Category Archives: Pasta

Project 52.1 – Orecchiette Salad with Roast Beef

January 7, 2017

This week kicks off Project 52 over here in the Twice Around kitchen- 52 weeks of 52 recipes from cookbooks in my collection.  To start off this challenge, I knew exactly which book to call upon first.  Food Network Magazine’s, Great Easy Meals: 250 Fast and Fun Recipes. (Available here for purchase)  It’s been a book that has lived on my shelf since it came out in 2011; one I’ve read and flipped through countless times, but also one that I can’t recall ever actually making a recipe from!    I took a few minutes and flipped through, and my eyes stopped on this Orecchiette Salad with Roast Beef.  Simple, easy, and ready in under 30 minutes made it a perfect weeknight recipe to try out.  I went ahead and doubled it up, and put two portions away for the next day’s lunch, before adding the dressing.   Do yourself a favor if you make this, and do the same because this one’s a winner, and the left overs will make your coworkers jealous the next day.

Orecchiette Salad with Roast Beef

Total Time: 25 min  Prep:15 min   Cook: 10 min

Yield: 4 servings

Level: Easy

Ingredients

Kosher salt
8 ounces orecchiette pasta
1 cup bocconcini (small mozzarella balls), halved
1 cup marinated artichoke hearts, quartered
8 small sweet marinated peppers (such as Peppadew), quartered    **Edit – I used fresh, small sweet peppers, sliced into rounds, and sauteed. **
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
4 cups baby arugula
6 ounces deli-sliced roast beef, cut into strips
Add Checked Items To Grocery List

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs; drain but don’t rinse.

Meanwhile, combine the bocconcini, artichokes, marinated peppers and mint in a serving bowl. Add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste and toss. Add the pasta and toss again.

Just before serving, stir in the arugula and roast beef. Season the salad with pepper.

Per serving: Calories 500; Fat 22 g (Saturated 7 g); Cholesterol 49 mg; Sodium 548 mg; Carbohydrate 51 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 26 g

(Courtesy Food Network Magazine)

Ease of Preparation : 5 out of 5.
Taste: 4.5 out of 5.
Visual: 5 out of 5
Final Verdict: Add it to the rotation

Stuffed Summer Squash

August 5, 2016

 

DSC_0535
Wow.  It’s been a little while, hasn’t it?  Life over here has been BUSY busy, and we’ve all been enjoying our summer days.  There’s a certain relaxed feel to the day when you truly have nothing to DO and nowhere to be.  The little guy and I have been soaking up some sun, and lately, cruising around to some local farmers’ markets. (Since I kill everything I plant. It’s really sad.)

Last week, we picked up some summer squash and zucchini to turn into a delicious summer supper.  This recipe doubled as a “2 for 1” meal because it made so much filling that I was able to repurpose it later in the week for a pasta dish!  Husband and toddler approved, healthy but delicious, and on the table in 30- Now that’s MY kind of summer supper!

Stuffed Summer Squash Boats

4 zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise
1 cup tri-colored bell peppers, diced fine
1 cup baby Bella mushrooms, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 cup chopped frozen spinach
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup panko
1/2 cup grated manchego cheese
1 tbsp adobo seasoning

In a medium skillet, saute peppers and mushrooms for approximately 5 minutes until adding spinach.  Saute an additional 3 minutes and add garlic along with Dijon mustard.  Stir and saute over low for an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Meanwhile, in a large, high-sided skillet, sprinkle ground turkey with adobo seasoning, and brown the meat.  Drain and mix with vegetable mixture.

Hollow out your centers of your zucchini or squash and spoon turkey mixture into the boats.
Combine the panko with grated manchego cheese and enough olive oil to make the texture of wet sand.   Sprinkle atop squash boats and roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.

Happy Eating!
J

**BONUS PASTA**
In a high-sided pan, melt 3 tbsp butter and mix in 3 tbsp flour, stirring and cooking down for 2-3 minutes until slightly golden brown.  add in 1/2 cup milk and 2/3 cup grated cheese until a creamy sauce forms.  (if it seems runny, add cheese…too thick, add milk.)  Add in your left over turkey mixture and stir.  Toss with pasta!

