Tag Archives: pasta

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

18 Mar
Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

This is a very quick and easy dinner to throw together, especially if you have your favorite homemade spaghetti sauce stashed in the freezer (nevermindthefacthatIjustgotlaidoffanddon’tneedtimesavingrecipesrightnow). And if you make the ricotta in the morning (or even use store-bought) then you are way ahead of the game! And pssst, did you know making your own ricotta is super easy? I sure didn’t!

Prior to my life-changing event on Friday, I was always looking for dinner shortcuts. When I saw my friend Debbie’s post for Baked Pasta with Meatballs and Spinach, I knew it was something I totally wanted to make, but didn’t have the time to bother with making meatballs. So I did the next best thing and used the meatball ingredients as the base for the pasta. In hindsight, if I had made this in my large cast-iron skillet, I could have just popped it straight from the stove top into the oven! (I didn’t have the foresight, but I’m going to remember this for sure next time.)

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta
Adapted from The Mountain Kitchen

2 cups dried pasta (I used Mostaccioli)
8 ounces ground hot Italian sausage
6 ounces baby spinach
Ground pepper, to taste (some red chile flakes would be great too)
4 cups homemade spaghetti sauce, or your favorite jarred
1 cup shredded mozzarella (not bagged variety)
1/2 cup ricotta cheese (homemade or store bought)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, cook the sausage in a large skillet (cast iron if you have one!) until cooked through. Drain any grease, if necessary. Leaving the sausage in the pan, add 1/4 cup water and the spinach, stirring until wilted. Season with ground pepper, to taste.

Sausage and Spinach

Sausage and Spinach

Add the spaghetti sauce to the skillet, combine, and bring to a simmer.

Sauce Mixture

Sauce Mixture

Pour into a large casserole dish (or leave in in the skillet if using cast-iron), then stir in the cooked pasta, half the mozzarella and half the ricotta cheese. Sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella and place dollops of the remaining ricotta over top.

Casserole Ready to Bake

Casserole Ready to Bake

Place in oven for about 10 minutes, then turn the oven to broil and cook until golden brown on top, about 5 to 7 more minutes. Serve immediately. WOW, so much flavor for so few ingredients!

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

Sausage and Spinach Pasta with Homemade Ricotta

BONUS! Here’s Debbie’s recipe for Homemade Ricotta:

Homemade Ricotta

4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or lemon juice

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Add 2 layers of cheesecloth (I used meshed cotton veggie bags) over a sieve or strainer on top of a bowl. Pour the milk and cream into a saucepan and bring to a full boil, stirring occasionally. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t overboil! Turn off heat and stir in the vinegar or lemon juice and let it sit for a few minutes. Pour the mixture over the cheesecloth and allow it to drain for about 25 minutes. Then place in refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Store unused cheese in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.

Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Salami over Pasta

11 Mar
Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Calabrese Salami Over Pasta

Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Calabrese Salami Over Pasta

Call me crazy for making this, but it turned out so awesome (to me) that I ate it for lunch THREE DAYS STRAIGHT. Never mind the opinions of the household members.

I had some lingering Calabrese salami and frozen artichokes hanging out in the usual places, and decided to throw caution to the wind and make something up. As it turns out, mixing chicken and salami is not so uncommon (it’s a New Orlean’s dish). Neither is mixing artichokes and salami (pizza, anyone?). Why not marry them all into one dish?? And then serve it over pasta?

This is a delight for the taste buds and even guest-worthy, if you have friends who aren’t intimidated by the bold and adventurous. 🙂

Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Salami over Pasta

1 1/4 pounds chicken breasts or thighs (mine were boneless/skinless breasts)
Salt and black pepper for seasoning chicken, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced onions
1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/2 cup sliced fennel bulb
5 ounces frozen artichokes (that’s 1/2 bag of Trader Joe’s)
1/2 cup large-diced salami (I used Calabrese, also TJ’s)
1 large stalk fresh sage
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian flat-leafed parsley, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
Juice of 1/2 small lemon, plus lemon slices from the other half
Cooked pasta of choice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut chicken into large sections, if large. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. Over medium-high heat, add the oil and sear the chicken until browned on all sides, a few minutes a side. The chicken will cook more later, so remove and place in a 2-quart casserole dish with a cover.

