Pasta


I Heart Cooking Clubs has a new monthly feature.  In the past we have done Mystery Boxes – a combo of different ingredients to be used in a dish.  A Chef of the Month.  And now – The Ingredient of the month.  How fun!

This month the ingredient is SQUASH!  It could be any type of squash.  Summer squash.  Winter Squash.  The world was open to us.  The only restriction – the recipe had to come from one of our past chefs.  That meant we had HUNDREDS of recipes to choose from.  HUNDREDS!!  Not an easy task to pick one.

I found this one from Giada De Laurentis.  I have seldom cooked from her recipes.  I joined IHCC AFTER they had cooked with her for 6 months.  My Loss!!

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Rigatoni with Squash and Prawns

The sweetness of the butternut squash mixed with the mellowness of the cooked garlic and the bite of the Parmesan and the Basil is a tasty combination.  

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus 1/2 teaspoon
1 cup vegetable stock
1 pound rigatoni
1 pound prawns {shrimp}, peeled and deveined
3/4 to 1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butternut squash, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Saute until the squash is golden and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the squash is very soft, another 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the squash mixture to a blender or food processor and puree.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
Meanwhile, warm the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the prawns with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add the prawns to the pan and cook until just pink, about 3 minutes.
In a large pot over low heat combine the cooked pasta, pureed squash mixture, and 3/4 cup milk. Stir to combine. Add the remaining 1/4 cup milk if the sauce needs to be moistened. Add the cooked prawns, basil, and cheese. Stir until warm and serve.

{Giada de Laurentis 2016.}\

Delicious.

For more  SQUASH!!  recipes!

How about a noodle salad with an Asian Flair? That is what I found in The Frog Commissary Cookbook for lunch the other day.

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Dressing:

    1 teaspoon salt
    3⁄4 cup vegetable oil
    3 tablespoons sesame oil
    1⁄2 cup rice vinegar or 1⁄2 cup cider vinegar
    2 tablespoons dry sherry
    1⁄2 teaspoon orange rind, grated
    1 teaspoon soy sauce
    2 tablespoons scallions, thinly sliced
    1 teaspoon ginger, minced
    1⁄2 teaspoon garlic, minced
    1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
    1 teaspoon pepper
    1 tablespoon sugar
    2 tablespoons cilantro, minced

Salad:

    1 (16 ounce) box orzo pasta
    1 cup carrot, shredded
    1⁄4 cup raisins dried cranberries
    1⁄4 cup pine nuts sunflower seed kernels, lightly toasted

Cook orzo according to directions on box. Drain and run under cold water. Let set to finish draining.
Mix the sauce ingredients and blend well. Mix into the pasta and chill.
Add raisins dried cranberries, shredded carrots, and pine nuts sunflower kernels , and mix gently.
Note, this can be made 1 day ahead of when you plan to serve it, just don’t add the carrots or sunflower kernels until just before serving so they will remain crunchy.

Since I am not a fan of raisins I subbed in some dried cranberries. I really liked the counter point of the tart dressing with the sweet fruit. Definitely a repeat.

The full recipe serves 8. I made 1/2 and it was more than enough for 4 as a side.
IF you want to add some other veggies or some chicken it would make a nice meal. The dressing alone would be good cooked with some diced chicken.

Recipe is on page 67 of The Frog Commissary Cookbook.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown 11 hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Thank you, Gaye, for choosing pasta for this week’s Eating with Ellie theme. It is my all time comfort food. And then I made a shrimp pasta and it was the ultimate cool night dinner.

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White wine, lots of Parmesan along with asparagus and cherry tomatoes in this one.  And lots of good flavor.

My only complaint:  it was a little dry.  I added in the pasta water to make it saucy but  I may not have added enough {recipe calls for 1 cup}.  I was afraid it would be too wet.  I was wrong.  I would definitely make this again.  But with more pasta water added.

The recipe is on page 161 of Ellie’s The Food you Crave. You can also find it HERE.

For more Ellie Pastas visit Eating with Ellie.

…a creative cook. Someone who loves to create good food for her family. Someone who started a blog because she wanted to share her requested recipes with family and friends. LYNSEY!  Of LynseyLou’s who is making our days delicious!!  And she did.  

Lynsey started blogging in 2008 because she was simply inspired by another blogger.  And, it was her way of sharing her recipes with the friends and family who asked for them.  Lynsey, that’s the same reason I blog.  Keep on, Lynsey.  You have some darn good stuff on LynseyLou’s.

So many good things that, as usual, it was hard to pick just one.  So I went with …

DINNER:  p1090652

Spicy Sausage Casserole

Which everyone in the family loved.  Rotini pasta mixed with sausage, lots of cheese, Rotel tomatoes, and onions.  While Lynsey used turkey sausage I used a local smoked sausage.  It was delicious!

