Dinner, Pasta

Italian Sausage and Shells Dinner

Quick Dinner idea! Do you have pasta, sausage and diced tomatoes on hand? Heavy cream as well? Then this would be a great weeknight dinner that comes together really quickly. This made a really great meal paired with a salad for Eric, Emily and I last week when she was here for dinner between calls.. Emily was going to take the leftovers home for her boyfriend’s dinner but forgot! So lucky me – great lunch today!

  • 8 ounces uncooked medium shells
  • 1 lb. Italian sausages (spicy or mild) crumbled
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 (14 fluid ounce) can diced tomatoes with juices
  • 1 (14 fluid ounce) can finely chopped or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh basil, torn to taste (optional)
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste
  1. Boil a salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook the shells al dente according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion and take the sausages out of their casings and crumble it into a skillet. Sauté the onion and sausage over medium-high heat for 7 minutes, stirring it occasionally.
  3. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Drain the fat from the pan.
  5. Add the canned tomatoes to the pan. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cream, basil, and season the sauce with salt & pepper as needed. Cook for another minute or two and then toss with the drained pasta.

Dinner, Pasta

Creamy Mushroom Pasta

A yummy weeknight dinner that doesn’t disappoint! This is how I would decribe this recipe. I found this on on the site Salt and Lavendar. This is a new site that we follow and this recipe jumped out to my hubby. In my opinion it is like a lighter version of alfredo.

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 7 ounces mushrooms sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 dashes Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup heavy/whipping cream
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley chopped, to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese to taste (optional)

Instructions

  • Boil a large, salted pot of water for the pasta and cook it al dente according to package directions. 
  • Meanwhile, add the butter and oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the pan and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the mushrooms release most of their water and it’s cooked off. Take the mushrooms out of the pan and set aside.
  • Add the wine, Italian seasoning, lemon juice, flour, and Dijon mustard to the pan. Stir until it becomes a smooth paste.  Stir in the cream and let it simmer for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms back into the pan. Reduce the heat and cook for a few more minutes until the sauce has thickened up a bit. Season sauce with salt & pepper as needed.
  • Drain the pasta and toss it with the sauce along with the parsley and parmesan if using. 
Dinner, Pasta

Spinach and Artichoke Ravioli Lasanga

With Lent upon us we are always looking from some new Lenten favorites. Having seen this on on Pinterest, we decided to give it a try. The only thing we were missing was the frozen spinach, so a quick trip to the store and added an extra to the freezer. The recipe came together very quickly and was very good too. Too bad our kids weren’t home to give this a try as they would love it.

INGREDIENTS
3 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. flour
2 c. milk (preferably whole)
2 tbsp. cream cheese, softened
1 c. shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1 (14-oz.) can artichoke hearts, chopped
2 c. frozen spinach, defrosted and chopped
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
2 lb. frozen cheese ravioli
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 375°. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk the flour into the butter and garlic and cook until the mixture is bubbling and golden, 1 minute more. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Bring mixture to a simmer then stir in cream cheese, 2/3 cup mozzarella, and Parmesan. Let simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Fold in artichoke hearts and spinach, then add lemon juice and red pepper flakes, if using, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
Spread a thin layer of your prepared sauce onto the bottom of a 9″-x-13″ baking dish. Lay ravioli in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish, then top with half the prepared sauce. Repeat with remaining ravioli and remaining sauce. Top with remaining cheese and bake 30 minutes, until sauce is bubbling and ravioli are tender.
If you’d like the top to be golden, broil on high for 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Dinner, one pot meals, Pasta

Rigatoni with Sausage and Fennel

Just by looking a this picture you can almost taste how delicious this is. My son and I were watching an old Ina Garten episode from the summer of 2017 on pasta dishes and saw her making this recipe. My mouth was watering by the end of the episode and I knew that I needed to make this. So off to the store this morning to get the necessary ingredients. My pasta loving son was pleased and so was my hubby. I even think this is foodie friends worthy.

