Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

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Deconstructed Pierogi Lasagna

March 17, 2017

Pierogi are filled dumplings that often have some combination of potato, cheese and meat inside. Rather than making individual dumplings, we decided to try it in the style of a lasagna. This is a rich and hearty dinner, so consider a light salad alongside for freshness.

20170301 Pierogi 01

You will need:

  • 1 package fresh lasagna noodles (or 9 boxed noodles, parboiled)
  • 12 oz thick cut bacon
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 lb red skinned potato
  • 3 T butter
  • 8 oz reduced fat chive and onion cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 small bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 c shredded cheddar cheese

Then you will…

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Spread the bacon on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until starting to crisp up. Remove from the oven. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and set aside. Crumble once cool.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  4. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Put them in a large pan and cover with cold water. Add some salt.
  5. Bring the potatoes to a boil and allow to cook until able to be easily pierced with a fork, about 7-10 minutes.
  6. Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Add the butter and cream cheese, and mash the potatoes until mostly smooth.
  7. Mix in the scallions and half of the bacon.
  8. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Line the baking dish with 1/3 of the lasagna noodles.
  10. Spread 1/3 of the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with 1/3 of the cheese.
  11. Repeat two more times with the remaining noodles, potatoes and cheese.
  12. Sprinkle the top with the remaining bacon.
  13. Cover lightly with foil.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes.
  15. Remove the foil and continue baking until warmed through, bubbly and golden, another 15 minutes or so.

20170301 Pierogi 02

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Parmesan Pasta with Prosciutto and Peas

September 14, 2016

20160903 Parmesan Pasta 03

This quadruple “p” dinner is a luscious comfort dish: the Parmesan adds creaminess, the prosciutto adds a yummy saltiness, the peas add a hint of sunshine and spring, and pasta is a favorite of D’s.

You will need:

  • 1 lb of your favorite pasta
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T butter
  • 4-6 oz prosciutto, sliced into thin ribbons
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 16 oz frozen peas
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  • 1 T fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 T fresh basil, chopped
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 c Parmesan, grated

Then you will…

  1. Salt a large pot of water. Bring to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions, stopping 1-2 minutes shy of al dente. Save 1 cup of the cooking water when you drain the pasta.
  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil and butter over medium low heat.
  3. Add the prosciutto and onion and saute until starting to turn golden and crispy, about 3-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the frozen peas and allow to saute another 2 minutes.
  5. Stir in the cream, mint, basil, and red pepper.
  6. Mix in the cooked pasta.
  7. Stir in the lemon zest and season with the pepper.
  8. Mix in the Parmesan, thinning the sauce with some of the reserved pasta cooking water as needed.
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Chili Mac n Cheese

April 28, 2016
We’ve had a bunch of family helping out since Baby R was born. It’s been incredibly helpful. My mom helped me put together this crockpot dish in preparation for my husband’s parents coming into town. It was easy and a great way to have dinner ready when they arrived. Time to dust off your slow cooker!
20160415 Chili Mac
You will need:
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 T chili powder
  • 2 T cumin
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 4 c stock (use your favorite: beef, chicken, vegetable)
  • 1 bottle beer (optional)
  • 1 can (28 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 10 oz uncooked elbows pasta
  • 1 1/2 c shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Then you will:

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the hamburger and begin to brown, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne. Cook another 5 minutes or so, until the hamburger is browned and the onion slightly softened.
  4. Transfer the mixture to your crockpot.
  5. Add the stock, beer, tomatoes, and beans to the crockpot.
  6. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours.
  7. Stir in the pasta 30 minutes before you want to serve the meal.
  8. Stir after 15 minutes elapse. If it looks like there is very little liquid left, add up to 1 cup of additional hot water.
  9. Just prior to serving, stir in the shredded cheddar cheese and allow to melt.
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Spring Pasta Primavera

March 28, 2016

We’ve had a stream of warm weather, which seemed to cry out for a spring-inspired dinner. This easy pasta primavera was just the thing!

You will need:

  • 1/2 c bread crumbs
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 1/2 c Parmesan, shredded and divided
  • 2 T unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb asparagus, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 c fresh peas
  • 1 lb wide pasta
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T flour
  • 1/4 c chicken stock
  • 1 c milk
  • 4 oz cream cheese or creme fraiche