Veggies and Salami

Veggies and Salami

Add the sliced onion and fennel to the hot skillet for about 5 minutes, stirring until starting to soften and brown, then add the salami and sage. Cook until the salami begins to crisp up a bit. Add the garlic, artichoke hearts, oregano, parsley, and red pepper flakes.

Beautiful Base for Sauce

Beautiful Base for Sauce

Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bits off the bottom. Add the tomato paste and stir to incorporate. Then add the flour, again stirring to incorporate. Now pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Last, squeeze in the juice of the half lemon.

Sauce Mixture for Chicken

Sauce Mixture for Chicken

Pour the mixture over the chicken in the casserole dish, arrange sliced lemons over top, cover with foil, then with the lid.

Cooked Chicken in Veggie Salami Sauce

Cooked Chicken in Veggie Salami Sauce

Place in heated oven and roast for about 40 to 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions.

Uncover and sprinkle with fresh parsley, for garnish. Serve over cooked pasta of choice (I used angel hair) with plenty of sauce and vegetables. For the leftovers, I found shredded Mozzarella cheese to be a fantastic addition!

Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Calabrese Salami

Braised Lemon Chicken with Artichokes and Calabrese Salami

 

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Download and Print this Recipe

 

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

29 Oct
One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

This is a soup I’ve wanted to make for ages, and FINALLY got inspired to just do it. Soup? Check. Easy? Check. One pot? Check. One hand? Check, dammit. I get my traction device off in less than two weeks, woohooo! But in this seemingly long entrapment from my injury, I have found that one can be quite resourceful while dealing with a disability. Did you know you can break dried lasagna noodles into even pieces one-handed? Simply place the noodle in a glass bowl then push the edge of the noodle hanging out over the lip of the bowl. Snap! Keep moving it up and snapping off the end. See? Easy-peasy! (Newcomers to this site can read about my injury here.)

My recipe here came from several internet-inspired sources. As always, feel free to adapt, as that is pretty much all I’ve been doing lately. Without further ado…

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground hot Italian sausage
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
6 cups homemade or low-sodium beef broth, divided
1 24-ounce jar good-quality meatless spaghetti sauce
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
Ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1 bay leaf
10 uncooked dried lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
Fresh Mozzarella slices
Ricotta cheese scoops
Fresh-grated Parmesan cheese

In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, cook the ground beef, sausage, and onion over medium heat until meats are browned and onion is translucent. Add the garlic and stir for a minute more. Drain grease, if necessary.

Add 4 cups of the beef broth and the rest of the ingredients except the cheeses, stirring to separate the noodles. Bring up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about a half hour until noodles are soft and soup has thickened, about 30 to 45 minutes. Add the remaining two cups of broth, as needed during that time, until soup is desired consistency.

Lasagna Soup

Lasagna Soup

Discard bay leaf and add Mozzarella and Ricotta cheeses to the pot, then let sit without stirring until starting to melt. Ladle scoops of soup and melty cheese into bowls and garnish with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and a side salad.  This is good. Really good. We are talking seconds and thirds good. Trust me.

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

One-Pot Lasagna Soup

 

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Garden Dump Soup ~ Plus a Wild-Caught Chinook Salmon!

11 Sep
Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

Our kindly neighbor in back gifted us with two giant zucchinis and a large summer squash just before we left on our trip to the coast last weekend. I packed the largest zucchini and my mandoline and made a huge pan of Zucchini Lasagna in our RV’s convection oven, so that made use of one.

