Family Favorites · New Favorite · Pastas

Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage and Goat Cheese

Pumpkin Pasta with Sausage and Goat Cheese is such a treat.  My daughter, Megan, suggested I make it when I asked what I could make with leftover canned pumpkin.

The recipe is so easy and is plate of fall goodness complimented by a great salad and bread.  Easy peasy dinner that will please a family or guest!

Pumpkin Pasta Dinner with sausage and goat cheese

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
15-ounce can pumpkin puree or a scant 2 cups of pumpkin puree
A few fresh sage leaves and a few sprigs fresh thyme, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
A good pinch of ground nutmeg
1 1/2–2 cups chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Serve with 1 pound al dente linguini pasta, or any cooked pasta you like.

Top with:
Well-browned ground Italian sausage
Goat cheese crumbles
Toasted pine nuts
Parsley
Red pepper flakes

  • To make the sauce, in a medium saucepan heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook gently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and chopped herbs.
  • Increase heat to medium and add all of the spices. Stir in 1 1/2 cups chicken stock and allow to simmer for 10 minutes until thickened to your desired sauce consistency. Add more stock as you see fit. Taste and season with salt and pepper (and even more spices) to your taste.
  • Toss boiled pasta in the warm sauce. To serve, top with sausage or sausage alternative, goat cheese crumbled (or parmesan), toasted pine nuts (or any kind of crunch) and chopped parsley.
Garden · New Favorite · Pastas

Eggplant Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta Bake

Eggplant is my favorite vegetables!  Each year I grow eggplant in my garden, finding success with Japanese Eggplant varieties.  Instead of just roasting eggplant (which I love), I wanted to try this Eggplant pasta dish and loved it!

EGGPLANT TOMATO AND MOZZARELLA PASTA BAKE

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 1 medium eggplant, diced
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 24-ounce jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cups fresh mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • Nonstick cooking spray, for the baking dish
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season aggressively with salt. Add the rigatoni and cook 3 minutes less than the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and drain.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the eggplant and tomatoes with 3 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread on the baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is golden brown and tomatoes are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. (Leave the oven on.)
  4. Toss the rigatoni with the eggplant, tomatoes, about 1/4 cup pasta water and the marinara sauce in a large bowl. If it looks dry, add the remaining pasta water. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella.
  5. Spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish and top with the remaining cup mozzarella and the Parmesan and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil.
  6. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. (Turn the
    broiler on at the end if you want the cheese to brown more.) Garnish with additional Parmesan and the chopped basil and serve.

Recipe from FoodNetwork.com

New Favorite · Pastas

Pasta with Chard and Bacon

A few years ago I watched the Rachel Ray episode where she made this dish, sharing it was one of her husband’s favorites.  It’s easy peasy and so delicious!  It reminds me of a pasta with bacon that I made when the kids were small.  Delicious!

PASTA WITH CHARD AND BACON

1 large bunch or 1.5 pounds large, leafy Swiss chard
1/2 pound meaty bacon
2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1 onion, white or yellow
1 leek
4 cloves garlic
salt & pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 tablespoons thyme
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup stock, optional
1 pound spaghetti
1 cup pecans
about 3/4 cup heavy cream
about 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese, plus more for serving

  • Gather your ingredients.
  • Place a large pot of water on to boil for pasta.
  • Stem the chard. Chop the stems. Coarsely chop the greens and keep separate.
  • Stack the bacon and cut the bacon into batons 1/8 to 1/4-inch wide.
  • Peel and chop the onion. Halve the leek lengthwise and trim the tough green tops. Run the leek under the water and wash thoroughly. Chop the leek, whites and light greens. Peel the garlic and grate or chop.
  • Heat a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon and render, then remove from pan, if desired. Reserve 2 tablespoons drippings in pan, drain off excess if there is any.
  • Add EVOO or butter to pan and add the stems, onions, leeks and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and thyme and soften, 5 to 6 minutes. Add wine and stock if using and let it absorb.
  • Salt boiling water and cook pasta to 1 minute less than package directions for al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup starchy water.
  • Toast nuts while pasta cooks in small skillet over moderate heat.
  • Add cream to sauce, wilt the greens into stems and add a little nutmeg. Return bacon to pan. Drain pasta and add to sauce and greens with reserved water and cheese. Toss pasta 1 minute. Adjust seasoning and serve topped with chopped toasted nuts and pass more cheese at table.

