Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

This is another Pioneer Woman recipe however I got it from the Tasty Kitchen section of her site, where others can also post recipes. It’s just fantastic. Here is a link to the original recipe, or you can follow my version below.

Ingredients

1-1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 oz. egg noodles or other pasta of your choice (I used broken thin spaghetti)
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 Tablespoons butter
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes
1 sleeve Ritz or saltine crackers, crushed

Instructions

  • Poach the chicken. Place chicken in a single layer in a deep skillet and cover with water. Add a pinch or two of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Check the chicken to ensure done-ness. It’s done when it’s no longer pink inside.
  • Meanwhile, chop the onions, carrots and celery, and cook pasta according to package directions. (I like to under-cook pasta that will be baked, by about one or two minutes.) Drain and set aside.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, chop it into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet melt butter. Add onions, garlic, carrots and celery and cook until onions are translucent.
  • Add both cans of soup and mix well. Add sour cream and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add chicken, noodles and parsley and mix well.
  • Spoon into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish.
  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle crushed crackers on top and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

Notes

  • I used low fat cream of chicken soup and low fat sour cream and couldn’t tell a difference.
  • You can mix and match the cream soups. The original recipe called for one can of cream of mushroom and one can of cream of chicken. Or, how about cream of celery? Anything works!
  • I used saltines rather than Ritz crackers. I might try oyster crackers sprinkled on top next time!
  • I forgot the parsley and it was still good. 🙂
  • A printable version of this recipe can be found here.

Read Full Post »

I love stuffed shells, but I’ve made them all of about once in the past two years. It’s a sloppy process and it takes forever and I just can’t usually be bothered. But my mouth watered every time I’d flip past my recipe. One day I decided to give this version a whirl. I’ll never stuff a shell again!

Ingredients

1 lb. ground sirloin
salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, all to taste
1 lb. medium shell pasta
1 container ricotta cheese (15 oz.)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 large egg
1 jar spaghetti sauce (26 oz.), any variety

Directions

Brown the ground meat, breaking up as it cooks. Season it well while it cooks with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, whatever you like. Be liberal with the seasoning because you’re not only seasoning the meat but the entire dish. When fully cooked, drain and set aside.

Meantime, cook the pasta in well-salted water according to package directions. I like to under-cook it slightly. Drain and set aside.

While the meat and pasta are cooking, you can prepare the “filling”. Squeeze the moisture out of your thawed spinach using a (clean!) kitchen towel, and place in a large mixing bowl, breaking up the chunks. Slightly beat the egg and add it to the spinach, stirring. Add the ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheeses, mixing well after each addition. Add the spaghetti sauce and mix well.

Once the meat and pasta are cooked, add them to the cheese/sauce mixture. Spoon the whole thing into a baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for about 35-45 minutes. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.


Notes

  • Feel free to skip the meat. In fact my original stuffed shell recipe didn’t call for it, I just prefer the extra protein.
  • “Healthy it up” a bit by using part-skim cheeses and whole wheat pasta. I can’t remember the last time I used full-fat cheese or white pasta and we honestly can’t tell a difference anymore.
  • If you’re really in a rush, you can skip cooking the noodles entirely. Just add a full cup of water to the spaghetti sauce, mixing well, before adding it to the cheese mixture. Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees, and bake for a full hour. The pasta will cook up just fine. The extra water keeps it from becoming too dry.
  • Don’t skip cooking the meat. 🙂
  • A printable version of this recipe can be found here.

Read Full Post »

This is one of those recipes that isn’t a “recipe.” I just make it out of my head. But that’s the beauty of it, you can make it out of your head too! And you can customize however you like. Let’s get started!

Ingredients

1 pound bowtie pasta (or whatever shape you like)
2 pounds frozen broccoli florets (or similar amount fresh)
Chicken picked from 1 grocery store rotisserie chicken
Chicken bouillon granules/cubes or 1 cup prepared chicken stock
2-3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup or more shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
(The remaining ingredients are optional. Add/remove/substitute based on what you have on hand and what you like!)
Poultry Seasoning
Onion Powder
Garlic Powder
Freshly Ground Pepper
Parsley

Directions

Boil the pasta according to package directions. If you are using bouillon, prepare one cup according to package directions using a ladle full of the pasta water which will already be boiling. Set aside.

While your pasta is cooking, steam the broccoli until tender.

Heat chicken. (I use the microwave.) Give the chicken a good sprinkling of poultry seasoning if you like it.

After you’ve cooked and drained the pasta, return it to its pot and place on the stove over very low heat. Add butter and stir to melt. Add about half of the chicken broth. Next add the broccoli and chicken and stir well.

Now, spice it up! Sprinkle in some garlic powder, some onion powder, some pepper and some parsley, stirring well after each addition. This is where your taste buds will play a part. Spice a little, taste a little. Repeat as necessary. Remember, it’s better to add too little spice than too much, because you can always add more. Also add 1/2 cup or more shredded Parmesan cheese. At this point you may or may not want to add the remaining chicken broth, depending on whether it seems to need a little more moisture. When your spices are to your liking, serve with some additional Parmesan!

Notes

  • Don’t be afraid to experiment! Like chives more than parsley? Throw them in! Have extra ham on hand instead of chicken? It’ll work!
  • How about some hot sauce or crushed red pepper? Anything goes! I’ve probably made this a dozen times and it’s been different every time.
  • I’ve never tried it, but I bet some sauteed onions would put it over the top!
  • With the proportions I mentioned above, we’ve eaten three full meals with a single large serving still left. There are two of us, so that’s 6+ servings.
  • A printable version of this recipe can be found here.

