Pasta with Italian Sausage and Broccoli

Super easy, delicious, quick, and inexpensive!  What more could you ask?

Serves 3

1/3 to 1/2 lb rigatoni or other shaped pasta
3 cups small broccoli florets
1 or 2 Italian sausage links (I like chicken sweet Italian)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Parmesan, ground black pepper, and red pepper flakes, for serving

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat, remove sausage from casing, and crumble into the skillet.  Brown well, stirring as needed, breaking into bite-sized pieces.  Drain any excess fat and keep warm in the skillet over low heat.

Meanwhile:

Method 1) Fill a large pot half-full of water, add a teaspoon of table salt and the pasta, set over high heat, and cover.  When the pasta is almost done, add the broccoli, and continue to cook until the broccoli is the way you like it. Drain the pasta and broccoli and finish the dish.

Method 2) If you have a pot with a pasta insert, try it this way:
Use the new method of putting the pasta in the pot, cover with 1″ of water, add salt, and set on the stove on high.  When the water has started to boil, add the pasta insert with your broccoli in it and cook until the broccoli is done to your taste.  Then remove the pasta insert and broccoli and cover the broccoli with ice cubes if you want to stop the cooking sooner than later.  When the pasta is done to your liking, drain it (not completely) and finish the dish.

To finish:

When the sausage is fully cooked, add the pasta and broccoli to the skillet , along with the garlic powder and olive oil.  Stir well until the pasta is coated with oil.  Serve with Parmesan, ground black pepper and red pepper flakes.

 

 

Published in: on July 13, 2016 at 5:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Da’s Tuna Mac

tunamac

1.5 cups elbow macaroni
2 small cans tuna
mayo to taste
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the macaroni until as done as you like it, being careful not to overcook, because you want it to stay intact.  Rinse well under cold water and drain well.  Meanwhile drain the tuna (give the tuna water to the cats), put it in a large bowl and flake with a long-tined fork.  Mix in the mayo with the fork, adding more than you would for making tuna salad for sandwiches.  With a large rubber spatula, mix in the drained macaroni.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate until serving time.

Da yes
Sam yes
Ma yes (put prefers to add celery, green onion, minced red pepper)
Anna no

Published in: on February 15, 2016 at 11:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Chow Mein

Serves 4

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced thinly across the grain
2 large baby bok choy, stems sliced 1/4″ thick, leaves in 2″ pieces
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 green onions, sliced in half lengthwise, then in 2″ pieces
2 packages Yaki Soba fresh noodles
1/2 cup Kikoman stir fry sauce (or 1/4 cup soy sauce + 3 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce + 1/4 teaspoon black pepper)
1/4 cup water

Warm the noodles according to package directions.  Heat oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat.  Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the chicken and cook and stir until the chicken is cooked through.  Remove to a plate.  Add the bok choy stems and carrot and cook until softened.  Add the peas, green onions, sauce, water and noodles and cook and stir until as done as you like.  Add the chicken and warm through.  Serve immediately.

Published in: on January 18, 2016 at 5:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Sweet Corn & Goat Cheese Fettucine

from San Jose Mercury News, 7/26/15.

Sacramento blogger Erin Alderson writes Naturally Ella (naturallyella.com), a seasonal, whole foods and vegetarian-centric recipe site for the whole family.

Serves 2 to 3

 6 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup minced white onion
2 cups sweet corn kernels (roughly 2 ears of sweet corn)
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh basil, plus extra for topping
Red pepper flakes, optional

1. Fill a large pot with water and a pinch of salt; bring to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain, then set aside.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, then minced onion. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or just until the onion is fragrant. Stir in sweet corn; cook for another 7 to 8 minutes, just until the sweet corn has softened and has brightened in color.

3. In a blender, combine the goat cheese, milk, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Pulse until well combined. Add to the skillet with the sweet corn, along with the drained pasta and basil. Stir until well combined and serve with an extra sprinkle of basil and red pepper flakes, if desired.

