Showing posts with label pasta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pasta. Show all posts

Monday, July 1, 2019

Cheesy Taco Pasta


Here's an easy, delicious, fast, one-pot dinner that will have your tastebuds singing. It's perfect for these summer evenings when you're running from one activity to another and your little soccer players need a good supper!


It's also perfect for a rainy summer day when comfort food is in order. Or any day that ends in "y" for that matter. This recipe takes all the good flavors of tacos (too many to name here, honestly) and combines them with pasta in a cheesy, tomato-y sauce.

This won rave reviews at my house, especially when topped with sour cream and guac. (As would anything.)


Cheesy Taco Pasta

3 cups small shell pasta
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
2 cups water
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup shredded Mexican style cheese
fresh cilantro, guacamole, sour cream, tomatoes, olives for garnish as desired


Cook ground beef, onions and garlic in a large skillet over medium high heat until meat is no longer pink; drain fat. Stir in the tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, water and pasta.

Loosely cover the pan, reduce heat to medium.

Cook for 5-10 minutes until the pasta is done, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Serve with additional garnishes as you like. Makes 4-6 servings.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce


Lately, I have really been into making stirfry dishes IF they include noodles. And sometimes, I just add noodles and adapt a dish! I love that stirfry "recipes" are really just a guideline - you can use whatever meat and vegetables you like and have on-hand, especially if the sauce is versatile. For me, peanut sauce works well with chicken, steak and pork - not so well with fish - but that's just a matter of preference!


For this version, I used up some leftovers which included steak, broccoli, zucchini and mushrooms. Carrots, peppers, asparagus etc would all be delicious additions as well. Consider this recipe your template, and then make it your own.


I used rice noodles here because I had them in my cupboard but you can easily sub linguine, soba noodles, udon, again, whatever is your preference! So clean out your crisper drawer, get out the pb, and have a delicious dinner in no time at all. (If your family is spice-averse, use only half of the chili garlic sauce...)

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Busy Monday, Fabulous, Show and Share, Wow Me, Wow Us, Whisk It, Hearth and Soul.

Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce

12 ounces linguine or rice noodles
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup julienned zucchini
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 pound sirloin steak, cut into 1/2" cubes
3 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. chili-garlic sauce

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Toss with 1 tsp. sesame oil.

Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp. sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add steak and cook, for 3 minutes or until browned on all sides. Remove to a plate. Heat remaining sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add green onions, peppers, broccoli, zucchini, garlic and ginger. Saute until vegetables soften, about 4 minutes.

In a large measuring cup (2 cup capacity, or a small bowl) combine honey, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and chili-garlic sauce and whisk well. You may want to microwave for 30 seconds to make the peanut butter easier to stir. Add to the vegetables, and add the steak back to the skillet. Simmer sauce 2 minutes.

Add noodles to the skillet and toss well. Transfer to platter and serve warm. Garnish with additional green onions and chopped peanuts, if desired.

Serves 4.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta


If you're trying to eat less meat, this is a great dish to help you accomplish that. And even if you're not, this is a great dish. It's hearty and filling and packed full of vegetables. And it's tasty. The marinade from the artichoke hearts gives this pasta a great depth of flavor. Salty Parmesan and the traditional garlic and onions add to the mix for a delicious combination.


We really enjoyed this, kids and adults alike. I hope you will, too!

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Create Link Inspire, Fabulous, Hearth and Soul, Wow Me, Wow Us.

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta

12 ounces small pasta shapes
2 tsp. olive oil
1 - 8 oz. package sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
4 cups baby spinach
1 jar quartered marinated artichoke hearts, undrained
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. parsley

Cook the pasta according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, and salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until the mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Add in the broth and cook 2 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low.

Drain the pasta, then add it to the pot along with the artichokes and half and half. Add in the spinach and sauté until it wilts, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese and the parsley until the cheese is melted. Serves 4.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Cherry Chicken Pasta Salad


This is one of my favorite salads from the grocery deli counter. I don't buy it very often, but enjoy it at potlucks and other events when other people buy it and bring it! So I couldn't have been more thrilled when Lund's and Byerly's released the RECIPE for this salad. I knew from eating it that it wasn't complicated, but I couldn't really place the dressing. Now that I see the recipe, I feel kind of silly. It's so exceedingly simple, that dressing - just prepared poppyseed dressing and mayo!

