Category Archives: Pasta

Creamy Sundried Tomato & Mushroom Chicken

This may be the ultimate comfort food without the guilt.I made it last night and am still thinking about it — so, SO good!! It tastes like it must be loaded with butter and heavy cream, but guess what? It’s not!!🎊

Combine 2tbl flour, 2tbl grated parm, 1tsp salt, and cracked pepper.

Slice 2 chicken breasts horizontally and dredge them through your mixture.

Rinse 2 cups of sliced baby bellas and drain an 8.5oz jar of Italian sliced sundried tomatoes (save the oil).

Warm half of the reserved oil into a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add in your chicken for 5-6 minutes on each side until it’s browned and cooked through.

Remove and place on a warm plate.

Pour the rest of your tomato oil into the saucepan. Now add 2tbl of minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds (until fragrant). Add your mushrooms and sundried tomatoes and cook until mushrooms soften.

Turn your heat down to low. Add in 12oz of evaporated milk. I used reduced fat, however I think fat free would be fine as well. Stir in a couple of teaspoons of Italian seasoning and cracked salt & pepper to taste.

Combine 2tbl milk and 1tbl cornstarch.

Once the sauce is simmering, quickly stir in your cornstarch mixture. Once it thickens, add in 1/3C shredded Parmesan cheese. Stir until the cheese melts.

Now add back in your chicken and top with fresh basil.

Serve over pasta, rice, quinoa, veggies, or anything really. Top with more shredded Parmesan and cracked pepper. Try not to have seconds (or thirds!)!😃

Adapted from – Cafe Delites

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Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli with Chicken & Asparagus

So, this is another recipe that was passed down to me by my cousin….yes, the same one who brought you the Shrimp & Grits and the Tomato Pie.

Nothing really says fall like pumpkins….pumpkin spice, pumpkin creamer, pumpkin candles, porch pumpkins, etc, etc…..

Enter pumpkin ravioli. Wow. Trader Joe’s sells this seasonally, however, you can always buy the butternut squash variety which is equally as decadent.

Rinse and chop up an asparagus bunch and cut it into thirds. Set aside. If you hate asparagus, this would also work with snap peas, green beans, or any vegetable really.

Cook your ravioli for 1 minute and then toss in your asparagus to the boiling water for the second minute. Reserve 1/2 a cup of the pasta water. Drain and set aside.

Horizontally slice 2 large chicken breasts and season with salt and pepper.

Sauté over medium high heat with a couple of tablespoons of EVOO until they are browned and cooked through.

Remove chicken from pan and allow to rest for a few minutes. Chop 2 tablespoons of fresh sage and 1 shallot.Now add 3 tablespoons of butter to your hot pan. Once melted, add the chopped shallot and allow to brown. Now add in your sage. Once fragrant, pour over your pasta and asparagus with the saved pasta water. Add in the sliced chicken. Sprinkle with grated pecorino and cracked salt & pepper. Serve with a mixed green salad and crusty bread. Enjoy!

Spinach Lasagna

Here is yet another version of Lasagna that I love. This is perfect for a rainy, meatless Monday, or a cozy Sunday dinner (like we had last night). In fact, when I started dating my husband 12 years ago, this was one of the few things that I knew how to make; and it’s still a favorite.

Begin with your marinara sauce. Homemade is always better (my recipe is on this blog), but jar is fine if you are in a pinch.

Now you will need the following: 1 box frozen chopped spinach (thawed), 16oz of ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, 1 cup grated parmesan, 1tbl minced garlic, and 1 egg (slightly beaten).

Ring out your spinach well in a kitchen towel before combining everything into a medium mixing bowl.

Cook your Lasagna noodles according to the package instructions (al dente). I like to use multi-grain but that’s totally up to you. Lay out your assembly.

Layer marinara, then noodles, then mixture. Repeat a second time, finishing with a layer of noodles, more marinara, and top with mozzarella and shredded parmesan.

Bake at 350 degrees covered with foil for 10 minutes and uncovered for another 15 or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve with garlic or cheese bread and enjoy!