Picnic Pasta Salad

July 4, 2014

photo(12)

Happy 4th of July!  Summer BBQ’s are in full swing, and picnics are abundant!  We’re getting ready to head over to our block party this afternoon and evening.  For the picnic, I’m taking over my favorite Picnic Pasta Salad!  Easy to throw together, and full of zippy flavor… it’s sure to be a crowd pleaser!   Whip it up for your next get together!

Picnic Pasta Salad
1 family pack of 3 cheese tortellini (I like Barilla)
2 zucchini, diced
1 cup chopped carrot
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 green onions, chopped
1 can sliced olives, drained
3 -4 oz sliced pepperoni, quartered
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 packet of dry ranch dressing mix1/4 cup to 1/2 cup italian dressing (to taste)

Go ahead and cook your pasta as directed. (roughly 10 minutes)
While that’s cooking, I usually prep and chop my veggies.
Once the pasta is cooked, strain and run under cold water to cool and remove extra starchiness.  Drain again, and allow to cool an additional 3-5 minutes.
While the pasta is cooling, throw all of your veggies into a large bowl and give them a toss.  Add in your dry ranch packet, and toss it all again.  Add your pepperoni and  cooled pasta.  You guessed it- toss it all again!  Add 1/4 cup of italian dressing- I like to start small, and add more as needed- always better than overdressing your salad!  Finally, add in your Parmesan cheese, and toss everything together.  Taste and adjust as needed.  Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Happy 4th!
Jenny

PS: Looking for an EASY and delicious dessert?  Check out the next post for Rocky Road Brownies!

Parmesan Chicken with Linguine in a Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce

June 6, 2014

IMG_0894 Wow- that’s a long title, but it really says it all… golden brown crusted chicken, bright bursts of flavor from sun-dried tomatoes, and a luscious cream sauce.  Best of all, it’s on the table in about 40 minutes start to finish.  If I can make this on a crazy Monday after work, I know you can too!  Go on, impress your family, or save it and really impress some weekend dinner guests!

Starting off with the chicken, create a breading station.IMG_0885  I use paper plates for easy clean up!  In one plate, you’ll need some flour seasoned with salt and pepper.  In the second, crack and whip up an egg.  In the third, combine equal parts bread crumbs with grated Parmesan cheese.  If you have massive chicken breasts, like mine were, go ahead and pound them out a bit- they’ll cook quicker and more evenly.  Then just move your chicken through the breading station, starting with flour, and ending at the bread crumb mix.    IMG_0889Once breaded, pop them into a hot skillet that’s been coated with a swirl of olive oil.  Brown the chicken about 3 minutes on each side. (Note: the second side usually takes a bit less time because the oil is hot and sizzling!)    Transfer to a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

About halfway through the cook time of the chicken, you can start your sauce.

Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 pint heavy cream
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp italian herb paste (usually found in your grocer’s produce section- it’s in a tube)
1 cup grated Parmesan/ Asiago cheese blend
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

Start with 2 tbsp butter.  Melt over medium low heat, and once melted, stir in 2 tbsp of flour. Slowly stir in 1/2 of the pint of heavy cream, along with 1 tbsp minced garlic, 2 tbsp tomato paste, and 2 tbsp italian herb paste.  Stir over low heat, gradually increasing to medium heat.  Add in 1 cup of the Asiago/ Parmesan cheese blend, 2 cups of baby spinach, and 1 cup of julienned sun-dried tomatoes.  Continue to stir occassionally, adding the remaining 1/2 pint of heavy cream bit by bit.  If sauce seems thin, add a smidge more cheese.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and reduce heat to low.  Stir occasionally and continue to simmer on low until chicken is finished cooking.

  IMG_0892

For this recipe, I used Bertolli’s fresh linguine found in my grocer’s deli department, but you can use any pasta that you like!  I served it up with the bed of pasta, topped with cream sauce, and then topped with sauced chicken on top of that.  I was really longing for a nice glass of white wine to go along with it, but lemonade was on the menu for me!  If you make this- have  it with the wine for me!
IMG_0893
Enjoy!
J

**Disclaimer: This meal is by no means healthy…but it is healthy for your soul, so eat up in moderation!**

 

Creamy Sundried Tomato and Artichoke Tortellini

September 23, 2013

This tasty dinner comes with a shortcut supper version.  Make it from scratch, or take a hand from some store bought ingredients.  Either way, you’re in for a crowd pleasing meal!

