Category Archives: pasta

Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

According to our weekly meal plan (yes, I take joy in planning in such a way), tonight we were eating asian style lettuce wraps. After two feet of snow, there was no way we were eating lettuce. Two feet of snow definitely calls for some comfort food. This is pretty much my standard way of making any mac & cheese, but tonight I threw in some pureed pumpkin and it was a really good idea. Yum.

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Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Lemon, Basil, and Salmon

For some reason, fish and pasta together always freaked me out a little. Until now. This is so good! We try to eat fish at least once a week, and everyone knows that fish must be fresh in order for it to be good. It’s best to cook fish the same day you buy it, but we squeak in a few extra hours and have been having fish every Monday after our Sunday shopping trip. This dish is so light and healthy, a great Fishy Monday recipe.

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Creamy Pesto Pasta

This has been on the docket for a while now. Love the idea of a creamy pasta that is actually pretty darn healthy. This recipe relies on the magical greek yogurt for its creaminess. I used some nice thyme pesto that I made for another dish later in the week (recipe soon!), but a store-bought pesto would be perfect for this too. Yummers.

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Bacon and Butternut Squash Pasta (cooking light)

I knew when I saw this recipe in my inbox that I would be making it. My former roommate apparently thought the same thing because she forwarded the same recipe to me moments later saying, “I know you like bacon”. Well folks, it’s true. And this dish highlights it beautifully.

This recipe features a new sauce-making technique for me — “dry-roasting” flour before it’s eventually combined with milk to make a “roux”. That’s right — no fat of any kind in the roux. It felt weird, but I was willing to give it a shot in the name of lighter cooking, and it turned out great! The sauce is super creamy, with a nice tang thanks to the provolone. The butternut squash and bacon make this dish a-mazing. It’s a great weeknight meal because it can be made wholly in advance, or a few things can be done in advance (like prepping and roasting the squash, cooking the bacon and shallots, and storing it all together, like I did)

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Chicken, Broccoli*, & Ziti*

This is my take on the classic Italian-American dish Chicken, Broccoli, and Ziti, which I’ve been craving lately for some reason. I changed it up and used whole wheat rigatoni instead of ziti and brussels sprouts leaves instead of broccoli since I’m going through a brussels sprouts thing right now. This was yummy! Tasted eerily like any mac & cheese I’ve ever made, yet there was no cheese….interesting. Anyway, try this! It was yum.

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Whole Wheat Orzo with Butternut Squash, Chicken, & Bacon

I made this yummy dish for a couple people, one vegetarian, one not. This is one of the rare dishes that you can easily make a meat & meatfree version without literally cooking the dish twice or otherwise sacrificing flavor. Add in cooked bacon and chicken at the end and blam! – everyone’s happy.

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Chive Egg Noodles in a Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Sauce

I’ve made this dish countless times. It’s an especially nice meal when you’ve had too much wine the night before, too 🙂

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Buffalo Chicken Mac & Cheese

In order to maintain my Awesome Girlfriend status, I decided to make this dish for the Patriots’ game on Sunday. Turns out there was no Patriots’ game this week, but that didn’t stop us.

Ok, let me just say that there is nary a vegetable to be found in this dish, unless you count onion, celery, or garlic (….oooh! and parsley! parsley is kind of healthy!…), lots of cheese, and buttery breadcrumbs. And it’s worth it. I did, however, serve this up with a huge pile of sautéed spinach to cut the guilt a little bit. 🙂

Brian and I ate this in silence, exchanging the occasional happy looks and yummy sounds. So delicious.

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Philly Cheesesteak Mac & Cheese

I was in need of some comfort food and this popped into my head out of nowhere. Anyone who has read this blog, particularly in the colder months, knows how I like my mac & cheese. This one is another gooey sample from my favorite mac & cheese collection.

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Farfalle with Zucchini and Egg

This dish is delicious, healthy, and fast. It has a little creamy carbonara-flair to it because of the eggs, which I love love love. Try it – it will quickly become part of your repertoire.

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Cold Peanut Noodles

As last weekend was going to be be my last chance to carbo-load for a while, I looked toward my waiting recipe list for what to cook up. This is my mom’s recipe – and is super good! Great for a summer lunch or a side dish.