Classic Chicken Parmesan

We love comfort food in my house and this ranks right up there with all things warm and cheesy. It’s so simple, anyone can do it.

Begin with a couple of large chicken breasts and slice them horizontally. Make an assembly line of 1C of flour, 3 beaten eggs, and 2C Italian style Panko bread crumbs.

Salt and pepper your chicken and dredge them through the flour (pressing the flour in tightly), then the egg, and finally the breadcrumbs. Lay them onto a plate and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

Now I like to prepare my homemade marinara that is super easy and about a million times better than the store bought variety. That recipe is also on this blog. If you are short on time, the jar variety is just fine.

Warm a few tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat in a sauce pan and add in the chicken. Cook 4-6 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through.

Transfer the chicken into a prepared baking dish. Slice fresh mozzarella onto each piece.

Set oven to broil and cook until cheese is melted and bubbling.

Prepare the pasta of your choice – I like angel hair with this dish but anything is fine. Lay a spoonful of marinara on top and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Now place a piece of chicken on top with more marinara, cheese, and parsley. Serve with garlic bread and a Caesar salad. Enjoy!

Meatball, Spinach, & Tortellini Soup

I love soup in the cooler months. We don’t have many of those here, so I like to make the most of “soup season” while we can. This is one of my favorites and talk about quick and easy! It’s very hearty so even big appetites will fill up, especially if you add a mixed green salad and a crusty bread. Voila, dinner is served!

Begin by warming a tablespoon of EVOO over medium heat in a large, deep pot or Dutch oven. Sauté a medium onion until soft (about 5 minutes) and then add in a teaspoon of minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. 

Now add in 2 cups beef bone broth, 28oz can undrained diced tomatoes, 8oz can of tomato sauce, 1/2tsp salt, and 1/2tsp of oregano. 

Add in 20-25 frozen, Italian style mini meatballs and let simmer for 15 minutes. 

Now add in 3-4 cups of pre-cooked, refrigerated tortellini. They only need to cook for a couple of minutes to become al dente. 

Stir in 2 big handfuls of baby spinach. Once the spinach wilts, remove from heat. 

This last step is optional but ’tis the season for a little indulgence so go ahead! Add 1/3C heavy cream (everything is better with heavy cream!). This freezes beautifully, so make a big batch and enjoy more than once!😋

Inspired By – Spicy Southern Kitchen

Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

We made this on a whim tonight and boy, it did not disappoint. I love a good veggie meal, and this will most certainly be added into my rotation.🙌🏼

Begin by dicing an onion and slicing 1/2lb of baby bella mushrooms. Measure out 3 cups of fresh spinach and set aside.

Warm 3tbl EVOO over medium heat and sauté a yellow onion plus a teaspoon of minced garlic together for about 3 minutes (until onions soften). Now toss in your sliced mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes. Salt and pepper to your flavor preference. 

Add in 2tbl of flour and stir quickly for 1 minute. Now add 1/4C vegetable broth and stir to combine. Now add in another 2.5C vegetable broth slowly. Add 3/4C milk and bring your pot to a simmer. Simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Add in your spinach and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. 

Add 1.5C good shredded Parmesan. Stir until the cheese melts. 

Cook Lasagna noodles according to package minus 2 minutes. Spoon a thin amount of sauce into baking dish and layer 3 noodles. Top with mushroom mixture and top with more shredded Parmesan. Repeat twice, ending with a layer of mixture topped with cheese. 

Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes until it’s hot and bubbly. Enjoy!!

Adapted From: Life As A Strawberry

Cajun Pasta Alfredo 2 Ways

This recipe is one of my favorite pasta dishes. Most of the year I make it as a freezer meal with smoked turkey sausage, however, during the summer it’s devine with fresh local shrimp. 

Begin by melting 4 tablespoons of butter with 2 tablespoons of EVOO over medium heat. Add in a large chopped onion and sauté until it becomes soft. 

Now add a container of chopped baby bella mushrooms, a large chopped red pepper, and a teaspoon of minced garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes. 