A couple days after we got back, I discovered the other zucchini and squash in the vegetable bin plus a half bag of baby spinach. AND our tomatoes had gone gangbusters while we were gone!

Garden Fresh Veggies

Garden Fresh Veggies

Soup was the only thing that came to mind where I could use that many veggies at once, so scoured our freezer for a bit of protein to go with it. I found a 1/2 pound of ground turkey, and about a 1/4 pound of homemade ground hot Italian sausage, which I figured needed using up anyways. Last, I grabbed a quart of homemade beef stock out of the freezer, as I had 6 quarts of that and only 2 quarts of chicken broth.

Basically I chopped it all up, sauteed the veggies and meats, then threw the rest of it in a stock-pot with some seasonings and spicy oregano from gardening and voila! Garden Dump Soup. Maybe I should have called it Garden and Freezer Dump Soup? Also at the very end I tossed in a cup of elbow macaroni to thicken it up a bit. Either way, this wowed the hubs, who went back for second and thirds, and he kept asking me what I was going to call it for my blog. I finally came up with this name.

What’s good about a soup like this is you can use any  vegetables you have on hand, your preference of broth, and any kind of ground meat and pasta. So versatile! If you don’t end up using any ground hot Italian sausage I would recommend adding a 1/2 teaspoon or so of dried Italian seasoning and perhaps a pinch of red chile pepper flakes. But that’s just me.

Even better, the next day I made myself a hearty breakfast (it was workout day) by plopping a farm-fresh egg into it and simmered it to perfection. Yay!

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Perfectly Poached Egg in Soup

Garden Dump Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 extra-large zucchini (about 3 cups chopped)
1 large summer squash (about 2 cups chopped)
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 to 1 pound low-fat ground meat or combination of meats
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
4 cups broth or stock of choice, preferably homemade or low sodium
4 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (or canned)
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
4 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (about 4 cups loosely packed)
1 cup dry elbow macaroni
Grated Parmesan cheese, optional for garnish

Chop and mince up everything to prep. Add the oil to a stockpot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.

Veggies and Ground Meats

Veggies and Ground Meats

Add the ground meat, veggies (except tomatoes, and spinach if using), onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook for about 15 minutes until the meat is cooked pretty much through.

Add the stock or broth, tomatoes, and oregano plus other herbs/spices if necessary.

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Tomatoes and Oregano Added

Bring to a simmer, then add the elbow macaroni or other small pasta. Simmer until pasta is done then add the chopped spinach (if using) and cook until wilted.

Wilting the Spinach

Wilting the Spinach

Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Serve in bowls with optional Parmesan cheese. Filling and super yummy!

Garden Dump Soup

Garden Dump Soup

p.s. Never Forget! 9-11-01

 

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

p.p.s. My hubby caught a 40-inch 24-pound Chinook Salmon out of the Siletz Bay last weekend! Woo hoo! Here’s a few photos (or 6 or 7), if you don’t mind me sharing. My turn next. 🙂

Hooked

Hooked

Netted!

Netted!

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Paul and his 40-inch Chinook Salmon

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Fresh Chinook from the Ocean

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Victory Walk to the Weighing Station

Weighing the Salmon

Weighing the Salmon ~ That’s One Happy Man!

 

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

27 Aug
Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

My good WP and FB friend Kat shared a video a couple of weeks ago of how to make a fresh box grater tomato sauce, and with a garden full of ripening tomatoes I knew I would be making a fresh-grated tomato sauce in the immediate future.

Hanging Tomato Plants

Hanging Tomato Plants

And of course I had to add shrimp, as my hubby and I are really enjoying our lack of daughter’s presence for dinners this summer so that we can eat this scrumptious shellfish, which is the ONLY seafood she doesn’t like.

The tomatoes in our garden are really small this year, so I didn’t even bother to slice them in half before grating. I just trimmed a tiny slice off the top, then grated away! I am sold on this method of preparing tomatoes for a sauce. Since I was planning on adding shrimp to this, I gussied everything up and cooked it for a short spell so that the shrimp would have a delicious sauce to simmer in.