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Tortellini with Fiddleheads and Mushrooms

I picked up these fiddleheads on a whim (I had just had them at my mom’s house — she breads them and fries in olive oil – SO good) and I wanted to try something different with them. Fiddleheads are only available for a short period during the springtime, so feel free to substitute with another veggie or delicious pork product, even. This is one of those dishes that you can kind of throw in whatever you want.

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Happy 100th Post! Low Cal Shrimp Pad Thai

Yet another recipe from Rocco’s Now Eat This. I must admit, I gobbled this. Very delicious, very easy. If you can boil stuff, you can make this.

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Shrimp Scampi with Spinach and Tomatoes

This is a variation of a dish I make a lot in the summer time. It’s very quick (longest thing is waiting for the water to come to a boil for the pasta), very fresh-tasting, and it’s pasta, obviously, which is mandatory at least once a week for me.

With that said, let’s talk about whole wheat pasta. I was never a fan of this stuff. Yeah, yeah, it’s much healthier for us (and it really is), yadda yadda yadda. It just always had a weird grainy texture and just didn’t cut it compared to the real thing. BUT, I think I’ve been converted. I recently learned from the author of my favorite new cookbook, Now Eat This, that the trick to whole wheat pasta is to overcook it. That’s right. Forever, you’ve been hounded to cook pasta to “al dente”, or a little under-cooked so it’s not mushy. But it’s true! If you cook whole wheat pasta even a minute or two over the package directions, it really takes on more of the quality of a semolina pasta. Amazing. Yay!
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Creamy Pasta with Bacon

IMG_4291This is my first attempt at making something from Rocco DiSpirito’s book “Now Eat This!“, which, frankly, is amazing. Buy it. Or, better yet, stay tuned here because I intend on blogging every damn recipe from it anyway. Each and every recipe looks yum and diet-friendly. Since carbonara is probably my favorite dish of all time, I had to try this first.

So, this recipe is technically called “Spaghetti Carbonara” in the book…but I wouldn’t really call it carbonara. It is everything a carbonara should be (rich, creamy, bacony), but it doesn’t really compare to the real thing. That said, it really is rich, creamy, and bacony and a perfect answer to a naughty pasta craving, AND it won’t put you in the hospital. All good things. I must say, I was pretty skeptical about his use of Hormel Real Bacon Bits, but at 50% less fat and actually really good, I think I am a convert.

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Gorgonzola Ravioli with Apples and Walnuts

I threw this together when in need for a quick (legit, under 10 minutes) lunch. SO good and literally foolproof.

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Lobster Mac and Cheese

Lobster Mac & Cheese - Just the TipAfter a week of watching what I eat and what I spend, I thought this would be the ultimate rebellion. I’m not one of those people that goes bananas over lobster, but c’mon — lobster mac and cheese?! Yes, please. AND, if you can get a lovely man to pick the lobster meat from the shell, it’s a ridiculously easy dish to make.

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Pesto Lasagna with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

My girl Sprinkles turned me on to this recipe. It’s a wonderfully rich vegetarian option for a pot-luck or other debaucherous event. Although I’m not a big fan of sun-dried tomatoes or pesto, I love this. Maybe it has something to do with the 19 types of cheese.

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Pasta Carbonara with Cinnamon

This is my favorite comfort food dish. It might even be my favorite dish, period.  I CRAVE this. It’s so rich and delicious, it’s definitely a once a year kind of thing. Once, in a moment of insanity, I tried fussing with it to make it slightly less deadly – using egg beaters (gross!), turkey bacon, and FF half and half, but it was a total waste of time. I mean, if you’re going to have pasta with eggs, cream, and bacon, have pasta with eggs, cream, and bacon. Am I right?

Also, this dish really benefits from some freshness in the way of chives — cuts through the richness a bit. Unfortunately, when Brian offered to run to the corner store for me, he came home with 4 bunches of GIANT scallions instead. He means well 🙂

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Almost Cook Yourself Thin Stuffed Shells

This is another recipe seen on the Lifetime show Cook Yourself Thin. Now what you see below is *slightly* naughtier than the original (need. more. cheese.), but still much healthier than your standard shells with all the hidden veggies to bulk up the filling. And they’re pretty freakin’ cute too.

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