Thursday, February 28, 2013

Farfalle with Creamy Tomato Sauce

I have a confession. I am obsessed with pink/red sauce in any facet. Tuscan Pasta Sauce, Divine Shimp Pasta, Vodka sauce, Linguine and Shrimp and Creamy Roasted Tomatoes, Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo and so many more I can't even list!

This is another one for the books - really, really delicious - you won't be disappointed!

Farfalle with Creamy Tomato Sauce
2 T Olive Oil
2 T Butter
1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
2 cans (15 Ounce Each) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
Salt And Pepper, to taste
Sugar to Taste)
1 - 2 c Heavy Cream (just preference - I eyeballed it based on color)
Grated Parmesan Or Romano Cheese, To Taste
Fresh Basil, Chopped
1-1/2 lb Farfalle

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
Heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or so. Pour in tomato sauce and add salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. 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. Stir in pasta and chopped basil and serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Macaroni & Cheese with Ham and Peas

If you please...

I got the latest issue of Food Network Magazine - "The CHEESE Issue!!" How could I possibly resist? I think cheese is my number one favorite food in the entire world.

They have a little booklet inside the magazine that gives you 50 recipes for Mac n Cheese - yes, I said FIFTY!! Heavenly. This one didn't disappoint - ALL my kids (even my picky eater), my husband and I  loved this recipe! While I was preparing it - I was worried that the measurements wouldn't be enough to feed my family of 5 + baby - but I was wrong - it was the perfect amount - even for seconds:)
Macaroni & Cheese with Ham and Peas
8 oz macaroni or other small pasta (I used fusilli)
1 T butter
1 T flour
1 t mustard powder
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 1/2 c grated mild yellow cheddar cheese (I prob used 2 cups)
1/4 c Velveeta cheese, diced
1 c frozen sweet peas
1 c diced ham (I used the deli ham we had)
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper

Cook pasta as directed on package. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, mustard powder and cayenne and cook, whisking, 1 minute. This is your roux. Make sure it is well incorporated and light brown before proceeding. Whisk in the evaporated milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thick, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the cheeses to melt, then the pasta and just enough of the reserved cooking water to make a thick sauce. (I used the entire cup). Season to taste!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Avocado and Cumin-Lime Dressing

I've been wanting to try the precious "quinoa" every has been talking about - so I bought some to make sure I had it on hand when I found the perfect recipe. Well, guess what?? I found that perfect recipe for me to dive head first into a new adventure with quinoa.

Even my husband really liked it!

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Avocado and Cumin-Lime Dressing

1 c dry quinoa, rinse if necessary
1 T olive oil
1 3/4 c water
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, chopped into chunks
Grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/2 red onion, diced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks
small handful cilantro, diced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 T olive oil
salt, to taste

Warm the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it’s hot add the rinsed quinoa and toast for about 2-3 minutes until it starts smelling nutty and lovely. Add water, stir once, cover, and simmer with a lid on for 20 minutes. * I followed those directions to a T and it didn’t come out. So, I used her suggestion about toasting it – then followed the directions on the back of the quinoa package and it came out perfectly.

While the quinoa is cooking, prepare all other ingredients. Prepare the dressing by combining the lime juice, oil, cumin, and salt and garlic. Whisk it aggressively. Adjust seasoning as necessary. When the quinoa has finished cooking, remove it from heat and fluff with a fork. Add black beans and toss to warm them through. Let the quinoa cool for about five minutes and then add all the remaining ingredients, including the dressing, and mix. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Thanks Eating for England!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tuscan Pasta

Holy easy and delicious. This meal has such a home cooked, slaved over the stove richly developed flavors that you would never guess it takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish.

Tuscan Pasta
1 (20-oz.) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli
1 (16-oz.) jar sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
2 tablespoons white wine
2 medium-size fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil*
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Meanwhile, pour Alfredo sauce into a medium saucepan. Pour wine into sauce jar; cover tightly, and shake well. Stir wine mixture into saucepan. Stir in chopped tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped basil, and cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Toss with pasta, and top evenly with 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese. 

*As it is February and my basil plant has long since died - I used basil in a tube. Have you seen it in your grocery store? I love it - and it is good for 6 weeks:)

Lemon Cream Linguine with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

My ridiculously multi talented friend posted this delicious recipe on her blog and I just had to try it. I'm a big lover of veggies - so are my kids - as long as they are prepared and presented in the best possible way.

I have a soft spot for Brussels Sprouts both because I lived in Brussels for a few years during high school and because they are always given such a bad rap!!

My kids were eating these Brussels Sprouts like they were going out of style - seriously delicious.

Lemon Cream Linguine with Roasted Brussels Sprouts * Some the Wiser
6 thick strips of quality bacon
1 lb Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 pound linguine 
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot of salted, boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions.  Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot. 

Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place bacon on parchment paper, making sure to space evenly, and bake for 15 minutes or until bacon has reached desired crispness.  Using metal tongs,  carefully remove hot bacon from baking sheet and place on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.  Set aside. 

Reduce oven heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Using the same baking sheet and parchment paper from the bacon, place halved Brussels Sprouts, cut side down, on the baking sheet.  Toss lightly to coat with bacon grease, then roast for 25 to 35 minutes, or until sprouts are beginning to crisp on the outside but are still tender on the inside.  Stir occasionally in the oven for more even browning.  

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add minced shallot and saute for 5 minutes.  Add cream and lemon zest and bring to a boil.  Simmer until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper.  

Pour cream sauce over the cooked noodles, using tablespoonfuls of reserved pasta water to thin sauce as needed until noodles are well coated.  Toss with bacon and roasted sprouts and serve immediately. 

*As you can see - I did not have linguine on hand - I used casarecca which is what I had on hand instead... pretty much any pasta will do b/c who has ever heard of casarecca? 


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