Carbonara with Charred Cauliflower

Carbonara with Charred Cauliflower
The unusual addition of Cauliflower adds a slightly sweet and charred roasted flavor to this dish. One wouldn't think Carbonara could get any better.
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 12 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ pound Bucatini
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt + Pepper to taste, if needed
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to . Place the chopped cauliflower on a baking sheet.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until totally crispy and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the skillet with a slotted spoon, turn off the heat and keep the bacon fat in the pan. Take 2 to 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat and drizzle it on the cauliflower, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with the pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the cauliflower is charred and golden. While the cauliflower is roasting, boil the water for the bucatini and cook it.
  3. Whisk together the eggs and grated parmesan.
  4. Heat the skillet with the bacon fat over low heat. Add the garlic cloves and stir, cooking for a minute or so. Add the bucatini to the skillet and toss it well in the bacon fat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Pour in the egg/parmesan mixture and stir quickly and constantly to create a creamy sauce, tossing for 3 to 4 minutes or so. Toss in the cooked bacon and cauliflower. Top with the parsley and extra cheese. Taste and season additionally if you'd like. Serve immediately!
Notes
BucatiniBucatini, also known as perciatelli, is a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. The name comes from Italian: buco, meaning "hole", while bucato means "pierced.

You can substitute spaghetti if you like.

 

Orecchiette Pasta with Rosemary Bacon and Peas

Orecchiette Pasta with Rosemary Bacon and Peas
This is a simple Italian dish that is sensational. The texture, along with the sweet and salty additions and herby essence, is something you will not get enough of.
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Orechiette Pasta
  • 6 thick-cut strips of bacon, chopped
  • 2 tsp. fresh chopped rosemary
  • ¼ - ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1½ cups frozen peas
  • Salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta to al dente, according to package instructions. Then drain.
  2. Meanwhile, set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until red. Scoop the bacon out of the grease and place on a paper towel lined plate to drain.
  3. Pour the drained pasta into the remaining bacon grease. Add the rosemary and crushed red pepper. Stir and "fry" the pasta until the edges start to become crispy. Add the peas to the pasta and toss.
  4. Once the peas have warmed through, add the bacon back to the skillet add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.
Notes
Can't find Orecchiette Pasta (pieces of Italian pasta shaped like tiny ears or bowls) use fusilli.

orecchiette Pasta Garofalo 500gorecchiette PC black labelWas able to find this pasta
at Co-op Brand Garofalo.

And at Superstore PC Black Label Orecchiette

 

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara
30-Minute Pasta Carbonara that features a cheesy sauce flavored with jalapeno, rosemary and garlic
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 red jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
  • ¼ cup cognac or brandy (optional)
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Combine the bacon, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, jalapenos and ¼ cup water in a large skillet. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the water evaporates and the bacon crisps, about 12 minutes. Discard the garlic. Add the cognac, if desired, and cook until it evaporates. Remove from the heat and set aside ¼ cup bacon mixture for garnish.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti in the boiling water as the label directs. Mix the eggs, cheeses, parsley and 1 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Drain the pasta, reserving ¼ cup cooking water.
  3. Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the pasta and toss until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Whisk the reserved pasta water into the egg mixture, then quickly pour over the pasta and toss to gently cook the eggs and make a creamy sauce. Garnish with the reserved bacon mixture and more Parmesan.

 

Shrimp/Mango Pasta Carbonara

Shrimp/Mango Pasta Carbonara
Pasta Carbonara with an exotic twist. Mouthwatering combination of Shrimp, Bacon, and Mango in a wine based sauce served over pasta.
Serves: 4 - 6
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Florida Gulf pink shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound thin dry spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon OLD BAY® Seasoning
  • 1 large cubed mango)
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • ½ cup, apple brandy
  • 5-6 strips bacon, or pancetta, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmigianino-Reggiano, more for serving
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Directions
  1. Prepare sauce while pasta is boiling in salted water. Pasta should be hot when adding the egg mixture in order to cook the raw eggs in the sauce
  2. Cook pasta per manufactures instructions until Al dente, reserve ¼ cup of pasta cooking water to use if necessary for the sauce
  3. Meanwhile, cook chopped bacon in a deep saucepan over medium heat until crisp, remove from pan and set aside
  4. Remove bacon grease from pan, return to burner
  5. Add butter to pan and cook over medium heat, until butter is melted,
  6. Toss cleaned shrimp in 1 tablespoon OLD BAY® Seasoning, cook in butter over medium heat until shrimp turn pink, about 4 minutes, do not over cook
  7. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside
  8. If pan is too dry add 1 teaspoon olive oil or another teaspoon butter,
  9. Add minced garlic, and fruit, to pan and cook until fruit is heated through
  10. Return shrimp to pan, toss shrimp in sauce cooking for a minute or two
  11. Remove pan from heat, add Brandy, tilt pan away from you slightly, and light with match or lighter to flambé
  12. After flame has subsided, in separate bowl mix together two eggs and white wine
  13. Add cooked pasta to pan of cooked shrimp, toss slightly, add egg mixture and toss until spaghetti is coated thoroughly
  14. Toss in cooked crumbled bacon, Pamigianino-Reggiano cheese and chopped parsley
  15. Sprinkle with more Parmigianino-Reggiano and serve
Notes
If pasta seems dry, add a few tablespoons reserved pasta water

Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese

Really Good Spaghetti Bolognese
A comforting bowl of spaghetti bolognese is often what's needed on a chilly Winter day (or any day, really).
Source:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the bolognese
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounces cubed pancetta
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 fat cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 large, flat mushrooms such as portobello, about 4 ounces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes or passata
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • ¾ cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1 nutmeg
  • ¾ cups half-and-half or cream
  • For serving
  • Spaghetti or tagliatelle for 4
  • Grated Parmesan
Directions
  1. Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based pot -- then stir in the pancetta and let it cook for five minutes or so, without coloring much. Meanwhile peel and finely chop the onion and garlic and stir them into the pancetta. Peel and finely chop the carrot and celery and stir them in, too. Lastly, finely chop the mushrooms and add to the pan, then tuck in the bay leaves and leave to cook for ten minutes over a moderate heat, stirring frequently.
  2. Turn up the heat and tip in the meat, breaking it up well with a fork.
  3. Now leave to cook without stirring for a good three or four minutes, then, as the meat on the bottom is starting to brown, stir again, breaking up the meat where necessary, and leave to color.
  4. Mix in the tomatoes, red wine, stock, a grating of nutmeg and some salt and black pepper, letting it come to the boil. Turn the heat down so that everything barely bubbles. There should be movement, but one that is gentle, not quite a simmer. Partially cover the pan with a lid and leave the putter away for an hour to an hour and a half, stirring from time to time and checking the liquid levels. You don't want it to be dry.
  5. Pour in the half-and-half or cream a bit at a time, stir and continue cooking for twenty minutes. Check the seasoning, then serve with the pasta and grated Parmesan.
Notes
Passata TomatoPassata refers to an uncooked tomato puree that has been strained of seeds and skins. How is passata different from tomato sauce or tomato paste? Well, both the sauce and paste are cooked tomato products to begin with. Tomato sauce often has other ingredients such as carrots, onions, garlic, etc. And tomato paste is cooked down and much thicker. You would not want to substitute either product if passata is called for in your recipe. If you cannot find it in your store, take plain canned tomatoes and run them through a sieve or a food mill. Tomato passata can be used in any recipe that calls for tomatoes where it is not important that there be pieces of tomato. In general, passata is considered to be a superior product to canned tomatoes, using higher quality tomatoes and processing.

Olive Garden Lasagna Classico

Olive Garden Lasagna Classico
Ultra-comforting, and packed with layers of meat sauce, cheese, and tender noodles just like the Olive Garden Lasagna
Source:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • For the meat sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 6 ounces Italian sausage, removed from their casings and crumbled
  • 2 16-ounce cans crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • For the cheese mixture:
  • 16 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup romano cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • For the lasagna:
  • 12 cooked or no-boil lasagna noodles
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
Directions
  1. Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pot. Add then onion and garlic and cook about 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add the ground beef and sausage, and cook 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the tomatoes, basil, and oregano, and stir to combine. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then chill.
  3. Make the cheese mixture: Mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, and romano cheeses, parsley, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and egg in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Build and bake the lasagna: Spray the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  5. Spread 4 ounces of the meat sauce on the bottom of the pan.
  6. Layer 3 lasagna noodles over the meat sauce (they may overlap slightly).
  7. Spread 1 cup of the cheese mixture over the noodles.
  8. Spread 1 cup of meat sauce onto the cheese mixture.
  9. Repeat the layers of noodles, cheese, and meat sauce two more times.
  10. Top with 3 lasagna noodles, the remaining meat sauce, and shredded mozzarella.
  11. Spray a large piece of foil with cooking spray and wrap the pan tightly with it, sprayed side down. Bake at 325ºF for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the internal temperature is 165º.
  12. Turn the oven off and allow the lasagna to set up in the warm oven for 30 minutes.
  13. Cut into squares 2 rows long by 4 rows wide. Plate and garnish with fresh basil.
Notes
For extra ease make it ahead of time and reheat it. Or you can make the meat sauce and cheese mixture ahead and assemble prior to going into the oven for the fresh baked Lasagna.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
This Creamy Cajun Chicken is not only delicious, but it is loaded with great nutrients! My dish is a combination of flavorful spices, lean chicken breast, fresh baby spinach, baby Portobello mushroom, and Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt adds extra protein and is the perfect complement to a little spicy kick. This dish is filling, flavorful, and best of all quick cooking.
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne
  • ½ tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. onion powder
  • ½ lb. baby Bella mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • ½ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • Olive oil
Directions
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. In a small bowl combine Cajun seasoning through onion powder. Reserve 2 tsp. of seasoning for sauce.
  3. Add tablespoon of olive oil to the large skillet over medium heat, add the mushrooms and sauté until browned. Remove from the pan and keep warm.
  4. In a large bag combine chicken breast pieces with the seasoning mix.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and sauce until cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan and keep warm with mushrooms.
  6. Add the garlic and tomato paste; sauté until just until fragrant. Add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan. Add the reserved seasoning to the pan.
  7. Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan; bring to a low boil.
  8. Top with spinach, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until spinach has wilted.
  9. Remove pan from heat. Push chicken mixture to one side and stir in Greek yogurt to the broth. Stir to combine with chicken.
  10. Serve over prepared noodles.

