Category Archives: Pasta

Chorizo & Portobello Pasta

Chorrizo & Portobello Pasta

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This is for all you goat cheese lovers out there….and this is for all my non goat cheese lovers. I say this because I couldn’t stand soft goat cheese. Gross. Disgusting. Barf. Eww that flavor. Yup that was me, a goat cheese hater. My husband insisted he wanted to make this meal and by all means I sent him on his jolly way to making this plateful of grotesquely smelling cheese.

This night would be a night we ate for ourselves, I would have cereal for all I cared. While he was making this dish, the aroma of goat cheese began to fill the entire house. Did it become more appealing, absolutely not. Once he finished this dish he desperately wanted me to try it, so as any good wife would do, I did so. To my surprise, I actually didn’t mind the bite I tried. As I took a couple more bites my mouth was in utter confusion. Some bites tasted beautiful while others tasted like a raw milk straight from a goat. Blah. The problem lied within the chunks of cheese that hadn’t fully been melted and squished themselves up into the crevice of many noodles. These were the bites I despised. I found myself enjoying the faint taste of the cheese if it were spread evenly amongst the meal.

Needless to say, I melted the remainder of the cheese in my small little bowl and accomplished the task in eating my very first meal containing goat cheese.

Now, with that in mind, my husband made this dish again about a week ago. I actually was looking forward to it this time around and I must say, I actually enjoyed it. I strongly believe a little goat cheese goes along way. If you want to ease yourself into it, than I suggest this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1/2 pound chorizo
  • 2 tbsp butter, divided
  • 4 tbsp oil, divided
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 lb portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb Rigatoni pasta
  • 3/4 cup pasta water

In a large skillet add onions, chorizo, 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp oil.

Add 1 tsp salt and sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until onions are browned and caramelized. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, slice the mushrooms to be roughly 1/4 inch thick. In the same skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp oil. Add mushrooms and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook over medium heat until tender and browned.

Stir mushrooms into large bowl of onions and chorizo. Toss with your fresh parsley and set aside.

Begin to cook the pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 3/4 cup pasta water.

In that same large bowl of all your goodies, toss the pasta and 1/2 cup pasta water, goat cheese, 3 tbsp Parmesan and 1 tbsp oil. If pasta still seems a little dry, add remaining pasta water.**

Serve immediately with sprinkled parsley on top and fresh Parmesan cheese. Delicious with garlic bread. 
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**If you are not yet a goat cheese lover, please try this recipe and be sure to stir until all goat cheese is melted. If you are a goat cheese lover, you can leave chunks throughout. :)

Flavorful Beef Stroganoff

Flavorful Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Wanting a recipe that is beyond easy, tastes fabulous and is wonderful for company? This meal is all three combined.

I first had this dish while visiting my sister one night and all of us devoured the entire dish. There was absolutely NO leftovers. Isn’t that the type of meal you want to serve your guests? Isn’t this the type of meal you want to be served if visiting family or friends?

I tell ya, this meal is literally too easy but amazing!!! I can’t stress to you enough how important the Dijon mustard is and I would encourage you all to use exactly what the recipe calls for because this is the “secret” ingredient that makes this meal stand out!

See for yourselves!

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp Avocado Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2-3 tbsp beef bouillon (or 1 packet Auju Mix)
  • 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 16 ounce egg noodles cooked to package instructions

Heat oil in skilled and add chopped onion.

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Add in mushrooms and cook until softened.

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Add in ground beef and cook until no longer pink.

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Stir in beef bouillon (Auju mix), mustard and pepper.

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Remove from heat and add sour cream and fresh parsley. Serve on top of egg noodles and enjoy with garlic toast and Caesar salad.

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My sister graciously gave me this recipe and is allowing me to share with all of you this amazing, delicious, easy meal!

Pasta Salad

Traditional pasta salad never gets old. With all the creativity in the world and the delicious salads we all come up with, traditional pasta salad still covers most tables all throughout summer.

We ate this while up visiting my parents a couple weeks ago. My mom is the chef I’ve learned to mimic throughout the years. Her great food, amazing desserts and her love for cooking has been exactly what I’ve tried to emulate throughout my years of successful cooking. Love and food will consume a recipe leaving you with nothing left but greatness.