Fresh Picked Heirloom Tomatoes

Fresh Picked Heirloom Tomatoes

My husband said I should put a tomato meter rating on my recipes, like the movie review site Rotten Tomatoes does, lol. With that, we give this recipe 5 ripe tomatoes! (Note: This recipe feeds two. Feel free to double as necessary.)

So what am I waiting for?! Here is the recipe:

Grated Heirloom Tomato and Shrimp Pasta

4 ounces dry Linguine or other pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
Large splash of good white wine
Enough tomatoes for 1 cup grated sauce
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Salt or Mrs. Dash and ground black pepper, to taste
Large pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Shrimp and Pasta Dish Ingredients

Shrimp and Pasta Dish Ingredients

Cook pasta according to package directions. When done, reserve about a half cup of liquid, then drain and return to pot, cover and keep warm on lowest setting. Add small splashes of reserved pasta water and stir occasionally to keep it from sticking while preparing the rest of the dish.

While pasta is cooking, slice a small piece off the top of each tomato and grate flat-handed on a box grater down to the skin. Grate enough tomatoes for 1 cup of sauce.

Grated Tomatoes and Such

Grated Tomatoes and Such

Add half the oil to a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion until translucent. Add the garlic for a minute more then add in a splash of wine. Add the rest of the oil, the grated tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and seasonings. Bring to a low simmer.

Simmering Fresh Tomato Sauce

Simmering Fresh Tomato Sauce

Nestle the shrimp into the sauce and cook for a few minutes, then flip over with tongs and cook for a few more until almost done. Last, add the chopped spinach, and simmer until wilted and shrimp are just cooked through.

Shrimp and Spinach Added to Sauce

Shrimp and Spinach Added to Sauce

Stir in the cooked pasta and additional reserved water until desired consistency. Serve on plates with a side salad and/or rustic bread.

Cooked Pasta Added to Sauce

Cooked Pasta Added to Sauce

Note how I did NOT add any cheese to this, as apparently the European world eschews cheese on seafood so I followed suit. I did not miss the cheese at all! I must say, this is the brightest, freshest tomato sauce I have ever tasted.

Oh! And if you want to see the referenced video, here it is: How to Make Fresh Tomato Sauce | Food and Wine

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms with Cacio e Pepe

14 Aug
Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms with Cacio e Pepe

Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms with Cacio e Pepe

I follow some fantastic food blogs, and many of their recipes are the inspiration for our meals. The past couple of days yielded a bonanza for me for a meal that had everything I already had in the pantry, garden, or freezer. The hubby thought it was quite good!

Huge thanks to Linda at Fabulous Fare Sisters and to Mimi at Chef Mimi Blog for providing the motivation to make this super-tasty meal. Go check out their blogs when you have a chance!

On to the preparation!

Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms
Inspired by Linda at Fabulous Fare Sisters

Garden Sage Plant

Garden Sage Plant

8 ounces sirloin tips
2 tablespoons fresh chopped sage
2 tablespoons fresh chopped green onions (green part only) or chives
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
Fresh ground pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, to taste

Finely Chopped Sage and Green Onion

Finely Chopped Sage and Green Onion

Place the chopped sage, green onion or chives and garlic in a shallow dish. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, pepper and salt or Mrs. Dash, and whisk to combine.

Add the sirloin tips, mix well, then marinate at room temperature for a half hour.

Sirloin Tips in Herby Maridade

Sirloin Tips in Herby Maridade

Meanwhile, add another tablespoon of olive oil to a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until liquid has released and mushrooms have browned. Remove from skillet and set aside and turn off heat.

Cooking the Mushrooms

Cooking the Mushrooms

Next, prepare the Cacio e Pepe (recipe below).

When pasta is cooked, reheat the same cast iron skillet on high. Drizzle a little olive oil into the hot skillet. Add the sirloin tips and sage mixture and sauté 3 to 5 minutes until cooked to your liking.

Steak Tips in Sage Sauce

Steak Tips in Sage Sauce

Add the mushrooms and stir until heated through. Remove from heat and serve immediately with the Cacio e Pepe.

Cacio e Pepe
Inspired by Chef Mimi Blog

2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, finely grated
4 ounces dried spaghetti noodles
1 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for serving

Finely Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Finely Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese

Place a large pot full of salted water on the stove over high heat and cook spaghetti according to package directions.

When the pasta is done to your liking, reserve 2 cups of the pasta water in a bowl. Drain the pasta and return the pasta to the pot. Immediately add about a half cup of pasta water to the pot, stirring gently.

Add a teaspoon of coarsely ground pepper and the grated cheese, along with more pasta water as needed, (I kept having to add about a 1/4 cup at a time throughout and did end up with some clumpy cheese at the bottom, but that’s OK).

Pasta, Cheese, and Pepper

Pasta, Cheese, and Pepper

Stir vigorously through out this process until cheese is melted and pasta is creamy. Keep warm until steak tips are done, and add a little more pasta water to loosen up just before serving. Serve with additional ground pepper, if desired (recommended!)

Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms with Cacio e Pepe

Sage-Infused Sirloin Tips and Mushrooms with Cacio e Pepe

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

2 Jul
Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

What can I say? This dish is simply AH-MAZING! I am a huge fan of artichokes, but fried? And also jumbo shrimp? Shut the door and lock me in! When I saw this recipe over at Meals with Mel (please stop on by her site to check it out. Hi Melody!!) I knew I just had to make it and went on a mission to do just that. My only regret is adding only two cans of artichokes, as I do believe I ate at least one can of said artichokes before they even met the shrimp and pasta.

While not something I’d indulge in often while watching the waistline, this is definitely a meal I will make again. My husband loved it too and wow Mel, thanks for the introduction to a plate of heaven!

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta
Adapted from same recipe at Meals with Mel

2 14-ounce cans artichoke hearts, quartered
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 handful thyme sprigs
1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 pound jumbo shrimp (16/20 count)
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 large shallot, diced small (about 1/3 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped and divided
2 teaspoons fresh spicy oregano, minced
1/8 cup capers plus 2 teaspoons of the brine
1 large lemon, halved
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 to 6 ounces dried Linguine
salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Pecorino Romano, grated, for serving

Drain the artichoke hearts until they are almost completely dry. I squished them down in the colander with paper towels then let them set for about a half hour, blotting with more paper towels periodically.

Artichokes and Thyme Ready to Fry

Artichokes and Thyme Ready to Fry

Arrange the artichoke hearts in a single layer in the bottom of a cast iron skillet or other heavy skillet. Pour just enough olive oil over the artichokes to cover them. I used a cup.

Toss in the smashed clove of garlic and thyme sprigs. Turn the heat on to medium-high and allow the artichoke hearts to fry for about 30 minutes.

Artichokes Halfway Through Frying

Artichokes Halfway Through Frying

After about 10 minutes gently move the artichokes around to make sure they don’t stick to the bottom. After about 20 minutes carefully turn the artichoke hearts over to ensure even browning. After 30 minutes they should be golden brown, but don’t let them burn.

Remove the artichokes from the skillet and transfer to a paper towel-line plate. Lightly salt the hot fried artichoke hearts. Set aside and try not to eat them all. Trust me.

Fried Artichokes

Fried Artichokes ~ Maybe I should have moved them further away from my work space

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook to your preference according to package directions. Remove a cup or two of the cooking water and reserve, then drain the pasta

In another large skillet add about 2 tablespoons of the artichoke “frying” oil and a tablespoon of butter. Add the shallot and cook over medium heat until tender, about four minutes. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, capers and brine, half the chopped parsley, and the juice and zest of half the lemon. Season with a little salt and lots of ground black pepper, to taste. Cook for two minutes until fragrant, then add the white wine and reduce by half.