Although late September is an odd time to be making pasta salad, the 87 degree weather makes it possible - it's just not beef stew time yet, is it? So if you need a simple lunch or dinner, or want to be the envy of everyone at the next potluck - make this salad! It's really delicious.


Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Busy Monday, Inspire Me, Inspire Me 2, Full Plate, Wonderful Wednesday, Foodie Friday, Weekend Potluck, Awesome Friday.

Cherry Chicken Pasta Salad

2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
12 ounces small pasta shapes (like gemelli or small shells)
3/4 cup thinly sliced celery
3/4 cup chopped red onion
1 cup dried cherries, cut in half
3/4 cups mayonnaise
3/4 cups Poppy Seed Dressing
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Spring mix or spinach, for serving

Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions. Rinse with cold water; drain.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, pasta, celery, onion and cherries.

In a large measuring cup, combine mayonnaise, poppy seed dressing, salt and pepper.

Fold 1 cup of dressing into salad, reserving the rest. Refrigerate the salad, covered, several hours or overnight.

To serve, add remaining dressing as needed. Serve on a bed of your favorite greens.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Lunds and Byerlys

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Seafood Lasagna


I love seafood, especially shrimp, scallops and crab. So when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. It took me a few years, I will admit. I was intimidated by the steps and the many ingredients. But that was a lot of worrying about nothing! This lasagna is DELICIOUS! Seafood with a white cheese sauce, spinach, layers of pasta, ricotta, what is not to love? And it's really not that difficult - just pay attention to the steps.


I adapted this from a recipe that filled a 9x13 pan, which I knew would be way too much seafood lasagna to eat for my family; I put it in a 11x7 which was perfect. I didn't cut the sauce down, though, cause I love a saucy lasagna. You may want to adapt it for your preference.

This is certainly special occasion-worthy dish - but don't be shy like I was. Make this soon!

Find more great ideas at Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.

Seafood Lasagna

6 oven ready lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon butter
12 ounces cooked shrimp
8 ounces bay scallops
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. white wine
2 tsp. lemon juice
8 ounces crabmeat

Cheese Sauce:
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups 2% milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Dash ground nutmeg

Ricotta Mixture:
8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
5 ounces fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten

Topping:
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add scallops; cook 2-4 minutes or until scallops are firm and opaque. Remove from pan.

Add garlic to same pan; cook 1 minute. Add wine and lemon juice, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1-2 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add crab; heat through. Stir in shrimp and scallops.

For cheese sauce, melt butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in mozzarella, Parmesan, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta mixture ingredients; stir in 1 cup cheese sauce.

Spread 1/2 cup cheese sauce into a greased 11x7-in. baking dish. Layer with three noodles, half of the ricotta mixture, half of the seafood mixture and 2/3 cup cheese sauce. Repeat layers. Top with remaining noodles and cheese sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350, uncovered, 40-50 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6-9.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Taste of Home

Monday, November 7, 2016

One Pan Cheesy Pasta with Sausage


There were so many cries of "this is SO good!" when I served this that I lost count. There were absolutely no leftovers - a sign of a great meal! I know that it needs to become a regular menu item at our house or there might be some kind of revolt. And why shouldn't it? It's easy, fast and delicious - three of my main requirements for busy weeknights.


It really couldn't be simpler - saute some sausage and onion, throw in tomatoes, broth and pasta, cook til the pasta is done, then stir in the cheese. Dinner will be ready in no time. Serve with a big green salad and get ready for the cheering!

Find more great ideas at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Favorite Recipe of the Month.

One Pan Cheesy Pasta with Sausage

1 lb. smoked sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, pureed if you prefer
1/2 cup milk
8 oz small pasta shapes
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each
2 cups shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese

Brown the sausage and saute the onions in a large skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper and cook for 2 minutes.

Add chicken broth, tomatoes, milk, and pasta then bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Stir in cheese. Serves 4-6.


Recipe Source: Budget Savvy Diva

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Bowties with Bacon, Carrots and Peas


Summer is not yet officially over, but school has begun in many places, including for the school going ones at my house (5 of us!). So it's a great time to try some new family friendly dinners that are quick and easy to prepare and hearty enough to fill up the hungry tummies of the soccer players/dancers/runners around the table. (Or desk sitters, in my case. Ha!)

I love this recipe because it is light enough to be a great summer dish but it is filling enough to satisfy the aforementioned appetites. And it's a great way to get the veggies in! And, it's beautiful with the green and orange. Make it today! I know it will become a regular on our table.


