Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

This was so good. So good I didn’t even get to take a picture. It’s healthy and colorful, and easy. The feta adds a fantastic flavor. We will definitely be making this one again!

Check out Our Best Bites for some photos.

Spinach and Feta Pasta

  • 8 oz. Penne pasta (that’s 1/2 a 16 oz. box. Don’t use ziti–you want the ridges on the penne to “grip” the sauce)
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 3 c. fresh spinach
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • A handful of fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions. In the meantime, heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until tender. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Add tomatoes, heat through, and then add drained pasta and crumbled feta. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through and serve; you can crumble a little extra feta on top if you feel the urge.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Okay, remember that pesto pasta salad?

This one?

The only problem with it is that it only uses half a container of pesto. So you have a few options. You can:

A.) Double the recipe and have pesto pasta salad sitting in your fridge for weeks in that bowl you always want to use but can never find because it’s sitting in the fridge with pesto pasta salad in it

B.) Leave the half-used container of pesto in your fridge to “do something with,” forget about it, and find it two months later in an unusable state

C.) Make this pesto chicken

This was really good, really easy, and tasted awesome. JW commented several times how good it was. A huge thank you to Pinterest for this find (which if you are any sort of creative or foodie or fashion type and you are not on Pinterest, you are missing out on a whole world of new and exciting things), and of course, many thanks to Kalyn’s Kitchen for the recipe.

Baked Pesto Chicken (This is how I made it, when I didn’t have the recipe in front of me. Here is the original if you want to compare.)

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I used 3)
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper for seasoning chicken
  • Half of a 7-8oz container of basil pesto
  • Mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375F. Cut chicken breasts into strips, or pieces. Whatever you prefer.
Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Lay chicken strips over the pesto, then spread pesto over the chicken. Stir it around a bit so the chicken is covered with the pesto.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil (or use a baking dish with a tight-fitting lid) and bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, just until chicken is barely firm and cooked through. Don’t cook too much at this point, or the chicken will be overcooked by the time the cheese is melted and browned.

When chicken is barely cooked through, remove foil and sprinkle chicken with mozzarella cheese. Put dish back into the oven without foil and cook 5 minutes more, just until cheese is melted. (If your broiler is separate from the oven, start preheating it when you take the chicken out.) Kalyn’s note: After I melted the cheese for 5 minutes I switched my oven to broil and broiled for 5 minutes more, just long enough to get the cheese lightly browned.

We had this over the same tri-colored curly pasta I had used for the pasta salad, and the juice from the chicken dish was delicious over the pasta. You could also use angel hair, or even rice.

Read Full Post »

Split chicken breasts were on sale at the grocery this week, and I thought I’d make a yummy chicken pot pie with a latticed puff pastry crust, like I saw somewhere on Pinterest. Now… JW does not like chicken pot pie. I know this. But I thought maybe he’d like it with the puff pastry.

So I cook, debone, and shred the chicken, and as I start to get the rest of the ingredients out, JW comes around the corner.

“What’s for dinner?”

“Chicken pot pie.”

Silence.

He walks over to the pantry, opens the door, glances inside for a brief minute, then proceeds to pull out a box of spaghetti noodles and lay it on the counter in front of me.

Okay, I can take a hint.

So chicken spaghetti it is. Except I don’t have any rotel tomatoes. What I do have is green salsa, which I decide will have to do. I also added a bit of sour cream. And do you know… it was great! And Kathryn loved it too.

Now I have some puff pastry to use. Oh, the possibilities! Love me some puff pastry.

Chicken Spaghetti Remake

  • 1/2 lb spaghetti, cooked
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • Half of an 8-oz container sour cream
  • 1 7-oz can green salsa
  • Couple handfuls of cheese

Mix it all together and bake in a casserole dish until heated through and cheese is melted. Yum.

Read Full Post »

Sincerest apologies for the terrible photo – but I figured a phone photo would be better than no photo at all.

This was SO good. I love muenster, and I have Annie of Annie’s Eats to thank for turning it into a scrumptious mac & cheese. Plus its near-ridiculous simplicity just made it that much better. It isn’t diet food by any means, with a cup of heavy cream, 8 oz of muenster cheese, and a buttery Ritz cracker topping, but it sure is worth the calorie splurge!

Muenster Macaroni and Cheese (Original recipe here)

  • 16 oz macaroni pasta
  • 5 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz Muenster cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Important – salt is hugely important in mac & cheese!)
  • ¼ cup Ritz cracker crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions just until 1-2 minutes shy of al dente.

Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large mixing bowl.  Warm the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave.  Cover to keep warm.