Cooking the Jumbo Shrimp

Cooking the Jumbo Shrimp

Add the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp turn pink, just a couple minutes per side. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the shrimp and fried artichokes and toss to combine. Loosen the pasta with the reserved cooking water.

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Pour the skillet contents into large serving bowl and toss with the remaining parsley, the other lemon half squeezed, and a little fresh grated Pecorino Romano or other high-quality hard cheese. This is dinner-guest worthy! Enjoy!

P.S. I have been super busy the past few days getting our house and patio ready for a 4th of July party. I hope you all have a safe, memorable and enjoyable holiday weekend!

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

Fried Artichokes and Shrimp Pasta

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers

18 Jun
Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers

Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers

When I saw this recipe come up in my reader board last week, I knew this was exactly what I would be making for dinner. Thank you so much Marisa for the inspiration and a new favorite shrimp and pasta dish!

We’ve been on a huge shrimp kick lately in this house, largely because we’ve scored some great deals on shrimp lately and also because the teenage daughter does not like shrimp and has been nearly non-existent for dinners at home as of late. That’s bonus for hubs and I because that means shrimp for dinner!

We already had most everything on hand already so all I had to do was buy a yellow pepper to pretty it up and a fifth of brandy. Don’t skip the wine and brandy if you can tolerate alcohol, as both add such a unique flavor to the dish! Otherwise you can sub a little chicken broth and maybe a splash of vinegar for some zing.

This will be a meal I plan on making often, and once you try it I think you’d agree! This serves two, so double or triple if feeding more.

Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers
Adapted from Spaghettoni with Shrimp & Peppers by Marisa’s Italian Kitchen

1/2 pound raw shrimp
Large squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Ground pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/8 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced red pepper
1/2 cup yellow or orange pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
A couple fresh basil leaves, chopped
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Additional ground pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
1/4 cup white wine
1/8 cup brandy
1 tablespoon butter
4 ounces dried spaghetti
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Chopped parsley, for serving

Shrimps!

Shrimps!

Season the shrimp with lemon juice and ground pepper and Mrs. Dash, or salt, to taste. Quickly sauté in a large skillet with the half tablespoon of butter until just pink. The shrimp will cook a little more later. Remove from pan and set aside

Set a pot of water for the spaghetti to boil on the stove. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in the same large skillet and cook the red onion and peppers for about 5 minutes.

Medley of Peppers and Onions

Medley of Peppers and Onions

Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes and additional seasonings, to taste. Cook for several more minutes, then add in the white wine, brandy and the butter. Stir to combine, then let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the reserved shrimp in the last few minutes of simmering time.

Shrimp and Pepper Sauce Ready for Pasta

Shrimp and Pepper Sauce Ready for Pasta

Your pasta water should be boiling while you let the sauce simmer, so add the pasta and cook according to package directions. When done, drain, and divide the pasta into bowls or on plates. Pour the shrimp sauce over the pasta and serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Serve with a side salad.  (I totally spaced on adding the Parmesan before shooting the photos, but I did grate some over it!)

Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers2

Drunken Shrimp with Spaghetti and Peppers2

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Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

21 May
Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Recently my meals have taken on a “keep-it-simple” theme, which includes finding and making new meals that only use one pot, pan, or skillet. One day I was surfing Pinterest, pondering what to make with some fresh spring asparagus I had bought and came across this delightful food blog that offered just the ticket for a quick and easy meal. I scaled it down for two people as my daughter wasn’t eating at home that night, and also added some Neufchâtel cream cheese to double the creaminess. The meal offered everything it claimed, including only one pot to clean after. And the bonus? It only took a half hour to make! Two thumbs up all the way around!

