Pasta

Pasta Recipes

Savory Pumpkin Ravioli {Vegetarian}

 savory pumpkin ravioli

Homemade pasta of any kind (especially ravioli) can be very intimidating to make. This recipe may sound complicated at first, but if you plan ahead and grab another pair of hands, homemade ravioli is well worth the hard work. Keep in mind that you can always freeze a good portion of these to easily pop into boiling water on those nights where standing in the kitchen is not on your TO DO list. Easy peasy.

If you haven’t made ravioli at home before, here are a few tips:

1.  It takes a lot of love to make homemade pasta (i.e. patience, elbow grease, a glass of wine, maybe a great album)

2.  You don’t need a pasta roller or a ravioli cutter to make ravioli (we used a rolling pin and one of our favorite Avery glasses to make these)

homemade ravioli

3. This is a project best made with a loved one. What better time to bond?

We stuffed our ravioli bites with a savory pumpkin filling because, well, we love pumpkin and it’s fall! What more can I say? Other than this pumpkin filling is to die for. I may or may not have licked my plate when I finished my portion. This is definitely a new favorite autumn recipe in our household!

If you’re looking for a shortcut and don’t feel like rolling out your own pasta dough, try using wonton wrappers instead. You definitely save on the hard labor. The only trade-off is there is less chew to your ‘pasta.’ But in a bind, I bet everyone will be too busy gobbling up your ravioli that nobody will notice the difference. Your secret is safe with me.

Savory Pumpkin Ravioli

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yields: About 6 servings

Serving Size: 9 raviolis and 2 tablespoons sauce

Calories per serving: 670 calories

Fat per serving: 47g

Savory Pumpkin Ravioli

Ingredients

    For the Pasta:
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 egg (separately), lightly beaten
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 teaspoons chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan/romano blend cheese
  • 1 small bay leaf, whole
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)

Directions

  1. Place 2-1/2 cups flour in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Beat eggs and oil; pour into well. Stir together, forming a ball. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes, adding remaining flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute pumpkin, shallot and garlic in butter until tender. Add the sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Transfer to a food processor; cover and process until blended. Return to the pan; stir in cream, cheese and bay leaf. Bring to a high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaf.
  3. Divide pasta dough into fourths; roll one portion as thin as you can (1/16-in. thickness). (Keep remaining dough covered until ready to use.) Cut circles of pasta by using a ravioli cutter or a small glass. Place a teaspoon of filling in the middle of a pasta circle then brush around filling with beaten egg. Place another pasta circle over the filling and press down firmly to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  4. Bring a stock pot of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cook for 1-2 minutes or until ravioli float to the top and are tender. Drain and keep warm.
  5. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil; cook, uncovered, until reduced by half. Stir in butter and sage. Serve with ravioli.

Notes

If you wish to freeze any extra ravioli, lay completed ravioli in single lines on a floured cookie sheet and set in the freezer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, store the ravioli in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook these, pop them into salted boiling water just as you would if they were fresh. They are cooked when they float to the top of the water.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/savory-pumpkin-ravioli/

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Slow Cooker Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs and Spaghetti

 

Cheese- stuffed meatballsI bet you’re here because you saw one of those food videos online. Maybe the one that takes balls of meat, stuffs them full of cheese, and ends with an, “Oooh yeah?”

Well you’re in luck. This is that recipe – with a few minor adjustments to suit my personal tastes.

You can use any type or any combination of ground meat that tickles your fancy. The fattier your meat, the more tender your meatballs will be. I chose to use turkey because I enjoy leaner meals. If you use turkey like I did in this recipe, your meatballs will cook a bit quicker. Keep a close eye on them to make sure they don’t overcook.

When I followed the recipe in the Tasty video, I found that my meatballs were very wet. I recommend dialing down the whole milk amount by 1/4-cup (the original recipe called for 1/2 cup of liquid). You can always add more if your mixture seems too dry. However, be mindful not to overwork your mixture.

cheese stuffed meatballs

A very important part of making a good meatball is to treat your meat gently. Man, that sounds weird, but believe me, it makes a difference. If you cook like I cook, once you get in that bowl with your bare hands, you want to keep mixing until the end of time. Be mindful – you want your mixture combined but if you mix for too long, your meatballs will be tough.

So try to show some restraint, will ya?