Here is a great staple pasta salad recipe with the secret sauce of—Cesar Dressing. It really is the secret to cut back on the tang from Italian dressing but not take away from the flavor. Try it out, mmm so delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb Spiral Pasta
  • 1 can Olives, sliced
  • Handful Kalamata Olives
  • 1 large Carrot, chopped
  • 1 large Green Pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 medium Onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup Italian Dressing
  • 1/2 cup Caesar Salad Dressing

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain and let cool.

Meanwhile, while the pasta is cooking, begin to dice and chop all vegetables.

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Sprinkle vegetables on top of cold pasta and add dressings.

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Mix well while trying not to eat all of the olives. :)

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Of course pasta salad is so divine, you could always eat it by itself, but tonight’s menu was Sausage Sandwich with rice.

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I must confess, Cesar salad dressing gives the perfect flavor to this salad with a bit of tang from the Italian Dressing. Yummy!!!

IMG_5533Don’t go fancy tonight, make this staple pasta salad before summer ends!

Shrimp & Mushroom Cream Sauce

WHATS FOR DINNER TONIGHT??? Shrimp and mushrooms in a tomato bisque cream sauce. Oh-My-Goodness!!!!

This 30 minute meal is filled with sweet, spicy and everything nice. It’s beyond incredible that I can’t even begin to explain the awesomeness of this recipe. Something about the slightly tender mushrooms, perfect shrimp and the flavors of the sauce combined gives this dish something to rant and rave about.

This is in my favorites section as I personally rate this meal a 5 star! No words can describe this meal until tasted on your lips.

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1-16 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 palm-full fresh basil, chopped
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Sriracha sauce
  • 1 lb shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • Rice or Pasta

Chop onions and begin to cook on med-low heat with 1 tsp sugar and EVOO to start caramelize the onions.

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Once onions begin to cook and start to caramelize, add in mushrooms, minced garlic, tomatoes and basil.

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Once mushrooms are tender, add in raw shrimp and turn heat to low. Allow the shrimp to cook slowly until fully pink.

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Turn off heat and add in sour cream and cream cheese.

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Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar and sriracha sauce. Pour into skillet.

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Give it a good stir.

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Serve over rice….

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Or pasta.

IMG_5076This meal has by far the best flavor known to man! :) It’s so scrumptious. I literally can’t get enough of this meal!

 

Turkey Mac N’ Cheese

Turkey Mac n’ cheese helps add a little protein to the meal. I made this for dinner and love the fact that I can make it early in the day while my son is sleeping and then wait to bake it until we are ready to eat. This is how I try and live my life to avoid the hassle of cooking while my toddler runs rampant all through the kitchen. :)

This is a quick, easy meal that provides the utmost comfort meal in the end. I love comfort food, I love easy cooking, and most of all I LOVE tasty food!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb elbow macaroni
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheese
  • 2 cups cubed turkey
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sleeve saltine crackers, crumbled

Cook the macaroni according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan melt butter.

Stir in flour and whisk until fully smooth. Add salt, pepper, garlic salt and paprika.
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Add milk and bring to a boil, cook for 1 minute stirring constantly. Mixture will thicken.
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Remove from heat and add the cheese and mix well.
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Add turkey and mushrooms and mix well.
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In a greased baking dish, add noodles. Top with sauce mixture and mix until fully coated.
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Sprinkle with crumbled crackers and drizzle with EVOO.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.
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Cooper has been devouring this meal as he finally began to eat again. Makes mommy so proud! :)

Seafood Alfredo

After our lovely Costco Trip I made a yummy seafood pasta dish for dinner the following night. Boy was it AMAZING! My husband absolutely couldn’t stop talking about it. He loved the white sauce and acted as if I have never made this dish before. I was grateful for his happiness but was beyond concerned why he thought it tasted so much better than previously. (I am choosing to believe it’s because our family has been deprived of good food since I refused to shop until our Costco trip)

So here is the delicious recipe my husband can’t stop talking about:

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ lb asparagus, chopped
  • ½ lb tofu (omit if you do not prefer)
  • 1 lb large shrimp
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 2 tsp parsley
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 lb linguine pasta
  • Cream sauce ingredients click on recipe below

For cream Sauce:

  • Click here for recipe

De-tail the shrimp and cut tofu. Set shrimp aside.

