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Entries in Pasta (76)


Roasted Garlic Macaroni and Cheese

Roasted garlic mac

Yes, you read that right. Mac and cheese…in July. Yes, I did it, and no I don't regret it one bit. I know that I have five other mac and cheese recipes on my blog at this moment, but this mac and cheese is outstanding and quite possibly the best one I've had (at home) to date, so I couldn't help but add a sixth to the mix! When we sat down to eat, in between bites I kept announcing how delicious it was and I noticed Joel didn't seem to share in my excitement. When I tried to call him out on it, he just smiled and said "this is how mac and cheese is SUPPOSED to taste!" as he took another bite. I guess he did share in my excitement, but he just does a better job at hiding it than me…or I'm just a freak who gets overly excited about food (although if you are reading this, you probably do to…right? Please tell me I'm not alone!).

For the Crumb Topping:
4 tablespoons Butter
2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons Fresh Chives, chopped

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the Panko and chives, stirring to combine. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until toasted and slightly browned. Transfer the crumb mixture to a small bowl and set aside. 

For the Pasta and Sauce:
1 Garlic Head
Olive Oil
1 pound Uncooked Pasta
1 stick Butter
6 tablespoons Flour
5 cups Whole Milk
5 1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded (I used a mix of yellow and white)
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon Ground Mustard Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper

Slice the top third off of the head of garlic. Place the bottom portion on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place the top portion back on the head of garlic and wrap tightly in the foil. Roast the garlic at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. When it has slightly cooled, squeeze the cloves into a bowl and mash them into a paste using a fork; set aside (this part can be done a day ahead of time, which is what I did). Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. In a large, heavy sauce pot, melt the stick of putter over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and garlic paste. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes until golden brown, then whisk in the milk. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly, then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, mustard powder, salt, and pepper until well combined. Add the drained pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Pour the macaroni and cheese into a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle the top with the crumb topping. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until the macaroni and cheese is golden brown and bubbling. 

*Yield: One 9x13 baking dish, or two 8x8 baking dishes. I opted for two 8x8 dishes, one of which was foil. After it was cooled (but not baked), I wrapped the foil baking dish in plastic wrap and tinfoil, and placed it in a gallon-size freezer bag, then froze it for future use.

**Edited to add (7/21/13): We baked the frozen dish of mac and cheese for dinner tonight and it worked out perfectly. We pulled it from the freezer a few hours before baking so that it could defrost a bit before baking. To bake, I simply put it in the oven while the oven was preheating, and baked for 30 minutes, until the cheese was bubbly and slightly browned.

SOURCE: Just A Taste


Broccoli and Feta Pasta Salad

Broccoli pasta salad

I love a good pasta salad. They are the perfect summer dish, great as a side to a grilled meal or eaten in a big bowl as a main course. They are so versatile too, made up of seemingly random ingredients, tossed with pasta and dressing, creating a perfectly easy dish. Aside from broccoli, I generally have all of the ingredients of this pasta salad in my fridge or pantry at all times. I picked up a head of broccoli at the store for about 75 cents and got to work throwing this salad together.  We had it along side of chipotle bacon burgers, which sadly I didn't get a picture of, but this salad made enough for us to eat for another 2 days.  Between the fact that it was so cheap to put together, so easy to make, and so delicious, I can see this pasta salad becoming a summertime staple in our house!

1 pound Tri-Color Pasta 
4 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1 medium Broccoli Head, chopped into 1/2-inch florets
8 ounces Feta Cheese, crumbled
1 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain the pasta and return to a pan or a large bowl. Add one tablespoon of oil and toss until well coated; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli and cook until crisp-tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the broccoli, feta, and olives to the bowl with the pasta and toss. In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil with the vinegar, then pour over the pasta and toss. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Refrigerate until serving.

SOURCE: The Kitchn


Spring Vegetable Tortellini Salad


Now that spring is in full swing and the warm weather is here, I'm constantly on the look out for new dishes to try that  don't require me to use my oven. Since I love pasta salads, especially when they are made with tortellini, as soon as I saw this one, I knew it was bound to be on our table. Since Joel is obsessed with prosciutto, I knew that this would win bonus points with him, too. I made this salad to go along with some grilled sausages, since I'm apparently all about the side dishes (at least that is what Joel says), but I think this would also be a great stand alone meal on a hot day in the summer. Light, refreshing, and delicious--the best words to describe this salad. 

