Tag Archives: pasta

Monterey Jack Spaghetti


8 oz. of spaghetti, broken into 2 inch pieces
2 eggs
2 cups of sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
4 cups of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 pks ( 10 oz ) frozen, chopped spinach, thawed & drained
1 lg can of Durkee French fried onion rings, divided


Cook spaghetti to pkg directions.

In a medium bowl, beat eggs, add sour cream, Parmesan cheese & garlic powder.

Drain spaghetti & add to egg mixture w/cheese, spinach & 1/2 the onions.

Put in greased 2 qt. casserole & bake at 350 degrees for 45 mins, covered.

Last 5 minutes, add the remaining onions.


Spinach Artichoke Lasagna

This healthy vegetarian spinach lasagna includes lots of fresh spinach, jarred artichokes and the simplest homemade tomato sauce. This lasagna tastes even better the next day! Recipe yields one 9-inch square lasagna, which is enough for 8 or more servings.


Tomato sauce (or substitute 2 cups prepared marinara sauce)

1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Spinach artichoke mixture

2 cups (16 ounces) low fat cottage cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped red onion (about 1 smallish red onion)
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 cup jarred or defrosted frozen artichokes, drained (simply omit for a classic spinach lasagna), quartered if necessary
12 ounces baby spinach, preferably organic
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Remaining lasagna ingredients

9 DeLallo organic whole-wheat no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups (5 ounces) shredded fontina cheese or low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella
Garnish: sprinkling of additional chopped fresh basil


Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. To prepare the tomato sauce, first pour the tomatoes into a mesh sieve or fine colander and let them drain off excess juice for a minute. Transfer drained tomatoes to the bowl of a food processor. Add the basil, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper flakes. Pulse the mixture about 10 times, until the tomatoes have broken down to an easily spreadable consistency. Pour the mixture into a bowl for later (you should have about 2 cups sauce).

Rinse out the food processor and return it to the machine. Pour half of the cottage cheese (1 cup) into the processor and blend it until smooth, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to large mixing bowl. No need to rinse out the bowl of the food processor this time; just put it back onto the machine because you’ll need it later.

Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender and translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the artichoke to the skillet, then add a few large handfuls of spinach. Cook, stirring and tossing frequently, until the spinach has wilted. Repeat with remaining spinach. Continue cooking for about 12 minutes, stirring frequently, until the spinach has dramatically reduce in volume and very little moisture remains in the bottom of the pan.

Transfer the spinach artichoke mixture to the bowl of the food processor and pulse until the contents are finely chopped (but not puréed), about 12 to 15 times. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of whipped cottage cheese. Top with remaining cottage cheese and mix well. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Now it’s lasagna assembly time.

Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of an 8-by-8 or 9-by-9 inch square baker. Layer three lasagna noodles on top, overlapping their edges as necessary. Spread half of the spinach mixture evenly over the noodles. Top with 1/2 cup tomato sauce, then sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheese on top.

Top with three more noodles, followed by the remaining spinach mixture. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded cheese on top. (We’re skipping the tomato sauce in this layer.) Top with three more noodles, then spread the remaining tomato sauce over the top so the noodles are evenly covered. Sprinkle evenly with 1 cup shredded cheese.

Wrap the lasagna with a layer of parchment paper over the top (or cover tightly with aluminum foil, but don’t let the foil touch the cheese). Bake, covered, for 18 minutes, then remove the cover, rotate the pan by 180 degrees and continue cooking for about 12 more minutes, until the top is turning spotty brown. Remove from oven and let the lasagna cool for 15 minutes before sprinkling with chopped basil and slicing.

Pizza Pasta Salad

10 servings, 1 cup each


3 cups penne pasta, cooked, rinsed
4 tomatoes, chopped
12 slices Hard Salami, chopped
1 cup Finely Shredded Italian Five Cheese Blend
1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Tuscan House Italian Dressing


Combine ingredients. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Creamy Tomato Pasta

Servings: 4


10oz spaghetti
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 cup tomato passata / tomato puree (Note 1)
3/4 cup heavy / thickened cream (Note 2 for subs)
1/2 cup milk, low fat
3/4 cup parmesan, finely freshly grated (Note 3)
1 tsp dried basil, or other herb of choice
1 tsp chicken or vegetable stock powder, or 1 bouillon cube, crumbled (Note 4)
Finely ground pepper + salt


Cook pasta in a big pot of boiling water for time per packet MINUS 2 minutes. Just before draining, scoop out a mugful of pasta cooking water.

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cook until translucent – about 2 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients. Stir until parmesan is melted. Turn heat up slightly and simmer for 2 minutes. Adjust salt to taste.