Cheese- stuffed meatballs

We gobbled these up for National Meatball Day. What a wonderful, glorious (random) holiday. Don’t wait until any sort of national day to make these. They’re awesome and you should make these immediately! This recipe makes about a couple dozen meatballs and fed us for multiple nights.

Tasty!

Cheese- stuffed meatballs

Slow Cooker Cheese-Stuffed Meatballs and Spaghetti

Ingredients

  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 lb Italian Sausage
  • 8-ounces Fresh Mozzarella
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Italian-Flavored Bread Crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Whole Milk
  • 1/2 cup Parsley
  • 64-ounces Tomato Sauce
  • Spaghetti Noodles

Directions

  1. Cut Mozzarella into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside.
  2. Using your hands (this is a requirement!, mix all ingredients together except for the Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, and Pasta.
  3. Line the bottom of your slow cooker with a layer of tomato sauce.
  4. Form meat mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs. Stuff each meatball with a cube of mozzarella, reform into a ball, then place in the slow cooker. After you have made a layer of meatballs in your slow cooker, top with tomato sauce and repeat until all meatballs are formed and tomato sauce is used up.
  5. Cook on high for 2 hours. Check meatballs for doneness. Continue cooking for up to 30 more minutes until cooked.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/cheese-stuffed-meatballs-and-spaghetti/

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms {Vegetarian}

IMG_2257

Sadly, I think my photography skills are getting worse. I don’t have my food photo area set up anymore after I’ve moved. I’m still in a temporary living situation so that wont change anytime soon. Plus, I have a tendency to want to inhale anything I spend hours cooking, so by the time I get to the photo session I get impatient, snap a few shots, and satisfy my primal urges.

IMG_2249

Besides the high contrast photos, life has been good. I’ve been participating in a 31 Days of Horror (movie) Challenge. So far I’ve been able to watch 9 movies in 11 days. I have a little catching up to do, but I did discover a new favorite series, Dead Snow. Bask in its glory.

If you’re a fan of Evil Dead or Dead Alive, you need to watch Dead Snow and Dead Snow 2! So many fun references, great humor, and even better Nazi zombie gore scenes. Foodie McBooty gives these two thumbs up!

IMG_2251

Okay, back to the food. Every fall pumpkin and squash everything seems to appear everywhere (lattes, shakes, spaghetti, ravioli) come out of the woodwork (along with all of the creepy crawlies), and I love it!! I’m definitely one of those people who takes full advantage while she can. My apologies to anybody around me who has to deal with my (slight) addiction, but if I see a pumpkin or squash related item on a menu, I’m most likely ordering it.

This is a recipe I’ve made before but haven’t posted until today. I added mushrooms to my lasagna this time because I picked some up at the farmer’s market last weekend. I have to warn you now, as this lasagna bakes in the oven you might go a little crazy. The smell of warm butternut squash, garlicky spinach, and bubbling, browning cheese might drive you nuts. Or at least, it drives me nutty, which is why by the time I pull this out of the oven, I can’t take any decent pictures. Everything goes dark and before I know it, I’ve eaten half of the pan of lasagna and I have crummy pictures on my camera.

I regret nothing.

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spinach and Mushrooms {Vegetarian}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

    Butternut Squash Filling:
  • 2 cups butternut squash puree (1 medium cooked squash or frozen works in a bind)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk (more, if needed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 ground nutmeg
  • Spinach Filling:
  • 1 pound spinach, washed and stems trimmed
  • 6-ounces of your favorite mushroom, washed and diced (I used oyster, but white or cremini would work great too)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • Other Ingredients:
  • 10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked or oven-ready
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning

