Later in life I discovered Brussel Sprouts were actually delicious when prepared properly. This pasta recipe sounded delicious and it didn’t disappoint. Iowa Girl Eats has another winner!
Sausage Brussel Sprouts Parmesan Pasta
1/2 lb. spaghetti (gluten free of not
8oz. sweet Italian sausage
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil + a few drizzles
9 oz. shredded brussels sprouts
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (or more or less)
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a large, 12” skillet over heat that’s just a touch above medium. Add sausage then brown, breaking it up as it cooks but taking care not to break the sausage up into too small of crumbles. Scoop sausage onto a plate then set aside.
Drop pasta into salted, boiling water then cook until it’s just under al dente – pasta will continue to cook a little bit in the skillet later. DO NOT DRAIN PASTA WATER when pasta is done cooking.
Meanwhile, heat 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in the skillet then add brussels sprouts and red chili pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper, then saute until the brussels sprout are tender, 3-4 minutes. Add garlic then saute for 1 more minute or until very fragrant.
Using tongs, transfer spaghetti from pot to skillet then add parmesan cheese and cooked sausage. Add a generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and enough pasta cooking water to help the parmesan cheese melt and evenly coat the pasta. Taste then season with salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper, and then serve.
Pasta with Bacon Cream Sauce is a family favorite, one I have made for well over 30 years. When I was working and the kids were at home, this was an easy weeknight dinner that pleased everyone. Now that my daughters have families of their own, this is a favorite of the next generation. Feel free to increase the amount of bacon or cheese to your liking.
Pasta with Bacon Cream Sauce
1 lb. vermicelli or very thin spaghetti
1/4 pound bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
2 tablespoons butter
6 scallions, trimmed and cut into strips
1 cup heavy cream
ladle of pasta water
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Saute bacon until crisp. Remove bacon; add butter and scallions; saute 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in cream, pasta water and pepper. Hold over low heat.
Cook and drain pasta. Add to cream mixture; toss together.
Add all but 1 tablespoon bacon, 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese and parsley, toss.
Serve at once, garnished with bacon and remaining Parmesan cheese.
Recipe from long ago and far away…but oh, so good!
Beef & Noodles is a delicious comfort food that was a new experience for me. The beef broth was deliciously rich and yummy over mashed potatoes. I grew up on Chicken & Noodles over mashed potatoes, a family favorite. This dinner was shared with my daughters and we all agreed, Chicken & Noodles is still our favorite although we enjoyed this dish immensely.
Beef & Noodles
Beef Chuck Roast
1 onion (chopped)
4 large garlic cloves (minced)
8 cups of beef stock
32 oz. frozen egg noodles
Salt and Pepper
Oil for searing and sautéing.
Season chuck roast liberally with salt and pepper.
Add oil (I used Avocado Oil) to pan and sear roast on all sides. Remove from pan.
Add additional oil and sauté onion until translucent, add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minus (until fragrant). Add roast back to pan and pour 1. 5 cups of beef broth. Turn pan to medium low and cook for 5-6 hours or until chuck roast is tender.
Remove chuck roast from pot and shred. Skim fat from remaining broth (or run it through a fat separator) then add shredded beef back to pot along with remaining 6.5 cups of beef broth. Once boiling add in the thawed noodles and cook until desired consistency.
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.
Well-browned ground Italian sausage
Goat cheese crumbles
Toasted pine nuts
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.
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
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.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Add 1 cup of pasta water to sauce. Stir. Add drained, cooked pasta, and stir to mix thoroughly.
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.
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!
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