Tag Archives: Pasta

Turkey Asparagus Basil Pasta Bowl

Turkey Asparagus Basil Pasta Bowl

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Turkey Asparagus Basil Pasta Bowl
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I was trudging towards another healthy dinner and wanted to make my “Might Fit Foods Lemon Turkey Asparagus” copycat. Jill inquired what we were having for dinner and when I told her she politely and unknowingly gave me a vibe that she wasn’t that excited about dinner. It’s the lemon that repels her. So I had to improvise and work in some pasta. The outcome was a almost healthy version of creamy pasta ground turkey and vegetable dish.

This dish does have carrots, onions, garlic, asparagus and basil so there is some healthy aspects. The ground turkey lightens it up also. It’s creamy as you want it to be with cream cheese and Parmesan. I still used the juice of a lemon but it was much more subtle so she didn’t even really notice. No doubt a bit random but it did turn out well.

Ingredients:
1 package of lean ground turkey
1 bunch of asparagus (trimmed and diced)
2 carrots (diced)
1 red onion (diced)
4 cloves of garlic (pressed)
1 lemon (juiced)
handful of fresh basil
3 tbs of cream cheese
3 tbs of Parmesan cheese (finely grated)
Kosher Salt to taste
3 tsp of dried thyme
2 tsp of dried basil
1 tsp of cayenne
Angel Hair Pasta for two

Directions:
1. Cook your pasta per the package in salty water. While it is coming to boil and cooking work on the other part of the dish by first browning your turkey in a medium heated pan with some salt, dried basil, dried thyme. When done remove and set aside.

2. Put your pan back on the heat and soften your onions and carrots until the onions are translucent. It will be 5 minutes or so. Now add the asparagus, lemon juice and garlic. see below
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3. Okay by now your pasta is close to being done. Add your cream cheese and Parmesan cheese and stir well. Taste, salt and season accordingly. Take your pasta directly from the pot and add it to the mixture. You will want some of that pasta water to keep it loose. Turn off the heat and mix well. Top with fresh basil and a little extra Parmesan cheese.
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Italian Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Italian Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Italian Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells
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Tonight was pasta night and I was thinking stuffed shells. It eats like a less cheesy and rich lasagna. You can control your cheese, meat, spinach ratio. I have made this several times and don’t really have a recipe for it but rather make it up each time.

Italian sausage is good but sometimes a little over powering. I found a lighter version that was lighter on fat and spice. I wanted to bump up the spinach ratio while lowering the cheese mixture. Jill was held up at work so I had to cook it a little longer than I wanted. I used my biggest cast iron skillet to accommodate all the shells but by doing so I left some shells exposed. Just be careful because you will harden up the exposed noodle part. I like the chew it gives them but you may not.

Really delicious meal that lets the pasta, Italian sausage and spinach shine through with the sauce nicely tying it all together.

Ingredients
3/4 package of Jumbo pasta shells
1 package (1 lbs) of light Italian Sausage (casing removed)
1 jar of Tomato Sauce
Parsley
1 bag of spinach
4 cloves of garlic
handful of fresh cut basil
Parmesan Cheese
Mozzarella cheese
1 container of Ricotta
1 small onion

Directions:
1. Boil your pasta in salted water according to the directions on the box. Drain and rinse with cool water so you can handle them as you stuff them.

2. Make your stuffing. Brown your pork sausage and remove the rendered fat. Add your onion, spinach and two cloves of minced garlic. The spinach has a lot of water so when everything is soft and wilted, remove as much of it as you can. Pour into a bowl and let it cool. IMG_0028

3. When the meat spinach mixture is warm add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and your ricotta cheese. Mix well and taste. Adjust seasoning accordingly. You shouldn’t need extra salt with the sausage and parm but taste it to make certain.

4. I used the same cast iron skillet after I removed the meat mixture. I added a jar of marinara sauce. To that sauce I added 2 cloves of minced garlic and tomato paste and crushed red peppers. Brought it to a simmer and then added my basil. I turned it to low while I stuffed my shells.

5. Stuff your shells and put them into the sauce face up. I liked to add a some mozzarella or parm on the top and finish them in an oven around 375 degrees until the cheese melts. Like I mentioned above mine when a little longer because Jill was running late. IMG_0025IMG_0026
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6. Serve in a bowl with some sauce added.
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Chicken Marsala with Pancetta and Cream

Chicken Marsala with Pancetta and Cream

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Chicken Marsala with Pancetta and Cream
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Jill had a hankering for pasta tonight. For some odd reason I wasn’t wanting anything cheesy or tomato based so I settled on a simple Marsala sauce. Marsala wine is an Italian wine produced around Sicily that is on the sweet side. You can buy the “cooking wine” but I prefer to use the real thing.

Chicken Marsala is supposedly a popular dish in Italy to celebrate their wine with simple ingredients. If you think of pairing sweet, I naturally think salty or earthy. Mushroom and onions would be nice but I kept it pretty simple and used pancetta with a creamy sauce and wide egg noodles.

