Tag Archives: pasta

Italian Pasta Salad


Servings: 12

Ingredients

Pasta Salad
1 lb pasta such as penne, elbow, fusilli or rotini
1 large green bell pepper chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half or quartered
8 oz salami thickly sliced or cut in small pieces
8 oz bocconcini mini, or cut in half or quarters if using regular size bocconcini
1/2 medium red onion finely chopped
8 oz spicy salami thickly sliced or cut in small pieces
8 oz Monterey Jack cheese cut in small cubes
1/2 cup Kalamata olives sliced

Italian Dressing

2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsp parsley fresh, chopped
2 tbsp oregano fresh, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried oregano)
2 tbsp basil fresh, chopped (or 1 tbsp dried basil)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp pepper or to taste

Instructions

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. For 1 lb of pasta you will need about 2 gallons of liquid, also make sure to salt your water well, at least 2 tbsp of salt. After you drain the pasta do not rinse it, if anything add a little olive oil to it to prevent it from sticking together.

Toss all the pasta salad ingredients together.

In a small bowl or jar add all the dressing together and whisk well. If using a jar, put the lid on and close it, then shake well. You want the dressing to emulsify a little bit, this will ensure the pasta will absorb the dressing.

Pour the dressing over the pasta and toss well. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

Cheese: I used mini bocconcini, but regular mozzarella cut in cubes can be used as well. Another alternative to Monterey Jack cheese could be a marble jack cheese, or a sharp cheddar cheese.

Leftovers: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. This salad is even better the next day.

This salad will yield about 15 cups
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Chinese Beef and Broccoli Noodles


Servings: 4

Ingredients

12 – 14 oz beef rump or fillet, thinly sliced (or other quick cooking cut of beef)
1 1/2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely sliced
1 large head broccoli, broken into small florets
14 – 15 oz egg noodles (hokkien, lo mein, singapore – from the fridge) (Note 1)

Sauce:

1/2 cup water
1 tbsp cornflour / cornstarch
2 tbsp dark soy sauce (Note 2)
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce (Note 2)
1 1/2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine/Shoasing wine (Note 3)
1 tsp white sugar (omit if using Mirin)
1/8 tsp Chinese five spice powder (not critical)
1/2 tsp sesame oil (not critical)
1/4 tsp pepper (white or black)

Optional Garnishes:

Sesame seeds
Chopped shallots / green onions / scallions

Instructions

Sauce: Place water and cornflour in a bowl, mix. Then add remaining ingredients and mix.

Beef: Place in a bowl and add 1 1/2 tbsp Sauce. Mix.

Broccoli & Noodles: Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add broccoli, cook for 1 minute. Add noodles then after 15 seconds, use a wooden spoon to separate the noodles then immediately drain (don’t have the noodles in the water for more than 1 minute).

Stir Fry:

Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat.

Add garlic, quickly stir. Add onion and cook for 1 minute until it’s tinged with brown.

Add beef and cook until it changes from red to brown.

Add noodles, broccoli and sauce. Toss together for 1 1/2 – 2 minutes or until Sauce thickens and coats the noodles. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and shallots, if using, and serve.

Recipe Notes

1. Noodles: I make this with fresh noodles, sold in the fridge section. I use egg (yellow noodles). If you only have dried, use about 8 oz (use yellow noodles). Cook them per the packet before or with the broccoli (depends how long it takes, broccoli only needs 1 1/2 – 2 minutes max).

This can also be made with dried rice noodles (white) – use 7 oz (it expands more so use less).

2. Soy Sauce: Not all soy sauces are created equal. Light soy sauce is saltier than all purpose and dark soy sauce. Dark soy sauce has a more intense flavour and makes the noodles a darker colour.

You can use all purpose soy sauce (i.e. not labelled “Dark” or “Light”, like Kikkoman) in place of both of these. The colour of your stir fry will not be quite as dark but the flavour will be similar. You can also substitute the dark soy sauce with 1.5 tbsp of light soy sauce. DO NOT use just dark soy sauce – the sauce flavour will be way too strong. Also please do not use sweet soy sauce / kecap manis.

3. Cooking Wine: Dry Sherry, Japanese cooking sake and Mirin are great subs. If using Mirin, omit the sugar. If you cannot consume alcohol, omit this and use Chicken or Beef Broth instead of the water in the sauce.

4. This is the stir fried noodles version of Chinese Beef and Broccoli. The sauce flavour is stronger because there’s more ingredients for the sauce to coat.

