by Sara Levine in Recipes, January 9th, 2016
by Maria Russo in Recipes, December 14th, 2015
Fettuccine Alfredo is a nostalgic comfort food for me. When I was a young child, my absolute favorite meal was macaroni and cheese from the blue box (if my parents tried to pull a fast one and buy the store-brand red box, apparently I knew immediately by taste). Then, at some point in early elementary school, I tried Alfredo in a red-sauce Italian joint and was hooked. It was a sophisticated step up from my beloved mac and cheese, and I would order it whenever possible. A highlight of a family trip to Disney World was a visit to the “original” Alfredo’s restaurant (R.I.P.) in Epcot to eat the signature dish.
This cream-sauced Italian-American pasta dish still hits the spot when winter comfort-food cravings kick in. Here are five Alfredo recipes to try, including Giada De Laurentiis’ classic, Food Network Kitchen’s hearty chicken variation and even lightened-up versions that still deliver the right creamy-cheesy notes (one’s even vegan!). Read more
by Maria Russo in Recipes, November 16th, 2015
While basil often claims the starring role in traditional pesto recipes, this vibrant green sauce can surely be made with just about any other green, which means that even when fragrant basil is out of season, like it is now, post-steamy days of summer, you can enjoy this quick-fix favorite. Food Network Kitchen’s recipe for Kale and Pistachio Pesto Spaghetti not only calls for kale as the leafy green, but it also puts pistachio nuts to work in place of the classic pine nuts.
“Kale adds a rich earthy note and brilliant green color to this hearty pesto,” the chefs in Food Network Kitchen said, and because this top-rated recipe comes together in only 35 minutes, it’s a go-to pick for those nights when you’re strapped for time. To boost the healthy factor here, Food Network Kitchen chefs opt for whole-wheat spaghetti, but they don’t compromise on flavor: Bold garlic and nutty Parmesan cheese round out the flavor of the sauce. According to the chefs, “This makes about 1 to 1 1/2 cups pesto, which would also be good on fish, chicken, pork or steak,” so keep this recipe in your back pocket even when you’re cooking for Meatless Monday.
by Foodlets in Family, Recipes, November 6th, 2015
While traditional Bolognese sauces are packed with meat — often a three-way mix of ground beef, veal and pork — Giada De Laurentiis proves that veggies can indeed steal the spotlight in her top-rated recipe for Rigatoni with Vegetable Bolognese (pictured above).
Featuring a flavor-packed base of onion, carrots and bell pepper, Giada’s herb-laced sauce boasts a key ingredient to bulk it up in place of the meat: assorted mushrooms. “They’re very hearty and substantial,” Giada explains of the mushrooms. Just a splash of red wine adds another layer of complexity to the sauce, while a dollop of mascarpone cheese offers creaminess and a subtle tang. Giada recommends you save a bit of the pasta water when draining the noodles, as you may need it later to loosen up the sauce. Just before serving, toss the pasta with nutty Parmesan cheese to round out the flavor.
by Mallory Viscardi in Books, Recipes, October 29th, 2015
We have four small kids, and if there’s one thing I love about serving pasta dinners, it’s how popular they are. Who doesn’t like pasta? Less fussing, more enjoying. That’s a dinnertime ratio I can get behind. But if there are two things to love about pasta dinners, the other is this: Pasta cooks in a flash. Each of these dinners will hit the table in 15 minutes, and every one of them is kid-tested, totally approved.
1. Pasta with Garlic and Broccoli (pictured above): Melissa d’Arabian’s super-fast pasta has a secret step at the end: Deglaze the pan with red wine vinegar. Nothing like scraping up all those tasty bits with a whole lot of zing!
2. One-Pot Lemon Orzo with Cod: Orzo is the quickest-cooking pasta, because it’s so small. But that’s not what makes this dish so fast (or delicious). This is: Add the fish and the peas to the same cooking water and everything will be ready at the same time. Drizzle on a bit of olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon, and dinner is served.
3. Chicken Mozzarella Pasta: With a jar of your favorite store-bought sauce plus fresh mozzarella, Parmesan and basil, it’s hard to beat the flavor — or the ease — of this 5-star recipe from Ree Drummond.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, September 15th, 2015
The potential for that box of pasta sitting on your pantry shelf is almost limitless, as The Four Seasons of Pasta is here to prove. Written by mother-daughter team Nancy Harmon Jenkins and Sara Jenkins, this book stretches the classic standby ingredient into new and delightfully flavorful seasonal meals. Think Pasta alla Carbonara for spring, Spaghetti with SunBurst Tomatoes for summer, a hearty Ragu Bolognese for winter, or the Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage for autumn (recipe below for you to try at home).