Ingredients:

2 free range trimmed chicken breasts
2 oz of Pancetta (cubed)
Egg noodles for two
Parsley for garnish
1/2 cup of Marsala Wine
Touch of cream
pat of butter
Seasoned AP flour


Directions:

1. Slice your chicken breasts in to thin (consistent) slices. Like chicken tender sized. Make a seasoned flour mixture (pepper, salt, paprika) and dredge your chicken and set aside.
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2. In a pan on medium heat add your pancetta and cook until browned. Remove the pancetta and let it rest on a paper towel. IMG_9953

3. Once your pancetta is cooked and removed, add your flour dredged chicken and brown it on both sides. remove and set aside to rest. IMG_9957

4. Remove some of the pancetta drippings but keep a little. To make the sauce add the Marsala wine and let it reduce by 30%. Add a pat of butter and some cream to your desired color and taste. IMG_9958

5. Cook your noodles to package directions. Reserve some pasta water and then strain it. Put the pancetta back into the sauce along with the chicken. Now slowly add your pasta continually stirring to coat the entire dish. If it gets too thick, add some pasta water to thin it out. Serve in a bowl and top with chopped parsley.
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Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta

Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Roasted Salmon Garlic Broccoli Asparagus Pasta
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Lame name but delivers on taste. I typically make a couple of runs to the grocery per week. My first run is typically Sunday afternoon. So prior to that run I have a lot of items left that need to be used and consumed.

On hand I had a bunch of asparagus, a little broccoli and half a head of garlic. I pulled out a salmon filet from the freezer and decided I would whip up a pasta dish. To be frank, nothing about any of the above ingredients excites Jill. So she took a bath following her treadmill time and I went to work.

This little comfort dish really turned out fantastic. The roasted veggies imparted a nuttiness, the Parmesan and salami give a salty savory flavor. The peas would pop with sweetness and finally the goat cheese gave it a tangy creaminess.
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Ingredients:
Salmon Filet
Bunch of Asparagus
About three small crowns of broccoli
6 cloves of roasted garlic
1 cup of peas
3 tbs of diced salami
2 cups of Pasta (Bow tie)
3 tbs of Goat Cheese
2-3 tbs of grated Parmesan
1 cup of pasta water
2 tsp Red Pepper chili flakes
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive oil
1 tbs of Black Pepper
3 tbs of Butter

Directions:
1. Dice up your asparagus and slice your broccoli. In a 400 degree oven cover the veggies with oil, balsamic, salt and pepper. Also cut the top of the your garlic bulb off, drizzle olive oil and wrap in foil. Put that pan in the oven for about 20mins-30mins. IMG_9166

2. While the veggies are roasting, remove your peas from the freezer, prep your salmon filet with oil and a little salt. Dice up your salami finely.

3. When the veggies are done. Lower the oven to 300 degrees. Remove the veggies from the pan and add your salmon and roast it for about 15 minutes. Remove it at medium rare. You will be putting it in with the pasta in a pan and it will cook a little more. IMG_9170

4. Cook your pasta in salty boiling pot of water. Cook it al dente so hat it retains a little chew to it. Scoop about 1 cup of the pasta water to use to thin out the pasta.

5. So now everything is cooked and chopped. Let’s put it all together. In a large skillet on medium low heat, melt the butter. Add the peas, diced roasted garlic and diced salami. IMG_9172

Stir in the goat cheese and red pepper flakes and pepper. Let the goat cheese melt down so that is can coat everything nicely. Now add your pasta and stir and coat well. At this point you will likely need to add a half cup of pasta water while stirring.

Now fold in the roasted asparagus and broccoli. IMG_9173

Finally gently fold in your flaked salmon followed by grated Parmesan cheese. You make need to add a little more pasta water to keep it shiny and moist. Serve and enjoy…

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Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Roasted Chicken Pasta

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Roasted Chicken Pasta

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Roasted Chicken Pasta
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Still cleaning out the Thanksgiving items and had some heavy cream that I needed to use. Earlier this week we had the mushroom asiago pasta dish. Today I wanted to pivot and punch it with some bright acidic tomato tastes. As I mentioned before, Jill is funny with chicken so I have to cut it up or butterfly it.

This turned out really well. The sun dried tomato and basil spread gives it a rich tomato flavor beyond what canned tomatoes can do. It’s much more concentrated but the cream really balances it out. The herbs make it fresh and lively. Really good dish that was simple to make and different from your typical sauce. We cleaned our bowls.
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Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts
Italian dressing

Sauce:
2 shallots sliced and diced
4 garlic cloves
6.5 oz Sun Dried Tomato & Basil spread (Mezzetta)
1 cup of chicken broth
½ heavy cream

Pinch of thyme
Pinch of basil
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of Red Pepper flakes
Pasta cooked in brined water

Top with fresh thyme and basil and Parmesan and/or Asiago cheese.
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Directions:
1. Heat your oven to a roasting temp of 400. Trim your chicken and salt and pepper your breasts. Rub Italian dressing on your chicken breasts and roast them for about 40mins. (175 degrees internal).

