Posts Tagged ‘Pasta’

“Weeds” with Sausage!

September 6, 2017

Here’s a recipe that I will be trying within the next week or so.  I’d not heard of this type of pasta before, but the “weeds” refers to gramigne which apparently resembles a slightly unraveled phone cord.  I’m not sure how easy it will be to find gramigne, but if it proves to be difficult, you could always use fusilli or rotelle.

“Weeds” with Sausage

1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 Tablespoon of butter
1 large onion, diced
1 pound of Italian pork sausage (without the casing)
6 Tablespoons of tomato paste
1/2 cup of dry white wine
1/2 cup of milk
Salt and pepper
1 pound of gramigne, short fusilli, or rotelle
Freshly grated Parmiagiano cheese

1.  In a 12- to 14-inch skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft and golden brown (6-8 minutes).  Add the sausage and cook, stirring occasionally (and draining any excess fat), until the sausage is very brown and somewhat crisp (about 10 minutes).

2.  Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until it becomes a deep rust color (about 8 minutes).  Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until it is evaporated.  Stir in the milk, season with salt and pepper (to taste), and reduce the heat to a simmer. Continue cooking for about 15 minutes more.

3.  Meanwhile, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 Tablespoons of salt.  Drop your pasta into the water and cook until just al dente.

4.  Scoop out about 1/4 cup of the cooking water (set aside) and drain the pasta.  Add the pasta to the sauce and toss over high heat for 1 minute (to coat), add a bit of the reserved water if necessary to “loosen” the sauce.

5.  Divide the pasta among your pasta bowls, top with the Parmiagiano cheese and serve.

Molto bene!

Source: Molto Italiano by Mario Batali, p. 189

How About Some Noodles?!

July 6, 2017

If you have been looking for a quick and easy way to add an Asian version to your carb-loading, then look no more.  Here is a tasty recipe that combines chicken, peanut butter, and noodles (with all of the assorted Asian spices) for an entree that will have them begging for more.

Chicken Peanut Noodles

1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon each of ginger and salt
4 trimmed chicken thighs (boneless and skinless)
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 head of broccoli, chopped
6 ounces of soba noodles (2 bundles)
1/3 cup of peanut butter
2 Tablespoons of soy sauce
1 Tablespoon of rice vinegar
2 teaspoons of honey
1/4 cup of chopped peanuts
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Boil six (6) cups of water in a covered saucepan over medium-high heat.  To prepare the chicken, sprinkle the garlic powder, ginger, and salt over both sides.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken and cook until almost cooked through (about six (6) minutes), flipping once.  Add the broccoli to the skillet.  Cook the contents, covered, until the broccoli is bright green (and crisp-tender) and the chicken is cooked through (about five (5) minutes more).

3. Add the noodles to your boiling water and cook until tender (about three (3) minutes).

4.  In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, and honey. Drain the noodles (but reserve 1/2 cup of the noodle water) and immediately coat the noodles in the peanut sauce (add some of the cooking water to loosen the sauce if required).

5.  Chop the chicken  and toss with the noodles and broccoli.  Top with peanuts and cilantro and season to taste with salt and pepper.


The Original White Meat!

June 7, 2017

Yes, chicken!  And whenever I run across a recipe that is super simple, I just can’t resist.  Here’s a recipe that will only take you thirty (30) minutes to prepare but will taste like you slaved in the kitchen for hours!

Chicken Parmesan in a Garlic Mushroom Cream Sauce

4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
2 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper
8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup of butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon of flour
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of spinach, chopped

1.  Season your chicken on both sides (salt and pepper).  In a large skillet, add the olive oil and cook the chicken on medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until browned/cooked to where there is no longer any pink in the center.  Remove the chicken and set aside.  Add the sliced mushrooms to the skillet and cook for a few minutes until they are tender.  Remove them and set aside.

2.  For the sauce, add the butter to you skillet and melt.  Throw in the minced garlic and cook until it is tender (a minute or so).  Add the flour and whisk until it is incorporated and slightly thick.  Whisk in the chicken broth, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Add the spinach and let it simmer until the sauce thickens and the spinach wilts.  Add the chicken and the mushrooms back into your sauce (to coat).  Serve on either a bed of rice, or over the pasta of your choice.


Lasagna in a Hurry!

May 18, 2017

When you find you are not in the mood to deal with lasagna noodles and sauce from scratch, here’s a wonderful recipe for lasagna that you can throw together in a hurry (using only four ingredients).  And it is positively fantastic!  Enjoy!

Ravioli Lasagna

1 pound of ground beef
1 jar (28 ounces) of spaghetti sauce
1 package (25 ounces) frozen sausage or cheese ravioli
1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese

In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain off the excess juice.  In a greased 2-1/2 quart baking dish, layer a third of the spaghetti sauce, have of the ravioli and beef, and 1/2 cup of the cheese.  Repeat the layers once and top with the remaining sauce and cheese.

Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until heated through.

Super easy!

Same Ingredients, Different Recipe!

December 27, 2016

I have been making a Sausage and Cheese Tortellini Alfredo recipe for several years now (which is positively awesome).  So when I ran across a recipe for this Italian Soup, I immediately thought that this should be a recipe I try (in the not too distant future).