Find other inspiration at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Full Plate.

Bowties with Bacon, Carrots and Peas

12 ounces uncooked bow tie pasta
1/2 pound center-cut bacon slices, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup chicken stock
1 12 oz. bag frozen green peas
1 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
4 ounces low fat cream cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta until al dente; drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon.

Remove all but 1 Tbps. of bacon drippings from pan. Add onion and carrot to drippings in pan; cook 5 minutes. Add stock; bring to a boil. Add peas; cook 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat; stir in bacon, thyme, salt, pepper, and cream cheese. Add pasta to pan; toss to coat. Stir in reserved cooking liquid if necessary. Top with cheese and serve immediately.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Cooking Light

Monday, August 22, 2016

Southwest Pasta Salad with Chili Lime Dressing


There are a few weeks left of summer, so there's plenty of time to get this great pasta salad onto the menu of your next picnic or get together. This salad has the best flavor! A spunky dressing combines with corn, black beans, onions, cilantro and of course, pasta, to really make your taste buds sing! It's a nice change of pace from the traditional Italian pasta salad, and would be great alongside grilled meat or even fajitas!


Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, What's Cooking, Wow Me, Wow Us, Hearth and Soul, Full Plate, Foodie Friday, Friday Frenzy.


Southwest Pasta Salad With Chili Lime Dressing

Dressing:
2/3 cup light sour cream
1 tsp. chili powder
zest and juice of 1 lime
salt & pepper

Salad:
3 cups pasta shells
1 can corn
1/4 cup green onions, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 to 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

Whisk all dressing ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust salt as necessary. Chill, covered, until ready to use.

For the salad, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Drain and rinse with cold water.

To the cooked pasta, stir in the corn, green onions, black beans, cheese, jalapeno, and cilantro. Add the dressing and stir well to combine. Refrigerate a couple hours to let the flavors meld.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Jo and Sue

Monday, May 23, 2016

Macaroni and Cheese {Instant Pot Recipe!}


Here's another great recipe for the Instant Pot or other version of electric pressure cooker. I love that this recipe is EASIER and FASTER than making mac and cheese from a box, and it contains only REAL FOOD. You will be amazed at how quickly you can get this on the table. You'll barely have time to make side dishes. I also recently made a batch to take in to a friend who needed a meal and the pasta cooked while I was in the shower. It's just that fast. (And needless to say, I didn't have to worry about the pasta boiling over on the stove top!)

We love to have a mac and cheese "bar" at our house and have toppings like bacon, kielbasa, broccoli and peas. However you decide to serve this, as a side or as a main, or as a quick lunch, it will be quickly devoured by everyone!


Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Fabulous, Show and Share, Hearth and Soul, What's cooking, Wow me, Wow us.


Macaroni and Cheese {Instant Pot Recipe!}

1 pound elbow macaroni, small shells or other small pasta shape
2 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard or 1 tsp. dried mustard
1 tsp. hot pepper sauce
2 tsp. salt
4 cups water
1 - 12 oz. can evaporated milk
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded colby jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Stir the macaroni, butter, mustard, hot pepper sauce, salt, and water in the pressure cooker pot. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes in an electric pressure cooker. (For the Instant Pot, use Manual mode, 4 minutes.) When the cooking time is done, quick release the pressure and remove the lid.

Turn the electric pressure cooker to keep warm mode (with the Instant Pot, after the pressure release it will stay on warm automatically), and stir in the evaporated milk. Stir in the cheese one cup at a time, stirring constantly and waiting for the cheese to melt before adding the next cup. Serve immediately as a side or top with meats and vegetables. Serves 6-8.


Recipe Source: Adapted from Dad Cooks Dinner

Monday, May 16, 2016

Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Brussels and Mushrooms


Here are a few of my favorite things: brussels sprouts, mushrooms, easy dinners, yummy food, Italian sausage, parmesan cheese sauces, eating supper on the deck, leftovers that are better than the original dish for lunch the next day. Wow! This recipe has all of the above!

Lauren has a great blog,
Sew You Think You Can Cook
, with lots of recipes to choose from. I was happy to be assigned to it for Secret Recipe Club as I had made the Candy Cane Bundt Cake for our Christmas reveal last November. I loved perusing her blog then, and it was even more fun this time cause I could choose from ANY recipe, not just the Christmas-themed ones!