Recipe adapted from RachelRay

Family · Garden · Home · Italian Dishes · New Favorite · Pastas · Vegan · Vegetarian

Roasted Tomato, Sausage and Pesto Sauce

Fall brings the bounty of tomatoes, basil and much more. Older daughter, Megan, told me about a roasted tomato and pesto sauce she made. I tweaked it a bit to serve my tastes. I love the idea of adding pesto to a rich, red tomato sauce. It was delicious and definitely a new recipe for my collection.

ROASTED TOMATO AND PESTO SAUCE

1 pound Italian sausage, cooked and drained
3 cups roasted tomatoes and peppers, cooled and blended (recipe below)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
Cube of pesto (about 1/3 cup)
26.5 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped or blended
1 cup water
1 tablespoon fresh, chopped basil
1 pound cooked pasta (I used bow tie pasta) and 1 cup of pasta water
Parmesan Cheese (optional)

  • Core and slice tomatoes. Halve and remove seeds from peppers.
  • Arrange the tomatoes and peppers on a heavy cookie sheet (I line with parchment paper).  Drizzle with Avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt.
  • Roast at 400 degrees until the edges of the vegetables start to char and are cooked through.
  • Blend the mixture to a smooth consistency.
  • Cook and drain the sausage. Drain and set aside.
  • Sauté onions in olive oil and when almost cooked through, add the garlic. Continue to salute until garlic is cooked through.
  • Add roasted tomatoes and peppers, pesto, San Marzano tomatoes, water, basil and sausage.
  • Heat thoroughly.
  • Add 1 cup of pasta water to sauce. Stir.  Add drained, cooked pasta, and stir to mix thoroughly.
  • Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Family · Family Favorites · Pastas

Microwave Mac & Cheese…endorsed by my two year old Grandson

My Grandson, Evan, loves Mac & Cheese. I’m not fond of the boxed variety and I didn’t want to make a huge batch since I typically don’t typically eat gluten.

I tried this recipe and was pleased with the results. He ate every bite! My taste test confirms it was delicious. It’s easy, cheaper than boxed, and so much better!

Microwave Mac ‘N Cheese

1/2 cup macaroni
1/2 cup milk
1/2 finely grated cheddar cheese

  • Combine macaroni and milk in an oversized, microwavable container (I used a pryex 2 cup measuring cup).  Microwave for 1 minute on high.  Stir the ingredients and cooked another minute and stir again. Continue this process until noodles are cooked through.
  • Remove from the microwave and stir in cheese until melted.

Enjoy!

Desserts · Holidays · New Favorite · Pastas

Kugel…Sweet, Noodle Pudding

Kugel is something I have wanted to make (and taste) for years. Our book club was meeting to discuss ‘This is Where I Leave You’ by Jonathan Tropper. We always have a potluck prior to the discussion, typically with a theme from the book. This story takes place during the time this Jewish family is ‘sitting Shiva’, therefore the theme was favorite Jewish foods.

Our potluck including many wonderful dishes including Matzo Ball Soup, Latkes with Applesauce, Bagels and Lox, NY Cheesecake with Strawberries, Mandelbrot, Kugel and  fresh vegetables and fruit (to make us feel less guilty about the carb/fat overload).

Kugel was my immediate choice and friend and Grandmother-in-Law, Chris, shared a favorite recipe with me. It is a wonderful recipe, absolutely decadent and worth the splurge every now and again.  Sweet, sweet noodle pudding…I love you!

KUGEL

1 lb. egg noodles (broad or medium), cooked and drained
1/2 pound butter, softened
6 eggs, beaten
1 quart milk (1/2 cup less if using creamed cottage cheese)
3/4 cup sugar
2 caps vanilla
1 cup white raisins
1 pound cottage cheese

Topping:
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cups crushed Corn Flakes

  • Butter 10.5″ x 14.75 ” pan.  Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Pour boiling water over raisins, just to cover, to plump the raisins.  Let sit 10-15 minutes.  Drain.
  • Prepare noodles according to package directions.  Drain.  Place noodles in butter and mix well.
  • Combine eggs, sugar, milk, cottage cheese, and vanilla.
  • Add raisins and noodles.  Mix well.
  • Pour into casserole.  Top with cinnamon sugar and crushed corn flakes.
  • Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.