Published in: on August 1, 2015 at 11:52 am  Leave a Comment  

Family Favorite Lasagna

Slightly adapted from Really Good Lasagna from Perfect Recipes for Having People Over by Pam Anderson

Serves 12

Bolognese-Style Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, cut into small dice
1 small carrot, peeled and cut into small dice (omit for Sean)
1 small celery stalk, cut into small dice
1 pound ground beef
8 oz mushrooms, chopped and sauteed (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry vermouth or dry white wine (optional)
1 cup whole milk
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce

Parmesan White Sauce
2 1/2 cups (2% or whole) milk
1 cup chicken broth
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Lasagna
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
15 oven-ready Barilla lasagna noodles
16 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

To make Bolognese sauce: Heat butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add ground meat and cook, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste and stirring frequently, until it loses its raw color, about 3 minutes. Add vermouth, if using, and simmer until almost evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes longer. Add milk and cook until almost evaporated, about 5 to 7 minutes more.  Add tomatoes and mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally and adding water as necessary, until reduced to a thick but not gloppy sauce, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat.

To make white sauce: Combine milk, broth, and garlic in a 2-quart Pyrex measuring cup or a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a small plate, and microwave until steamy hot, 8 to 10 minutes (or heat in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat).

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When foaming subsides, whisk in flour until well blended. Pour in hot milk all at once; whisk vigorously until sauce is smooth and starts to bubble and thicken. Stir in Parmesan and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and place plastic wrap directly on sauce’s surface.

To assemble and bake lasagna: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 425° degrees.

Dissolve salt in 2 quarts hot tap water in the 13″x9″ baking dish that you will eventually be baking the lasagna in.  Add noodles and soak until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain noodles and stack loosely. (Noodles may stick together as they dry but will pull apart easily.) Wipe baking dish dry.

Smear 1/4 cup white sauce over bottom of baking dish. Top with a layer of 3 noodles, then 2/3 cup white sauce, 1 cup meat sauce, and 1 cup mozzarella. Repeat 3 times, then make a final layer with remaining noodles, white sauce, and cheeses. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake until very hot throughout, about 30 minutes. Leaving pan on rack, remove foil and turn oven to broil. Watching carefully, broil lasagna until cheese and sauce are spotty brown. Remove from oven and let stand to set, 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into portions and serve.

Published in: on April 23, 2015 at 5:15 pm  Leave a Comment  

Quick Chicken Noodle Soup

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1 cup medium egg noodles
1 Tablespoon Better than Bouillon Chicken
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, poached, then cut into 1/2″ cubes (or 1.5 cups cubed cooked chicken)
1/2 celery stalk, 1/3″ dice
1/2 carrot, 1/3″ dice
1/2 small yellow onion, 1/4″ dice
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter

Saute the onion, carrot and celery in the butter in a small saucepan until very soft, adding water and covering as needed.

In a 2 qt saucepan, boil 4 cups water.  Add the noodles and cook until almost done.  Add the Better than Bouillon.  Add the sauteed vegetables when they are as soft as you like them.  Add the chicken and peas and heat until warm.

 

Published in: on September 15, 2014 at 5:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Greek Pasta Salad

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2 cups small shell pasta, cooked according to package directions, drained, and rinsed in cool water
1 cup chopped peeled, seeded, cucumber
1 cup chopped seeded tomatoes, or halved fresh cherry tomatoes, or half a can of diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint (optional)
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
your favorite vinaigrette
2 diced avocados, tossed with 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients and chill until serving time.

 

Published in: on September 1, 2014 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cavatini

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Slightly adapted from Mama Ang’s Cavatini at Just a Pinch

3 links sweet Italian turkey or chicken sausage, casings removed
1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 green or red bell pepper, chopped fine
1 large yellow onion, chopped fine
1/2 pound mushrooms, chopped
1 jar pasta sauce
1 cup elbow macaroni
1 cup penne
1 cup rigatoni
2 cups part-skim mozzarella, shredded, plus thin slices to cover the top
16 oz. low-fat cottage cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or a combo of basil and oregano)
fresh chopped basil and/or parsley for topping each serving, if you like

Grease a 9×12″ pan.

