Archives for category: pasta

I am officially obsessed with handmade pasta! You need only a few simple ingredients and the combinations of flavors, herbs, spices, and fillings you can add are endless. The kids love cranking out the pasta into sheets, and noodles, and cutting ravioli shapes. Here’s some ravioli we made with my favorite red sauce:

Cheese Stuffed Ravioli Recipe with Red Wine Marinara Sauce Recipe - pasta dough with just 2 ingredients!
WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 ½ cups (14 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus any additional needed for dusting/kneading
  • 1 container ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • optional: grated cheese for topping
  • Red Wine Marinara Sauce

WHAT YOU DO:

STEP 1. MAKE THE DOUGH

MIX: Mound the flour in the center of your work surface. Using your hands, make a well in the middle that will be wide enough and deep enough to hold 4 eggs. Add 4 eggs (save 1 egg for the filling), and add any optional liquids or flavoring (for example chopped spinach, or ½ cup dry white wine, and/or herbs and spices such as basil or parsley). Using a fork, beat the eggs (and any liquids/flavors). Gradually incorporate small amounts of flour from the sides of the well as you go, until all the flour is mixed in. This will be a lumpy mess, but the next step will take care of that.

KNEAD: Knead for 3 minutes or so. If the dough is really sticky, add a little more flour. The dough should be slightly springy and just a tiny bit sticky. Knead for 10 additional minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Wrap ball-shaped dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature, for an hour or so.

STEP 2. WHILE THE DOUGH RESTS, MAKE THE FILLING
In a bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 1 lightly-beaten egg, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

STEP 3. After dough has rested, roll into sheets. I used a hand-crank pasta machine, but you could use a rolling pin and flour as well.

Place dough sheets on work surface and place dollops of ricotta cheese every few inches. Wet the dough with a few drops of water around each cheese, then place a second dough sheet on top, and seal with your fingers. I used a cutter to cut out square shapes (a roller tool or knife would work well too). If you want to get really gadget-y (ha) I have also seen molds/forms for homemade ravioli.

STEP 4. COOK

Bring 6-8 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil. Add pasta, and boil until firm but not mushy (fresh pasta only takes a few minutes). Drain and serve with red wine marinara sauce.

adapted from The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Advertisements

Two-Ingredient Homemade Egg Pasta Recipe

Two Ingredient Homemade Pasta Recipe - Just eggs and flour - I will never buy the boxed stuff again.

Here’s a fun and easy recipe: homemade egg pasta. It’s just two basic ingredients: flour and eggs. You can use this to roll out in flat sheets for cutting into fettuccine noodles or tagliatelle. It’s also perfect for filled pastas such as ravioli or tortellini.

The fun part is you don’t even need a mixing bowl – just make a “bowl” out of flour right on your work surface and place the eggs in the middle.

We used a hand-crank pasta machine to roll out the dough. Our kids thought this was great. It was like a PlayDoh Fun Factory – except we got to eat our work.

I cut some of the pasta dough into fettuccine and spaghetti noodles, and used a hand stamper tool to make ravioli another time.

Of course there are tons of flavors and liquids you can add to this basic pasta dough: try 6-10 oz. of spinach, or a teaspoon of grated lemon zest and 6 oz. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, or even ½ cup dry white wine to your dough while mixing. Herbs and spices (basil, parsley, etc) or even vegetable purees can be great additions.

And if you’re making ravioli or tortellini, there are so many delicious options for the filling besides the usual ricotta: for example butternut squash, mushrooms, blue cheese, etc.

I made the batch in the photos with just plain old, boring, flour, since we have a bunch of it. I do want to try switching up the flour, though, and experiment with cornmeal, rice, semolina, whole wheat, and/or buckwheat.