Add pasta. Toss for 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce thickens and is clinging to pasta instead of swimming on the base of the skillet (video shows this well). Use reserved pasta cooking water if required to thin the sauce out if it gets too thick.

Serve immediately, garnished with more parmesan and parsley if desired.

Recipe Notes

1. Tomato Passata, known as Tomato Puree in America, is pureed strained tomatoes that is sold in tall bottles. It’s 100% tomato, no additives or flavourings. It’s smoother than crushed tomatoes and makes gorgeous thick tomato based sauces. In Australia, you’ll find it in the pasta section in supermarkets and it costs around the same as canned tomato. Passata is not the same as tomato paste which is a concentrate.

American canned Tomato Sauce (Hunts etc) is a suitable substitute, or your favourite tomato pasta sauce (use 1 cup). Canned crushed or finely diced tomato can also be used but you’ll need 1 x 14oz can, add it first and cook down for 5 minutes before adding milk, cream etc.

2. The sauce thickness mostly comes from the passata so this recipe could actually be made with just milk, no cream, for a healthier alternative though you will miss the richness that cream brings to the sauce. You could also use evaporated milk, again for a healthier alternative. If you want to add richness to the sauce, add extra butter.

3. Don’t try this with store bought grated parmesan as most don’t melt properly in the sauce.

4. Stock powder brings more flavour to the sauce than just using salt. If you don’t have it, I would add an extra 1/4 – 1/2 cup parmesan.

5. ADD-IN SUGGESTIONS: Shrimp/prawns, BACON, pancetta, chicken, turkey, diced or sliced capsicum / bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, grated zucchini. For prawns/shrimp and whole chicken pieces (breast, thigh), cook it first then take it out, cut chicken then toss back in later with pasta. For chopped chicken, bacon, pancetta and vegetables, add them when the onion is partway cooked, then proceed with recipe. Stir through delicate vegetables like baby spinach into the sauce with the pasta.

Don’t go overboard with the add-ins otherwise you might not have enough sauce.

One Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Silky creamy sauce and perfectly cooked pasta, this is the best way to make a One Pot Chicken Alfredo Pasta. No more gluggy sauces and unevenly cooked pasta.
Servings: 3


7 oz chicken breast, cut in half horizontally
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
8 oz fettuccine
2 cups milk, any fat %
1 1/2 cups chicken stock / broth
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup thickened / heavy cream (Note 1)
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan (Note 2)
Parsley, for garnish


Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper.

Use a skillet large enough to fit the pasta.

Heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Remove onto plate and rest for 5 minutes, then slice while pasta is cooking.

Add milk, chicken broth and garlic. Bring to simmer then add pasta.

Move pasta around every 30 seconds or so until it is softened (around 3 minutes) so it doesn’t stick. Once pasta is softened, reduce heat to medium and stir every couple of minutes.

At about 9 – 10 minutes, the pasta should be almost cooked but there should still be liquid covering the base of the skillet. Add cream and parmesan and mix.

Simmer, stirring occasionally, for ~2 minutes, until sauce is thickened and pasta is cooked. If you cook it too long and the sauce goes gluggy, add a splash of hot tap water – will go back to silky with a few tosses.

Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately, garnished with freshly grated parmesan and parsley.

Recipe Notes

1. This recipe does actually work with any type of cream, even light cream. It just affects the richness of the sauce.

2. Using fresh grated parmesan ensures it melts into the sauce. You can use store bought but it tends to be larger grains so some of it may not melt into the sauce completely. Reduce to 1/2 cup (because that equates to about 3/4 cup freshly grated).

3. The key to this recipe is taking it off the stove while it’s still quite saucy because the sauce evaporates quite quickly as you toss a bit, adjusting the salt and pepper, getting plates out, serving etc. See video and photos for amount of sauce in the finished dish.

4. Cooking With Chicken: You could dice the chicken, brown just the outside then leave it in the pan to cook with the pasta. But cooking the chicken separately yields a juicier chicken + prettier because it’s golden brown.

5. If you have large brown bits stuck on the pan (e.g. if it’s not non stick), scrape off the larger bits if you want a pretty white sauce. Also, the whiteness of the sauce is affected by how clear the chicken stock is. Better value brands can be a bit cloudy. I use Campbells.

6. This recipe is very forgiving. If the sauce gets too gluggy / thick, add a splash of hot water. I like my pasta al dente, but if the pasta is still not tender enough for your taste, add 1/4 – 1/2 cup hot tap water and keep cooking.

Italian Pasta Salad

Servings: 12


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


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

Chinese Beef and Broccoli Noodles

Servings: 4


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)


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


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.