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Entries in Pasta (76)

Monday
May282012

Pasta Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella, and Green Olivida

Olivida pasta salad

Happy Memorial Day! This month for Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Amy's blog, Fearless Homemaker. I absolutely loved reading through her blog. She seems like such a fun girl…and you have to read about her surprise wedding. How awesome! After bookmarking several recipes, it all came down to this pasta salad, in honor of the kickoff to outdoor grilling and picnic meals! I did swap green olives for a mixture of Greek olives, because that is all that my grocery store had in their olive bar container. (In the process of making this pasta salad, I discovered that a cherry pitter does NOT make a good olive pitter like the woman at the kitchen store told me!) When all was said and done, this pasta salad was every bit as good as I imagined it would be. In fact, I'm looking forward to having another bowl this afternoon, before I walk down to my corner to watch the Memorial Day Parade! Thanks for a great recipe, Amy! 

1 Garlic Clove, peeled
2 cups Pitted Green Olives, coarsely chopped and divided
3 tablespoons Capers, drained
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
1 teaspoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes 
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 pound Pasta (I used gemelli)
2 pints Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, halved (I only used 1)
8 ounces Small Fresh Mozzarella Balls
2 tablespoons Fresh Oregano, chopped
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Put the garlic clove in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add 1 cup of chopped olives, capers, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, mustard, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pulse about 6 times to chop coarsely. With the machine running, gradually add 1/2 cup of oil, forming a coarse puree (almost like tapenade texture). Transfer the olive mixture to a bowl. Stir in the remaining cup of olives and season to taste with salt and pepper. (This mixture can be made up to 3 days ahead of time, just cover and refrigerate). Cook the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and allow to cool (I ran my pasta under cold water to cool it down). Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil over the pasta and toss to coat (I skipped this). Add the olive mixture, tomatoes, mozzarella, and oregano to the pasta and toss to coat. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if necessary. 

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Thursday
May242012

Spicy Kale Stuffed Shells

Kale stuffed shells

Not that rain has ever stopped us from grilling in the past, but last week, rather than grill while it rained, we decided to make pasta. I know that pasta is a little on the heavy side, and it has been warm here, but sometimes, pasta is just the perfect comfort food on a rainy day. As soon as I saw this recipe posted on Pink Parsley, I was intrigued by the use of cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Until making this dish, I had never had cottage cheese. Once, I accidentally bought it, thinking that it was yogurt. When I opened it up for lunch at work, I saw the curds, and thinking that it was just yogurt that had gone bad, I threw it out. It was only after I got home and looked for the date on the other "yogurt" in the fridge that I realized it was actually cottage cheese. I think I was so grossed out by that whole experience, that I let it sit in the fridge until it was way past the expiration date, then threw it away. Now that I have tried cottage cheese, however, I realize that I actually enjoy it! These shells were delicious! I cooked up an entire box of shells, and it ended up being way too much. Next time, I plan to double the filling so that I can make a double batch and freeze some for later!

8 ounces Jumbo Shells
3/4-1 pound Kale, washed, stems removed, and roughly chopped
2 cups Cottage Cheese, low-fat
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley or Basil, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
16 ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper 

Boil the shells according to package directions, then drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale and a splash of water, stirring until the kale is wilted and softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the kale to a strainer, and set aside. Return the pan to the stove, add the oil, and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, dried oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, wrap the kale in a lint free kitchen towel or paper towels and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Chop into small pieces and set aside. Strain the cottage cheese through a strainer, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible (mine didn't have much liquid to strain out of it). Transfer the strained cheese to a medium bowl and stir in 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella, the herbs, and the kale. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper, to taste. To assemble the shells, spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a greased 9-inch pie plate or square baking dish. Use a spoon to fill each shell with the kale-cottage cheese mixture, then arrange them in a single layer in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes. Let stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving. 

Tuesday
May082012

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

It's no secret that we are carb lovers! I could eat pasta just about every night and I don't think I'd ever get sick of it, as long as the toppings were switched up every so often. Now that spring has sprung, the thought of light pasta dishes have begun to entice me. When I came across this recipe on Elly Says Opa, I knew it was the perfect pasta dish for this time of the year. The addition of mounds of roasted vegetables makes me feel less guilty about eating the pasta itself. I look forward to the day I can make this again using only vegetables grown in my garden rather than having to use all store-bought produce!

1 Carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 Zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 Summer Squash, cut into thin strips
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
1 Yellow Pepper, cut into thin strips
1 small Onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
8 ounces Pasta
15 Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated

Toss the carrot, zucchini, squash, peppers, and onion onto a baking sheet along with the herbs de Provence and olive oil. Roast at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes, then stir in the garlic and roast for an additional 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and begin to brown. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta, vegetables, and tomatoes to combine. Stir in as much reserved pasta water as necessary to moisten the pasta. Add the cheese, as well as the salt and pepper, to taste. 

