Tag: Pasta

Farfalle With Chicken, Porcini Mushroom and Swiss Chard — The Weekender

by in Recipes, January 11th, 2013

Farfalle With Chicken, Porcini Mushrooms and Swiss ChardMy most vivid memories of childhood are those ones in which my family is seated around our dining room table. I remember discussing potential Halloween costumes over stuffed green peppers and soldiering through those first cold nights of winter over big bowls of chicken and rice soup.

Different eras of my childhood are so deeply linked to the meals we ate frequently during those years that I still can’t eat those dishes without recalling long-past moments. Avocados and plums taste like my earliest days in Southern California. Fried eggs served on steamed white rice with a side of pickled ginger take me back to the months after my parents returned from a trip to Hawaii.

There’s one meal that we ate a lot during my high school and college years and even a single bite of it transports me. It was chicken breast (quickly cooked with garlic) and sauteed zucchini and baby spinach (often straight from the backyard garden) heaped on top of angel hair pasta (highly valued by my mother because it cooked quickly) and topped with a shower of grated Parmesan cheese.

Before you start boiling your pasta, read these tips:

Macaroni and Cheese Two Ways — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, December 3rd, 2012

Baked Macaroni and CheeseThere are two kinds of people: those who bake and those who don’t bake – their macaroni and cheese, that is. For some, the classic combination of tender pasta and a creamy cheese sauce just isn’t complete until it’s been finished in the oven with even more cheese and perhaps a crunchy topping, but for others, this hearty, comforting meal is ready to eat just as soon as the stovetop mixture is made. For Meatless Monday dinner this week, try switching up your usual macaroni and cheese routine with these no-fail recipes for baked and no-bake versions of this family favorite.

Boasting four different kinds of cheeses — Havarti, Cheddar, American and Parmesan — Food Network Magazine‘s big-batch Baked Macaroni and Cheese (pictured above) is a fill-you-up dinner that will wow kids and grown-ups alike. To prepare, create a thick, rich sauce of butter, dry mustard and the melted cheeses, and mix it with partially cooked pasta. Once in a casserole dish, top the macaroni with extra cheese and a blanket of crunchy butter crackers before baking it until the cheese is piping hot and deliciously gooey.

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‘Twas the Night Before Turkey Day: Quick Pasta Recipes for Thanksgiving Eve

by in Holidays, Recipes, November 21st, 2012

Penne With Vodka Sauce
You’ve made it to the day before Thanksgiving, and by now you’re practically counting down the hours until T-Day, right? Even with all of the prep work that likely needs to be finished before tomorrow, the question of tonight’s dinner remains. While it may be tempting and admittedly easy to rely on pizza or takeout, if you’re planning on pulling off the ultimate Thanksgiving feast tomorrow, you can surely handle a no-fuss made-at-home dinner tonight, especially if that dinner is quick-cooking pasta.

One of the easiest meals to make in a hurry, pasta is endlessly versatile, and when you’re cooking for what’s possibly a houseful of extended family, simple, adaptable dinners are downright necessary. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite pasta recipes, each ready to enjoy in just 25 minutes or less.

Rich and comforting, Food Network Magazine’s Penne With Vodka Sauce (pictured above) is a top-rated pasta that’s packed with decadent ingredients. To prepare, sauté sweet shallots with fresh garlic and just a pinch of red pepper flakes, then add a splash of vodka, tomatoes and smooth heavy cream. Since the sauce will need to cook for at least 10 minutes after the vodka is added, the alcohol in it should cook off, and what will be left is a thick mixture just waiting to be tossed with noodles and nutty Parmesan cheese.

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Tuna and White Bean Pasta With Gremolata Bread Crumbs — The Weekender

by in Recipes, October 19th, 2012

tuna and white bean pasta Learning to make one or two pantry meals was one of the best things I ever did for my grocery budget. These are the dishes that you can easily cook up with the slow-to-perish items that you regularly keep in your fridge, freezer and cupboards. They are lifesavers on those nights when you get home late from work and you’re on the verge of calling for takeout. Knowing that you can throw together a pasta dish or something made from rice, beans and a tasty simmer sauce will keep your fingers from dialing your local pizza joint nearly every time.

I have several recipes that can be made from my kitchen staples and I turn to them regularly, particularly as the days get shorter and colder (who wants to dash out for last-minute ingredients when the wind is whipping?).

One of my very favorite pantry meals has been a quick baked pasta dish. You cook up any short, chunky kind of noodle you have knocking around the cabinet. While it boils, you simmer together onion, garlic, a big can of tomatoes and some frozen spinach. Once the pasta is done, you stir it into the sauce, scoop the whole mess into a baking dish, top with whatever odds and ends of cheese you have in the fridge and bake just until the cheese bubbles.

Before you toast your breadcrumbs, read these tips

Tortellini With Pumpkin Alfredo — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, October 15th, 2012

Tortellini With Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce
‘Tis the season for all things pumpkin, right? This fall, Food Network Magazine is thinking beyond pumpkin bread and pumpkin seeds with a family-friendly recipe for Tortellini With Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce. It’s a go-to weeknight meal that’s as decadent and satisfying as it is quick to prepare. In just 20 minutes, you can combine Alfredo mainstays like cream and nutty Parmesan cheese with the seasonal flavors of nutmeg and pumpkin to create a rich, hearty sauce that pairs perfectly with bite-sized cheese tortellini. When you’re shopping for the ingredients to the make this recipe, be sure to pick up pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling – the two cans can be scary-similar to one another, and the pie filling will be too sweet in this savory dish.