Read Full Post »

Our favorite dish at Noodles & Company is Pasta Fresca. So you can imagine my joy when I just happened to come across a recipe for it on the Pillsbury site! I customized it to our tastes and we just loved it! It’s simple, too, especially if you use a store-bought rotisserie chicken!

 

Ingredients

3 cups uncooked fusilli or gemelli or rotini pasta (or whatever you like)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing
handful of cherry tomatoes
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 package (6 oz.) fresh baby spinach leaves
1/2 cup parmesan or feta cheese

Directions

Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain. Meanwhile, in a nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook onion in oil until soft and (if you like) browned, 2 minutes or more (I probably went 10 minutes. I like our onions to start to caramelize.) Add dressing, tomatoes, pasta and chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until hot. Stir in spinach. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until spinach starts to wilt. Yum!

Notes

  • You can also used two large tomatoes (chopped) in place of the cherry tomatoes. I kind of like how the cherry tomatoes brown then sort of pop when they’re cooked!
  • When you add the spinach, you’ll swear it’s way too much. But it cooks down to about 1/4 of its original size so don’t worry!
  • This is even better the second day, as with many pasta dishes!



Read Full Post »

I’ve been making various CrockPot lasagna recipes for years, alternating between disappointment and disinterest, never finding one that worked well and tasted great. My search is over. This is it! You don’t have to pre-cook the meat or the noodles, and it’s got a fantastic taste. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 container (15 oz.) part-skim ricotta
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 oz. (2 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped OR one box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
3/4 pound lean ground beef (at least 90% lean)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 jar (26’ish oz.) spaghetti sauce, any variety
12 dry lasagna noodles

Directions

In a bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, parmesan, half the mozzarella (1 cup), 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Mix well (mixture will be stiff). Fold in spinach and stir gently. Set aside.

In a second bowl, combine the ground meat (raw, no need to pre-cook), garlic, oregano, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Divide the meat in half. Place one half into the slow cooker (set other half aside).

Mix 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce into the meat you’ve already placed into the slow cooker. Stir to combine, then arrange to somewhat cover the bottom. No need to pack it down, just spread it around. Top with four dry noodles, breaking to fit. They will overlap slightly but you should cover as much of the meat as you can.

Spread slightly more than 1/2 cup of sauce over the noodles, spreading to cover. Add about a third of the ricotta mixture and spread that around. Divide the remaining meat in half and add one of the halves over the ricotta. Spread that around too.

Top these layers with another 4 noodles, again breaking to fit as necessary. Cover these noodles with about half of the remaining sauce, half the remaining ricotta, and all of the remaining meat.

Top with the remaining noodles, again breaking as needed. Pour the remaining sauce over the noodles. It’s important here to try to get all of these noodles covered. These noodles on top will crisp-up if they’ve got nothing covering them. Add remaining ricotta mixture, and the other cup of the mozzarella cheese. Hungry yet? 🙂

Cook on low for 4 hours or high for 3 hours.

Notes

  • Be sure to use a high quality meat. Since you’re not pre-cooking, you will not have an opportunity to drain the fat. On the other hand this additional liquid helps the noodles soften correctly so the meat needs to be raw. Use ground round or ground sirloin. I used the sirloin (93% lean).
  • My crockpot cooks “hot”. By that I mean it typically doesn’t take as long to cook things as my original recipes suggest. And this particular dish will not be salvageable if it burns. You’ll be able to smell it. Mine was fully cooked in 3 hours on low. If you can stick a fork through the noodles without resistance you’re good!

Read Full Post »

Boursin Penne

I can’t believe I haven’t posted this one yet, it’s one of our go-to favorites! Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
garlic powder, minced onion or onion powder, salt, pepper to season meat
1 pound penne pasta
1 can (26-28 oz.) diced tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 pkg. (5 oz.) Boursin cheese, any variety
4 oz. light cream cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Directions

Place a large pot of water on to boil. Prepare pasta as package directs. Meanwhile, brown meat in a large, deep skillet (or dutch oven). Season well with garlic powder, minced onion, salt and pepper while cooking. Drain and return to pan. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Boursin cheese, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, minced garlic and Italian seasoning. Heat over a medium high flame, stirring occasionally breaking up cheeses as they melt into the sauce. When pasta is cooked, drain and add to sauce mixture. Stir to combine, then serve.

Notes

  • I use whole wheat pasta.
  • If you’re not a big fan of chunks, try it with crushed tomatoes instead of diced.
  • You can use regular cream cheese instead of light if you wish, but then use 2 oz. instead of 4 oz. so the sauce doesn’t get too heavy.
  • I received a question about the Boursin cheese. It’s a cream herbed cheese that can usually be found in the specialty cheese case in any grocery store. Here is a picture:

Read Full Post »

I make a similar cold salad and someone suggested I try it hot! Added the Boursin cheese since it melts so nicely and voila!

Ingredients

1 box whole wheat rotini pasta
1 package (10-12 ounces) thawed
1 container Boursin cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
8 ounces sliced or cubed  ham

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta, cook until tender. When one minute remains, add peas to pasta water. Drain pasta/peas, setting aside 1 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta and peas to pot and add cheeses and ham, stirring well while cheeses melt. Add small amounts of pasta water if the mixture seems to need moisture.

Notes

  • To make this as a cold salad, skip the Boursin, increase the Parmesan, rinse your pasta and peas in cold water after they’re cooked, and add a few tablespoons of olive or canola oil + salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste when you add your parmesan cheese and ham. Yum!
  • This made a ton, so I froze about half of it. When I try it from the freezer I’ll post an update, then we’ll know how well it freezes! Don’t freeze the cold variety.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: