Tag Archives: pasta

Shall I Be

One Pot Pasta

One Pot Pasta

I’m not going to lie, I’m a bit of a Pinterest nut.  I find so many interesting and tasty looking treats that I just can’t help but to “pin all the things!”  When I started seeing one-pot pasta meals I was intrigued as it goes against everything I was taught growing up regarding the proper cooking of pasta.  Which is why I was expecting this post to be more of a #pinterestfail than anything else, I just couldn’t imagine this working.  Just worked it did, after checking out almost half a dozen recipes.  I wanted to insure that my pasta was al dente and my vegetables cooked but not floppy – which isn’t exactly the easiest thing.  The first step was figuring out what vegetables have a similar cooking time, and what type of pasta was equal to or less than that cooking time.  I wanted the pasta to have the shortest cook time just in case the vegetables needed extra time, again al dente pasta is (and always will be) the goal for any pasta dish.  Luckily green vegetable are starting to show up at the market so I had a very large selection to pick from!

Shall I Be

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 6 basil leaves, minced
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp roasted red pepper flake
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 2 large carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweet peas
  • 8 oz penne (look for one with a 10 minute cook time)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7 minutes, or until slightly golden. Add the rosemary, basil, and thyme and cook for 2 minutes - stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  2. Add the water along with the salt, red pepper flakes, and vegetables. Bring to a boil, then add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes. Stir regularly, using a tong as needed to make sure the pasta cooks thoroughly.
  3. Allow to slightly cool and then serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2014/03/shall-i-be.html

Now this recipe comes with a true tip/trick: cut and EVERYTHING first!  Once it’s time to add the water everything needs to be ready to go in order to avoid a mushy mess.  For this same reason I would avoid most members of the squash family and would also hold off adding any tomatoes until the very end.

His Way

 Stove Top Mac & Cheese

stove_top_mac_n_cheese

 

Pretty sure that if I allowed my husband to design our weekly menu this would come up at least every other week.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy cheese but I don’t have the same appreciation for it that my husband does.  Which is why when I make mac&cheese I tend to go a little over board with the cheeses that I use.  Normally I do a baked mac&cheese, but last week I decided to try doing a white stove top mac&cheese – after all variety is a good thing.   As for the cheeses, I decided to pick three different types of white cheese simply because I could!

His Way

Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
  • 1 small vidalia onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup monterey jack, shredded
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Pepper (or Old Bay)

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water per box instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of cooking water. Pour cooked pasta back in the pot - keeping the reserve water on the side.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes before adding the herbs. Cook for another minute, stirring constantly to prevent the spices from burning.
  3. Add the flour, stir well and then continue to stir while slowly pouring in the milk. Begin to add the shredded cheese, adding a few handfuls at a time while stirring to prevent large globs. Once all the shredded cheese has been added, stir in the ricotta along with the precooked macaroni and cheese. Season to taste with pepper or old bay
  4. Serve warm and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/12/his_way.html

 

While I’ll always be partial to baked mac&cheese there is something to be said about its much quicker and creamier cousin.  I enjoyed mine as is while Joey decided to add some Old Bay to his – there is a reason why I buy that stuff in bulk after all!

Wait for You

Lentil Soup

Lentil Soup

For the record, stomach bugs and food blogs don’t really go hand in hand – however I’m slowly getting back to normal and with that slowly getting back in the kitchen.   When I’m sick, be it stomach flu or otherwise, I tend to go toward simple dishes – mostly because being on my feet for an extended amount of time is bad.  I also tend to use tools such as my slow cooker and dutch oven, since both lend themselves to being set up and walked away from.  This delicious lentil soup is simple, hearty, and easy on the stomach in addition to being adaptable for either slow cooker or dutch oven.