Directions

    Prepare the Butternut Squash Filling
  1. Cut the end of the butternut squash off, cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place squash in a microwave safe container and add 2 teaspoons of water. Cover and microwave 6 minutes on high (you can also roast your squash in the oven if you have the time). Scoop out the cooked squash and place in a food processor. Add the thyme, ricotta cheese, milk, salt and nutmeg and blend until smooth. Add more milk if the mixture is too thick.
  2. For the Spinach Filling
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium-size pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms, toss, and season with salt and pepper. You may need to add more olive oil as mushrooms tend to absorb a lot of liquid. Cook until the mushrooms are browned or cook down a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and toss until wilty, 1-2 minutes. Lastly, add the minced garlic and stir almost continuously until fragrant. Put the mixture into a medium bowl and add the ricotta and mozzarella cheese while the mixture is still hot. Set aside.
  4. Assemble the Lasagna
  5. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 11 inches x 8.5 inches x 3 inches dish with butter or non-stick spray.
  6. Spread about a 1/3 of the butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked or oven-ready lasagna noodles, being careful not to overlap them.
  7. Spread half of the spinach mixture over the noodles. Top lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  8. Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash mixture, then sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  9. Spread the remaining half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of cooked noodles.
  10. Spread the last layer (1/3) of butternut squash filling over this final layer of noodles, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese (should be about 1/2 cup of mozzarella). Generously sprinkle the cheese with Italian seasoning.
  11. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes until the top is golden and bubbly.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/butternut-squash-lasagna-with-spinach-and-mushrooms-vegetarian/

Pasta Carbonara

pasta carbonara bacon peas

Lately I have found myself eating more and more vegan and vegetarian meals.  I was a vegetarian for many years (many years ago now) but I found that my lifestyle had changed and I incorporated more and more meat back into my diet.  Nowadays, there are many fantastic meat substitutes available.  I can cope with fake chicken and fake hot dogs, but the fake-in bacon (whether you make it yourself or buy it) just doesn’t quite make the cut for me.  To me, the sound and smell of cooking bacon makes my mouth water and tummy growl.

So as I transition back to a (mostly) vegetarian diet, I still find myself craving bacon from time to time.  We completely indulged with this bacon, cream and cheese pasta dish.  As you can imagine, it’s decadent and delicious.  Salty bacon, creamy pasta and pops of sweetness from the green peas – yum!!

We used a combination of whole wheat penne and cavatappi for our pasta but you can use whatever pasta you have laying around.

pasta carbonara bacon peas

Pasta Carbonara

Ingredients

  • 12-ounces of pasta (a little less than 1 full box)
  • 8 pieces of thick cut bacon, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 whole eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cups grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup green peas

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon until just barely crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Pour off all of the bacon grease, but don't clean the pan. Return the pan to the stove over medium-low heat and throw in the onions and garlic. Cook until golden brown. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, mix together eggs, Parmesan, cream, and salt and pepper until smooth.
  4. When the pasta is done, reserve a cup or two of the pasta water. Drain the pasta and place it in a bowl. While the pasta is still really hot, slowly drizzle in the egg mixture, stirring the pasta the whole time. The sauce will become thick and should coat the pasta. Splash in a little hot pasta water if needed for consistency.
  5. Halfway through, add the peas, bacon, and sauteed onion/garlic. Finish adding the sauce, stirring until it's all combined.
  6. Serve immediately with extra Parmesan.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/pasta-carbonara/

Recipe from the Pioneer Woman.

 

Broccoli Pesto Penne {Vegan}

broccoli pesto pasta

With all of the recent tragic events it’s really made me sit back and count my blessings.  America is supposed to be a nation of nations, where people come to be free and thrive and build better lives.  What is happening lately?  Too many public shootings, then Newtown and now the Boston Marathon.  As one of my friends put it, it’s like the pendulum has swung and we’ve all become vulnerable.  I can’t imagine what all of the victim’s families must be going through.  I feel so helpless.  America needs to unify again and make a come back.  Anywho my heart goes out to everyone in Boston this morning.

Moving from my darker rant to something that always lightens my mood:  Fresh Pesto.

Pesto is one of my favorite sauces to add to a dish of steaming pasta.  I wanted to add some more nutrition to my bowl and thought it might be fun to incorporate broccoli into the mix too.  As it turned out, many other foodies and bloggers alike have had this same idea of pureeing broccoli into a pesto.  However, most of them omit the basil completely.  I decided to make a hybrid.

broccoli pesto pasta

We have also added whole wheat pasta to our regiment.  Although I don’t use it 100% of the time, I try to at least incorporate at half and half mixture to our pasta dishes.  I’ve found that some wheat pastas are a bit “wheatier” than others and may take a bit of adjusting to if you are used to all white, smooth flour pastas.  Mixing wheat and white pastas are a great way to start.