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two
Adapted from The Nourished Peach, original recipe here

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
Ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
4 to 6 ounces asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cups homemade or low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup milk, any kind
6 to 8 ounces spaghetti noodles
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice (1 small lemon or 1/2 large)
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan chees
2 ounces Neufchâtel cheese or regular cream cheese
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

Season the chicken on both sides with ground black pepper and Mrs. Dash or salt, to taste. Heat the oil and butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Browning the Chicken

Browning the Chicken

Add the chicken and cook for about 7 minutes on one side, then turn chicken over and cook for another 7 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Remove chicken to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes or so.

Browning the Asparagus

Browning the Asparagus

Meanwhile add the asparagus to the pot and cook for several minutes, stirring to evenly cook it. In the last minute or so, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Deglaze the pot with a couple teaspoons of the chicken broth and scrape up the yummy browned bits from the chicken.

Pasta and Cooking Liquids

Pasta and Cooking Liquids ~ I broke the spaghetti in half to fit the pot

Add the thyme, additional ground black pepper, chicken broth, milk, and pasta to the pot. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat down to medium and gently boil, stirring often with a fork to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.

Boiling the Pasta

Boiling the Pasta

Simmer for 8 to 15 minutes (we live at high altitude so pasta takes longer) until pasta is cooked to your liking.

Adding the Chicken

Adding the Chicken

Meanwhile slice the chicken into strips then cut into bite-sized pieces. When pasta is done, add the lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, Neufchâtel or cream cheese, and chicken. Stir to completely combine then top with a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Serve in bowls along with a side salad. So delicious!

Note: This recipe can easily be double or tripled, use size of pot accordingly.

Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

One-Pot Creamy Chicken and Asparagus Pasta for Two

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

9 Apr
Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

 

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash Just out of Oven

Howdy friends and family! This is a repost recipe from three years ago that never got much attention from my readers, minus the intro paragraphs. Unfortunately, we had a series of three medical events in the house recently that has prevented me from creating a new recipe for you this week. (One event was an excruciating back spasm that lasted an hour and a half before I felt I wasn’t going to die. After multiple trips to both my doctor and chiro, I now have the pain under control.)

The other event was too low of blood pressure, and I thought I would pass out so had to have my high blood pressure meds adjusted. The third event involved my daughter but she’s healing up nicely since an outpatient procedure. However, on the first day I felt well enough to cook, I dragged out my old stand-by recipe for this dish of Cheesy Baked Goulash. My daughter requests this often, and for my new readers, I am glad to share it with you. I am also fortunate to have a hubby that cooks and for takeout pizza, ha! Happy Spring!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

1 pound ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
Ground black pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup dry elbow macaroni pasta
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce (or 2 8-0unce cans)
1 jar homemade canned tomatoes diced, or 1 can low-sodium diced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and set a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the burger and chopped onions, then grind a bunch of black pepper over it. Cook until beef is browned and onions are translucent. In the last minute or so, add the minced garlic. Drain any grease, if needed.

Browned Burger and Onions

Browned Burger and Onions

When the water is boiling for the pasta, add the macaroni and cook until just before al dente, then drain and set aside. It will cook more in the oven. Meanwhile, add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar, and herbs to the ground beef and stir to incorporate.

Cooked Macaroni and Tomato Beef Sauce

Cooked Macaroni and Tomato Beef Sauce

Or you can be like me and forget the parsley until later. Next add the cheddar cheese (or perhaps parsley if you forgot) and mix until cheese is melted. Stir in the cooked macaroni until combined.

Cheddar Cheese and Parsley Added

Cheddar Cheese and Parsley Added

Pour into a 2-quart casserole dish sprayed with oil. Top with the Mozzarella cheese and bake for 30 minutes.

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Let rest about 5 minutes, then serve with buttered bread, and a salad if you want.

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Cheesy Baked Goulash

Cheesy Baked Goulash

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