Lentil Soup

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/4 tsp cayanne powder
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced in to 1/2in thick rounds
  • 1 14.5 oz can of Italian style diced tomatoes, undrained (or 1 1/2 cups fresh tomatoes, skinned and halved)
  • 1/2 cup red lentils, well rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups water (add 1/2 cup water if using fresh tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup dry pasta, ditalini or similar size

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 7 minutes before adding the dry spices. Cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  2. Add the mushrooms along with the carrots and cook for 5 minutes, allowing the carrots to slightly soften. Add the tomatoes, lentils, stock, and water and bring to a quick boil. Cover and allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Remove cover, stir, and add the dry pasta. Bring to a boil and add more water/stock if needed. Boil for 5 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Serve hot and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/12/wait-for-you.html

Since I had spent more than a fair amount of the day in bed, I went for the dutch oven this time around.  For a slow cooker, precook the onions then add everything else and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 2.   If cooking on low, turn to high for 30 minutes before serving in order to ensure the pasta has cooked thru – adding more liquid at this point if needed.

It’s Wonderful

Vegetable Fideua

Fideua

When I saw that /52weeksofcooking was heading to Spain for their weekly challenge, I knew I would have a hard time picking one recipe.  I toyed with the idea of making a vegetarian paella, but in the end decided to go with that similar yet slightly less well know (at least to me) dish known as Fideua.  Many sites refer to this as “pasta paella” instead of rice, which made the Italian in me very happy.  As with paella, this is normally not a vegetarian friendly dish but it is one that can be converted over rather easily!  I decided to use chickpeas as the protein, along with a variety of mushrooms, but soy chorizo or tofurkey would also work.

Vegetable Fideoa

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb thin pasta, broken in to 2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 lb wild mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 14.5 oz can italian style diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups pre-soaked chickpeas

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to broil setting. Lay the pasta flat on an edged cookie sheet or roasting pan. Cook under broiler until pasta is slightly brown, set aside and turn off the oven.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, cooking for 5 minutes and then add the pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes before adding the thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook for 7 minutes, then add the precooked pasta along with the bay leaf, paprika, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and water. Bring to a quick boil and then turn heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring once at the halfway point.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2013/11/its-wonderful.html

 This dish requires a bit of attention at first, but once the pasta is added there is plenty of time to enjoy some wine – or let the dogs out!  I enjoyed mine naked while Joey topped his with some fresh Parmesan cheese

and Roll

Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce

 Time for November’s Random Recipe entry!   This month Dom at Belleau Kitchen switched things up this month by having us use our birthday to pick the cookbook, instead of a random number.  For me this meant the 7th book on my shelf was the lucky winner, Vegetables from an Italian Garden.

 I got this book last year and it has quickly become one of my favorites, especially since the first section of it is a planting guide for the vegetables featured in the book.  For the winning recipe, Joe picked page 257 which was a picture of a very large pumpkin.  The opposite page gave a full description of pumpkins, including the pages to flip to for pumpkin recipes (304-315).  I went to the first page of recipes and settled on Crema Alla Zucca – Pumpkin Cream Sauce.  The first time I made this recipe, things went wrong along the way and I had to change up dinner plans.  The second time around I made more than a few changes while keeping the basic integrity of the dish for much better, read: edible, results!

Crema alla Zucca

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pumpkin, split in half and seeded
  • 1 lb tubular pasta ( I used Barilla Whole Grain)
  • 3 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup milk (I used So Delicious Coconut Milk)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese or Daiya Shredded "cheese" (optional)
  • pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and grease a large roasting pan. Place the pumpkin flesh side down on the roasting pan and cook for 45minutes. Once finished scoop out the flesh and set aside, should have at least 1 1/2 cups, anything more store for the future.
  2. Once the pumpkin has finished cooking, preheat the EVOO in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the garlic, thyme, oregano, and onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add the pumpkin flesh and the coconut milk. Stir, turn heat to low, and cover. Cooking for 15 minutes, stirring on occasion.
  3. Meanwhile cook the pasta per instructions, drain, and add to the sauce. Mix well adding pepper if needed, stirring in the cheese (optional), and then serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/11/and-roll.html

This time the recipe worked MUCH better!  I’m not sure what changes made it work, since I did make more than a few changes.  Make sure to head over the Bellaeu Kitchen for more amazing Random Recipes!

I’m also sending this recipe over the /52weeks since there isn’t any thing more “Harvest” than pumpkin, especially this time of year.  Plus, this recipe is a great way to use up any extra pumpkin, be it canned or fresh.  Also, for more great recipes join GoodLife Eats for the Surprisingly Nutritious Spaghetti Link-Up sponsored by Barilla pasta