I really loved the texture of this sauce.  If I were going to add anything to this recipe, it would be a bit of fat from either heavy cream or greek yogurt.  Either would work great.

Broccoli Pesto Penne

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound broccoli
  • 1 pound pasta (we used whole wheat penne)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (or your favorite nuts to use in pesto)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped, for garnish
  • grated parmesan, for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, chop the broccoli into florets. Use a vegetable peeler or paring knife to remove the tough outer skins of the broccoli stem and chop the stem into 1/2-inch discs. When the water is boiling, add the broccoli florets and stem to the water to boil until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Remove broccoli to a bowl, leaving the water in the pot.
  2. Maintain the water at a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and then drain the pasta well. Set aside.
  3. Return the pot to the heat. Add the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and cook 1 minute more. Return the cooked broccoli to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes to heat through. Season with pepper to taste.
  4. Transfer the broccoli mixture, fresh basil, lemon juice, black pepper and nuts to a food processor. Pulse in short bursts, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is finely chopped. Add a bit of pasta water to thin out the sauce until it is smooth and creamy. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if necessary. In a large bowl (or in the pot), toss the pasta with the sauce. Serve with chopped tomatoes and freshly grated Parmesan if using.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/broccoli-pesto-penne-vegan/

Recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats.

Cheese Tortellini with Peas and Parmesan Cream Sauce

Cheese Tortellini, Mushrooms, Peas, Parmesan, Pasta

Man, it has been colder than cold here in Colorado lately.  I think the high maybe squeaked into the teens today.  BRR!!  It was time to whip out some warm, hearty recipes… like this one!

Besides my recent “splurge” at Sprouts Grocery Store (I bought an eggplant and some potatoes) I have mostly steered clear of the grocery stores overall.  Continuing with my Fiscal Cleanse, I didn’t buy anything for this recipe.  I still had leftover cheese tortellini from a previous recipe, frozen peas, and mushrooms in my fridge.  If you don’t like mushrooms, feel free to omit them, but do not (and I repeat DO NOT) skimp on the Parmesan sauce.  It is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo good!

😀  This dish is cheesy and creamy with pops of freshness from the peas and the lemon juice.  I couldn’t stop eating this (which I later regretted but it was so worth the pain).

Cheese Tortellini with Mushrooms, Peas and Parmesan Cream Sauce

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 4 Servings

Serving Size: About 12 tortellini

Cheese Tortellini with Mushrooms, Peas and Parmesan Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. pre-made cheese tortellini
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for sauteing, plus more for the tortellini
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely diced
  • 5 large white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 2 tablespoons fresh thyme)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/16 crushed red pepper, extra crushed in your hand, optional
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

Directions

  1. Boil your tortellini according to the package directions. Drain, toss with a drizzle of olive oil and set aside.
  2. Saute the onions and mushrooms in olive oil and butter. Once the mushrooms have begun to soften, about 5 minutes, add the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and red pepper. Saute for another 2 minutes then add the vegetable broth, heavy cream and frozen peas. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low (simmer). Stir occasionally and allow the sauce to thicken, about 5 minutes. Add the lemon and Parmesan and remove from heat. Stir until the Parmesan is incorporated in the sauce.
  3. Add the cooked tortellini and gently toss. Serve immediately.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/cheese-tortellini-with-peas-and-parmesan-cream-sauce/

 

Baked Vegetarian Penne

Wow, can you believe that it’s November already?  Where did this last month go?  I’m going to have to think about Christmas shopping pretty soon.  *shutters*  Not my favorite activity.  I’m impatient enough as it is, and when you throw in screaming children and long lines of people at the checkout counters, it gives me nightmares.

Anywho, let’s talk about more positive things… like chilly weather and comfort foods.

I made this vegetarian penne last weekend for my community symphony.  This pasta is rich and not for the feint of heart, and absolutely perfect for feeding many hungry mouths.  It’s packed with lots of vegetables masked by luscious cream, gorgeous garlic and bubbly cheese.  Words that speak straight to my heart.

Baked Vegetarian Penne

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 6-8 servings

Baked Vegetarian Penne

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 small yellow summer squash, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onion, summer squash, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic in butter until tender.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, seasonings and cream until smooth; add to the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened. Drain pasta and add to vegetable mixture and gently stir everything together. Pour the pasta into a greased square pan. Top with Parmesan and butter pieces. Bake until top is golden and cheese melts, about 20 minutes.