And though you’ve likely been making pasta since you first learned to boil water, heed Nancy and Sara’s advice for a truly exceptional pasta dish:
1. Make sure your pasta water is abundant — 5 or 6 quarts for a standard 500-gram (about 1 pound) box of pasta.
2. Be sure you bring it to a rolling boil.
by Maria Russo in Recipes, Shows, September 12th, 2015
Marinara often takes the crown in terms of quick-fix pasta sauces, but with just a few key ingredients, Alfredo sauce, too, is a go-to pick on nights when you have next to no time to make dinner. Whether you’re a fan of the classic recipe with little more than cream and cheese or you’re looking to dress up the original with bright, bold flavors, check out our top five ways to dig into this satisfying supper.
Add a squeeze of lemon.
Giada De Laurentiis opts for a two-part approach to adding refreshing lemon flavor to her 10-minute sauce: the juice as well as the grated zest. After simmering the lemon juice with the cream and butter, she adds the pasta and nutty Parmesan before tossing it with the zest ahead of serving.
by Maria Russo in Community, August 23rd, 2015
While Spaghetti Aglio e Olio may not get any points for ease in pronunciation, it indeed takes the cake for simplest-ever pasta dinner: 15 minutes, five ingredients. Done.
Geoffrey Zakarian introduced the recipe for this go-to meal on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen. From start to finish, the sauce — made with just olive oil, sliced garlic, red pepper flakes and fresh parsley — came together in the time it takes the pasta to cook, meaning it’s the ultimate in I-need-food-on-the-table-like-right-now cooking. The secret to GZ’s sauce is twofold: adding some of the pasta water to the oil and garlic, and, secondly, cooking the pasta only part of the way before tossing it in the pan with that watery-oil mixture. The noodles will finish cooking the sauce, and the sauce thickens naturally on its own, thanks to the starch in the water.
by Christie Bok in Community, June 14th, 2015
By no means has fall arrived — New York City, at least, is still sweating it out in the midst of 90-degree temperatures — but already food fans have started to crave a switch in flavors from the light and cool to the warm and comforting. This week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week (pictured above), laced with golden butternut squash and earthy mushrooms, is a transitional meal of sorts, ready to help you bridge the gap between the refreshing tastes of summer and the hearty fare of autumn. Featured in Food Network Magazine, this go-to supper can be on the table in only 30 speedy minutes, so keep it in your back pocket for those hectic back-to-school weeknights.
For more healthy recipe inspiration, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Penne with Butternut Squash from Food Network Magazine
by Christie Bok in Recipes, June 8th, 2015
Imagine that your most-decadent, cheesy pasta dreams are given a bit of a healthy makeover. In this week’s Most Popular Pin of the Week, Food Network Kitchen makes a healthier ricotta alternative by combining low-fat cottage cheese with part-skim mozzarella and Parmesan. The end result: a delicious baked penne that packs a similar punch in flavor, comfort and texture to ricotta. Make an easy tomato sauce — flavored with basil, garlic and a hint of fennel — then add frozen spinach to the cheese mixture to get a helping of veggies. Top this all-in-one meal with additional cheese before baking to ensure a bubbly, golden crust.
For more healthy recipes, check out Food Network’s Let’s Get Healthy Board on Pinterest.
Get the Recipe: Cheesy Spinach Baked Penne (pictured above)
If you’re a true carnivore, curbing your meat intake might seem like an impossible task — even if it’s just for one day of the week. That’s why it’s a good idea to start with pasta. Not only can it be ready to serve in a jiff, but it also can easily be made with pantry staples. When you combine the starch with vegetables, cheeses, and hearty ingredients like olive oil and nuts, pasta quickly becomes a satisfying meal.
Just as bright as it is flavorful, Ina Garten’s Broccoli with Bow Ties and Peas (pictured above) is the perfect pasta to make this summer. The vitamin-packed veggies — broccoli and peas — are certainly the stars of this dish, but fresh lemon zest and Parmesan cheese give it a tang, and are perhaps what makes it a crowd-pleaser. By infusing a mixture of olive oil and butter with garlic, Ina ensures a delicious base for this dish. Once the pasta is al dente, add it to the lemon-and-garlic base along with the broccoli and peas. Next, add a healthful serving of cheese and watch as it gently melts against the warm bow ties. Garnish with pine nuts for extra heartiness and crunch — you won’t miss the meat with this one.