Category Archives: Pasta

Baked Vegetables for Pasta

DSC_1284When you get the chance to shop at a local Farmer’s Market, take it. You’ll love all the surprises they have. This time I found some chocolate cherry tomatoes (or black cherry tomatoes) and sun sugar cherry tomatoes. Boy oh boy are these cherry tomatoes a treat.


  • a handful of Chocolate cherry tomatoes
  • a handful of Sun Sugar cherry tomatoes
  • half a yellow zucchini, sliced
  • half a yellow summer squash, sliced
  • 1 small purple bell pepper, sliced
  • DSC_12812 cloves garlic, minced
  • a handful of parsley, finely chopped
  • Olive Oil
  • Kosher salt
  • ground black pepper
  • Salted butter slices
  • a handful of Mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat your oven to 350 and spray an 8 x 8 baking dish with pan spray.

DSC_1290In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, zucchini, squash, bell pepper, garlic and parsley. Drizzle with Olive Oil and toss so that everything is lightly coated. Sprinkle with some Kosher salt and ground black pepper. Place the slices of butter on top and bake for 6 minutes. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese and bake for another 5 minutes. Using this as a topping for pasta. Try it with pasta and my Purple Basil Pesto Sauce.

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Posted by on July 9, 2013 in Pasta, Vegetables


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Quick & Easy Shrimp and Pasta

Shrimp & Pasta

Shrimp & Pasta

I’m sure many of you have these kinds of nights. I walk in the door from work, very hungry, but also very tired and just don’t have the energy to make the big ole dinner I want. So I have to think quick and easy on my feet. Here is one of those recipes I hope you will enjoy.

Ingredients:   yields a dinner for 4

  • 2 TB Olive Oil
  • 5 TB salted butter, sliced
  • 1 bag @ 40-60 count frozen medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
  • 1 bunch of green onions, sliced green and white parts
  • 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • a couple handfuls of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • Farfalle “Bow Tie” Pasta, enough to feed 4 people, boiled al dente
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese, divided use

DSC_1196Preheat your oven to 350

Use a medium baking dish, about a 8×11. Place the olive oil, butter, sliced green onions and garlic in the baking dish and bake in the oven just until it becomes fragrant and the butter has started to melt. Remove and toss in the frozen shrimp. Make sure it’s coated well. Return to the oven and bake until the shrimp starts turning pink in color. This may take 10-15 minutes. Now season with a good sprinkle of the Kosher salt and ground black pepper. Toss in the pasta, sliced tomatoes and 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, mix well. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese over the top of the pasta mixture and bake for another 7 minutes or so until the cheese starts to melt. Serve warm with some leftover “Cheddar Cheese Popovers”.


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Spinach Kale Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagne Roll Ups

lasagna Roll Ups

This is an easy way to make a lasagna dish. Mark and I are trying to add more greens to our diet. This recipe fits the bill perfectly and taste fabulous.

Ingredients:  serves 4 to 6 people

  • 12 Lasagna noodles
  • 1 large leaf of Kale, pull the leafy part away from the stem, finely chopped
  • 2 heaping handfuls of fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 15 oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided use
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, divided use
  • 1 jar @ 24 oz spaghetti sauce, (I use Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil)

Cook your lasagna noodles al dente by placing them in boiling water that has had salt and olive oil added to it. Boil for 8 minutes. Lay out foil on a counter, spray with pan spray, then place the boiled and drained noodles on the foil to lie flat until needed.

Preheat your oven to 375 and spray a 9 x 9 baking dish with pan spray.

In a bowl combine the chopped kale, spinach, onion, garlic, basil, Ricotta Cheese, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the Mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese. Mix all these ingredient until well blended.

Lay a lasagna noodle out flat and place spoonfuls of the mixture on the noodle. Use your fingers to spread the mixture out over the noodle. Roll the noodle up and place on its side in the baking dish. Place each roll up side by side. Pour the spaghetti sauce over the roll ups. Mix the remaining 1 cup of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese together and sprinkle over the top of the sauce covered roll ups. Cover with foil. I like to spray the foil with pan spray to keep the cheese from sticking. Bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly. Let rest for about 5 minutes or so before serving.

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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Casseroles, Pasta


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Spinach Lasagna

Spinach Lasagna

Spinach Lasagna

It never gets old that Mark will eat 2 helpings of my Spinach Lasagna. You see when I met him he was strictly a meat and potatoes type of guy. You gotta love good ole home cooking for getting the veggies in them.

Ingredients:  serves 6 to 8 people

  • 3 cups of my “Fresh Tomato Cream Pasta Sauce”
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1 Tb Olive Oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella/provolone cheese, divided use
  • 15 ounces of ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan/Romano cheese mix, divided use
  • 10 ounces, fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cook and drain your lasagna noodles as directed on their package. Cut your onion and carrots into chunks and process in a food processor until they are finely diced. In a medium skillet over medium, heat the olive oil and cook the onions, carrots and garlic for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool slightly.

