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Ricotta and Bacon Pasta

1 Jul

I made this last night for dinner when I had some ricotta and bacon that I needed to use up from my fridge.  It was really yummy, especially if you like the flavor of bacon!

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta (whatever kind you like, I used the corkscrew kind)

8 slices bacon (cut them up into small pieces as you put it in the pan)

1 large onion, chopped

8 oz of ricotta (about half of a small tub from the store)

Parmesan cheese

Basil or other herb for sprinkling at the end

Directions:

Cook the pasta until al dente.  Reserve some of the pasta water for use later.  In a skillet, fry the bacon and onion together until crisp.  Add the pasta to the skillet and mix in the ricotta and parmesan (about 1/4-1/2 cup to taste).  Add the reserved pasta water a ladleful at a time until desired consistency.  Serve warm and sprinkle herbs on top!  This was delicious 🙂  I think next time I would try adding spinach or mushrooms–yum, yum!

Stove-top mac and cheese

26 May

I found this recipe when I was looking for something to use up some evaporated milk with.  It is really a fabulous (maybe not all that good for you) and nice and creamy–just the way the box stuff is SUPPOSED to be by the looks of it.  It’s my adaption of a recipe from Alton Brown on the food network.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

12 ounces elbow macaroni, cooked

4 T butter

1 large egg

6 oz evaporated milk

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

3/4 tsp. dry mustard

10 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

Cook your macaroni until it is al dente, according to package directions. Drain well and return to the pot.  Add the butter and toss to coat.  IN a small bowl whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk, salt, pepper and mustard.  Stir this mixture into the hot pasta and then add the cheese.  Reduce heat to low and continue to stir and cook until cheese is melted and mixture is creamy.  Serve.  It is SO YUMMY and creamy.  If you’re in the mood for mac and cheese, this takes just as long as the box mix and tastes better!  Yum!

Veggie and Noodle Stir Fry

26 May

I love clipping the recipes out of “Parents” magazine.  Most of them have been really good!  This one is no exception.  I really loved this yummy way to “beef” up the veggies in our dinner!

Ingredients:

2 Zucchini

4 tsp sesame oil

1 onion

1 tsp grated ginger

1 clove garlic

1 cup green beans

1 T soy sauce (or Yoshidas–yum)

3 cups cooked Chinese eegg noodles or linguini

Directions:

Saute onion in sesame oil.  Chop zucchini into long, think sticks.  Add ginger, garlic, zucchini and green beans to sauteed onion.  Cook 3-4 minutes.  Mix in 1 T soy sauce (or Yoshidas–which is my favorite and I usually put a bit more than a T) and toss in the linguini.  This is such a simple meal, but it is so yummy and it made me realize that I actually like zucchini!

Balsamic Noodle Bowl

12 Mar

Oh boy this is SO yummy. I’ve always loved pasta salad tossed with a balsamic vinegar instead of a mayo-y dressing. This is kind of a warm version of it, but it is oh so yummy. Here’s where I found this recipe and I definitely will be making it a again. I changed it up just a touch when I made it, so here’s my version:

Ingredients:
1 pound linguine
2 red peppers (cut into thin strips)
1 package sliced cherry tomatoes
4 T balsamic vinegar (I put a bit more)
5 garlic cloves minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 T dried basil (yummy)
1 1/2 cups shredded mozarella cheese
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (optional)

Directions:
Cook the linguine in boiling water (I cooked it in a bit of chicken broth to add flavor to the noodles). As you wait for the water to boil and the pasta to cook, put a bit of olive oil in a skillet. Saute the red peppers until they are tender, but still crisp. Add the cherry tomatoes in the with peppers and turn on low heat. In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil and basil. Once the linguine is finished, drain and toss into the skillet with the peppers and tomatoes. Add the balsamic sauce and both cheeses. Toss until all combined and the cheese starts to melt. Enjoy 🙂

This was absolutely fabulous. We made it with chicken (just add that in at the end too) and loved it, but I think it would have been fabulous without too. I love the flavors of balsamic vinegar. It was just so yummy. I’ve been eating it for lunch the past few days (it makes a lot!) and have been looking forward to it every day…it’s that good. If you love the flavor of balsamic vinegar, this is a pasta for you.

Easy, Easy, Lasagna

13 Oct

My mom taught me how to make this lasagna and I wouldn’t make it any other way (really, I wouldn’t…I’d BUY it first and sometimes I do, but when I’m in the mood to make lasagna, this is my go-to recipe)!

