta is boiling, in a food processor, combine crab,mascarpone, onion, garlic and all above listed seasonings and pulse till combined but, not puréed. Add some salt and pepper and taste for seasoning. 

 In a large pot over med high heat add butter. Once melted and bubbling whisk in flour. Cook flour out for 30 secs. Whisk in milk and lower heat to med. once thickened add crab mix and whisk in a little at time till all crab mix is combined with sauce and again adding salt and pepper and tasting for seasoning .  Add pasta and frozen peas to sauce and fully mix and then serve on a large platter by adding some cooked pancetta, chopped parsley and pecorino on top. 

Cooking time: approx 12 mins

Serves 4 to 6 peeps

EDV