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In a large saucepan add mushrooms, asparagus and tofu. Begin cooking on medium heat.
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Once they begin to cook, add seasoning and shrimp. Cook until no longer pink.
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Remove from heat and add creamy sauce.
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Meanwhile cook pasta according to package instructions and toss all together.

Serve with garlic bread and Caesar salad.

Shiitake Mushroom Pasta

What’s for dinner tonight??? Shiitake mushroom with zucchini and asparagus. This meal is easy to make and can be healthy as well. I served it over spaghetti squash but also made noodles as my husband is not a fan of squash.

Make your own cream sauce. It’s simple and delicious! For the sauce I added cornstarch to the meat and veggies and tossed until thoroughly coated. Next, add milk and heat on low heat to help thicken. For a little extra flavor I added sriracha and chicken “better than bouillon” to help bring out the flavors. Easy, tasty and a little spicy but not too much for that sensitive tongue.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork sausage (Italian sausage)
  • 1 lb mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini’s, chopped
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • ¼ cup Pesto*
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 3 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp sriracha (optional)
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon (better than bouillon)
  • 1 cup Kale or Spinach
  • Spaghetti Squash or Pasta

Chop zucchini and mushrooms; set aside.

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In a large skillet begin cooking the meat until half done, add the mushrooms and zucchini and continue to cook.

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Add pesto and continue to cook the meat until thoroughly done.

*Pesto- I made my own pesto with my basil plant a couple days prior. To make your own add 1 cup fresh basil leaves, 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, small handful of raw almonds. In a food processor begin to puree while adding enough EVOO to make a paste.

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Once meat is no longer pink, add cornstarch and coat evenly.

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Add milk and simmer over low heat until it begins to thicken.

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Add Sriracha sauce (optional)

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Add Better Than Boullion.

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Turn heat off and top mixture with kale and place a lid on top of the skillet to not overcook the kale.

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Once the kale is wilted, you are now ready to serve and eat up! :)

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Meanwhile, broil asparagus with EVOO, salt, pepper, and garlic salt for 5-7 minutes.

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Serve on Spaghetti Squash (or pasta)

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Top squash with sauce and layer with asparagus!

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Enjoy!

Mediterranean Pasta

Okay, let me start by saying I am not the biggest pasta fan but certain recipes I can’t live without. Although, if you served me pasta I would probably eat it as in my book, you can’t go wrong with carbs. But for some reason it’s not a high priority for me to cook pasta as I would prefer other things first.

With that said I was craving pasta the other night and had no idea what I wanted to make. I normally love Chicken Alfredo but was definitely not in the mood for that dish. I wanted something that was full of rich delicious flavors. Let me say “OH WOW!!!” For some reason this was so satisfying to my soul last night I had two servings!

Mediterranean Pasta

  • 1 lb macaroni pasta
  • 2 chicken thighs (breasts work great too)
  • ¾ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp mushrooms, this helps create the “sauce”
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ cup red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can olives, chopped
  • Sundried tomatoes (Casa Di Oliva is fabulous)
  • ¾ cup artichoke hearts, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 cups fresh parmesan cheese
  • Avocado, diced for topping
  • Mozzarella cheese for topping

Cook chicken until no longer pink. Chop into small pieces and set aside.

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In a large fry pan, add EVOO cherry tomatoes and onions. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes begin to burst.

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Once almost all have burst, add butter, mushrooms and peppers.

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Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

Drain pasta. While pasta is still hot place in a large glass serving bowl and add olives, sundried tomatoes, and artichoke hearts. I used Casa Di Oliva it’s more a bruschetta mix which is helpful for the sauce.

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Add sautéed veggie mix to pasta, sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix well.

Sprinkle 1-2 cup fresh parmesan cheese on hot pasta and give it a good stir.

When serving sprinkle with freshly grated mozzarella cheese and diced avocados.