So, as I said above, I love all the ingredients in this recipe! And I love that it comes together quickly for a weeknight dinner. And I love that it tastes great. And that the leftovers the next day are excellent as well. I also think that you could "trick" your kids (if you need to!) by using all shaved brussels in this recipe - I put mine through the food processor to slice them... of course, the mushrooms might prove to be trickier to disguise (what is it with kids and mushrooms by the way???).


In any case, make this pasta dish!

Find more great recipes at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up.

Tortellini with Italian Sausage, Brussels and Mushrooms

18 oz cheese tortellini or ravioli
2 links Italian sausage, casings removed
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cups chopped mushrooms
2 cups sliced Brussels sprouts
2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. rosemary leaves, crushed
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 C milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Strain, reserving some of the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up. When fully cooked remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add olive oil and butter to the skillet. Saute mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and rosemary until tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cook another 60 seconds, until fragrant. Add the chicken broth, and scrape up any stuck bits in the pan, and cook and stir until the liquid has evaporated.

In a measuring cup whisk together the milk and flour. Slowly add the milk to the pot, stirring to prevent lumps. Bring to a gentle boil and melt in the cheese. Add in the cooked ravioli and sausage. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved pasta water. Serves 6.



Monday, January 18, 2016

Creamy Dilled Shrimp Fettucine


There's just something about the dark days of winter and the cold temperatures that makes me want more and more comfort food. Creamy pasta dishes fit the bill perfectly. This is just one of several you will see posted here in the next few weeks, and this recipe got such rave reviews when I made it, that I'm sure it will be part of our regular rotation. I was excited to be assigned to Jane's beautiful blog, The Heritage Cook, for this month's Secret Recipe Club.


Jane has a lot of recipes to choose from! It was hard to narrow it down, but eventually I settled on this, due to my whole comfort food trend. I made just a few adjustments to this recipe to suit our tastes. The biggest change I made was to the preparation - I simplified it a bit to save time and dirty dishes... and the results were wonderful. I hope you'll try this soon - it will brighten and warm up any dreary winter day!

Creamy Dilled Shrimp Fettucine

1 cup half and half (or 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup heavy cream)
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. lemon juice
A few drops of Sriracha, Tabasco or other hot sauce, optional
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, drained well and cut into strips
1 lb medium cooked shrimp
8 ounces fettucine

Cook the fettucine until al dente in a large pot of boiling water; drain and rinse.

Meanwhile, in a glass measuring cup, heat the milk/cream in the microwave for 1 minute.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add onions to the pan and cook til softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the wine and whisk until slightly thickened. Gradually pour the hot milk into the mixture and whisk vigorously until thickened and smooth. Remove from heat, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in the lemon juice and the dill, and hot sauce, if you're using.

Add the pepper strips, shrimp, and pasta to the sauce and toss until evenly coated. Transfer to a greased 2 or 3 quart baking dish. Bake at 375 until it is bubbling around the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes. Serves 4.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Broccoli-Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese


Here are things I look for in a weekday dinner:
- Takes 45 minutes or less to prepare (ideally, 30 or less)
- Uses as few pots/pans/dishes as possible
- Will be eaten happily by all members of the family
- Has good balance of protein, carbs, and plenty of vegetables
- Bonus if it makes a great lunch for me the next day

When I saw this recipe in the most recent issue of Cooking Light, I knew right away I wanted to try it. Bacon is one of the main food groups at my house (or I should say, the kids wish it was). They eat broccoli pretty well and like mac and cheese so I was pretty sure it would be a hit. But this recipe had a secret ingredient: pureed butternut squash to amp up the vitamins and also cut down on the need for cheese. Would this really work, I wondered? Could I "fool" my kids into thinking this was normal mac and cheese???

The answer: a resounding YES. After searching several grocery stores unsuccessfully for frozen, pureed squash, I ended up subbing pumpkin. It adds the right color and creaminess not to mention added vitamins, as I said above. And my kids (2 teens and 1 tween) ATE IT UP!!! One even had seconds, which is unusual.

This is the perfect autumn comfort food and a great weekday dinner because it all cooks in ONE POT. Serve it with a nice salad and some apple slices and dinner is done. And it ticks all my little bullet points above. Score.


Find more great stuff at Inspire Me, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Clever Chicks, Create Link Inspire, Tasty Tuesday, Hearth and Soul, What's Cooking.

