Pasta


The other day I visited with Heather.  It was her fault that I just sat down because she did just invite me to “Join us, Pull up a Chair“. And since she was my ‘assignment’ for SRC I knew she wouldn’t mind a long visit.  Because it was.  It took a while to find the recipes I wanted to make.  Not because I couldn’t find anything but because I found lots of things to chose from.  But I had to narrow it down – a lot – from the 15 recipes I Pinned.

But I did!

I started with dessert.  I mean, why not?

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Oatmeal Cream Pies.

With a maple cream filling.  No need to make any changes here.  Except when I went to pull out my treasured jug of REAL GOOD Maple syrup, it wasn’t there!  Bother!  So I added some coconut to the cream filling.   Still tasty!  The Man ate all of them.

After enjoying a sweet treat we moved on to a tasty supper.

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I do love pizza.  With lots of cheese.  The more melty the better.  I don’t love crust, not because I don’t love bread, but I don’t need the carbs.  So when I saw Heather’s LOW CARB PIZZA CASSEROLE I knew I had to try it.  All the joys of pizza WITHOUT the crust.  Altho’ I did kinda miss the crust to sop up the juicy goodness in the bottom.  What we have here is mushrooms, Italian seasoning, Mozzarella, and sausage baked in a lovely tomato sauce.  The only change I made was to leave off the turkey pepperoni.  Not a fan.  Definitely a repeat for lunch!

I have two MAJOR fave foods.  A good steak.  Anything with Shrimp. And I also like easy dishes.  This one is basically made in one skillet.  Just one.  Not lots of pots and pans to clean up with this one.  That’s a good thing with these long days and late cooking. So for dinner:

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Shrimp Orzo Skillet

…which is just as good as it sounds.  I have two MAJOR fave foods.  A good steak.  Anything with Shrimp. And I also like easy dishes.  This one is basically made in one skillet.  Just one.  Not lots of pots and pans to clean up with this one.  That’s a good thing with these long days and late cooking.  The only change I made – instead of just salt and pepper mixed with the sugar to cook the shrimp I added some Creole seasoning to add some heat!  YUM!!

I’m definitely coming back for Heather’s Upside Down Sausage and ‘hroom Pizza, her Quinoa Mac & Cheese, and her Mad Hatter Salad when I have more than two people to feed.  And THEN after I had my choices and was writing she goes and adds  Slow Cooker Au Gratin Potatoes.  **SIGH** so add those to the list as well.  {She may have a longer visit than she anticipated. 🙂 } And…. the Baked Zucchini Fries just might be on the menu tonight!  And maybe the Apple Pie Empanadas  for dessert?

For more Secret Recipe Treats check out       !

“Ribbons of colorful vegetables and fresh herbs intertwine with tender noodles in this delicately flavored salad.”

That is how Ellie described this tasty salad. And she was RIGHT!! Of course!!

Soba noodles mixed with fresh bell pepper, carrot, basil from my garden and some cilantro. Mix that with a fantastic sauce will all the Asian flavors – rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic fish sauce – and you have a healthy alternative to the usual heavy noodle salads. Delicious!! The sauce alone will make you swoon!!

I loved the bite of the cilantro mixed with the sweet bell pepper and carrot. Make this one! SOON!!

You can find Ellie’s recipe on FOODTV or on page 139 of The Food You Crave.

The theme this week for I Heart Cooking Clubs was Oodles of Noodles.  I know there will be other delicious noodle dishes posted there.

Well, he might be. But not the kind you are thinking. The food kind. Sauces!! This week’s IHCC theme!

There are five MOTHER sauces we could chose from:

    Béchamel
    Hollandaise
    Velouté
    Espagnole
    Tomato

I have made all of these at some point over the last 10 years or so and they are delicious – the creaminess of the Hollandaise and the Béchamel. The heartiness of the Espagnole and the Velouté. But I wanted something simple and light. AND I still have tons of tomatoes coming in so a nice tomato sauce seemed the best idea. Coupled with meatballs and served over pasta it was a delicious dinner.

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THE SAUCE:

    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 cup minced onion
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with their liquid
    1/3 cup pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
    Salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, onion, thyme, and oregano and cook over moderate heat until softened.
Add the tomatoes, cover and cook over moderate heat for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Puree the sauce until slightly chunky using an immersion blender. You can also use a blender or processor for this.
While the sauce is simmering chop the olives and place in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, remove from heat, and drain well. Add the olives to the tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the meatballs and cook until meatballs are heated through.