A couple of nights later I needed a good filling side:

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Sweet Potato Wedges

Roasted in the melted butter and cinnamon.  Perfect.  I am a big fan of sweet potatoes and always stock up when they are in season.  These will definitely see their way into the oven again.

And I saved the best for last:  DESSERT!

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Peanut Butter Pie

Which The Man said was the best PB pie he had ever had.  {Thank you, Lynsey!}

Forgive the drizzle on top – it came out way faster than I expected.  But it’s the taste that counts, right?

  • 2 Cups heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 8 Oz (1 bar) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 Cups peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • 1 Cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 Graham cracker crust, homemade or store bought
  • 1/4 Cup semi sweet chocolate

Place 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream in a medium bowl with two tablespoons of sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form.  Set aside.

Place cream cheese and peanut butter in a large bowl and beat on high until combined.  Gradually add confectioner’s sugar and beat until incorporated.  Increase speed to high and beat an additional 1-2 minutes, until mixture is slighly airy.  Gently fold the whipping cream into the peanut butter mixture.  Transfer mixture to the cooled pie crust.

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave in 15 second incremints, until completely melted.  Fill a piping bag, fitted with a round tip with the melted chocolate and drizzle the pie with the chocolate.

Whip the remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream until stiff peaks form.  Spoon the whipped cream onto the center of the pie.  Drizzle with additional chocolate, if desired.

Place the pie in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving, to allow to set     {adapted by Lynsey from Paula Deen}

Lynsey was my assignment for Secret Recipe Club.

Were there more recipes from Lynsey I wanted to try?  You Betcha! But I had to choose just a couple for SRC.  The hardest part of being a member is choosing.  The fun part is discovering new bloggers and their wonderful, tasty recipes.  There is more from The Secret Recipe this month.  Just follow the frog!

WordPress dot com:

Is pasta comfort food for you?  Is it something you crave periodically?  Nothing else will do but you really want to watch how many carbs you eat.  Or you need more veggies.

Then this dish is for YOU!

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simple zucchini

Speghetti (I used low carb) tossed with sauteed zuchinni (with crushed garlic and red pepper).  Topped with shave Parmesan it was the perfect low-carb veggie lunch.

It was refreshing and light AND  it was super quick to make.  Always a plus.

The recipe is a short order from Donna’s off the shelf: cooking from the pantry on page 30.

More pasta on Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

Want to join us cooking with Donna Hay.  Just cook from any of her books/website, blog, and leave a comment each week.  The themes are on the WWDH webpage.

Ooey, gooey, melty cheese!  What’s not to love?  And in this simple dish from Donna Hay it all comes together.

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Zucchini, Cheese, and Pasta Slice

This was so good.  Very soft and melty just out of the oven.  Just as good at room temp.  The only seasoning is just salt and pepper but the ricotta really adds a lot of flavor.  The result is a creamy grown-up mac and cheese.  

    1½ CUPS (135G) SMALL PASTA
    3 MEDIUM ZUCCHINI, GRATED
    1 CUP (200G) RICOTTA
    1 CUP (120G) GRATED CHEDDAR
    ¼ CUP (60ML) VEGETABLE OIL
    4 EGGS
    1 CUP (150G) SELF-RAISING FLOUR
    SEA SALT AND CRACKED BLACK PEPPER
    ¼ CUP (30G) GRATED CHEDDAR, EXTRA, FOR SPRINKLING

Cook the pasta {I used elbow macaroni.} until al dente.  Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  Turn out into a lightly greased 8″ x 12″ dish. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes at 350°F until the cheese is melted and slightly browned. Let cool {or not….} and slice into squares.

The recipe is from Donna Hay’s website.

Visit Wednesdays with Donna Hay for more Cheesy Delights! which was the theme this week.

I think pasta is one of the most comforting types of food out there.  Thick and hearty sauces in the winter.  Served cold as a salad in the summer.  Pasta, or noodles, or pretty versatile.  That is why I chose PASTA as the theme for this weeks Eating with Ellie..

 

I picked the

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whole-grain penne with chicken, mushrooms, and spinach

for this go-round.

It was filling and full of flavor. And healthy.  2 cups {which is more than you think!} is only 580 calories.

The ‘sauce’ (which I will make more of next time) was full of chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, onions, garlic and Parmesan cheese.  You can imagine how good that was.  The reason I said I would make more is because I found it to be a trifle dry.  I made 1/2 of the recipe which was perfect for two servings.  I usually increase the sauce and am sorry I didn’t this time.  he whole dish is seasoned with a little salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, and fresh thyme (altho’ I had to used dried).

This one is from Ellie’s weeknight wonders and is on page 160.I also found the recipe HERE if you want to try it.  This is one of ellie krieger’s great collection of recipes all of which are ready in 30 minutes or less.

Since I had marked 10 pasta recipes I guess we will have to return to this theme a couple of more times.  So I can make the other 9 pasta dishes.

Check out what pasta dishes the other EATERS made this week.

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