Broccoli-Bacon Mac 'n' Cheese

4 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 - 10 oz. package frozen butternut squash puree, thawed
(or use equivalent amount of mashed sweet potato or canned pumpkin)
3 cups chopped broccoli florets
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup milk
10 ounces elbow macaroni
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 4 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan. Then remove all but 2 tsp. of bacon drippings from the pan. Add garlic to remaining drippings; saute 30 seconds.

Add chicken broth, milk and squash; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add pasta; cover, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in broccoli; cover and cook 3-5 minutes or until pasta is done and sauce is thickened.

Stir in salt and pepper to taste and most of the cheese. Sprinkle bacon and remaining cheese on top. Cover; let stand one minute. Makes 6 servings.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Pasta


There's not much better in life than sitting down to eat a delicious dinner after a hard day of work. But it can be made better when the said dinner dirties only one pan! And takes less than 30 minutes to prepare! And after a couple bites, the hungry teen boy looks at you and says, "this is REALLY good." That should be enough endorsement for you - get this on your dinner rotation and SOON!


Find more great stuff at Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Totally Talented, Create Link Inspire, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Foodie Friday, Friday Flash, Friday Frenzy.

Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Pasta

1 pound Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 - 16 oz. jar roasted red peppers, drained and pureed
4 oz cream cheese (low fat is ok)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
3-4 handfuls baby spinach
12 oz pasta of your choice

In a large skillet, saute the sausage with the garlic over medium heat until browned.

Stir in chicken broth, pureed roasted red pepper, milk and pasta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 12 minutes. If the liquid has all been absorbed, add additional 1/4 each of milk and chicken broth.

Cut the cream cheese into cubes and stir into the pasta mixture until cream cheese melts.

Stir in spinach, 1 handful at a time, and cook until wilted and hot. Stir in parmesan until melted. Remove from heat and serve.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Host the Toast

Monday, June 16, 2014

Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta


Two things I love: using seasonal ingredients and using as few pans as possible when making dinner. This meal makes me so happy cause it takes advantage of both! When I saw this recipe for Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta on Jamie's blog, Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom, I knew it would be perfect for this month's Secret Recipe Club. I love the crunch of the asparagus against the creaminess of the pasta and the chewiness (in a good way!) of the chicken. Jamie didn't have mushrooms in her dish, but I added them, cause I think they make everything better! (You could, of course, leave out.) This dish reminded me a lot of one of my other favorite summer dishes, chicken and zucchini with pasta. But I love asparagus, even more than zucchini, so I'm so glad to have found this recipe. It will become a regular part of the dinner rotation at my house. Thanks, Jamie!

Start by cooking the pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente.

As the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add in the asparagus, mushrooms and minced garlic


and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes to the skillet.


Saute another 2 minutes. Toss in the cooked chicken.


Combine the broth, milk, cream cheese


and half of the Parmesan, then add it to the skillet


and stir until well combined and the cream cheese is melted and smooth.

Drain the pasta, then add it to the skillet,


and stir until all the pasta is coated. Top with additional Parmesan, and serve hot!


Happy seasonal, minimal pot usage, cooking!


One year ago: Raspberry Crumb Bars
Two years ago: Whole Wheat Blueberry Donuts
Three years ago: Berrymisu
Four years ago: Blueberry Ice Cream Tart
Five years ago: Oriental Coleslaw

Find more great ideas at Mouthwatering Mondays, Inspiration Monday, Mix it Up, Melt in Your Mouth, Recipe Sharing, Totally Talented, Create Link inspire, Clever Chicks, Try a New Recipe, Share Your Stuff, Tasty Tuesday, Happily Homemade, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking 2, The Yuck Stops Here.

Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta

8 oz small to medium pasta shapes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch segments
4 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 cup chicken broth
4 oz. cream cheese (light is ok)
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente.

As the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Saute the asparagus, mushrooms and minced garlic for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add onion powder, garlic powder, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes to the skillet. Saute another 2 minutes. Toss in the cooked chicken.

Add the broth, milk, cream cheese and half of the Parmesan to the skillet and stir until well combined and the cream cheese is melted and smooth.

Drain the pasta, then add it to the skillet, and stir until all the pasta is coated. Top with additional Parmesan, and serve hot!

Serves 6-8.