For the Salad:
9 ounces Fresh Cheese Tortellini (I used a 12 ounce frozen bag…turned out perfectly)
1/2 pound Asparagus, woody ends removed
1/2 cup Frozen Peas
2-3 slices Prosciutto, chopped 
1/4 cup Herbs, chopped (I used parsley and thyme) 
Dressing, recipe below 

Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Cut the asparagus into 2-inch pieces and add them to the tortellini for the last 2 minutes of cooking time. Drain the pasta and asparagus and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again. Toss with the peas and set aside. In a small skillet over medium heat, cook the prosciutto until crispy and lightly browned, stirring often. Drain on a paper towel. In a large bowl, toss the tortellini, asparagus, peas, and herbs. Top with the dressing and stir until combined. Sprinkle with the prosciutto and serve. Serves 4.

For the Dressing:
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
1 tablespoon White Wine Vinegar
Salt and Pepper
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
Tiny squeeze of Honey

 Combine the zest, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and honey in a jar with a lid. Make sure that the lid is tightly secured and shake the jar until the ingredients have combined. 

SOURCE: Pink Parsley


Spicy Italian Drunken Noodles with Sausage

Drunken italian pasta

Even though it's officially spring, you wouldn't know it by looking outside. The temperatures have been in the upper 20's and low 30's. One minute it's clear, the next minute snow is blowing sideways in an apparent blizzard! The weather is certainly bi-polar, at least where I live. So, since it doesn't feel much like spring, I will share a comforting pasta dish that is well suited for winter. This filling pasta dish is full of flavor; the sweetness from the peppers perfectly balances the spiciness from the sausage. The original recipe says that it serves 4, but we had enough for a few days worth of food, which would come in handy if we happened to get snowed in...

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
4 links Italian Sausage (we used hot), casings removed
1 Onion, quartered and thinly sliced
 1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
 1 teaspoon Italian Seasonings (I used a mix of oregano and basil)
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Red Bell Pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 Orange Bell Pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper, cored and thinly sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/2 cup Dry White Wine
1 (28 ounce) can Diced Tomatoes, with juices
2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Basil Leaves, julienned
8 ounces Pappardelle Noodles 

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Squeeze the sausage out of the casings and into the pan with the hot oil; break the sausage into chunks and allow it to brown on each side. Once the sausage has been cooked, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside in a bowl. Add the onion to the pan with the sausage drippings and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the onion starts to become golden; add salt, Italian seasonings, and black pepper, stirring to combine. Add the bell peppers and allow them to sauté with the onion for about 2 minutes, until they become slightly golden and tender. Add the garlic and once it becomes aromatic, add in the white wine, allowing it to cook until the wine has almost completely reduced, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and return the sausage to the pan. Gently stir the mixture to combine and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer for 3-4 minutes, to allow the flavors to combine. Turn off the heat and stir in about half of the parsley and basil. Prepare the noodles according to package directions. Drain the noodles well, then add them to the pan with the sausage mixture, gently tossing to coat the noodles with the sauce. Place portions of the pasta on plates or in bowls and top with remaining herbs and shaved parmesan, if desired. 

SOURCE: The Cozy Apron


Chicken Parm Meatballs

Chicken parm meatball 1

I really can't remember having homemade meatballs all too often growing up. Sure, we'd sometimes have meatballs with our spaghetti, but they were most likely from a bag in the freezer section of the grocery store. I think because of that, I never really gave homemade meatball recipes the time of day. Somewhere along the way, however, I gave one a try, and I was hooked! Since then, I've tried a few different kinds, pairing them with pasta, stuffing them into a hoagie roll, or just by themselves. When I came across this recipe, I loved that it took the flavors of one of my favorite dishes, chicken parm, and rolled them into one easy-to-eat package. These meatballs were delicious on top of a pile of spaghetti, and they were equally delicious the next day in sub form. 

1 1/4 pounds Ground Chicken
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs (I used Italian style)
2 tablespoons Chopped Onion
1 tablespoon Chopped Parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 egg, whisked
Zest of 1/2 Lemon
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Spaghetti Sauce (I used the jarred sauce I was topping the pasta with)
12 slices Mozzarella Cheese (I used 3 square slices, which I quartered to make 12)

In a large bowl, using your hands, mix together the chicken, breadcrumbs, onion, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, garlic, egg, and lemon zest. Shape the meat mixture into 12 balls (slightly larger than golf balls). Place the meatballs a few inches apart from one another on a foil lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the oil with the spaghetti sauce. Brush the mixture on top of each meatball. Bake the meatballs at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Once the meatballs have been cooked, place a piece of cheese on top of each one and put them under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is golden brown and melted. Serve the meatballs on top of pasta, in a hoagie roll, or by themselves with additional sauce. 

SOURCE: Daydream Kitchen