Add in either your sliced kielbasa or a pound of uncooked fresh shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turns pink or about 4-5 minutes for the sausage. 

Add 1/2 cup grated parmesan, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and a jar of Alfredo sauce. Stir to combine. Add 1/2-1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (depending on how spicy you like it) and salt & pepper to taste. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in 12oz penne, rotini, or any pasta of your choice. Top with shredded parmesan and chopped fresh parsley before serving. Pairs perfectly with a mixed green salad and crusty bread. 

The most EPIC Mac & Cheese

This is not an over statement – it really is the best Mac I’ve ever had, and my friends and family would agree. It’s a bit tedious, but WELL worth the effort!

Begin by shredding 8oz of gruyere, 10oz of white cheddar, and 10oz of yellow cheddar. 

Now warm 3.5 cups of whole milk and 2 cups of heavy cream together over medium heat in a saucepan. 

In a large saucepan melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter bubbles, whisk in 1/2 cup of flour. Whisk for about a minute until it combines and thickens. 

Slowly add in your warm milk/cream mixture whisking continuously until sauce thickens and bubbles. 

Remove from heat and add 2tsp salt, 1/4tsp nutmeg, 1/4tsp cayenne pepper, & 1/4tsp black pepper. 

Stir in grated cheeses. 

Now add 2lbs cooked elbow macaroni. 

Prepare 6 slices good white bread, crust removed and ripped into 1/2inch size pieces. Pour 3-4 tablespoons of melted butter over the breadcrumbs and toss to combine. Cover your pot of macaroni with breadcrumbs and bake at 375 for approximately 30 minutes until top begins to brown. Enjoy!😋

Adapted from: Eat Drink Smile

Farmers Market Pasta Salad

Pasta salad is one of the most delicious side dishes in my opinion. It is a summer food that pairs perfectly with everything from burgers to chicken to mile high sandwiches. The key to amazing pasta salad is using the freshest veggies and fruit during the peak of the season. 

I start with a nice hearty pasta cooked al dente such as a penne or rotini. Then I combine the following in a large bowl:

-A container of mixed rainbow cherry tomatoes, 2 small zucchinis sliced into half moons, 1 red pepper thinly sliced, 1 cup corn sliced off the cob, a few green onions sliced finely, 2 ripe, firm peaches sliced, 2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken (optional), and a handful of fresh basil and cilantro chopped. 

Now, you can put just about any homemade dressing on top but this one tastes perfect with this salad:

Combine 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, 1/2 cup EVOO, juice and zest of a lemon, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, and 1/4 cup chopped basil. Pour over mixture, combine, then fold in your pasta. Enjoy!!!

Adapted from: Can’t Stay Out of the Kitchen

Sopa/Sopita (Mexican Pasta Shells)

My mother in law is a traditional Mexican woman and an amazing cook. When I started dating my husband over a decade ago, I knew that if we were going to take our relationship to the next level, I was going to need to up my cooking game. Big time. You see, back then I measured the milk for Mac and Cheese (my husband still likes to remind me of that) so I knew the road ahead was long. I was excited and totally up for the challenge. 

Sopa or “Sopita” as my husband’s (and now my) family calls it is a staple in Mexican cooking. What’s interesting to me is all the ladies on that side of our family do it a little differently. Apparently there is no exact science, it’s a very personal and unique creation. So, this is my attempt and version of this delicious side dish that my 2 year old LOVES. Of course, it won’t be legit until my mother in law says so!

This is how I began. That’s a full pasta box of shells, about a third of an onion, a quarter cup chopped cilantro, chicken bouillon, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and olive oil. 

I sautéed the pasta in a few tablespoons of EVOO until it began to brown. Then I added in the onion and kept cooking for a minute or so. 

Then I added in a box of chicken broth, 12oz of tomato sauce, a couple tablespoons of bouillon, cilantro, and salt & pepper. I brought everything to a boil and reduced to a simmer for about 25-30 minutes over medium low heat. 

Here was my result. Tasty, not too shabby for a white girl.😋