Jumbo Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce

 

Jumbo Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce
Very easy to make & very yummy
Ingredients
  • 1 Box large Shells
  • 1 lb. ground round
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Ragu Chunky Tomato Garlic and Onion Sauce (or make your own)
  • 15 oz. (1 cup or 454 gm) whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 5 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained by squeezing on paper towels
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Directions
  1. Boil Pasta Shells as per directions on box and cook to al dente. Drain and let it cool until easy to handle.
  2. Sauté onion and garlic until tender. Add beef and sauté until brown. Add salt and pepper and oregano. Pour in Ragu sauce then cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until heated through.
  3. In a big bowl, mix the Ricotta cheese with the egg, mozzarella, parmesan, salt and pepper. Squeeze out all moisture from thawed spinach by wrapping in a paper towel or clean dish towel. Add to ricotta mixture and stir until blended. Stuff cooked shells with ricotta combination and lay flat with open side facing up.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour about 2 cups of the meat sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Add stuffed shells on top of sauce, still with open side facing upwards. set Spoon the rest of the meat sauce on top.
  5. Completely cover top with mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, remove cover and bake for another 10 minutes.
Notes
Use a little Ziploc baggy with the corner cut out to pipe the filling into the shells.
Can prepare early in the day and refrigerate and then baked for dinner.

Can add Italian sausage crumbled to meat filling for additional flavor

--If using oven-Ready Pasta add 1 cup of water to meat sauce mixture.

--Can use Catelli Express Cannelloni if large shells hard to find. The Catelli Express cannelloni (Red Box) is perfect and you will have exactly the right amount of cheese mixture to stuff all the cannelloni without any leftovers. The Cannelloni was delicious.

--The 340 gm bag of Mozzarella cheese will give you the 3 cups this recipe calls for exactly.

 

Linguini with Sautéed Scallops and Peas

 

Linguini with Sautéed Scallops and Peas
Low calorie low fat and so quick to mak
Source:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. linguini, whole wheat or low carb
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin oil
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 6 large sea scallops, cleaned
  • Coarse salt
  • Ground pepper
Directions
  1. Cook pasta in a medium pot of boiling salted water until al dente, according to package instructions adding the peas to the boiling pasta water 4 minutes before finished. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water before draining, drain the pasta and return to pot. Add parsley and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Stir, adding reserved pasta water a little at a time. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Meanwhile while the pasta is cooking, season the scallops with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium flame. Cook scallops until browned on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip; cook until opaque throughout, about 30 to 60 seconds more, while their centers are still slightly translucent (you can check this by viewing them from the side). Be careful not to overcook or they will become tough. Serve over pasta.
Notes
Note: Try a handful of fresh spinach or sautéed kale or mushrooms or asparagus To cook scallops: Really hot pan, butter and olive oil. Sear on one side (DON'T TOUCH!!!), Turn with tongs when it will release- about 2 minutes. Cook one minute, they should still be springy to the touch and a have a beautiful caramel color on the seared side. Serve right away. Weight watchers pts. old points: 7 Points+: 9
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cup 3 scallops Calories: 374 Fat: 6.5 g Carbohydrates: 56 g Sugar: 8 Sodium: 261 mg Fiber: 9 g Protein: 6.5 g Cholesterol: 40 mg

 

Spaetzle

 

Spaetzle
Spaetzle, is a German egg dumpling which is quite easy to make and great with meat and gravy dish.
Source:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of freshly grated or ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup milk or water
  • 6 cups salted water or chicken stock
Directions
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
  2. Beat together the eggs and milk or water. Add the flour mixture. Beat well with a wooden spoon to create a fairly elastic batter.
  3. Bring water or broth to a simmer in a large pot. Drop small bits of dough from a spoon into the boiling liquid or force the batter through a Spaetzle machine or colander. Spaetzle are done when they float to the surface. They should be delicate and light, although slightly chewy. If the first few are heavy and dense, add a few more drops of milk or water to the batter before continuing.
  4. Serve with melted butter (or alongside a gravy-heavy dish like bourguignon). Or melt butter in a skillet, add Spaetzle and cook 3 to 5 minutes.
Notes
If this becomes a favorite I would invest in a Spaetzle machine as it will that much easier to make these small noodles.

 

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