Sunday
Apr292012

Pasta with Roasted Beet Sauce

Beet pasta

A while back, I bookmarked this pasta recipe from Apple A Day. I love beets and I love pasta, so I figured it would be pretty good. Last week, I needed a beet for a recipe I was making, and the bunch I bought was huge, I'm taking softball sized beets, so I knew I would get another recipe out of them. Immediately, I remembered Kelsey's beet pasta recipe, so I added it to this week's menu. After roasting the beets for a while, I took them out of the oven to check if they were tender. I managed to splash beet juice onto my dress pants, white shirt, and silk scarf, which forced me to angrily, (yet kind of excitedly!), put my pajamas on at 4:30 in the afternoon! Aside from my clumsy mishap, the rest of this meal was a cinch to put together. It was quick and almost effortless, because the food processor did much of the work! I absolutely loved this pasta dish. It was slightly sweet from the beets, yet a little tangy from the balsamic vinegar. The addition of the chia seeds for crunch and goat cheese for some creaminess was the perfect touch. So, make this pasta if you like beets, just make sure you wear an apron so you don't ruin your work clothes! (PS-anybody have a good tip for getting beet juice out of clothes?!)

6 medium Beets, washed clean and stems removed
4 Garlic Cloves, peels left on
6 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
6 Thyme Sprigs
2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
3 tablespoons Sweet Vermouth (I omitted, just used an additional tbsp balsamic)
3/4 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup Vegetable Stock
1/2 cup Milk, Cream, or Half and Half
1 pound Dried Pasta
Coarse Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Goat Cheese or additional Parmesan, for garnish
2 tablespoons Poppy or Chia Seeds
Mint Leaves, for garnish (optional--I omitted)

Place the beets and garlic cloves on foil, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Seal the beets and garlic in a foil packet and roast at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until the beets can be easily pierced with a fork. Peel the beets with a paring knife and cut into pieces. Place the beets in a food processor, along with the juices and oil left inside the packet. Squeeze the garlic out of the peels and add to the food processor. Add thyme, vinegar, vermouth, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and remaining oil. Pulse the mixture until it becomes as smooth as possible. Transfer the beet mixture to a small saucepan. Add the stock and milk/cream and bring to a light simmer. Add the remaining Parmesan cheese and another pinch of salt. Simmer on medium-low while you prepare the rest of the meal. Toast the poppy/chia seeds in a small skillet until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss to combine. Taste and season, as necessary. Serve the pasta garnished with seeds, additional cheese of your choice (we used goat cheese), and mint, if desired. Serves 4 as a main dish, or 6 as a side. 

Friday
Apr202012

Chicken Marengo

Chicken marengo

I took a week off from the recipe swap, but when I came back, the theme was "Celebrity Chef" recipe. I submitted a pesto recipe from Giada DeLaurentiis. In return, I got this recipe, originally from Melissa d'Arabian, courtesy of Katie from So Tasty, So Yummy. It was a delicious dinner! I have added vegetables to pasta dishes before, but this dish had such a rich flavor from the addition of the tomato paste, broth, and wine. I made the recipe exactly as it was written, since I figured it would be a pain to use only a portion of the can of tomatoes, and it was enough to feed an army! Joel and I both had a pretty healthy serving size for dinner, a good amount for lunch the next day, and there was STILL some left over! This would be a perfect recipe to make for a crowd. I can see this becoming a new family favorite! Thanks for sharing, Katie!

3 Chicken Cutlets, sliced into thin paillards
Salt and Pepper
1/2 cup Flour
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1/2 Sweet Onion, sliced
8 ounces Mushrooms, sliced
1Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and julienned
3 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/2 cup Red Wine
1 cup Chicken Broth
1 (14 ounce) can Diced Tomatoes
1/2 tablespoon Butter

Season the chicken with salt and pepper, to taste, and lightly dredge the paillards in flour. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat; add chicken. Brown the chicken on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, until lightly golden. Remove from the pan and set aside on a plate. If necessary, add more oil to the pan. Then add the onions, mushrooms, and peppers and sauté until softened and fragrant, but not limp, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes to cook out the raw flavor. Turn up the heat and add the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits that were stuck to the bottom. Let the wine reduce for about 2-3 minutes, then add the broth and tomatoes. When the mixture begins to bubble, add the chicken back to the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the chicken is warmed through, about 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the butter. Serve over pasta.

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