Once the pasta is cooked, add to the bowl with the butter and toss to coat well.  Stir in the warm cream and the Muenster until the cheese starts to melt.  Mix in salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish (or in my case, a regular ol’ 9×13).  In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.  Mix in the cracker crumbs.  Toss with a fork to coat evenly with the butter.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Read Full Post »

I’ve tried several “light” alfredo sauce recipes in the past (including one that was primarily cottage cheese – THAT was gross), and this is the only one JW has given a thumbs-up. I attribute the difference to the cream cheese – which is never a bad addition to any recipe 🙂 This one came from Our Best Bites – such a fun blog, I highly recommend visiting it if you haven’t before!

The original recipe uses a blender to mix the first ingredients together, but since I don’t have one I have sometimes used a food processor (only do this if it is water-tight unless you want milk everywhere – not that I would know from personal experience or anything), or an immersion blender. This last time, I just kind of whisked it all together. It was lumpy, but it all breaks down once it’s heated anyway. So do whatever floats your boat.

I added chicken this time, and chopped up some parsley for a little color. It was SO good.

Guiltless Alfredo Sauce (Recipe found here)

  • 2 C low-fat milk
  • 1/3 C (3 oz) low-fat cream cheese
  • 2 T flour
  • 1 t salt
  • 1 T butter
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 C grated Parmesan cheese

Combine milk, cream cheese, flour, and salt in a blender (or food processor, or bowl… see note above). Process until smooth and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter on med-high heat and add garlic. Let the garlic saute for about 30 seconds, you don’t want to burn it. It should be nice and bubbly.

Add milk mixture to the pan. Stir constantly for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it just comes to a simmer. Keep stirring and let it cook for a few minutes more. It should be thicker now. When it’s nice and thickened remove the pan from the heat. Add the cheese, stir it up and then cover immediately. Let stand for at least 10 minutes before using. It will continue to thicken upon standing. Serve with pasta, pizza, breadsticks, anything you like!

If you have leftovers in the fridge, the sauce will thicken almost into a solid. Just re-heat and add a little milk and it will be back to normal again.

Read Full Post »

I made this to go with our panko baked chicken, and I was pretty pleased with it. It’s kind of a take on that typical oriental salad you see with the Ramen noodles (which this one has too), but it is a little different. I thought it had some interesting flavors, but probably next time I will not add quite as much cabbage – just a personal preference. It’s a texture thing.

The original recipe includes mandarin oranges, but since those are almost (but not quite) up there with broccoli on my Foods-I-Don’t-Like list, I left them out.

For what it’s worth, JW thought it tasted better the second day.

Asian Pasta Salad (Recipe found here)

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad classic pasta mix
  • 1 pkg (3oz) Oriental flavored Ramen Soup Mix
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix or broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup frozen peas (original calls for snow peas or sugar snap peas)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup slivered (or sliced) almonds

Empty the pasta mix into a pot of boiling water. Gently boil for 10 – 12 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and shake to drain again.

In a large bowl stir together the seasoning mixes from the pasta and the soup mix, sugar, oil, vinegar, water and soy sauce. Add the pasta and the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine.

Just before serving, coarsely crush the dry noodles from the soup mix and stir into the pasta mixture. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Read Full Post »

This was good. Like really, really good. It came together pretty easily and tasted like something I’d order in a restaurant. JW doesn’t like sun-dried tomatoes (anyone surprised? me neither) but he really liked this.

The sauce is pureed together so the sun-dried tomatoes just give it a very deep tomato flavor without screwing with the texture. With fresh basil, heavy cream, white wine, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes, it has a wonderful balance of complex flavors that work together really well.

The original recipe calls for chicken, which we used and enjoyed, but in the future I will probably just double the sauce and use it over pasta on its own. It’s so stellar that it really doesn’t need the chicken.

Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce (Original recipe here)

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 1/2 lbs total)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil – drain, pat dry, and coarsely chop (I used a 10-12 oz jar)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and black pepper.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, turning once, about 6 minutes total (chicken will not be cooked through). Transfer chicken with tongs to a plate.

Add garlic and tomatoes to the skillet and sauté, stirring, until garlic is pale golden, about 1 minute.

Add wine and boil, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until reduced by half, about 1 minute.

Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, covered.

Add chicken to skillet with any juices accumulated on plate and simmer, covered, until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.

Transfer chicken to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.

Stir cream and 2 tablespoons basil into sauce in skillet and bring just to a simmer.

Transfer sauce to a deep heatproof bowl or 1-quart glass measure (I used a tall plastic pitcher to minimize tomato flying all over my kitchen) and purée with an immersion blender until almost smooth. Alternatively, you can use a standard blender or food processor.

If necessary, add water to thin to desired consistency, then season with salt and pepper.

Serve sauce over chicken, and/or pasta if desired.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »