Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

Smoked Salmon Pasta

I had some leftover smoked salmon and decided to find a pasta recipe to use it in. I came across a recipe for Tortellini with Smoked Salmon Walnut Gorgonzola Cream Sauce. I opted not to use Tortellini but used bow tie pasta instead. While this dish was good, be careful how much of the smoked salmon you use as it can get salty really fast.

Bowtie Pasta With Smoked Salmon Walnut Gorgonzola Cream Sauce (AlaskaSmokehouse.com)


1 cup heavy cream1 Tbs. butter

  • 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup crushed walnuts
  • Smoked Salmon (I didn’t measure.. so add as much or as little as you want), drained and crumbled
  • 8 oz. bowtie pasta (cooked)
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish


  1. In a large saute pan, combine 1 cup heavy cream and 1 tablespoon butter.
  2. Bring to a light boil.
  3. Add 1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon dried oregano.
  4. Add 1/2 cup crushed walnuts and 3/4 cup crumbled smoked salmon.
  5. Continue to reduce for 2 to 4 minutes then add 8 ounces cooked bow tie pasta.
  6. Saute until pasta is hot.
  7. Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

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Homemade Pasta

Wow.. It’s been 8 months since my last post. Moving to a new house has disrupted my life but with 2011 upon me, I plan to start back up with my cooking blog. I have still been cooking and trying new recipes but not updating. So, lets begin the year with homemade pasta!

I recieved a pasta maker attachment for my Kitchen Aid mixer and tried it out for the first time tonight. I suspect that making pasta will be trial and error for awhile but my first attempt was very successful. The only real issue I had was the spaghetti noodles stuck together a bit.

Spaghetti Egg Noodles (Kitchen Aid Pasta Attachment Manual)


4 large eggs
1-3 tbs water
3.5 cups sifted flour
1/2 tsp salt


Place eggs, water, flour, and salt in a mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn speed to 2 and mix 30 seconds. Only add as much water as needed for the dough to come together (start with 1 tbs and add more as needed).

Exchange flat beater for dough hook. Turn to Speed 2 and knead for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from bowl and hand knead for 1 to 2 minutes. Let it rest for 20 minutes. Divide dough into 4 pieces before processing with the Pasta Roller attachment.

Starting with level 1, roll a pasta. Fold it in half and roll again. Repeat until pasta is very pliable. Then roll once at level 2, then level 3. Now dust with flour and then us the Spaghetti cutter a attachment to cut the pasta. Hang to dry and separate pasta. I found that dusting with generous amounts of flour made it easier to separate the pasta but I need to master this skill more. Hang to dry on a drying rack for 5 minutes.

Cooking in salted boiling water for 2-5 minutes.

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When you have an abundance of basil in your garden, the best thing to do is make pesto. Lots and lots of pesto. It freezes so well that you can enjoy it for several months after your basil plants have stopped producing. I love to use it for pasta, pizza, and even just to dip bread into. Its super simple to make too.

Basil Pesto (Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves (2-3 bunches)
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place all the ingredients in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.

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This pasta is delicious and very easy to make on a weeknight. You can control the level of heat by adjusted the amount of cayenne pepper you add.

Spicy Shrimp & Bell Pepper Pasta (Joelen’s Culinary Adventures)

1 cup syrah wine
1 1/2 lbs frozen raw shrimp, de-shelled with tails on
2-3 cloves minced garlic
dried rosemary, oregano, thyme to taste
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I used 1.5 teaspoons to give it more of a kick)
2 cups homemade or prepared tomato sauce
1/4 cup minced fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers (red, yellow, orange, green)
1-2 tablespoons butter
1/2 box dried bow tie pasta, cooked

In a saute pan, pour in wine and allow it to reduce by half over medium heat.
Once reduced, add your tomato sauce and garlic and stir to combine.
Season with dried rosemary, oregano, thyme to taste.
Add 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper and stir.
Add the shrimp and bell peppers and cook until shrimp turns pink and absorbs the wine sauce.
Add the cream and butter; stir.
Add the pasta, toss to combine and serve with freshly grated parmesan.

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Macaroni and Cheese

Can you believe I have never made home made macaroni and cheese? I found this recipe and decided to give it a shot. It was very simple and tasty, but too cheesy for my husband. I guess thats kind the point of mac and cheese though, right? If you like comfort food, you’ll enjoy this.