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Serve with garlic bread an enjoy!

Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

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There is nothing quite like homemade sauce!

I grew up with homemade spaghetti sauce. I’m not sure there was ever a time we had store bought. My mom cooked a lot and this was part of it. I remember a typical spaghetti night would include homemade bread and salad. My sister and I would always make a “spaghetti sandwich” where you take bread and top it with a large pile of spaghetti and somehow grip it with all ten fingers and manage to take a big ‘ol bite out of it. We were convinced it makes the spaghetti taste even better, though that seemed impossible, we believed in the possible. :)

My girlfriend told me she has never made her own sauce and to my dismay I was really shocked. She is pretty good at holding to no additives and preservatives that this comment really shocked me. Especially because it is super easy to make and can simmer all day long to deepen the flavors and smell the house with a delightful aroma for hours.

So since she informed me that she has never made her own sauce I thought I really needed to share the easiness to this delightful meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-16oz can olives, chopped
  • 2-6oz can tomato paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • Dash of garlic salt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾  tsp sugar (to taste, but add a little at a time as you can’t undo the sweetness)

In a pot cook onion, garlic and ground beef until no longer pink. Add olives, tomato paste, water and diced tomatoes.

Add seasoning at this point; if you are using fresh herbs add now. If you are using dried seasoning the trick is to place the dried seasoning into the palm of your hands and rub together. This reactivates the flavor in dried seasoning leaving the meal with more vibrant flavors. Stir well and let simmer on low for 2-4 hours.

When you are ready to eat, serve in a bowl or plate over pasta and with garlic bread and salad! Enjoy!

Rigatoni and Portobellos

So as I’ve mentioned before, my husband finds a recipe and wont let it rest until he’s filled his belly on it. This happened last week. A co-worker was telling him about this Ahh-mazing, mouth watering pasta dish and of course he gives me the ingredients to rush off to the store and supply the kitchen with these grocery items. After I’ve done so, all week long I hear “when can I make it, when can I make it?” I appointed him to head chef during the weekend as it’s not easy during the work week. He usually arrives home late and by then Cooper needs to get ready for bed. When he cooks on the weekend it gives me a break from kitchen duty and more play time with my little man while daddy is head chef for the evening.

This recipe calls for goat cheese and of all the cheese out there this is probably my least favorite as I think it is an acquired taste. To be painfully honest, I despise goat cheese. I actually LOVE cheese and almost every cheese but for some reason the concept of GOAT cheese kind of freaks me out. What I do know is it has a very strong flavor and because of that, I wasn’t quite sure if I would enjoy this recipe. If I was the one making this dish, I can tell you I am 99% confident that I would have swapped the cheese for a different kind that I like better. BUT to my husbands credit it was delicious and I actually liked it even better the second day. Let’s be honest, if he made it again, YES I would partake because the flavors together were surprisingly spectacular. It must go on record that I will never purchase goat cheese for another recipe apart from this particular one.

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If you don’t particularly enjoy the taste or concept of goat cheese, please, please try this recipe as I think you may become a believer as I did…

Ingredients:

  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 cup chorizo, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 lbs Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 tbsp fresh parsley (dried works as well)
  • 8oz crumbled soft goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 ½ lb rigatoni pasta
  • 1 ½ cups pasta water

In a large skillet add chopped onions, chorizo, 1 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp EVOO. Begin sautéing them and add salt and 1 tsp sugar. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently until the onions are well browned and beginning to caramelize, 20-30 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, stem the mushrooms and chop the stems as well as mushroom caps and use the entire mushroom. In the same skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter and 1tbsp EVOO. Add mushrooms and ½ tsp salt and cook over medium heat stirring occasionally, until tender & browned, about 10 minutes.

Add reserved onions along with parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook pasta; reserve 1 ½ cup pasta water and drain pasta.

In a large bowl, toss rigatoni with reserved pasta water, mushroom mixture, 8 oz goat cheese, 3 tbsp parmesan, and 1 tbsp olive oil. (If the pasta seems dry, add more pasta water)

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Serve immediately, topping with a little parsley and parmesan cheese. Goes really well with artisan bread toasted.