Anyway, here’s the basic recipe. It makes approximately the same amount as 1 pound of store-bought dried boxed pasta.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 ½ cups (14 oz.) all-purpose flour

WHAT YOU DO:

MIX: Mound the flour in the center of your work surface. Using your hands, make a well in the middle that will be wide enough and deep enough to hold the eggs. Add eggs, and any optional liquids or flavoring. Using a fork, beat the eggs (and any liquids/flavors). Gradually incorporate small amounts of flour from the sides of the well as you go, until all the flour is mixed in. This will be a lumpy mess, but do not worry. The next step will take care of that.

KNEAD: Knead for 3 minutes or so. If the dough is really sticky, add a little more flour. The dough should be slightly springy and just a tiny bit sticky. Knead for 10 additional minutes until the dough becomes smooth. Wrap ball-shaped dough in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature, for 30 to 60 minutes.

ROLL OUT (<– said in my best Transformers voice): Using a rolling pin (and extra flour for dusting) or pasta machine to turn the dough into sheets. Cut into desired shapes, or add filling if you’re making stuffed pasta.

Tip: I sprinkled a tiny bit of cornmeal on the dough before I put it through the roller the first time to keep it from sticking, and I put a tiny amount of cornmeal on the plate for the finished pasta and tossed the noodles around to keep them from sticking. To keep noodles from drying out, cover with a damp towel as you go.

COOK: Bring 6 to 8 quarts of salted water to a rapid boil. Add pasta, and boil until firm but not mushy (depending on the thickness of your pasta, anywhere from 30 seconds-2 minutes or so). Drain and serve.

adapted from The Splendid Table: Recipes from Emilia-Romagna, the Heartland of Northern Italian Food by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Two Ingredient Homemade Pasta - just flour and eggs - I will never buy the boxed stuff again

 

Here’s a basic recipe you can use in tons of cooking: Mornay sauce. This classic old-school cheesy French white sauce is an awesomely versatile sauce, which goes great with poultry, fish, vegetables, eggs, and pasta. It takes only a few minutes to make; it’s basically a bechamel sauce with extras added in (cheese, butter, cream, curry, etc).

I decided to make a mac & cheese with a Mornay sauce recipe adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I had all of the ingredients already, which was a bonus. Hurray for simple basics! 🙂

Here’s how my Mac & Mornay turned out – both the plain version and then one with sauteed portobello mushroom strips tossed in.

Mac and Cheese - French Mornay Sauce - Simple but delicious recipe

 

Pasta with Cheesy Mornay Sauce Recipe - tossed with sauteed portabello mushroom strips

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 lb. boxed Penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 c. milk
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 1/2 c. grated cheese (Swiss, Gruyere, white cheddar, or a Swiss/Parmesan mix)
  • 1 Tbs. softened butter
  • white pepper, to taste
  • additional salt, if needed for taste
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • optional add-ins: sauteed mushrooms, etc.

WHAT YOU DO:

In a small saucepan, heat milk and 1/4 tsp. salt to a boil. Keep hot.

Make the roux: In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Blend in flour, and stir gently until the mixture froths together for two minutes without changing color.

Remove from heat. As soon as bubbles stop, pour in the milk/salt from the saucepan. Whisk quickly to blend, making sure to incorporate all the roux from the pan’s edges.

Place saucepan on medium-high heat and whisk until sauce comes to a boil. Boil for one minute while stirring.  Remove from heat. Add cheese and stir until melted, then add butter, and remaining spices (pepper, salt, nutmeg, cayenne) to taste.

Add the sauce to the pasta, and any optional add-ins, and stir to combine. Voila!

I tried a pasta and cream sauce recipe from The Pioneer Woman, and added a few goodies: red wine, red pepper flakes, and oregano. It was easy and delicious! Here’s how it turned out:

Pasta with Red Wine Cream Sauce - so delicious - ditch the jars of boring spaghetti sauce! This recipe is THE one to use.

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. red wine
  • pinch of sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sprinkle of dried oregano
  • dash of dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 2/3 c. heavy cream
  • freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese, to taste
  • 2-3 Tbs. chopped fresh basil
  • 1-1/2 lb. dry pasta

WHAT YOU DO:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Drain, reserving 1 c. of pasta water, and set both aside.