Macaroni and Cheese (crumblycookie.wordpress.com)

I did not make the bread crumb topping, but just sprinkled more cheddar on top and broiled as directed. Thats just a personal preference of mine.

Bread Crumb Topping:
6 slices white sandwich bread (good-quality, about 6 ounces), torn into rough pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter (cold), cut into 6 pieces

Pasta and Cheese:
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon table salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons powdered mustard
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
5 cups milk
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese , shredded (2 cups)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese , shredded (2 cups)
1 teaspoon table salt


1. For the bread crumbs: Pulse bread and butter in food processor until crumbs are no larger than 1/8 inch, ten to fifteen 1-second pulses. Set aside.

2. For the pasta and cheese: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat broiler. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven over high heat. Add macaroni and 1 tablespoon salt; cook until pasta is tender. Drain pasta and set aside in colander.

3. In now-empty Dutch oven, heat butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add flour, mustard, and cayenne (if using) and whisk well to combine. Continue whisking until mixture becomes fragrant and deepens in color, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; bring mixture to boil, whisking constantly (mixture must reach full boil to fully thicken). Reduce heat to medium and simmer, whisking occasionally, until thickened to consistency of heavy cream, about 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt until cheeses are fully melted. Add pasta and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is steaming and heated through, about 6 minutes.

4. Transfer mixture to broiler-safe 9 by 13-inch baking dish and sprinkle evenly with bread crumbs. Broil until crumbs are deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, rotating pan if necessary for even browning. Cool about 5 minutes, then serve.

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If I manage to take a picture tomorrow, I will post it, but this recipe is delicious and will be a repeat in our house. Its so easy to make and makes leftovers.

Three-Cheese Chicken Penne Florentine

1 teaspoon olive oil
Cooking spray
3 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (skipped because my store was out of mushrooms!)
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used 2 red bell peppers to make up for no mushrooms)
3 cups chopped fresh spinach (I used one package frozen chopped)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (16-ounce) carton 2% low-fat cottage cheese
4 cups hot cooked penne (I used a 16oz package and it worked great and made a lot)
2 cups shredded roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk (I used fat free)
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup, undiluted
(I also added about 1-2 tablespoons red pepper flake for some heat)

Preheat oven to 425°.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and bell pepper; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach, oregano, and black pepper; sauté 3 minutes or just until spinach wilts.

Place cottage cheese in a food processor; process until very smooth. Combine spinach mixture, cottage cheese, pasta, chicken, 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, milk, and soup in a large bowl. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425° for 25 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.

Nutritional Information
Calories: 345 (25% from fat)
Fat: 9.7g (sat 5.1g,mono 3.1g,poly 1g)
Protein: 31.7g
Carbohydrate: 32.9g
Fiber: 2.1g
Cholesterol: 56mg
Iron: 2mg
Sodium: 532mg
Calcium: 275mg

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Spinach Lasagna

This is a recipe taught to me by my mom. We used to have it every Christmas Eve (when I was older). I made it for a party we were hosting this weekend. Its a great way to feed a crowd.

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna (Family recipe)

1 tab olive oil
2 packages sliced/washed mushrooms
1-2 packages frozen chopped spinach (defrosted and press out excess water) (Depends on how much spinach you want. I’ve done it with both)
1 small low fat ricotta cheese (15 oz?)
1 8oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1 mozzarella ball or stick sliced (8+ ounces, enough to cover the top of a 9×13 pan)
2 small jars of your favorite tomato sauce
2 tea red pepper flakes
salt, pepper
1 package lasagna noodles

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add mushroom and cook until done. Remove and let cool.
3. In a large bowl mix ricotta cheese, mushrooms, spinach, and red pepper flakes. Add a bit of tomato sauce to make it easier to mix. Add a dash of salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste.
4. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.
5. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick spray. Lay lasagna noodles on the bottom until its totally covered. Overlap noodles slightly.
6. Layer ricotta mixture, then top with spaghetti sauce so its generously covered. If you like your lasagna more wet, be more generous.
7. Sprinkle shredded mozarella cheese over the sauce layer.
8. Add another layer of noodles as in step 5. Repeat steps 6 and 7.
9. Top with final layers of noodles.
10. Cover the top noodle layer with the sliced mozarella cheese.
11. Spray foil with nonstick spray and cover 9×13 pan.
12. Put into preheated over and bake until bubbly (about 45 minutes). Remove foil for final 5 minutes of cooking time to brown (you can also broil for 2 minutes if you wish).


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