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

Goulash!

When someone mentions comfort food people think meatloaf or mac and cheese.  I dig back in my childhood memories and Goulash pops up.  My Dad was great at throwing things together and creating a tasty meal or soup.  When I was little 9 up to about 12 years old) my parents ran a small town diner and Dad manned the kitchen.  Dinners were generally from the diner and generally prepared quickly and pretty hearty.  None of my Dad’s recipes were written down, so I like to try and recreate them from either memory or find something similar and close to it. This recipe was pretty close.  I lightened it up with a half ground beef, half ground turkey.  This is a good meal to make in a hurry because most of this is pretty much on hand pantry items.  With the snowstorm coming this might be a great meal to make.

Ingredients

2 onions chopped
1 pounds lean ground beef

1 pound ground turkey breast
2 cloves garlic minced
1 jar tomato based pasta sauce approx. 26 oz.
1 28  oz cans diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 can 6 oz tomato paste
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 bay leaves
3 cups water
salt & black pepper to taste
2 cups macaroni noodles uncooked
1 cup cheddar cheese



Cook ground beef, onion and garlic over medium high heat until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
Add pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water, seasonings and bay leaves. Simmer covered for 15 minutes.

Add in the in the macaroni and continue to simmer, covered, stirring occasionally until pasta is tender (about 20 minutes). Remove & discard bay leaves. Top with cheese and replace the lid. Let sit about 5 minutes or until melted.

Dinner, Seafood

Shrimp and Fettuccine with white wine sauce



    To celebrate national pasta day last Friday we made a variation of a recipe we found on Pinterest.  As you might know, pasta is one of my son’s favorite dishes.  So we decided that he was going to help with the cooking this evening to skills to more than ramen noodles and omelettes.  It would not be that difficult has he has been working over the summer and on breaks as a prep cook at a local restaurant.  He has spent many an hour slicing and dicing various items for the line cooks we knew he could do this at home and actually complete the recipe.  

    The sauce is very light but has a kick with the crushed red pepper.  You can even omit the shrimp and just make the sauce for your next pasta dish.



    1 lb pasta 

    2 tsp minced garlic
    1/4 c olive oil
    5 Tbsp butter
    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
    1 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper {fresh ground}
    1/2 c white wine
    1/2 c parsley for garnishing
    1/2 c fresh grated Parmesan
    1 lb of large size shrimp

    In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium. Add garlic, red pepper and saute until golden, about a minute.  Add salt, pepper, wine and butter.Stir 2 minutes, add shrimp and cook until pink – about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and toss with pasta.Garnish with parsley and generously add fresh Parmesan

      Dinner, one pot meals, Pasta, Uncategorized

      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.


      Uncategorized

      One Pot Chicken Pesto Pasta

      Another one pot wonder hit the table last week and if you were following my Instagram account I tried to show this recipe in a story.  I used step by step pictures and then the final project.  I am sure people were peeking in along the way but probably did not see the whole production process.  What they could tell was how good this recipe was.  

      I surprised the hubby with this following his lawn mowing activities.  Needless to say that we really didn’t sit down until about 7:15.  He had been traveling and I didn’t get home until about 5 or after.  This came together in about an hour total with the prep time and all.  A great quick meal for the 2 of us.

      Ingredients

      1 tablespoon olive oil
      1 package (16 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1/4 teaspoon pepper 
      1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
      3 1/2 cups  reduced sodium chicken broth (from 32-oz container)
      8 oz uncooked Rotelle  (Cork-screw shape)pasta (about 3 cups)
      4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cream cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
      1/2 cup refrigerated basil pesto (from 7-oz container)
      1 package (8 oz) fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
      1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
      2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese 
      In 5- to 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink. With slotted spoon, transfer to plate, and keep warm.

      Add chicken broth and pasta to Dutch oven; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 12 to 14 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al-dente and most of liquid is absorbed.

      Add cream cheese and pesto, stirring frequently, until cheese is melted. Stir in chicken; cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is heated through.

      Gradually stir in spinach until starting to wilt. Just before serving, garnish with basil and Parmesan cheese.