Fill a pasta pot 2/3 with water, add a teaspoon of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat.  Add pasta and cook 10 minutes or until al dente.  Drain well and set aside.

Meanwhile, brown meat in a large skillet, breaking into small bits.  Remove meat, set aside.  Wipe out the pan and set it back on the burner.  Add the olive oil, onion and green pepper.  Saute until soft, then add the mushrooms and saute another 3 minutes.

Combine the shredded mozzarella, cottage cheese, and Italian seasoning in a medium-sized bowl.

Put the pasta, meat, vegetables and the jar of sauce into the pasta pot and stir well.

Put slightly less than half the meat sauce in the bottom of the pan.  Top with half the cheese mixture.  Add another layer of meat sauce, saving some for a thin layer on top.  Top with the rest of the cheese mixture.  Top with the last of the meat sauce, and cover with thin cheese slices.

Spray a piece of aluminum foil with cooking spray and cover.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.  Let stand for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Published in: on November 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sausage and Spinach Lasagna

from Seventeen magazine, circa 1974

They spelled it Lasagne, like Lenora Mattingly Weber did in The Beany Malone Cookbook, which I bet was a ’70s thing.

Serves 6
503 calories per serving

9 lasagne noodles
1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage links, casings removed, meat crumbled
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
1/2 c. sliced green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. part skim ricotta
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Cook noodles in boiling salted water per package directions, about 10 minutes.  Drain, spread on paper towels.

In a skillet over medium heat, cook sausage until browned, about 8 minutes.  Drain off fat.  Add spinach, stir in scallions and garlic and cook one minute.

In a bowl combine ricotta and Parmesan with eggs and nutmeg, blending well.  Stir in spinach/sausage mixture.

In the bottom of a greased 11 x 7″ baking dish, arrange 3 noodles.  Spread with 1/3 spinach mixture, then sprinkle with 1/3 mozzarella.  Add another layer of noodles, 1/2 the remaining spinach mixture, and 1/2 the remaining mozzarella.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.  Cover loosely with foil and bake 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from oven.  Lasagne will be easier to cut if you let it stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Published in: on May 4, 2013 at 7:52 am  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Orechietti with Kale & Breadcrumbs

Bon Appétit | February 2013
by Sara Jenkins

Orecchiette (“little ears” in Italian) are the perfect shape for cupping the kale and breadcrumbs.

Karen says, “It’s very delicious. Tastes fancy. After reading the recipe comments, I added a couple extra anchovies even (because what else was I going to do with them anyway?) and it’s really, really good. Recommended!”

Makes 6 servings

1 pound Tuscan kale, or other variety (about 2 large bunches), stems trimmed
Kosher salt
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
3 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
4 anchovy fillets packed in oil, drained
1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound orecchiette (little ear-shaped pasta)
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Grana Padano

Working in batches, cook kale in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer to a rimmed baking sheet; let cool. Set aside pot with water. Squeeze out excess liquid from kale; chop leaves and finely chop stems; set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes. Add one-third of chopped garlic and cook, stirring often, until breadcrumbs are golden, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; let cool.

Heat butter and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy pot over medium-low heat. Add anchovies, red pepper flakes, and remaining two-thirds of chopped garlic; cook, mashing anchovies with a spoon, until a paste forms, about 2 minutes. Add reserved kale and 1/2 cup water. Cook, stirring often, until kale is warmed through, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, bring reserved kale cooking liquid to a boil; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Add pasta and 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid to kale mixture and stir to coat. Increase heat to medium and continue stirring, adding more cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Mix in Parmesan and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs; toss to combine. Divide pasta among bowls, drizzle with oil, and top with remaining breadcrumbs.

Published in: on March 24, 2013 at 1:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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