Notes

I tripled this recipe for a potluck I attended and baked the pasta in a 9 x 13-inch pan instead.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/baked-vegetarian-penne/

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

For my birthday (which was many moons ago now) my Mister bought me a gift card to this amazing European market in Boulder.  I finally went shopping and purchased some orecchiette imported from Italy.  Now if you’ve never had orecchiette, think of them as tiny pasta bowls.

In Italian ‘orecchio‘ means ‘ear,’ and the suffix ‘etto’ means ‘small’ because these resemble the shape of small ears.  Which, I admit, sounds a bit weird at first, but after you take a bite of orecchiette brimming with delicious sauce, you’ll understand why this pasta is so good.

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yields: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 666

Fat per serving: 26g

Pesto Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces orecchiette
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces fully cooked Italian-style chicken sausage links, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pesto
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces)

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, adding the green beans and peas during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water; drain the pasta and vegetables and return them to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the sausage, pesto, Parmesan, and ½ cup of the reserved cooking water to the pasta and vegetables and toss to combine (add more cooking water if the pasta seems dry).
http://foodiemcbooty.com/pesto-orecchiette-with-chicken-sausage/

Recipe adapted from Real Simple.

Shrimp and Tofu Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of my favorite dishes to order at a Thai restaurant.  For some reason I can never quite master this recipe at home.  I don’t know what their secret is but this time around I came pretty darn close.

Most Pad Thai sauces call for tamarind, sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, tomato paste and chili pepper.  Unfortunately I could not find tamarind to make my own Pad Thai sauce at my average grocery store, so I had to use Pad Thai sauce from the store.  Maybe that’s where the real magic resides.

Shrimp and Tofu Pad Thai

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 3 servings

Shrimp and Tofu Pad Thai

Ingredients

  • 1/2 package of Thai rice noodles, fettuccine width (8 oz)
  • 1/2 pound of medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 package of extra firm tofu (7 oz), sliced into 1″ long matchsticks
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup pad thai sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro and/or Thai basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Chinese chives, thinly sliced into 2″ long matchsticks
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1/2 lime
  • Ground black pepper and red crush pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Soak the rice noodles in lukewarm water for 7-10 minutes, and then drain and set aside. The noodles should be flexible and solid, not soft and completely expanded. The noodles will continue to cook when you start stir-frying so if in doubt, undersoak.
  2. Heat up your wok or large pot over medium-high heat. Fry the peanuts in the dry pot until toasted and then set aside for later use.
  3. Leave the heat on medium-high and add the oil to your wok. Mix in the garlic, shallots, and tofu and stir fry until they start to brown. Add the shrimp and sauté until pink.
  4. Make room for the egg by pushing the shrimp and tofu to the edges of the wok, and crack the egg in the middle. Scramble the egg until almost completely cooked.
  5. Add the noodles and the pad thai sauce to the wok. Stir quickly to avoid sticking. Mix in the bean sprouts, scallions, and cilantro/thai basil. You can set some herbs aside for garnish later. The noodles should be very soft and tangled. Add ground black pepper and red crushed pepper flakes to taste. Here is where you can tweak with more sauce, heat, sweetness, etc.
  6. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle the roasted peanuts on top. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve with a lime wedge.

Notes

If you need to double the recipe, I’d recommend using two woks or two large pots, otherwise you will have noodles and bean sprouts flinging everywhere.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/tofu-and-shrimp-pad-thai/

Recipe adapted from FoodComas.com
Photo courtesy of gastronomersguide.com

Vegan Ziti with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes

Veganism is something that Mister and I are both currently exploring.  We are meat lovers at heart, but from time to time I find an amazing vegan recipe that I have to try (and Mister is typically my guinea pig).  Plus a good friend of ours is vegan, which provides even more opportunities to create some of these dairy and egg-free dishes.

Mister whipped this up for our last potluck and it turned out really good.  We took the leftovers and baked them with layers of leftover marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese as well.  Simply use vegan mozz if you’d like to do the same (which, I highly recommend).

This puppy made a ton of leftovers for us!  Great to make on the weekend to enjoy for  lunch for the next few days.