3 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

3 cups chopped fennel (1 large fennel bulb)

1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion

1 ¼ pounds Sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

2 tsp. minced garlic (2 cloves)

½ teaspoon whole fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle

½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

2/3 cups half-and-half

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 lb. Rigatoni

½ cup chopped, fresh Italian parsley leaves

1 cup freshly grated Reggiano Parmigiano cheese, divided

Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven, such as Le Creuset, over medium heat. Add the fennel and onion and sauté for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the sausage and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, crumbling it with a fork, until nicely browned. Add the garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. black pepper and cook for one minute.

Pour in the wine, bring to a boil and add the heavy cream, half-and-half, and tomato paste. Bring back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 2 tbsp. salt and cook the rigatoni according to package directions. Drain and add to the sauce, stirring to coat the pasta. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce.

Off the heat, stir in the parsley and ½ cup of the Reggiano Parmigiano. Serve hot in shallow bowls with passing the remaining ½ cup of Parmigiano.

Dinner, Pasta

Rigatoni and Pomadoro Sauce

Looking for a simple and easy summer pasta dish? Look no further. This is easy to make and has awesome flavor.

This was a hit with our pasta loving boy. Give it a try and let me know what you think?

One 28-ounce can whole, peeled San Marzano tomatoes

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
8 ounces mezzi rigatoni
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade strips

Puree the tomatoes using an immersion blender or food processor. Set aside.

In a saucepot over medium heat, combine the olive oil, pepper flakes and garlic. Gently toast the garlic until golden brown, being careful not to burn it. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer; simmer 5 to 8 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook for 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the pot with the sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved pasta water and cook until thickened, about 3 minutes. Add the butter, half of both cheeses and half of the basil and cook, tossing frequently, until the pasta is nicely coated. Season with salt if necessary.

Transfer to a serving bowl, top with the remaining cheese and basil and drizzle with olive oil.

Dinner, Pasta

Pasta and Baked Meatballs

  
You never know what I am going to find when I browse through my board called Looks Yummy, Have to Try.  This one had been there awhile and when I decided to make it our daughter said, oh, I wanted to try that one night, but Dad picked another recipe.   I am glad we finally gave this one a try.  One pot pasta dished are my favorites.    Too bad the kids were working that night, because they only got the left overs!

ORECCHIETTE WITH BAKED MINI CHICKEN MEATBALLS IN TOMATO CREAM SAUCE

Meatballs
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
¼ cup milk
½ lb. ground chicken
1 egg
2 Tbsp. grated or shredded (in food processor) onion
1 Tbsp. fresh minced parsley
1 Tbsp. sour cream
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper

Pasta & Sauce

2 cups uncooked orecchiette pasta
¼ – ⅓ cup reserved pasta water*
1 cup jarred Tomato Basil pasta sauce
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup mini mozzarella balls 

fresh chopped parsley or basil

INSTRUCTIONS

Meatballs

In a large mixing bowl, combine Panko with milk. Let stand for about 5 minutes or until milk is absorbed. To the Panko, add the chicken, egg, onion, parsley, sour cream, salt and pepper. The mixture should be quite wet.

Turn on your broiler on HIGH.

Shape the chicken mixture into 1¼-inch meatballs (I used 1 tsp. measuring spoon) and place in a single layer on a lightly coated with cooking spray or oil baking sheet.

Broil the meatballs on HIGH for 3-4 minutes (I had my oven rack set in the middle) or until lightly golden and almost fully cooked but still slightly pink on the inside. Keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook! Remove and let stand at room temperature while preparing pasta+sauce.

Pasta & Sauce

Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Reserve ¼ – ⅓ cups of pasta water and drain the rest.

In a large saute pan, heat pasta sauce over medium heat. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Add meatballs and simmer over low/med heat for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly and meatballs are cooked through. (Meatballs should be super moist, tender, and white on the inside).

Add cooked pasta to the sauce and the reserved pasta water.** Give it couple stirs with a spoon and then add the mozzarella balls.

Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve immediately.