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Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

Had this with our girl’s night dinner last night, brought my my very good friend “Miss Mimi!”  So good!  She got this recipe from a cookbook her sister gave her and modified it a little.   This salad is complex enough to be a light main course – so delicious and summery!m

  • 1 pound orzo
  • 1 1/2 Tbl sesame oil
  • 2 handfuls snow peas, trimmed and snapped
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 2 cups sunflower seed kernels, toasted
  • Asian Citrus Dressing
  • 3 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch chopped green onions (about 6 onions)

Cook orzo, drain and rinse with cold water.  Combine orzo and sesame oil, tossing to coat.  Spoon half of orzo into a large bow.  Top with half each of snow peas, raisins and sunflower seeds.  Repeat layers once.   Pour 3/4 of Asian Citrus Dressing over top and let seep in.  Combine parsley and green onions; sprinkle over salad.  Pour remaining dressing over top.

Asian Citrus Dressing
  • 3/4 cup corn oil
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbl sugar
  • 2 Tbl grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 3/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

Process all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth.

Thanks Miss Mimi for your culinary goodness! 🙂  This is perfect for a luncheon or potluck too!  It’s pretty and yummy — and so different from what “everyone always brings!”  Try it!

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My kids like a little extra kick to their alfredo – so here’s a spicier version of a classic alfredo.  If you want it more simple – take out the chili powder and red pepper flakes.

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – rinse, pat dry – then cube
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • ½ tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup roughly chopped marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup shaved Parmesan
  • 1 pound cooked fettuccine

Put your pot of water on to boil – add splash of good olive oil and good dash of salt to the water.

In a large skillet – heat olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.  Season your chicken with chili powder, garlic powder and paprika – plus salt and pepper to taste.  Sauté the chicken in hot skillet until brown on all sides and barely pink in the middle, roughly 5-7 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium – Add the white wine to deglaze the pan. Reduce heat to low, then add your cream, sundried tomatoes and red pepper flakes and simmer to reduce cream by half.  Next add in half the Parmesan and turn the skillet off.

When your water is boiling – add your fettuccine and cook 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain your pasta – toss with the alfredo – and serve topped with additional Parmesan.  If you like sprinkle with a little fresh chopped parsley or basil on top!  Serve with loaf of Italian bread and side salad and you’ve got happy campers in your house.

Want the quick and easy way to make this? – Cook your chicken as directed – add a jar of your favorite alfredo or lite alfredo sauce,  plus the sun dried tomatoes and red pepper flakes – it’s just as good – but doesn’t take as long since you don’t have to reduce the cream.  The whole thing can be done in under 15 minutes!

Variations to try:

  • Shrimp instead of chicken!  Reduce cooking time slightly as the shrimp will cook faster – use 1 lb of shelled, de-veined, cleaned shrimp.
  • Toss in 3/4 cup of frozen petite peas just before draining the water – just enough to make them warmed through and bright green!
  • Got a cup of cooked broccoli to use up?  Or even frozen florets — give them a quick blast in the microwave to warm through and toss in at the end.
  • Try different pastas – this is great with penne, tortellini, bow ties…get creative!

Enjoy!

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  • 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into ½” pieces
  • 1 (8oz.) package sugar snap peas, trimmed
  • 1 small red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 8-10 cherry or grape tomatoes – cut in half
  • 1 (8oz.) package dry penne pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. In medium skillet, add butter, asparagus, peas, and peppers and sauté for 3-5 minutes until just tender. Transfer vegetables and drippings to a large bowl; set aside. Add pasta to boiling water, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Place pasta in the bowl with the vegetables. Toss with olive oil, Parmesan, onion salt and pepper.

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– 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into ½” pieces
– 1 (8oz.) package sugar snap peas, trimmed
– 1 small red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
– 1 (8oz.) package dry penne pasta
– 1 Tbsp. butter
– 3 Tbsp. olive oil
– ½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese
– salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. In medium skillet, add butter, asparagus, peas, and peppers and sauté for 3-5 minutes until just tender. Transfer vegetables and drippings to a large bowl; set aside. Add pasta to boiling water, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Place pasta in the bowl with the vegetables. Toss with olive oil, Parmesan, onion salt and pepper.

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• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 1 1/4 lbs. Lg. shrimp, peeled & de-veined
• 3 large cloves minced garlic
• 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1/2 cup dry vermouth
• 1 tbsp. butter
• Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and garlic, and brown for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and vermouth, and cook 2-3 minutes more, until shrimp is cooked through. Add butter, salt and pepper, swirling pan until butter melts. Serve over bed of linguine.

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Prepare your filling.

In medium bowl mix 1 large tub reduced fat or skim ricotta cheese, 1 egg, 2 cups shredded mozzarella, 1/8 cup fresh parsley finely chopped. 

In large pot boil lasagna noodles until al dente – drain – rinse quickly and let cool for a few minutes so you can handle the noodles.

In a sauce pan, add 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce, one reg. can of tomato sauce (I’ll put a recipe for “real Italian gravy up soon – but for those gotta get these people fed nights – it’s cool to doctor up a jarred sauce!), 5 fresh basil leaves-chopped, ¼ cup red wine, 1/8 cup shaved parmesan – stir well – simmer on low.

Get a baking dish out – spray with cooking spray and add a small amount of sauce to bottom of dish.  Now have fun and get the kids involved – lay the noodles flat on a large surface. We like spinach in it – but you’re not a spinach person (I won’t tell Popeye) — then you can leave it out.  Try it – you may like it though!

Lay leaves of baby spinach on top of each noodle (usually just a couple leaves) then dollop filling along entire noodle, roll up and place seam side down in the baking dish.  When you’ve rolled up enough to fill the dish, pour ½ sauce over the rollups and sprinkle liberally with mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 350 until cheese is bubbly and melted (usually 15 minutes) – Serve with remaining sauce, a sprinkling of parsley and a nice big spinach salad!

HINT:  If you like meatballs or have leftover meatballs you can slice those thin and roll them up inside as well, or shredded chicken for something different!

Spinach Salad

Cut 3-4 strips of bacon into small pieces-fry in frying pan until brown and crispy, drain and set aside.  In large bowl toss remaining spinach, mixed with a little romaine if there’s not enough for the whole family.  Top with chopped tomato, cubed avocado and crumbled bacon.  Serve with honey mustard dressing.

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