Showing posts with label pasta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pasta. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Chicken marinara with quinoa pasta

Chicken marinade:
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons oregano
1 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp tyme
1 tsp basil
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon garlic salt

Other Ingredients:
1 box quinoa pasta
1 jar marinara sauce 

Directions: Mix together marinade ingredients and place in a zip lock bag with 4 chicken breasts. Let marinade for at least 2 hours in the fridge, or overnight. 
Tip: Works even better if you tenderize the chicken breasts and poke a few holes in them before placing them in the bag with the marinade. 

Grill chicken on BBQ or cook in a skillet. Cut chicken into thin slices against the grain to get very tender slices of chicken. Cook a box of quinoa noodles according to the directions on the box and heat marinara sauce in a pot on the stove. Toss noodles in marinara sauce and serve chicken on top. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Martha Stewart's Pasta Pie

Love this pasta pie for it's great presentation. Adapted from Martha Stewart's Pasta Pie. Only Martha could turn basic pasta into a 2 hour project...


  • 1 lb ground beef 
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil , divided
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated 
  • 8 oz  mozzarella cheese, grated 
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • salt (to taste)
  • peper (to taste)
  • butter  


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in nonstick pan. Add ground beef, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally until meat is browned.Drain excess fat from meat, then add your crushed tomatoes. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Rigatoni Noodles:

Cook an Entire 1 lb box of Rigatoni. Trust me when I say you will need the whole box. They will fit perfectly in your spring form pan, so careful not to drop any down the drain when draining them in the sink.

Boil Rigatoni for 2 minutes less than indicated on the box. The box said to cook for 14 minutes, so I cooked for 12. The noodles will not be fully cooked as they will cook more once they go in the oven. 

Drain noodles completely, rinse in cool water, and coat in 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Make sure pasta is evenly coated with olive oil, then toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. Butter your 9-inch spring form pan and then tightly pack your rigatoni noodles into the pan, standing each piece on it's end.


Putting it together:

This is the time consuming part! pour your meat sauce a little bit at a time on top of your noodles. take the back end of a fork and stuff the meat sauce down into each noodle. Make sure you get every noodle! 

 Reserve some of the meat sauce for pouring on top of your pasta later.



 Preheat overn to 400 degrees. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove pasta from oven and sprinkle 8 oz of Mozzarella cheese on top. Bake another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown on top. 

 Remove from oven and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Once it cools slightly, it will set and be much easier to cut (and not fall apart). Trust me and wait.

 Cut your pie into slices and serve!

If you'd like, pour extra sauce on top of your slice and enjoy!

Handmade Sausage Filled Ravioli

Knowing what I know now, I probably wouldn't have tried making this Sausage Filled Ravioli, adapted from My Italian Grandmother's handmade ravioli recipe. We started making Ravioli at around noon on a Saturday so we wouldn't have to rush to make it around dinner time. Little did I know it would take until dinner time to make it, but.. the end product was definitely worth it.

Meat Filling:

1 lb ground Italian sausage (you can substitute ground beef)
1 small chopped yellow onion
5-6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup diced celery 
 1/4 cup freshly grated romano
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 egg
olive oil

Cook onion, garlic, carrots and onion in oil until they are soft. Just a few minutes.

Then add your ground sausage and stir continuously with a wooden spoon, constantly breaking up the meat into very small bits. Once meat is browned, drain excess fat from pan. Then, put mixture into your food processor and blend. Be careful not to over blend unless you like your ravioli filling to be the consistency of cat food.

Marinara Sauce:

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 small yellow onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian seasoning
red pepper flakes (to taste)
dried basil (to taste)
oregano (to taste)

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add crushed tomatoes and spices. Heat sauce until it bubbles, then turn heat down to low, letting sauce simmer, stirring occasionally.

Ravioli Pasta Dough:

3 cups flour
5 eggs
salt (to taste)

Be forewarned- this part is a workout. Your arms will hurt tomorrow. And possibly the day after. 

Place your eggs and a dash of salt in your stand up mixer. Stir in flour a little bit at a time with the dough hook attachment. (Do not use all of your flour, save some for kneading it by hand later.) After it is completely mixed, knead dough in mixer for 5 minutes until it is smooth and easy to handle. Then let your dough rest for a half hour at room temperature.