In the empty pan used to cook the pasta, heat butter and EVOO over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes.

Pour in tomatoes, red wine, and add sugar and spices.

Stir and cook over low heat for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in cream. Add cheese to taste, then check seasonings, adjusting if needed.

Stir in pasta, thin with some of the pasta water (if needed). Add chopped basil and serve.

Here’s a show and tell of my lunch 🙂 I sauteed fresh veggies in a teaspoon of EVOO, and added some red pepper flakes, lemon juice, and garlic. I added a serving of whole wheat penne pasta, but have done this with feta, chicken, brown rice too. I included the estimated nutrition information, WW points, and the 21 day fix container counts for each option.

Choose Your Own Adventure Veggie Toss - includes nutrition info for a ton of options and 21 Day Fix contianer counts - pasta, chicken, feta, brown rice

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 c. (which is 1 green 21 Day Fix container) fresh asparagus, cut into pieces

1/2 c. (1/2 green container) portabello mushrooms, sliced

1/2 c. (1/2 green container) cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

To taste: lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and minced garlic.

Options:

  • 1/2 c. (1 yellow container) cooked whole wheat penne pasta
  • 1/2 c. (1 yellow container) cooked brown rice
  • 3 oz. (1 red container) baked chicken
  • 1/4 c. (1 blue container) crumbled feta cheese

WHAT YOU DO:

In a saucepan, saute the EVOO, veggies, and garlic. Add lemon juice and red pepper flakes to taste.

Mix in your pasta, rice, chicken, or feta to desired temperature, and serve.

Veggie Toss - choose your faves - includes nutrition info for 21 Day Fix container counts and nutrition info for each option

Estimated Nutrition Info for Fresh Veggies sauteed with your favorite option - 21 Day Fix and WW friendly

Here’s a lasagna that I made in a cast iron skillet, that can go straight into the oven to bake. Gotta love one-pot meals! I used ground turkey since it’s a little healthier than beef, but any ground lean meat would work. It was cheesy and delicious.

Skillet Lasagna - from the stove to the oven in just minutes. So easy and so yummy

One-Skillet Lasagna

WHAT YOU NEED:

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 c. diced red onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. oregano
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes containing garlic and onions, undrained
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 c. water
10 oz. wide egg noodles
4 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. shredded Italian Blend cheese
optional: fresh basil for garnish

WHAT YOU DO:

In a cast iron skillet (or oven-safe pan), brown turkey over med-low heat until thoroughly cooked.

Drain grease from turkey, and return to skillet.

Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 mins. Add garlic and oregano and cook for another minute or so.

Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, and noodles.

Cook, stirring often, for approx 10 mins, or until noodles are al dente.

Stir in ricotta, then and add salt & pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and top with shredded cheese. Let sit for about 5 mins to allow cheese to melt.

Place skillet in oven and broil for 3-5 mins, or until cheese starts to get brown and bubbly.

Garnish with fresh basil (optional) then serve.

recipebookandmore.wordpress.com

recipe adapted from ihearteating.com

Chicken Fettuccine Casserole

TGIF. It’s the weekend so bring on the carbs! 😉 Here’s an easy dinner I made: Chicken Fettuccine Casserole. You don’t have to use just fettuccine though, use any kind of pasta shapes or noodles you like. Here’s what I came up with:

Easy Cheesy Chicken Fettuccine Casserole Recipe - just a few easy ingredients - you don't even have to use fettuccine, pick your fave noodle or pasta shape.

Chicken Fettuccine Casserole

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cooked and cut into small pieces (OR two 10-oz cans of chicken, drained)
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup — do not add water
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 16-oz package fettuccine noodles (OR 16 oz of any type uncooked noodles or pasta)
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese; I used a cheddar/monterrey jack blend
  • 1/3 c. Panko Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • salt & pepper, to taste

WHAT YOU DO:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13×9 inch casserole pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Boil fettuccine according to package directions. Drain, rinse with hot water, and return to the pot.

Add chicken, cream of chicken soup, and sour cream to pot. Mix well with noodles.