1 family bag of 3 cheese tortellini (barilla)
1 and 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
*I get my peppers in a jar, pull out 3 or 4 and chop them up*
1/4 cup capers
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup dry milk (trust me)
1 cup sundried tomatoes, chopped

Prepare tortellini as directed.
While it’s cooking, throw your tomato, artichokes, peppers, and capers in a deep sided skillet with a swirl of olive oil.  Cook down for 2-3 minutes, and add chicken stock, along with the dry milk.  Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.   Stir in cheese and reduce heat to low.  When pasta is ready, drain, and toss in.  Stir and heat an addition 2-3 minutes.  Eat and enjoy!

**SHORT CUT**
Instead of all the prep with the artichokes, peppers, and capers- a few companies make some GREAT artichoke bruschetta that is a perfect and quick sub-in.  Trader Joe’s and Delallo’s are 2 of my favorite “go-to’s” that I keep in my pantry.  1 jar will do you!

Ragin’ Cajun Pasta

August 26, 2013

I’ve been on a spicy kick lately, so when andouille sausage went on sale at my local grocery store, I was pretty excited to cook up something new.  As it so happened, fresh bruschetta was also on sale, and I knew that with those two ingredients, I was on my way to a pretty tasty dish.  By throwing in a few more household staples, I had a great pasta meal in under 15 minutes from skillet to table!  Break out your Mardi Gras beads, because tonight we’re making Ragin’ Cajun Pasta!

Ragin’ Cajun Pasta
4 links pre-cooked cajun style andouille sausage links (I like Aidells)
1 small tub of fresh bruschetta
1/2 cup green peppers, diced
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup grate parmesan
1 box penne or farfalle pasta

Cook pasta as directed. 
While pasta is cooking, combine diced peppers, bruschetta, and chili powder in a skillet over medium heat.  Stir and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Cut andouille sausage into “penny” slices and add to skillet.  Stir in 1/2 cup of chicken stock and simmer until pasta is cooked al-dente.  Drain the pasta and toss into the sauce mixture.  Top with fresh grated parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

Yep- that simple, kids!
Until next time- Happy Eating!!
J

Healthier Bacon Onion Fettuccine

March 26, 2013

Truth be told, I think I was Italian in a former life.  I love their beauty, their fashion, The Godfather, their cars (oh how I love their cars!), but most importantly, their food.  I truly think I could eat pasta every day of my life and  be completely content.  ‘Fat and Happy’ as my sweet husband would call it.

However, that fat part just doesn’t sit so well with me, and reality tells us that pasta every day is probably not the best idea.  Nowadays, when I make pasta, I tend to lean towards a wheat pasta and load it up with roasted veggies in my sauce.  The good thing about pasta, is that there are endless possibilities, and if you make it healthy- you’ll be able to whip up a great meal.  The other great thing- It’s super quick, and generally speaking, super cost effective. 

Have I mentioned, I love pasta??

Tonight’s healthier version of Bacon and Onion Fettuccini comes courtesy of my sweet mother, and while she didn’t call for wheat pasta, feel free to sub it in and make this dish even better!  She even give some of the Weight Watchers breakdowns, friends!  Best of all, this cooks up and makes it from skillet to table in about 15 minutes.  Manga!!

Momma’s Bacon Onion Fettuccini

1 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cups hot cooked fettuccini noodles
1/3 cup non-fat dry milk powder
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup grated fat free Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bacon bits (I use turkey bacon or soy- don’t tell my husband!)
1 tsp italian seasoning (optional, but do it!)

Go ahead and start by cooking your fettuccini noodles as directed on the box.  It should take them about 12 minutes to get to ‘al dente’.  Once your noodles are about done, coat a large skillet with cooking spray, and add your chopped onion.  Saute until tender, about 4 minutes will do it, depending on how small you chopped!  Stir in your noodles, and keep everyone happy on low. 

Next, mix up the dry milk, water, cheese, bacon bits, and seasoning in a small bowl.  Stir it on in with your onions and noodles, and let everyone get happy in the skillet.  Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking.

Voila!  It’s as simple as that!

Here’s the WW breakdown, for anyone interested:
(per half cup serving)
174 Calories
2 fat
2 Fiber
1 1/2 Starch
1/2 Veggie