2. Sauce: Butter in the skillet with shallots and cook until translucent and add minced garlic. Add your herbs and seasoning and stir for a minute and then add your chicken broth. Bring to a boil and let is reduce by half. Turn down the heat and add your cream stirring.

3. Cook your pasta while your chicken is roasting.

4. Finally bring it all together by adding your roasted chicken and pasta and stir until well combined. Add your cheese and fresh herbs before serving.
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Turkey Manicotti

Turkey Manicotti

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Turkey Manicotti
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Jill likes pasta. When I am not traveling I like to work in a few comfort dishes so that she doesn’t feel like my taste kitchen. I wasn’t ready to commit to lasagna but wanted something beyond spaghetti so settled on Manicotti. I added a little ground turkey to make it more substantial.

I used up some sauce I made for my pizza last week and ran a little short for this one. It’s not lost on me how sad this pic is but I was in a hurry. It tasted great and while I would have had more sauce I would have put some on the bottom before laying in the Manicotti it really was nicely balanced with creaminess, al dente pasta and “tomato-y” zest.

Ingredients
Manicotti noodles
Mozzarella Cheese

Filling
Ricotta Cheese
1/2 lb of ground turkey
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tbs chopped Italian parsley
Kosher Salt and Pepper

Sauce
1 28 oz of Cento tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbs of sugar
½ yellow onion
Handful of basil
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive oil

Directions:
1. Make the marinara by putting the onions in a pan and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1mins. Then add everything else and cook for 30mins stirring occasionally. Turn off heat cool and put into a blender and make a smooth sauce. If you like it chunky skip this step.

2. Make the stuffing. Brown the turkey in a medium heated skillet with a little minced onion and garlic. Let it cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl mix the meat, egg, ricotta, parm together.

3. Cook your noodles per the directions on the box. Let them cool.

4. Assembly: Ideally ladle tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×11 glass pan (I didn’t have enough but you will if you follow the sauce recipe. I used half on my pizza last week). Then fill each manicotti noodle with the filling and place them into the pan. Once completed top with sauce and mozzarella and cook in a 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Bloody Mary Meatball Penne

Bloody Mary Meatball Penne

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Bloody Mary Meatball Penne

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This really tastes like a Bloody Mary cocktail. I can’t drink them. I want to like them because they look so darn good and the people who like them really like them. Every time I order one I just cant get through it. It’s a mental block of drinking a soup or sauce. The plate with a fork is where these ingredients belong (imho). Tomatoes mixed with the briny capers and those celery notes backed up with the heat of Tabasco, horseradish sauce and red pepper flakes and then harmonized with a few roasted meatballs.

If you are thinking spaghetti sauce this isn’t really a sister or a brother but rather a step kid. Same tomato mother but entirely different fathers and genes. Random but want to make sure you know what you are getting into.

Ingredients

Meatballs
1lb ground Veal or Pork
1lb ground beef
Pinch of Red pepper flakes
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs ground horseradish
Pinch of garlic powder, onion power,
1 tbs fresh basil (finely diced)
2 tbs Kosher Salt
Black pepper to taste

Sauce
3 stalks of celery
3 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 medium red onion
6 cups of diced tomatoes
1 can of tomato sauce (15oz)
3 Tbs of capers
1 Tbs of fresh basil
2 Tbs of Horseradish
1 Tbs of Worcestershire
2 Tbs of Vodka
Penne pasta (amt depends upon your preference)
Fresh grated Parmesan cheese (to taste)

Directions:

1. Meatballs – I am not using a binder here other than 1 egg. Combine and form into about a 2 tbs ball or use a cookie scoop. On medium-high heated skillet with a little olive oil, add your meatballs and sear them to get a nice crust on them. After browned to your liking, remove and put them on a foil lined cooking sheet and finishing them in a 350 oven. (15mins). Turn off the oven and leave them in there to stay warm while you finish your sauce.
2. In the same large skillet or pot that you seared your meatballs in, add your celery and onion with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for about 4 mins on medium heat. Then add your minced garlic for another minute or two. Be careful not to burn your garlic.
3. Add your vodka and carefully burn off the alcohol by tilting towards the fire. (or if using a pot use a stick lighter) Stir in your tomatoes (diced or ground in food mill for smoother sauce) , capers , horseradish, Worcestershire, spices, and ½ cup of chicken broth. Cook for as long as you can but no less than 30mins.
4. While your sauce is simmering, cook your penne pasta according to the package in heavily salted water. Keep a cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Set aside.

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Before serving add your pasta and meatballs back into the sauce and let them all hang out on low / medium low. Add fresh torn basil and top with Parmesan cheese

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