Pepin also had a meatball recipe with the sauce which called for left over meat shredded and mixed with eggs, herbs, milk, etc. I followed his recipe for the meatballs but used some fresh ground pork and sirloin. You can find HIS meatball recipe HERE.

Which sauce did the other cooks use? Check them out at IHCC – Sauces and see.

I have heard of pasta ‘fazool’ but I never really knew what it was. Thanks to Ellie and her newest book Weekend Wonders I now know the answer.

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Pasta ‘fazool’ is a twist on the Italian word FAGIOLI which simply means BEANS. Pasta with beans. Who knew? Well, probably everybody but ME!!

Ellie’s version uses Whole Wheat elbows {I used Whole Grain} and adds in zucchini. While many recipes use some kind of meat – sausage, pancetta -this one is totally meatless and totally delicious.

Now, I have to admit I. Don’t. Like. Beans! but in this dish they were ‘disguised’ with the Parmesan Cheese and zucchini. “WHEW!”

The only change I made – While Ellie lists a can of no-salt added diced tomatoes I have jars of tomatoes from the garden –

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with no salt added – I didn’t think Ellie would mind.

While this is supposed to be a soup, I served it as a side with less liquid. It IS a great soup, though. And I think I mite make it this winter (9 months from now) and add some of that sausage. But meanwhile – it’s a side dish here.

The recipe is on page 70 of Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders and check with the other Eaters on the Eating with Ellie webpage for their ‘fazool’.

AND if you want to join with us we are cooking just from Ellie’s newest book – Weeknight Wonders. Leave us a comment HERE!!

This week’s dish from Donna Hay is wonderful. Sage browned in butter than mixed with pasta and roasted pumpkin. I have come to love sage and brown butter. It is nutty and warming. The pumpkin adds a touch of sweetness to the mix.

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If you need something quick and warming this is a great side dish for just about anything.

The recipe is my choice this week from Donna’s off the shelf page 18.
See what the other cooks in Wednesdays with Donna Hay thought of this pasta dish.

I do like a good plate of pasta. Especially when it is simple and quick. And this was, as are all of Ellie’s recipes in Weeknight Wonders.

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The penne is added to some garlic that is toasted and then mixed in the skillet with halved grape tomatoes and baby spinach. Just throw it all together with some grated Parm and you are set with a quick supper or side.

I would suggest saving some of the pasta water and adding it to the skillet when you add in the penne. It seemed to be a little dry. But it was delicious. It just hit the spot.


This was Peggy’s choice this week and it was a good one
You can see the other’s pasta by clicking on over to the Eating With Ellie webpage.

Yep, it’s that time of the month again. Potluck week for I Heart Cooking Clubs. I haven’t had a chance to try any of our new Chef’s, Diana Henry, dishes but I had made a Bittman recipe earlier. A tasty pasta dish with lots of bacon and asparagus.

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I found some asparagus on sale so I took advantage of it and brought home a couple of bunches. I know it won’t last long – we will eat it too quickly – so I had to make this dish before the Man came around!

    2 Tbsp olive oil
    4 ounces bacon, chopped
    1 1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
    8 ounces whole wheat pasta shells or ziti
    2 eggs
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)
    Pepper to taste

Cook your pasta according to package directions. {Bittman recommends WW pasta but I had some Rice and Quinoa pasta in the pantry from Trader Joes.}
Cook the oil and chopped bacon in a hot skillet over medium heat until has started to brown.
Add in the chopped asparagus and cook asparagus until softened but still crisp.
In a warmed bowl (I put mine in a hot oven and then turned the oven off while I was cooking the bacon mix.} beat the egg and then mix in the bacon and asparagus mix. Make sure to add the rendered fat from the bacon.
Mix the drained pasta with the egg mix. Add a little pasta water if needed. Add in the Parmesan cheese. Pepper to taste. Serve.


Just a note – if the bowl is too warm the egg will cook fine but stick to the bowl. I added a little pasta water as I was cooking the egg.
As usual Bittman was right on with this recipe. Very good.


You can find the recipe on page 219 in Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook or HERE.


Check out with the other POTLUCKS were this month over at I Heart Cooking Clubs.

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