Vegan Ziti with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: About 8-10 servings

Vegan Ziti with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Artichokes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound box of ziti (regular or whole wheat)
  • 1 cup chopped oil-marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup firm silken tofu, drained, pressed and cut into small chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chopped basil (or 1 tablespoon dried basil)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small can marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • soy parmesan (optional)

Directions

  1. Cook the ziti al dente. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the tomatoes, tofu, garlic, basil, vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil. Process to a smooth consistency. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and artichokes. Sprinkle with the parsley and soy parmesan, if desired.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/vegan-ziti-with-sun-dried-tomatoes-and-artichokes/

Recipe adapted from 366 Simply Delicious Dairy-Free Recipes by Robin Robertson.

Sausage, Bean and Spinach Ragoût

The weather here has been absolutely gorgeous this week.  I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m afraid the weather wont last.  Every year for the last three years the midwest experiences their Spring thaw while Colorado gets hit hard with late-season snow storms.  I thought I would get one last “winter-esque” recipe in before our thaw hits.  Here’s hoping that Spring is just around the corner – I’m so excited to plant my fresh herb garden again this year!

Ragoût is a the French version of thick, hearty stew.  Like any stew you can put just about whatever you want into the pot.   I had some chicken sausage and leftover kidney beans so I threw those in here.  The result was super satisfying and relatively low in fat content, which is always a nice bonus.  Plus this is a perfect weeknight meal seeing that it only takes 30 minutes to complete.

Now I wonder if Mr. Magoo liked ragoût too?  🙂

Sausage, Bean and Spinach Ragoût

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: Serves 6

Sausage, Bean and Spinach Ragoût

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound shredded chicken (cooked) or ground beef (optional)
  • 1 pound sausage (I used basil and tomato chicken sausage)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped basil leaves
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (seasoned with garlic and basil is nice)
  • 1 (16-ounce) can white or red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup uncooked pasta (elbow macaroni, spiral. acini de pepe, etc.)
  • 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach, washed
  • 1/3 cup grated Romano cheese

Directions

  1. Heat oil in saucepan over medium-high heat and add your meat(s) and onion. Cooked until the meat(s) are browned. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Add broth, basil, tomatoes and beans. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and cook until pasta is done, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add spinach and cook just until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Serve and sprinkle a bit more cheese on top.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/sausage-bean-and-spinach-ragout/

Lobster Pasta with Vodka Sauce and Crispy Breadcrumbs

My first memories of trying lobster were with my mom.  Being a single, hard-working mother never stopped her from indulging in a lobster tail from time to time and if anyone deserved food luxury, she definitely did.  I remember her telling me that you should always eat lobster drenched in drawn butter and morsel by morsel.  I broke the rules here, so she is going to lose a little respect for me after she reads this one.  Sorry mom, I love you!

I got the idea for this recipe on Framed Cooks.  She used clams in her recipe but Mister and I got this smokin’ hot deal on lobster tails and I decided to try this recipe with the lobster meat instead.  The result is rich in lobster and bright with vodka sauce – completely satisfying.  Comfort seafood anyone?

Lobster Pasta with Vodka Sauce and Crispy Breadcrumbs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yields: Serves 4-6

Calories per serving: 692

Fat per serving: 25g

Lobster Pasta with Vodka Sauce and Crispy Breadcrumbs

Ingredients

  • 2 lobster tails
  • 8-ounces whole wheat pasta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream (or half & half to save on calories)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs or 2 slices of hearty bread, chopped in a food processor
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the lobster tails until they float and are pink in color. Remove the cooked lobster, remove the legs and shell and chop the meat into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Cook the pasta in the same pot of water, drain and set aside. Reserve about a half cup of pasta water.
  2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in the vodka and tomatoes. Return the skillet to medium-low heat and simmer, stirring often, for 15 minutes. Add cream, lemon juice and salt to taste and cook until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Add the lobster meat and stir to combine.
  3. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta water to loosen, if needed. Cover and set aside.
  4. In the meantime, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small saucepan until bubbling, then add the breadcrumbs. Stir until golden brown, about 4 minutes and cool slightly. Stir in parsley.

Notes

Omit the vodka sauce and use fresh cherry tomatoes and olive oil to save on calories and fat.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/lobster-pasta-with-vodka-sauce-and-crispy-breadcrumbs/

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