Posts Tagged ‘Pasta’

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?

Pass the Pasta!

February 10, 2011

I love pasta . . . and when I find recipes that include bacon and/or shrimp, then I’m definitely is seventh heaven!  Here’s a quick and easy recipe for linguine with bacon and shrimp (or, you could substitute clams for the shrimp if you so desire — whatever you prefer . . . me, I prefer shrimp).   Throw in a Caesar salad with some garlic cheese toast and you have a meal that can be ready in minutes and be a real crowd pleaser to boot.  Muy delicioso!

4 strips of bacon, thinly sliced (widthwise)
1 red onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch of red-pepper flakes (generous)
1 pound shelled shrimp
1 cup dry white wine
12 ounces whole wheat linguine
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Heat a large saute pan on medium and add the bacon pieces. Cook them until they are well browned (about 5 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a plate. Pour out all but a thin film of the bacon grease.

Return the pan to medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent (about 3 minutes). Add the shrimp and wine and continue to cook until mosts of the wine has ev aporated and the shrimp are tender (about ten minutes).

While the shrimp is cooking, bring a large pan of water to boil. Add the linguine and cook until al dente (according to package instructions). Drain the noodles (keep 1/4 cup of pasta water) and pour them into the pan with the shrimp. Add the browned bacon and the parsley and cook, tossing for 30 seconds. Add a bit of the pasta water if the noodles look dry.

Divide among four warm bowls and serve immediately.

Sounds (and looks) Delicious!

May 25, 2009

Can’t wait to try this one!

Noodles with Mushrooms and Lemon Ginger Dressing Recipe


Lemon Ginger Dressing

  • 3/4 teaspoon Asian chlli powder (or cayenne)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 inch section of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

The Noodles

  • 9 ounces dried noodles (spaghetti, linguine, udon, soba)
  • 7 ounces fresh mushrooms (enoki, shimeji, sliced button, sliced shitake)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh herbs (parsley, green onion, cilantro or basil)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


1 Make the dressing by combining all ingredients, except for the sesame oil and olive oil in a food processor or hand blender. Run the blender for a few seconds, until all ingredients are combined. With the machine running, drizzle in the oils.

2 In a pot, cook the dried noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.

3 Heat a frying pan over high heat. Add the butter and when the butter starts bubbling, add the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms for 2 minutes.

4 In a large bowl, toss the cooked noodles with the mushrooms, fresh herbs, sesame seeds and some of the dressing (to taste.)

Bon appetit!

(from the Simply Recipes blog)

An Occasional Drink?

March 10, 2009

Visit this web site (from the National Institute of Health) and you may be “rethinking drinking.”

Check it out!  My only advice . . . never drink on an empty stomach.  Here’s one of my favorite recipes for just such an occasion (from Simply Recipes).

Chicken Pasta with Thyme-Mint Cream Sauce Recipe


      1 pound pasta, such as linguine or fettucini
      2 Tbsp olive oil
      1-1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
      Salt and freshly ground black pepper
      1/2 cup of dry white wine
      1/2 cup chicken stock
      1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
      2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
      1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme
      1 teaspoon lemon zest
      2 teaspoons honey
      1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon salt and more salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 Heat 4 quarts of salted* water in a large pot for the pasta. As the water heats, prepare the chicken. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium high. Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the chicken pieces, spreading them out initially and then not stirring them, so they have an opportunity to brown. Once lightly browned on one side, use tongs to flip the pieces over so they brown on the second side. When pieces are browned on both sides, and just cooked through, remove to a paper towel lined plate.

2 Deglaze the pan with white wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and let liquids reduce by half (turn up the heat if necessary). Add the cream, mint, thyme, lemon zest, honey, salt, and vinegar. Reduce the sauce by half again.

3 Once the pasta water is boiling, add the pasta and cook following directions on pasta package. When pasta is ready, drain and add to cream sauce when cream sauce has been reduced by half and is thick enough to coat a spoon. Add chicken to the pasta and sauce. Add more salt and pepper to taste.

* Use a teaspoon of salt for every quart of water. Some people wait until the water is boiling to add the salt. Makes little difference to me. Just make sure you get the salt in the pasta water or your pasta will be tasteless.

Serve immediately. Garnish with a little chopped fresh mint and thyme. Serves 4-6.

And, for dessert (in honor of St. Patrick’s Day this month):


Crust Ingredients

1¾ cups finely chopped chocolate graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling Ingredients

1 cup sugar
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
½ cup Irish Cream liqueur
¾ cup mini real semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Garnish Ingredients

Whipped cream, if desired
Chocolate curls, if desired


Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine all crust ingredients in medium bowl until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up the sides of lightly greased 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

Combine sugar and cream cheese in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until creamy. Continue beating adding one egg at a time, until well mixed (do not over beat). Stir in liqueur by hand.

Stir together ½ cup of chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon of flour in small bowl; gently stir into cream cheese mixture. Pour batter into crust. Sprinkle remaining chocolate chips over batter.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until center is set and firm to touch. (Cheesecake surface may be slightly cracked.) Cool 10 minutes. Loosen side of cheesecake by running knife around inside of pan. Cover, refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Pipe whipped cream over top of cheesecake and top with chocolate curls, if desired.