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10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Pasta

by in Shows, September 17th, 2012

iron chef america battle pasta
Everybody has their favorite memory of a perfect pasta dish. My own came during a visit to a small restaurant in Rome where I was presented with a plate of Bucatini All’Amatricana, made with the tubular pasta and a spicy sauce containing guanciale (cured pig jowls). As I travel the globe eating the weird and the wonderful, it is often this comforting bowl of pasta that I recall and crave the most.

Pasta is such a familiar ingredient in the United States that it is often all too easy to take it for granted. There are few people who don’t have at least one type of pasta in their store cupboard and if you were to walk down the aisles of any supermarket, you would have to take off your shoes and socks to help you count the fresh and dried varieties now offered.

Despite its ubiquity, however, there is something about a beautifully prepared pasta dish that is very hard to beat and I hope you were as excited as I was by the way that the Iron Chef and their challenger brought a new spin to such a classic ingredient last night.

Given that pasta is, I suspect, so familiar to everyone who will read this, I thought I would stray from the normal format for these features and instead give you 10 interesting things you may not know about pasta.

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Meatless Monday for Meat Eaters

by in Recipes, August 20th, 2012


The goal of Meatless Monday is simple: Inspire one day of meat-free eating each week for the sake of our health and that of the planet. The point is not to convert happy meat eaters into the most die-hard vegans, but rather to make even the staunchest steak lovers occasionally think twice before passing up a salad or scoop of vegetables in favor of meaty alternatives.

That said, we know how difficult — not to mention downright boring — it can be to fill up on a plate of veggies alone. So this week we’ve rounded up three of Food Network Magazine’s heartiest, most flavor-packed vegetarian recipes to please even the most demanding of meat eaters.

One of the easiest meatless meals to make, pasta not only feeds a crowd but can be tweaked to your family’s tastes and needs. Pictured above is Cavatelli With Tomato Sauce and Ricotta, a dressed-up version of typical noodles with sauce that can be made in just 30 minutes. Cavatelli isn’t your average pasta; it’s thicker, since it’s often made with cheese, so it’s naturally more filling than traditional spaghetti or penne noodles. Here it’s tossed with a simple but robust tomato sauce, laced with garlic and red pepper flakes for a touch of heat. Before serving, top each bowl with a spoonful of creamy ricotta cheese.

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3 Courses in 40 Minutes — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, August 6th, 2012

fettuccini with summer vegetables
Even on the most hectic of weeknights, you shouldn’t have to settle for basic, boring meals simply because they’re easy to make. Believe it or not, in just 40 minutes — the time it takes to fix everyday chicken, meatloaf or burgers — you can whip up a three-course meal without breaking a sweat. Though multi-course meals can be heavy and rich, this one is light and seasonal, featuring a veggie-packed pasta dish, simple side salad and fresh, fruity dessert. Check out Food Network’s meatless menu below and surprise your family with this satisfying meal tonight.

Ready to enjoy in just 25 minutes, Food Network Magazine’s Fettuccine With Summer Vegetables and Goat Cheese (pictured above) is a creamy but light pasta that’s filled with good-for-you ingredients, like tomatoes, squash and wax beans. The beauty of this dish is that it requires hardly any cooking. Though you need to boil a pot of water, there’s no additional pan needed. The noodles and beans are cooked in the same water and the tomatoes and squash are left raw until they’re topped with the hot ingredients. The heat of the pasta warms the veggies, slowly melts the cheese and creates a silky-smooth sauce that perfectly coats each noodle. For added decadence, stir in nutty Parmesan and finish each bowl with extra dots of goat cheese.

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Give Pasta a Whirl

by in Food Network Magazine, How-to, August 1st, 2012

Broken Lasagna Tomato and Zucchini Pasta

Hot tips from Food Network Kitchens’ Katherine Alford:

As soon as you add pasta to boiling water, stir it vigorously for about 5 seconds to keep it from sticking, like Food Network Magazine did with the Broken Lasagna With Zucchini-Tomato Sauce. Each piece should be able to tumble freely in the pot. Don’t add oil to the water as is often suggested: It can prevent sauce from clinging to cooked pasta.

Penne With Roasted Vegetables and Prosciutto — The Weekender

by in Recipes, June 29th, 2012

penne with roasted vegetables the weekender
My parents are avid vegetable and herb gardeners. My dad is responsible for digging, planting and watering, while my mom tackles the harvesting, cooking and preserving. It’s a fairly equitable division of labor for most of the season. The only time my mom complains about her end of the bargain is when the garden begins belching forth many pounds of zucchini, yellow crookneck squash and flying saucer-shaped pattypans.

Whether you’re a home gardener, CSA member or a regular farmers’ market shopper, keeping up with the flow of summer squash during its high season can easily become a full-time cooking job. I find that I am constantly looking for ways to cook it down, use it up and transform it from a rapidly reproducing raw ingredient into breakfast, lunch and dinner options.

To that end, I grate it into baked goods, cook it down into sandwich spreads and puree it into soup with tomatoes, eggplant, onions and plenty of Parmesan cheese. I also like to grill or roast it into submission and then toss it into pasta salads. Topped with a bit of cold chicken or crumbled feta, it makes for an easy dinner or potluck contribution.

Before you heat your pasta water, read these tips