6. All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce: This can be made using Charlie, my All Purpose Stir Fry Sauce which can be kept for weeks and weeks, so make a big batch. Give the jar a good scrape, use use a spoon if needed to mix up the cornflour that will have settled at the bottom of the jar. Then use 6 tbsp of Charlie + 1/2 cup of water + Chinese Five Spice in place of all the Sauce ingredients.
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Chicken Broccoli Pasta Salad


Seasoned chicken, broccoli, golden raisins, celery, and a wonderful creamy dressing come together to make this awesome Chicken Broccoli Pasta Salad. A total crowd pleaser, perfect for summer gatherings or all year long.
Servings: 12

Ingredients

1 pound (4 cups) dried Radiatore pasta
1 pound cooked seasoned chicken breast, diced into small cubes (about 2 cups)
3 cups small broccoli florets
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup diced celery
3/4 cup sliced almonds
4 scallions, diced

For The Dressing

1 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
2 tablespoons honey
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking.

In an extra large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing until combined and smooth. Add in the cooked pasta, chicken, broccoli, raisins, celery, almonds, and scallions; toss to combine and coat.

Enjoy right away or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

• If you cannot find Radiatore pasta, just use any type of small tubular pasta with ridges, which helps the other ingredients and dressing get caught in all the nooks and crannies, making every bite awesome.

• This can be made up to 24 hours in advance, but ideally not longer than that because the dressing will begin to loosen.

• If making it ahead of time, I recommend adding in the almonds right before serving, so they maintain their crunch. Give the salad a few good stirs to incorporate everything again
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Spicy Jalepeno, Hot Sausage and Chorizo Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

1 lb mezze penne pasta
8 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
8 oz chorizo sausage
8 oz hot sausage
2 cups half-and-half
8 oz Velveeta cheese, cut into small cubes
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
1 cup mild cheddar cheese, shredded
2 eggs, beaten
2 jalepenos, seed and ribs removed, thinly sliced

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente. Drain and return to pot.

Add the butter and stir until melted.

Heat a small skillet over medium high heat. Add the chorizo and hot sausage to the skillet. Break up into small pieces and cook until brown.

Add the half and half, Velveeta, 1 cup of the sharp cheddar and ½ cup of the mild cheddar to the pasta. Stir together, then fold in the cooked sausage and jalepenos.

Spray a shallow serving dish (sized approximately 13 x 9) with nonstick cooking spray. Pour in the macaroni mixture and top with remaining cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
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Creamy Carbonara


Servings: 4

Ingredients

8 ounces spaghetti uncooked
6 oz pancetta chopped
2 cups half and half
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese freshly grated, plus more for garnish
1 tsp pepper freshly ground
4 tbsp basil chopped

Instructions

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Add the pancetta to a large skillet and saute over medium-low heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer the pancetta to a bowl using a slotted spoon.

Add the half and half to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks into the sauce. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese. Stir in the black pepper. Taste for salt and season if needed. I find no salt is needed since the cheese adds plenty of saltiness.

Add the cooked spaghetti, bacon and basil to the skillet and toss well to combine.

Garnish with more Parmesan cheese if desired and serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

Half and Half: Half and half has 12 percent fat content. Heavy cream can also be used. It is also called heavy whipping cream because it’s whipping cream with a milk fat content between 36 and 40 percent.

Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Make sure to refrigerate within two hours of cooking
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Crockpot Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

2 pounds of cubed stew meat
2 cans of condensed Golden mushroom soup
1 large diced onion
2 tbsps of worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup of water
8 oz of cream cheese
1 tsp of garlic salt
Couple dashes of hot paprika (optional)
Noodles

Instructions

In the crockpot, place the mushroom soup, onion, worcestershire sauce, water, garlic, salt and paprika and mix all together. Add in the meat and mix to combine.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Once it’s cooked through, cut the cream cheese into cubes and add to the crockpot. Mix to combine and let cook for 10 more minutes on high.

Cook the noodles and serve with the beef!

Author’s Notes: Simple, easy and delicious. I usually put the noodles and the beef mixture in one big dish and mix all together before serving. You can also add noodles to your plate and spoon the beef stroganoff over the top. But I like it mixed.
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Pepperoni pizza mac n’ cheese

Ingredients

Salted water
1 lb penne pasta
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 cups whole milk
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1.5 cups grated mozzarella
2 oz pepperoni

Recipe:

Preheat oven 375F.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente, less 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter, whisk in flour, and cook for 1 minute.

Add tomato paste and whisk in milk until smooth.

Add oregano, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1 minute on medium heat.

Fold in half the cheese and add drained pasta. Top pasta with remaining cheese and sprinkle pepperoni all over.

Bake until pepperoni is crispy and pasta is bubbling, 10 minutes. Serve immediately.
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