Archive for Pasta

Spring Vegetable Pasta with Ricotta

I couldn’t find firm ricotta in my supermarket, so just tossed in shaved Parmesan.  I’ve made this a couple of times now, and it has a wonderful spring flavor.

375 gr. bowtie pasta
2 c. chopped asparagus or small broccoli florets
½ c. frozen baby peas
100 gr. snow peas, halved diagonally
25 gr. butter
2 yellow squash, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
½ c. basil leaves
125 gr. fresh firm ricotta, crumbled
2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts

Cook the pasta until al dente, adding the asparagus or broccoli, baby peas and snow peas in the last 2 minutes of cooking.  Drain, reserving ⅓ c. of the cooking liquid.  Return the pasta mixture to the pan.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook and stir the squash and garlic until golden, about 2 minutes.

Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, basil, squash mixture, reserved cooking liquid, and half the ricotta to the pasta mixture; toss gently till combined.  Divide among serving bowls and sprinkle with pine nuts and the remaining ricotta.




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Panera-style Mac and Cheese

This recipe was originally from a site called Shugary Sweets.  I modified and cut down the quantities.

⅛ c. butter
1 tbsp. cornstarch
½ c. milk
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. shredded white cheddar
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. dry mustard
8 oz. dry pasta

Cook pasta while making the sauce.  When cooked, drain and set aside.

In a large pot on medium high heat, melt butter.  Whisk in the cornstarch and cook about 1 minute.  Reduce temperature to medium and add milk, cream, salt, pepper, and mustard.  Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble.  Reduce temperature to low and stir in cheddar; blend until melted.  Add cooked pasta, stirring to thoroughly blend.  Allow to sit about 5 minutes to thicken.

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Fresh Tomato Sauce with Penne

From Marco Pierre White, via Master Chef Australia, July 16, 2015:

Olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped or grated
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
750 g. cherry tomatoes, halved
2 bottles passata sauce
Prepared chicken stock (‘2 condensed stock pots’ – possibly bouillion cubes)
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
500 g. dried penne
Dried chili flakes, to taste
½ bunch basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated for serving

Drizzle olive oil in a pan and set over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft but no color. Add 600 grams cherry tomato halves and cook until broken down and juices released. Add passata sauce, rinsing out bottles with 1 cup water and add to the pan. Add chicken stock pots, thyme and bay leaf and allow to simmer gently until thickened and reduced, about 40 minutes. (Alternatively, place in a 140C oven to cook). Remove from heat and pass through a sieve.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until slightly underdone. Drain pasta and drizzle with olive oil.

Place a large fry pan over medium heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add remaining cherry tomato halves and chilli flakes, to taste. Fry briefly then add 2-3 cups tomato sauce, chopped basil and drained pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and serve with grated parmesan cheese.

Left over tomato sauce can be frozen.

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Brown Butter and Gorgonzola Pumpkin Pasta

From donna

1 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled and spiralised
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper
100g unsalted butter
150 g gorgonzola, sliced
½ c curly parsley leaves, finely chopped
¼ c finely grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 220ºC (425ºF).  Place the pumpkin, oil, salt, and pepper on a large oven tray lined with baking paper, and toss to combine.  Cook for 5 minutes or until the pumpkin has just softened.

While the pumpkin is cooking, place the butter in a small frying pan over high heat.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the butter is foamy and nutty brown.  Divide the pumpkin and gorgonzola between plates, spoon butter sauce over top and sprinkle with parsley and parmesan.

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Saucepan Macaroni and Cheese

Kosher salt for boiling pasta, plus ½ tsp. for seasoning
1 lb. dried macaroni elbows, shells, or penne
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
3 tbsp. flour or cornstarch
3 c. milk
⅛ tsp. grated nutmeg
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. prepared Coleman’s mustard
8 oz. cheddar cheese, finely grated
2 tbsp. Parmesan-Reggiano, freshly grated
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Cook the pasta to al dente, and drain in a colander; set aside.

Melt butter in the pasta pot over low heat; add the flour or cornstarch and whisk for one minute, until the mixture bubbles.   Raise the temperature to medium and gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to blend.  Add the nutmeg and bay leaf and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly.  Turn the heat to low and cook at a bare simmer for about 10 minutes; the sauce should thicken.

Remove the pan from the heat and discard the bay leaf.  Stir in the mustard, then add the drained pasta and grated cheeses.  Return to very low heat and stir to melt the cheese.  Season as needed with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.

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Noodles with Zesty Italian Cheese and Fresh Tomato Sauce

Just made this for lunch, it’s delicious!  Used whole-wheat pasta, with Asiago cheese for the sauce.  It might be good with roasted red peppers instead of the tomatoes for wintertime.

Cheese Sauce:
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 c. milk
1 c. grated sharp Italian cheese, such as Asiago or Fontina
1 tsp. salt
1½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
Pinch of nutmeg

Fresh Tomato Sauce:
½ large red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine (optional)
4-5 fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 lb. noodles
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
Cracked black pepper
Fresh purple basil leaves for garnish

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter over low heat and blend in the flour, stirring for 3-5 minutes until well blended.  Slowly add the milk and simmer, stirring the sauce with a wire whisk until it has thickened and is smooth and hot.  Stir in the cheese or cheeses until they have melted and the sauce is thick and creamy.  Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg; set aside and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, to make the tomato sauce, lightly saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until soft.  Add the wine and the fresh tomatoes and toss together; cover and cook about 3 minutes on low.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped fresh basil.

Toss the cooked noodles with the cheese sauce and serve with the fresh tomato sauce on top.  Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, cracked black pepper, and fresh purple basil leaves.

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Rosemary Chicken with Vegetables

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs. total)
1/2 tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 medium yellow squash or zucchini
1/2 c. apple cider or juice
2 tsp. snipped fresh rosemary
4 oz. linguine, cooked
2 tbsp. dry white wine
2 tsp. cornstarch
12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Sprinkle chicken with lemon-pepper seasoning.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add the chicken and cook until chicken is tender and no longer pink, about 10 minutes.  Transfer chicken to a serving platter; cover and keep warm.

Add garlic to skillet and cook for 15 seconds.  Add the squash or zucchini, apple cider, and rosemary; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the wine and cornstarch; add to squash mixture in skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly.  Cook for 2 minutes more, then stir in the tomato halves.  Serve the vegetables and cooked linguine with the chicken.

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