DSC_0274Using the food processor again, combine the spinach and basil and pulse until they are finely shredded. In a large bowl combine the spinach basil mixture, 2 cups mozzarella/provolone cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan/Romano cheese mix and the cooled vegetable mixture. Mix these until combined well.

DSC_0276 (2)Using a 13 x 9 x 2 ungreased baking dish spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Top the sauce with 3 lasagna noodles, then top each noodle with 3 heaping spoonfuls of the spinach cheese mixture. (For this I use my tableware tablespoon and really heap it up.) Evenly spread the mixture over each noodle. Now spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce, 3 more noodles followed by another 9 heaping spoonfuls of the cheese mixture. Again that’s 3 spoonfuls per noodle. Follow that by another 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, 3 more noodles, the remaining cheese mixture. Again 1/2 cup tomato sauce, 3 more noodles, then the remaining 1/2 cup of tomato sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of the shredded mozzarella/provolone cheese and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan/Romano cheese mix.

DSC_0280Here’s a better guide to layering the lasagna:

  1. 1 cup sauce – 3 noodles – 9 spoonfuls of spinach/cheese mixture
  2. 1/2 cup sauce – 3 noodles – 9 spoonfuls of spinach/cheese mixture
  3. 1/2 cup sauce – 3 noodles – 9 spoonfuls of spinach/cheese mixture
  4. 1/2 cup sauce – 3 noodles – (there should be no more spinach/cheese mixture)
  5. 1/2 cup sauce – 1 cup mozzarella/provolone cheese – 1/2 Parmesan/Romano cheese mix.

DSC_0281Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes until the cheese is hot and bubbly. Let it rest for about 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Suggestions: This dish is absolutely wonderful after it has been frozen. I believe the leftovers are better than when it comes right out of the oven. It taste so good that I’m thinking about assembling the lasagna, wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and freezing it. I’ll defrost it at a later date and the bake it up.


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Macaroni & Cheese for Two

Macaroni & Cheese

Ingredients:   serves 2 people

  • 1 cup Cheese Sauce (see my recipe)
  • 1 cup pasta
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 3 strips of bacon, lightly cooked, crumbled

Preheat your oven to 350 and butter a small casserole dish.

Prepare your pasta following the directions on the package for boiling. Drain and put in a medium bowl. Add the cheese sauce and toss well to ensure the pasta is completely coated with the cheese sauce. Pour into the buttered casserole dish and top with the sliced green onions and sprinkle with the cheddar cheese then top with the crumbled cooked bacon. Bake for about 15 minutes until the cheese starts to melt and the ingredients start to bubble a little.


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Goulash over Spatzle

I just love how soothing and heart warming this recipe feels to me. Great on a cold Winter’s night. Enjoy.

Ingredients:  4 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, dried well between paper towels
  • All meat seasoning, or salt and black pepper
  • 3 Tb Olive Oil, divided use
  • 4 Tb butter, salted, divided use
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 Tb tomato paste
  • 3 Tb flour
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth, (I prefer this broth, but if you like to cook with beef broth please substitute)
  • 1 Tb Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tb fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli stems, peeled and chopped
  • 4 oz of Spatzle (Homemade German Noodles, I get mine from the Schnitzelbank in Jasper Indiana)

Preheat oven to 350

Lightly season stew meat with the all meat seasoning. Heat a Dutch Oven or a pot with a lid that can go from the stove to the oven over high heat. Once your pot gets really hot, lower the heat to medium-high and add 2 tablespoons of the Olive Oil and 2 tablespoons salted butter. Working in small batches lightly sear the stew meat, set aside in a bowl. When all of the beef is seared and removed add the remaining 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil and 2 tablespoons of butter and the onions slices. Saute the onion slices just until they become soft. Sprinkle with flour and continue to cook until the roux is a light brown color. Stir in tomato paste, red wine, chicken broth, Worcestershire Sauce and smashed garlic. Use these liquids to de-glaze the bottom of the pan and release all of that wonderful flavor from the beef. Add the thyme, black pepper, bay leaf and parsley stir well, then return the stew meat back to the pot. Cover with the lid and put into the oven to cook for 45 minutes. Stir a couple of times during this cooking period.

Add the potatoes, carrots and broccoli stems, toss well, cover and return to the oven to cook another 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked and tender. Serve over the Spatzle Noodles.

Suggestions: Try different vegetables in this recipe. Celery, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, squash, all work well in this dish. You’ve got to try these Spatzle Noodles, their wonderful. You can find them at Beef goulash works well over spicy rice or all on its own with a nice hearty slice of bread and green salad.

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Posted by on February 23, 2012 in Beef, Pasta


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