Ingredients:
Spaghetti Sauce (ground beef, onion, etc…)
Ricotta cheese
Shredded cheese (parmesan, mozzarella)
1 egg
Lasagna Noodles

Directions:
This lasagna comes together really quickly and is yummy, yummy! I don’t have exact measurements on everything because I don’t tend to really measure, I cook more by taste. Anyway, begin by making a spaghetti sauce (ground beef, onion, mushrooms if you want, spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, tomato paste, garlic, whatever you want). While that simmers, in a separate bowl combine a big tub (not the smaller ones) of ricotta cheese and the shredded cheese. I often put in parmesan and mozzarella (a few cups at least). Then add the egg to the mixture and stir it around. From here you’re ready to start layering! Take your uncooked noodles (that’s right, you DON’T have to cook them) and layer them on the bottom of your lasagna pan. Next add a layer of the ricotta mixture and then add a layer of your spaghetti sauce mixture. Continue this process until you have 3 layers of each thing. Sprinkle mozzarella or cheddar cheese over the top (whatever you prefer) and then this is the important part: Sprinkle about 1/3 cup of water all around the edges of the lasagna. Cover it with foil and bake it for about an hour at 375 or 400 degrees until it’s nice and bubbly. I really think the lasagna noodles taste so much better this way and they cook up perfectly! It also saves you time and the hassle of having to cook lasagna noodles and use them in your dish. Yay!

Lasagna Rolls

7 Oct

This is really a fabulously yummy recipe. Mmm…if you like creamy, yummy pasta, this is one from you. I got it off Food Network from Giada De Laurentiis.

Ingredients:
Bechamel Sauce
2 T butter
4 tsp all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk (I used half whipped cream, half skim milk–which was what I had on hand).
salt
pepper
pinch of nutmeg

Lasagna
1 container ricotta cheese (15-ounce)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 large egg
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
2 cups pasta sauce (red sauce)
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Make the bechamel sauce in a saucepan by melting the butter and whisking the flour in. Then whisk in the milk, a bit of salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg (yum)!!! Whisk on medium-high until thick and smooth and then pour on the bottom of your lasagna pan to cover the whole pan.

Next cook the lasagna noodles. While they are cooking mix together the ricotta, parmesan and an egg. Once the pasta is finished cooking pull them out and spread about 3 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture along one of the noodles. Then roll up the noodle like a jelly roll and set it on top of the bechamel sauce. Continue this with all of the noodles. Pour the red sauce over the noodle rolls and top with mozzarella and a little bit of parmesan.

Bake at 450 degrees, covered with foil, for 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 15 more minutes until bubbly. Serve with some extra pasta sauce on the side.

This was very yummy. I didn’t have spinach or prosciutto as the original recipe called for, so I used a ground turkey meat red sauce. I would have loved to put the spinach in with the ricotta mixture, but I didn’t have any when I was making it. I also liked adding shredded vegetables to the ricota mixture too.  Regardless, this was a fabulous dish and I would definitely make it again! Yum, yum!

Homemade Gnocchi

19 May

I posted this on my blog a little while ago, but I’ve decided to consolidate my recipes here and if you haven’t made this one, you’ve got to. It’s fabulous–and really, homemade pasta tastes SO much better than the store-bought stuff. It’s like baby’s bottom goodness. YUM!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs Russet Potatoes
1 egg
1 cup flour (white flour–the good stuff)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Start by microwaving 3 Russet Potatoes (mine were about 1 1/2 lbs) until they were soft inside. (you could also bake them, but I’m not patient enough for that). You do have to be careful microwaving potatoes though, they will explode all over. I poke holes in them and wrap them in a wet paper towel and they come out perfectly. Then scoop out all the insides and put them into a bowl (with a wet cloth on top to keep the moisture and heat in). Mash up the potatoes and then add a beaten egg and some salt and pepper and mix that all together. You could also add some rosemary at this point, or other seasoning that would be yummers (this is why I love cooking…you get to do whatever you want and make your own adaptations).

Then start adding the flour and kneed it at the same time. Keep adding flour if the dough is too sticky. This should take about 5 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes. Then break it into four sections and roll each section into a “snake” about 1/2 an inch thick. Cut them into gnocchi-sized pieces (that’s pretty small) and then toss them into a pot of boiling, a little bit salted, water. Once the gnocchi is finished you will know because it will all float to the top of the water. Serve it immediately (yum) with your favorite sauce! I used a tomato-cream sauce (a recipe to come) and it was phenomenal! I also threw some roasted garlic into it and some parmesan cheese. Yummy!

Anyway…I highly recommend trying gnocchi. It was surprisingly easy to make and very yummy. Homemade pasta rocks 🙂