One Pot Caprese Pasta #RecipeRedux

Once summer ends and school starts, fast and easy meals become necessary. This one pot caprese pasta is the fast and easy meal of your dreams. 

One Pot Caprese Pasta

Around here, it feels like things are always on the go. I never really used to think I was busy because there was always time for a House of Cards episode or a little guilty pleasure America’s Next Top Model. But in reality, things are busy and fast meals are necessary. I’ve been stocking the freezer with meals lately, trying to stock-pile for sports season so we don’t end up at McDonald’s every night of the week.

One Pot Caprese Pasta

And while the pasta may not be freezer-friendly, it couldn’t be any easier. It fits perfectly with the Recipe Redux theme of getting back to the table. The quick and easy nature of this dish leaves plenty of time to sit down at the table together and grab a meal before heading off to a sports practice or a neighborhood run. Plus it has all the good things in life. Pasta, tomatoes, basil, luscious pearls of mozzarella cheese. What is there not to like?

One Pot Caprese Pasta #RecipeRedux

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lb. pasta of your choice (I used spaghetti)
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1 cup mozzarella pearls

Instructions

  1. Combine all but mozzarella in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and to medium and simmer until the liquid has reduced. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in mozzarella.
  4. Divide into bowls and top with additional parmesan if you choose.
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Goat Cheese Stuffed Shells with Bechamel Sauce

It isn’t a new year quite yet. That means there is still time for indulgence before we have to purge and eat healthy foods and pretend we actually like it. There’s time for creams and glazes and cheese. We had these stuffed shells a few weeks ago. I was in the mood for something goat cheesy and so we went for stuffed shells. It was a great change from the standard stuffed shells with marinara and mozzarella. Make these this week, before you feel guilty about eating anything with bechamel!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Shells with Bechamel Sauce
Recipe type: dinner, pasta
 

Ingredients
  • 1 box of large shells
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 6 ounces goat cheese
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped chives
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions
  1. In a large sauce pan filled with boiling water, cook your shells according to package instructions. Drain and let dry.
  2. Combine ricotta, 4 ounces of goat cheese, parmesan cheese, egg and 2 Tbsp. chives in a bowl. Transfer the cheese mixture to a ziptop bag. Seal and move the filling to the bottom corner of the bag.
  3. Snip the corner of the bag and use it as a piping bag, filling each shell with ricotta mixture. Lay the filled shells in a baking dish.
  4. Over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter has melted, add in the flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add in the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps.
  5. Let the mixture cook for a few minutes to thicken. Add in the remaining 2 ounces of goat cheese and stir until it has melted into the sauce.
  6. Pour the goat cheese sauce over top of the shells.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the shells, uncovered, for 15 minutes until the sauce is bubbling. Top with remaining chives.
  8. Serve hot.

 

Revamped Lasagna Rolls

I’ve finally become a grown up and purchased an actual domain. So be prepared to see some changes around here in the near future. I’m still figuring all of this out, so please bare with me. In the meantime, let’s get back to the food!

A while back, I posted a recipe for lasagna rolls. It was one of my very first posts. Since then, I’ve gotten a bit better at cooking and photographing said food. I figured, with the changes happening here, it was time to update the picture. I tweaked the recipe just a bit, substituting whole wheat lasagna noodles for plain. And added in a bit of Parmesan cheese too. The taste, still an absolute winner!

Enjoy the very first post featured here at our new home!

Revamped Lasagna Rolls
Author: 
Recipe type: main course, pasta
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6
 

Ingredients
  • 6 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 8 ounces part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups pasta sauce of your choice

Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Boil a pot of salted water. Add your lasagna noodles and cook according to package instructions.
  3. While your lasagna cooks, mix your ricotta, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. Once your noodles have cooked through, very carefully remove them from the water and lay them flat on paper towels or parchment to dry. Pat lightly with a paper towel.
  5. In a 6″ x 6″ baking dish, spoon 1 cup of pasta sauce and spread around, covering the entire bottom of the dish.
  6. Spread 2-4 Tbsp. of ricotta mixture onto each flat lasagna noodle. Roll gently into spiral.
  7. Place each roll on top of the pasta sauce. Top each with remaining sauce.
  8. Sprinkle mozzarella on top of each roll.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes, until cheese is melted.

 

Spicy Thai Style Noodles

Did you know that you are supposed to eat really hot, spicy things when the weather warms up? Weird, right? But I swear it’s true. On those day when the temperatures has climbed into “surface of the sun” range and you feel as though your body has melted into the leather seats of your car, a spicy meal will do you well.  I promise. See, spicy foods make you sweat. And sweat is the body’s air conditioning system. You sweat to keep from overheating. Basically, you are cooling yourself off. So the more spicy foods, the more sweat. The more sweat, the cooler you’ll stay.

I know. I just spent five minutes talking about sweat… But really, spicy foods are apropos for summer time. The spicier the better. Spicy, Spicier, Spiciest! This recipe will definitely add some heat to your menu. Bare in mind, a little bit of red pepper flakes go along way. So if you’re more of a mild fan, adjust the amount of flakes accordingly (1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes = spicier). If you really like to crank up the heat, go ahead and give 2 tablespoons of flakes a whirl. Keep a gallon of milk handy to cool your mouth after!

People, this is my gift to you during those summer months.

Spicy Thai Noodles

very slightly adapted from A Small Snippet

Ingredients:

1 box of angel hair pasta

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1-2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes

6 Tablespoons honey

6 Tablespoons soy sauce

Boil water and cook your pasta according to package directions.

Put your oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the red pepper flakes and let cook for about 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, strain the pepper flakes out of the oil.

Whisk the honey and soy sauce into the oil.

Once you have drained your cooked pasta, pour oil mixture on top and mix well, coating all of the pasta.

Refrigerate until cold (overnight works best).

Pasta Primavera

This weekend was so absolutely fabulous, I’m not sure I can express it in words. Abby made her first Holy Communion. It was filled with friends and family and good food. We parties, played softball, ate great food, watched a little horse racing and just generally had a great time.

And now, it’s Monday. And we’re all forced to go back to the daily grind. Let’s be completely honest, I am absolutely not liking it. I just want the weekend to go on forever. Doesn’t everyone?

Either way, the world continues to turn. And in order to get through Monday, I need serious sustenance. In the form of creamy, delicious pasta. My take on pasta primavera. It’s just the right thing to eat on a Monday night. What’s your best way to get through a boring Monday?

Pasta Primavera

Serves about 4

Ingredients

8 ounces pasta of your choice

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

2 Tbsp. cream cheese

3 Tbsp. butter

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 clove crushed garlic

Cook your pasta in a large pot of salted water. While it simmers away, melt 1 Tbsp. of butter in a sauce pan. Add the onion, pepper and tomatoes. Cook for about 5 minutes until onion and pepper are soft and tomatoes have started to break down a bit. Transfer them to another dish.

Melt the other 2 Tbsp. of butter in the same sauce pan. Add in the clove of garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes until fragrant. Add in the cream cheese and stir. Once it is a bit melty, add in the heavy cream. Stir it well, incorporating the melted cream cheese. Once the mixture has melted and combined, add in the veggies. Stir well to combine.

Drain your cooked pasta and add it to the sauce. Stir well, covering all the pasta with sauce.

Serve warm.