Italian Sausage Soup with Tortellini

1 pound of Italian sausage
1 cup of chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 cups of beef broth
1/2 cup of water
1/2 cup of red wine
4 large tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and chopped)
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 Tablespoon of packed basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1-1/2 cups of sliced zucchini
8 ounces of fresh tortellini pasta
3 Tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
Parmesan cheese


1. In a 5-quart Dutch oven, brown the sausage. Remove the sausage and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.

2. Saute the onions and the garlic in the drippings. Stir in the beef broth, the water, the wine, the tomatoes, the carrots, the basil, the oregano, the tomato sauce, and the sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

3. Skim the fat from the soup. Stir in the zucchini and the parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes. Add the tortellini during the last 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese on top of each serving.

Cheeburger, Cheeburger!

May 3, 2016

In honor of one of my all-time favorite skits from Saturday Night Live (The Olympia Restaurant), here is a recipe for a Cheeseburger Pasta dish that is simple and delicious.

Cheeseburger Pasta
1-1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
3/4 pound of lean (90%) ground beef
2 Tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons dill pickle relish
2 Tablespoons of prepared mustard
2 Tablespoons of ketchup
1 teaspoon of steak seasoning
1/4 teaspoon of seasoned salt
3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions (optional)

  1. Cook the pasta per the directions on the package.  At the same time, in a large skillet, cook the beef and the onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain.  Drain the pasta and add it to the meat mixture.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes, relish, mustard, ketchup, steak seasoning, and seasoned salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about five (5) minutes.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese.  Remove from the heat; cover and let stand until the cheese is melted.  Garnish with green onions (if desired).

Craving a Little Olive Garden?!

February 20, 2016

I’m not sure about you, but Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli is simply out of this world.  Here is a wonderful recipe for this fabulous soup that you can create at home.

Pasta e Fagioli

1 pound of ground beef
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
1 large carrot, julienned (1 cup)
3 stalks of celery, chopped (1 cup)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can (15-ounce) red kidney beans (with the liquid)
1 can (15-ounce) great northern beans (with the liquid)
1 can (15-ounce) tomato sauce
1 can (12-ounce) V-8 juice
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1-1/2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of basil
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 pound of ditali pasta

1.  Brown the ground beef in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat.  Drain off most of the fat.

2.  Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and saute for 10 minutes.

3.  Add the remaining ingredients, except the pasta, and simmer for 1 hour.

4.  About 50 minutes into the simmering, cook the pasta in 1-1/2 to 2 quarts of boiling water over high heat.  Cook for 10 minutes or just until the pasta is al dente, or slightly tough and drain.

5.  Add the pasta to the large pot of soup.  Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more and serve.

Baked Ravioli!

January 25, 2016

When I have served ravioli in the past, I normally just boil the pasta and top it with my mom’s homemade spaghetti sauce.  Last week I ran across a recipe that takes my process one step further — you top it with cheese and bake it in the oven.  The obvious benefit to this variation: you can make this a day ahead  and then just pop it in the oven . . . perfect for those days when you know you don’t have a lot of time for the prep.  Enjoy!

Baked Ravioli

2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1-1/2 teaspoons of dried thyme, or oregano
1 can (28-ounces) whole tomatoes
1 can (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes
2 pounds frozen ravioli
1-1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic and season with the salt and pepper.  Cook while stirring occasionally until softened (about 5 minutes).  Add the thyme and tomatoes.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer (breaking up the tomatoes as you go) until the sauce is thickened and reduced to about 5-1/2 cups (20-25 minutes).

2.  Meanwhile, cook the ravioli in a large pot of boiling salt water just until they float to the top (pasta will continue to cook in the oven).  Drain the pasta and return to the pot.

3.  Toss the sauce with the pasta.  Pour the pasta into a 13×9 baking dish and sprinkle with the cheeses.  Bake until golden (about 20-25 minutes).  Cool slightly before serving.

Spicy Sausage Pasta

May 24, 2015

Here’s a recipe that I found that sounds delicious, and it even seems easy to prepare.

Spicy Sausage Pasta

1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 pound smoked sausage, sliced (kielbasa/smoked Polish sausage)
1-1/2 cups diced onion (2 medium)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of chicken broth
1 can (10 ounce) mild Ro-Tel diced tomatoes with green chiles (I’d use hot/spicy)
1/2 cup of heavy cream
8 ounces uncookd penne pasta
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/3 cup thinly slice green onions

In an oven-safe skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat until very hot.  Add the sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about four (4) minutes, stirring regularly.  Add the garlic and cook about thirty (30) seconds.  Add the broth, Ro-Tel, cream, pasta, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer until the pasta is tender and most liquid is absorbed, about fifteen (15) minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in half of the cheese.  Top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with the green onions.  Place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted, browned, and bubbly.


Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Four!

August 30, 2014

PastaFrom A to Z (agnolotti [baby goats] to ziti), there are more than a hundred different shapes of pasta.  Who knew?  Did you know that orechiette means “little ears,” that vermicelli means “little worms,” that strozzapreti means “stranglers of the priest, and that maltagliati means “badly cut?”

Here is a list of the assorted pastas (courtesy of wikipedia) available for your cooking pleasure.  Enjoy!

If you were to invent a new type of pasta, what shape and name would you give it?