Add salt & pepper to taste then mix.

Spread noodles evenly into prepared casserole pan. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, then cheese.

Bake 10-15 mins or until cheese is melted.

recipebookandmore.wordpress.com

recipe adapted from somewhatsimple.com

Easy Cheesy Chicken Fettuccine Casserole - just a few easy ingredients - awesome recipe

Here’s a batch of pesto I made with some basil from the garden. I used pine nuts, which are pretty expensive, but I’ve since learned you can use walnuts, pecans, or even almonds instead. It keeps in the fridge for 1 week, or you can freeze in freezer-safe containers or ice cube trays for up to 6 months. Also you can adjust the olive oil so the pesto is as thick or thin as you like. It’s great for pasta, or even as spreads on flatbread crackers, or on sandwiches as a spread.

Fresh pesto - just basil, garlic, parm cheese, olive oil, and pine nuts. Soooo easy I can't believe I used to buy it instead of making it myself.WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil (+ more if you want to thin it out)

WHAT YOU DO:

In a food processor: combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, and cheese. Add olive oil as it’s running until emulsified. To make it thinner, add olive oil until it reaches desired consistency. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 1 week. Or place in freezer-safe containers (or ice cube trays) to store for up to 6 months in the freezer.

5 ingredient homemade PESTO. Keeps for 1 wk in the fridge, or freeze for up to 6 mos.

 

One of my favorite shrimp dishes to make is a four-ingredient zesty lemon butter shrimp. It is SO delicious I could eat it every day if possible. It does have lots of butter, though (thus its deliciousness ha!), so here’s an alternative lemon garlic shrimp recipe I adapted from SkinnyTaste.com. It has the awesome lemony flavor of the lemon butter shrimp, without the butter, and fresh healthy ingredients perfect for eating light.

To make “noodles” out of the zucchini, I used my GEFU spiral cutter. Love that thing!

Lemon Garlic Shrimp on a Bed of Zoodles. Zuchiini spiral cut into 'noodles' with shrimp, lemon, tomatoes, and garlic. Add some spice with red pepper flakes.

 WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 oz. frozen, precooked, de-veined, and peeled shrimp
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 small zucchini, spiral cut into noodle/ribbon shapes
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. halved cherry (or grape) tomatoes

WHAT YOU DO:

Heat a skillet over med-high heat.

Add oil and crushed red pepper flakes, then add shrimp.

Season with a pinch of salt, and cook 2-3 mins until the shrimp is heated through.

Add zucchini and tomatoes and toss lightly.

Remove from heat, add lemon juice, and serve.

Lemon Garlic Shrimp with Zoodles (zucchini noodles) - Awesome healthy meal idea for eating light.

 

I’m lovin’ the zoodles… Here’s another recipe I made, topped with tomato sauce.

Here’s a recipe I adapted from slowcookeradventures.com:

Buffalo Chicken Pasta

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Pasta {recipebookandmore.wordpress.com} Cheesy, Buffalo-y, and delicious!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx. 2 lbs.), uncooked, seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic powder
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken soup (do not add water)
  • 1 c. Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2 c. sour cream
  • 1/2 c. ranch dressing
  • 1 c. mozzarella cheese
  • 1 box (1 lb.) penne pasta

WHAT YOU DO:
In slow cooker, add chicken, soup, wing sauce, and onion. Mix well then cover. Cook 3-4 hrs on HIGH or 7-8 hrs on LOW. Partway through, shred chicken with a fork (or cut into small pieces if you prefer).

Approx. 15-20 mins before serving, boil the pasta according to instructions on box and drain. To the slow cooker, add sour cream, ranch dressing, and mozzarella cheese. Add pasta noodles and stir until mixed. Let sit a few minutes then serve.

If you’re a fan of all things buffalo like me, check out these recipes:

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken Lasagna

Slow Cooker Buffalo Ranch Chicken

Baked Buffalo Cauliflower “Wings”

On The Lighter Side: Buffalo Cream Cheese Feta Dip