 Take out small bits of dough at a time, place on a floured cutting board and start kneading! Knead for 2 or 3 minutes with a bit extra flour if needed. If you have a pasta machine, whip it out now. If not, start rolling! Flour your rolling pin and roll your dough until it is flat, about 1/8 of an inch thick.The thinner the better, but not too thin or your meat filling will burst out the sides when they are cooking.

The easiest way I found to make the raviolis was to cut rectangles that are about 3" by 6". Place a scoop (use a tablespoon) of your meat filling on one side of the rectangle and fold the other side over. Press around the meat filling to squeeze out any air, and smooth edges flat. Use fork to press down the sides so that they are sealed together.

As you are making your raviolis, line them up on a lightly floured cookie sheet or a parchment lined cookie sheet. Once you fill up a sheet, stick them in the freezer. Once completely frozen you can move them to zipcock bags and store them in your freezer until you want to use them. Otherwise, you can just start cooking them!

Drop Ravioli in boiling water, carefully. Cook until they float to the top.
When they float, they're done!  

 Serve with marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, and with homemade garlic bread.


Sunday, April 1, 2012


I started my search for a meatball recipe to compliment my Grandma's meat sauce
This meatball recipe is adapted from The Food in my Beard's Meatball Recipe

1 lb ground beef 
1 lb ground turkey 
4 large cloves of garlic
 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese  
handful of parsley 
1 egg 
1/3 loaf of french bread 
1/2- 1 cup water   
salt (to taste)
 pepper (to taste) 
olive oil

Begin chopping your Garlic and Parsley.

Grate Parmesan cheese. check. 
Grate more Parmesan cheese to replace what boyfriend eats, check.

Add garlic, parsley, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper to your ground beef and ground turkey.

 Add your French Bread bread crumbs and water and start mixing! (Easiest way to do this is to use stale bread, chop it up in your food processor and add to the meatballs.) Mine came apart pretty easy without using my food processor. Add water as you go so you don't add too much.

 Your mixture should look somewhat like this:

  Put Mixture in the fridge for 20-30 minutes. This will help your meatballs set later when cooking them.

I had a helper supervisor.  

Heat up olive oil in your pan.

 Cook meatballs on medium until browned, then lower heat to medium-low and cover with lid so they cook all the way through.

 Serve meatballs on top of spaghetti noodles with Grandma's Meat Sauce.

And of course top it with more freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 

Freeze any unused meatballs for a rainy day!

Grandma's Meat Sauce

My grandma has been making this meat sauce for as long as I can remember. The great thing about this meat sauce is you can use it a base, meaning you can pretty much add anything and it will turn out amazing. My grandma sometimes adds canned mushrooms, olives and peperoni to hers, and has even been known to add deer meat (gross) to her spaghetti sauce. Sometimes we add spicy Italian sausage but I'll stick to the basics for this one since I wanted a plain meat sauce to go with These Meatballs.

2 lbs ground beef
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
4-5 garlic cloves (minced)
2 (28 oz) cans of Crushed Tomatoes
Italian seasoning
garlic powder
onion powder
white pepper
garlic salt
crushed red pepper

Start with 2 pounds of ground beef, 4 cloves of garlic, and one small yellow onion. Cook on medium heat. 

I like to add some of my spices while the meat is cooking, to give the meat more flavor. Here I added garlic salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning.

Cook meat until it is browned with absolutely no red left. Drain any excess liquid (fat) from the meat. You can leave a bit, but too much will make your sauce too watery. Once you drain the excess liquid, add your 2 cans of crushed tomatoes.

Next, add your spices! 

Add spices to your taste. I never measure the spices, just add a bit and keep taste testing!

This is where boyfriend comes in handy.

Heat on medium, stirring occasionally, until sauce is bubbling, then turn heat down to low. Let simmer at least 30 minutes. The longer the better. If you can, let it simmer for 1.5 hours to let the flavors of the meat and spices do their work.

Boil your spaghetti noodles, and serve! 

Add optional Meatballs.

Serve with plenty of fresh grated Parmesan cheese.


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