20160312 Primavera 01

Then you will…

  1. In a food processor, combine the bread crumbs with the lemon zest, half of the garlic, 1/3 (scant) of the onion), a few inches of the cheese, and the butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Pulse until well combined.
  3. In a small skillet, brown the crumb topping. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  5. Add the asparagus to the boiling water. Allow to cook for 3 minutes.
  6. Add the peas to the boiling water. Allow to cook for 1 minutes.
  7. Drain and stop the cooking by placing the veggies in a cold water bath.
  8. Bring another pot of salted water to a boil. (If you want to skip this step, use a slotted spoon to remove the veggies from the first pot).
  9. Cook the pasta according to the package, stopping 1-2 minutes shy of the recommended cooking time.
  10. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil.
  11. Add the remaining garlic and onion. Saute for 6-8 minutes, or until softened.
  12. Stir in the flour and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.
  13. Whisk in the chicken stock and then the milk.
  14. Allow the sauce to thicken, whisking regularly for about 5 minutes.
  15. Whisk in the cream cheese until melted and well combined.
  16. Whisk in the shredded cheese until melted and smooth.
  17. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  18. Toss the pasta with the sauce until well coated. Remove from heat.
  19. Stir in the asparagus and peas.
  20. Serve the pasta topped with the toasted bread crumbs.
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Sundried Tomato and Chicken Pasta

October 2, 2015

Sundried tomatoes are delicious. This pasta dish combines sundried tomatoes, mushrooms and chicken with a mix of cheeses.

You will need:

  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz sundried tomatoes in oil, drained with 2 T of the oil reserved and tomatoes chopped
  • 1 lb chicken breast, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 T dried basil
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 c light cream
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 oz pasta
  • 1/2 c reserved cooked pasta water

20150731 Sundried Tomato Pasta 02

Then you will…

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the box, removing from the water 1 minute early.
  2. Melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and saute until the juices cook off.
  3. Add the garlic, sundried tomatoes, sundried tomato oil, and the chicken.
  4. Mix in the salt, paprika, basil and red pepper flakes.
  5. Saute until the chicken is cooked through and lightly browned.
  6. Add the cheeses and the cream. Stir to combine thoroughly.
  7. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce to a simmer. The cheese should melt into the sauce.
  8. Mix in the cooked pasta and reserved pasta water.
  9. Season with salt and pepper to taste, as needed.
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Gorgonzola Blush Pasta

April 4, 2015

D and I like stinky cheeses. This pasta sauce takes advantage of crumbly Gorgonzola, while the tomatoes and other ingredients mellow out the cheese. We used a spinach linguine with it, and we loved it! If you wanted to make this a vegetarian entree, you can omit the pancetta and saute the shallots and mushrooms in a few tablespoons of olive oil.

You will need:

  • 1 lb pasta of your choice, cooked to al dente and reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water
  • 4 oz pancetta, finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 oz baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 14.5 oz (1 can) diced tomatoes, not drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 1 1/2 c light cream
  • 2/3 c crumbled Gorgonzola
  • 1 c fresh basil, thinly sliced

Then you will…

  1. In a large nonstick skillet, start to brown the pancetta over medium heat.
  2. Add the shallot and mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms are starting to turn golden.
  3. Add the red pepper flakes and saute 2 minutes, or until fragrant.
  4. In a food processor, pulse the tomatoes with their juices and the garlic until broken down.
  5. Add to the skillet along with the salt and pepper.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Stir in the light cream and bring to a simmer.
  8. Allow to simmer 5-10 minutes.
  9. Mix in the half cup of the pasta cooking water.
  10. Mix in the Gorgonzola and stir until melted into the sauce.
  11. Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
  12. Allow to simmer another 2-3 minutes.
  13. Stir in the basil and serve hot!

20150304 Gorgonzola Blush 02

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Fresh Arugula Pasta

February 4, 2015

I have fuzzy memories of making pasta with my parentsĀ  when I was little using a hand-cranked pasta machine. I remember it being a messy and laughter-filled affair. D and I really enjoy fresh pasta, but we usually pick some up from one of the farmers’ markets. Sometimes though, we will make some at home on the weekend.

20150118 Arugula Pasta 01

You will need:

  • 5 oz fresh arugula
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground pepper
  • 1 t ground basil
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 3 1/2 c flour

20150118 Arugula Pasta 02

Then you will…

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil
  2. Blanch the arugula for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out the excess water.
  3. In a small food processor, combine the arugula with the eggs, salt, pepper, basil and garlic. Pulse just until mixed.
  4. Put the flour on a large, clean mixing surface like a cutting board or counter.
  5. Make a well in the middle and pour the egg mixture into the well.
  6. Use a fork to begin mixing the flour into the egg mixture.
  7. When it starts to form a dough, switch to your hands. Knead until the flour is incorporated.
  8. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and allow it to rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  9. Form into pasta shape of your choice. You can roll it thin and cut into long noodles like linguine or pappardelle; alternatively you can use a pasta maker to make bucatini, macaroni and more! I use a little cornmeal to keep the fresh pasta from sticking.
  10. Allow to dry for at least an hour before cooking.
  11. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  12. Add the pasta and cook to al dente, about the point where the pasta rises to the top of the pot.
  13. Serve with your favorite sauce.

20150118 Arugula Pasta 03

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