Thursday, March 20, 2014

Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Pasta with Peas


I think sausage and mushrooms is one of the greatest combinations of all time. So I was excited to see that it was THE combo for this month's Improv Challenge! I couldn't wait to find a new recipe using these fantastic ingredients. And the recipe I found did not disappoint. Not in the least. In fact, it's one of my new favorite dinners. I didn't think anything could ever come close to how much I love Italian Sausage with Bow Ties, but this one does. But how could it not? Sausage, mushrooms and peas in a savory browned butter cream sauce? Can you make it tonight? Cause you should.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente. Meanwhile, brown the Italian sausage in a large skillet until nearly cooked through. Drain off excess fat, then add the mushrooms,


and cook for 2 minutes. Toss in the peas,


and cook until peas are heated through, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium-sized sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat and then add the flour,


stirring constantly until it turns a light caramel color.


Add half and half, a 1/2 cup at a time,


stirring to allow it to heat up and thicken in between. Add Parmesan cheese to the cream sauce,


and salt and pepper to taste.

Combine sauce with the sausage pea and mushroom mixture


and then serve over drained pasta. Top with additional Parmesan if desired.


One year ago: Vegetable Risotto
Two years ago: Beef and Bok Choy Hot Pot
Three years ago: Banana Blondies
Four years ago: Oatmeal Caramel Chocolate Bars

Get more inspiration at Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent, Foodie Friday, Foodie Friday #2, Friday Flash, Friday Food Frenzy.

Creamy Sausage and Mushroom Pasta with Peas

1 lb ground Italian sausage
1-8 oz. package mushrooms, coarsely chopped
2 cups frozen peas
1 lb medium pasta shapes
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
2 cups half and half

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add pasta and cook until al dente.

Meanwhile, brown the Italian sausage in a large skillet until nearly cooked through. Drain off excess fat, then add the mushrooms, and cook for 2 minutes. Toss in the peas, and cook until peas are heated through, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a medium-sized sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat and then add the flour, stirring constantly until it turns a light caramel color. Add half and half, a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring to allow it to heat up and thicken in between. Add Parmesan cheese to the cream sauce, and salt and pepper to taste.

Combine sauce with the sausage pea and mushroom mixture and then serve over warm pasta. Top with additional Parmesan if desired.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Nine More Months



Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Shrimp Pad Thai


Pad Thai is one of my favorite things to order in a restaurant and I have put off trying to make it myself for far too long. This is a great basic recipe from Cooking Light that uses ingredients that are easy to find in any major supermarket. No tamarind here. It's also a great "basic" recipe - when I make this again (and I will!) I will amp up the veggies pretty significantly and probably reduce the amount of noodles. It will be less pad thai-y, but still super delicious thanks to the yummy sauce.

Start by cooking the noodles in a large pot of boiling water.


Rice noodles don't take as long to cook as traditional pasta - 5 to 6 minutes should be sufficient. While the noodles cook, combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce,


fish sauce,


lime juice and sriracha


and whisk until smooth. Now heat a large skillet or wok over medium high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the green onion and garlic


and stir fry for one minute. Toss in the shrimp,


then the egg,


and cook and stir


until the egg is completely scrambled. Add the noodles,


then the sauce,


and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly to coat all the noodles. Transfer the pad thai to a serving dish, and top with bean sprouts, peanuts and basil.


One year ago: Pumpkin Quinoa Bake
Two years ago: Pumpkin Cake Roll
Three years ago: Carrot and Potato Gratin
Four years ago: Apple Bundt Cake

Find more great ideas at Hearth and Soul, Cast Party, What's Cooking, What's Cooking #2, Full Plate Thursday, Showcase Your Talent, The Weekly Creative, Foodie Friday, Foodtastic Friday, Foodie Friday (#2), Friday Flash, Strut Your Stuff.

Shrimp Pad Thai

8 ounces uncooked flat rice noodles (pad Thai noodles)
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 1/2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. sriracha or chili garlic sauce
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 cup (2-inch) green onion pieces
1 egg
8 ounces large cooked shrimp
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1/4 cup chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
3 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil

Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, lime juice and chili garlic sauce in a small bowl.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion pieces and garlic; stir-fry 2 minutes. Add egg and stir until completely scrambled. Add cooked noodles; toss to combine. Stir in sauce and shrimp; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly to combine. Arrange on a serving plate and top with bean sprouts, peanuts and basil. Serves 4.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Cooking Light























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