You can use your home made pasta for this but I went with bought pasta and spent my free time making the sauce.
Pasta with a Danish Blue cheese sauce garnished with crispy strips of bacon and toasted walnut pieces. If serving to company, you can garnish with some fresh parsley, but I didn’t bother, especially because I didn’t have any.
I had some ricotta and provolone in the fridge and thought of making a lasagna but I didn’t have any lasagna noodles and was too lazy to make my own from scratch so I hunted down a recipe that used penne, ziti or medium shells for a casserole type dish. I had penne rigate so that’s what I went with. And, in place of the doctored marinara the recipe called for, I used a jar of mushroom and green pepper pasta sauce. The results were pretty good. And I now have enough pasta for five more meals.
This is a Japanese pasta dish called spaghetti Napolitan. Ketchup is used to flavour the pasta instead of a marinara/tomato sauce. Lighting was poor so the shot I took of the pasta dressed with some green onion for colour was out of focus so you’ll have to use your imagination.
I used fresh hot Italian sausages and mushrooms but the rest of the dish was based on this recipe.
I’ve been cutting back on my grocery shopping trips so when I had a craving for potstickers/gyoza, rather than going out and buying a couple of packages of the ready made wrappers, I finally buckled down and decided to make them from scratch using this recipe.
The ingredients are simple: flour and salt and boiling water. And time … to let the dough hydrate and to roll them out.
Pleating also takes some time and, of course, practice.
After all that, I’m quite pleased with the results for a first try and WILL be making them again.
Another pasta dish which is fast and easy to prepare and not that pricey, depending on the protein used.
Today’s post features shrimp and mushrooms. I like to pair a protein and a vegetable.
Basic Alfredo Recipe for One
90 gm pasta (fettuccine, linguine, spaghetti) 2 tbsp butter, extra virgin olive oil or equal parts of each 3-4 mushrooms, thickly sliced 100-125 gm raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined 1 clove garlic, finely minced 1/2 cup whipping cream 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh or dried parsley and more grated Parmesan for garnish
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a large saute pan over medium high heat, add one tablespoon of butter and when it has melted and starts to bubble, add the mushrooms. Cook until golden brown on one side, turn and repeat with second side. Remove the mushrooms to a large bowl and reserve. Depending on how much butter remains in the pan, add a second tablespoon and when it melts, add the shrimp. Saute quickly, flipping over until both sides have begun to turn pink, then remove to the bowl with the mushrooms.
Add the minced garlic and saute briefly, stirring, until the garlic barely begins to pick up some colour, turn down the heat to medium and add the whipping cream and Parmesan cheese. Stir until the mixture starts to bubble, the cheese melts and the mixture begins to thicken. Add the cooked pasta, mushrooms and shrimp, stirring to coat with the Alfredo sauce.
Transfer to a plate and serve immediately garnished with some more grated Parmesan and parsley for colour.
Other options: chicken and asparagus or ham and green peas.
The simplest Italian pasta dish is spaghetti aglio e olio, pasta with garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil. If you’re on a budget, this is an inexpensive dish when paired with a big bowl of soup and a salad.
But you can build on this basic dish if your budget is more generous.
Instead of olive oil, you can use butter (or use both) and add some leftover roasted chicken. Or shrimp if you’ve just been paid. A bit of shrimp (100 gm per portion) can make you feel like you’re dining out at a fancy Italian restaurant, especially if you add a glass of a dry white wine to your meal. Clams or mussels are other protein options. Or a nice piece of salmon. If you’re avoiding meat but still want some protein in your dish, add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas.
Add some jarred pasta sauce to the previous meal for a change in colour and flavour. And tomatoes are veggies, aren’t they? If you have tomatoes in your garden, dice up one and add that to the meal above. Grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half, are another option.
If you’re not in the mood for tomatoes, transform your aglio e olio into an Alfredo sauce with the addition of whipping cream and grated Parmesan cheese. Sometimes the cheese goes on sale and it freezes well, grated or ungrated.
Another option is to add some whipping cream to the tomato sauce. The result is a fancy ‘blush’ or pink sauce. You can add white wine to thin out a leftover Alfredo sauce if you’ve got some in the your cupboard or fridge. Vodka is another add-in to a blush sauce instead of the white wine.
And, if you’re a veggie fanatic, add blanched spinach or Swiss chard or kale to your pasta dish.
Kale is a bit on the bitter side so you may want to blanch it ahead of time or sautee it with your olive oil and garlic. Asparagus is another alternative. And, of course, you can sautee your favourite mushrooms in the olive oil until golden brown and remove them from the pan before adding your garlic, and return them to the pan along with your cooked and drained pasta to warm through.
Today’s supper came to the top of the posting queue because it’s an amazing combination of two simply prepared dishes, a main and a pasta side, and a green salad of your choice.
I’ve made pan fried breaded chicken cutlets before so that wasn’t a big deal. It was the pasta dish that took it over the top.
The recipe came from this Youtube video but the ‘bones’ of the recipe are very simple: whipping cream, the zest of one lemon and a tablespoon of butter. Simmer together for a few minutes in a large saute pan until the sauce reduces a bit, add some grated Parmesan or Romano cheese and your freshly cooked pasta, stir it together tasting for seasoning (salt and pepper) and then serve with some more grated cheese on top. The recipe suggests adding some lemon juice as well, but, in my opinion, it didn’t need any. If you have a fetish for something green for a garnish, sprinkled some freshly chopped parsley over the top.
I get my ideas/recipes from ‘only the best’ people.
Like this beef chow fun (beef and rice noodles) which came from the blog, “The Frugal Hausfrau”. I followed the recipe exactly and didn’t have to make any substitutions because I HAD all the ingredients. (So proud of my pantry.)
The wide rice noodles (the red package) took 5 minutes to cook. Then I drained, ice shocked and drained them well and set them aside just before assembly.
I blanched the bean sprouts by placing them into a stand drainer and pouring the boiling water from cooking the noodles over them. They were still crunchy after being added to the beef and sauce along with the noodles and tossing together just long enough to coat the noodles and warm everything through.
REVIEW: An amazing dish. Easy to make and cook with some judicious planning/prepping. Make it. You won’t be disappointed.