Chicken and Pasta Primavera

22 04 2009


I would pay for this dish in a restaurant.  It was sooooo delicious.  It is light and flavorful and easy.  And the portions turned out perfect — no leftovers!

I want to make this every night.  Seriously.  It’s that good.  Just make it and eat it and enjoy it.


Chicken and [Penne] Pasta Primavera

Serves 2!


  • 1 c. uncooked [penne] pasta (I used corkscrews)
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces (I used 1 large breast)
  • 1/2 c. sliced zucchini
  • 1/2 c. sliced yellow squash
  • 1/2 c. 2-inch pieces asparagus
  • 1/4 c. Italian dressing
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves (I used a basil “paste” from the store — worked fine)
  • 3 Tbsp. shredded parm
  • pepper


  1. Cook and drain pasta as directed, without salt.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook chicken in oil about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in zucchini, squash, and asparagus.
  5. Cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are crisp tender.
  6. Stir pasta into chicken mixture.
  7. Stir in dressing and basil.
  8. Heat through.
  9. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.

Source [19]


Chicken Mozzarella

8 04 2009


This is just something I tried from a cookbook the other night.  Very simple to make and doesn’t take long at all.  I had to cook mine longer than the recipe instructs because my chicken pieces were thicker.  This made the sauce fall apart a little bit but it was still very tasty.  This comes from a cookbook that uses about 5 or 6 ingredients or less in each recipe.  Fabulously easy.

Chicken Mozzarella

Makes 2 servings


  • 2 chicken breast halves
  • 1 can Campbell’s Tomato Soup
  • 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning OR dried oregano leaves, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 & 1/2 c. cooked pasta with salt (about 1 & 1/2 c. uncooked)


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Place chicken in shallow baking dish.
  3. Mix soup, Italian seasoning and garlic powder.
  4. Spoon over chicken and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.
  5. Sprinkle cheese over chicken.
  6. Remove chicken, stir sauce, and serve over pasta.

Source [7]

Tour Recipe #1 – Stuffed Shells

25 03 2009


Warning: I did not do this recipe justice.  At all.  Be sure to check out Niki’s original post here.


Stuffed shells are new for me and as such, I failed.  This was definitely an execution problem solely on my part.  It has huge potential, as long as you don’t screw it up.  My main problem was that the type of cheese I used did not melt like it was supposed to for a cheesy sauce. I also cooked the pancetta too long 😦  WH didn’t think these were too bad, but I was just so disappointed by how badly I had messed this up.


Please visit Niki’s blog and see a successful posting of this dish!  Here’s why she picked it as one of her favorites:  “Now these are anything but healthy (well there is a ton of spinach) but the creamy sauce and salty pancetta really makes these shine.”

WH helps to stuff the shells

WH helps to stuff the shells

Deconstructed Lasagna

11 03 2009


Brace yourselves: it’s another Rachel Ray recipe.  But don’t freak out.  This one actually was fairly simple and I’m pretty sure I made it in 30 minutes!  This is a really good pasta dish and an easy way to include some extra veggies (there are carrots in the meat sauce).


I was a little skeptical about the ricotta mixture since it’s cold, but the heat from the pasta and meat sauce warm it up right away.  It mixes in really well and the flavor is so close to actual lasagna. Next time I would use less parsley in the ricotta mixture and I would grate/shred the carrots instead of “finely chop” them.  I’d also use more basil in the sauce.


Definitely a quick and simple recipe!

Deconstructed Lasagna

Serves 2


  • 1/2 lb. cavatappi pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 small carrot, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. beef broth
  • 14 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • A few basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
  • 1/6 c. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 c. grated parmesan


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the beef, crumbling into bits, and cook until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Add carrot, onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook until vegetables are softened, 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beef broth then the tomatoes and basil; simmer.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta and parsley.
  8. Toss the pasta with the butter, then stir in the parmesan cheese and meat sauce.
  9. Scoop the ricotta mixture into each of 2 shallow bowls, then top with the meaty pasta.
  10. Sprinkle with additional parmesan cheese.

Source: [11 – Feb. 2009]

Baked Spaghetti/Ziti

5 02 2009


The same night I made Garlic Knots, I also tried my grandma’s recipe for Baked Spaghetti.  I love baked pasta except when it gets hard and crunchy in the oven.  WH has said he isn’t a fan of Baked Spaghetti but would eat another type of pasta.  For that reason, I substituted penne pasta for spaghetti.  WH said it reminded him of Baked Ziti, which I’ve never made before.  So this is my grandma’s (we call her Mema) recipe for Baked Spaghetti but feel free to substitute any kind of pasta you like.

The final product turned out pretty good and went well with the Garlic Knots.  I enjoyed cooking with sausage for the first time and thought the flavor was delicious.  As long as you cover up all the pasta with sauce or cheese it shouldn’t get hard or crunchy.

Mema’s Baked Spaghetti

Serves 6-8


  • 8 oz. uncooked spaghetti, broken into thirds
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. bulk Italian sausage
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/4 c. chopped green pepper
  • 14 oz. jarred, meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 to 2 c. shredded mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions & drain.
  3. In a large bowl beat the egg, milk, and salt.
  4. Add spaghetti and toss to coat.
  5. Transfer to greased 13×9 baking dish.
  6. In large skillet cook beef, sausage, onion, and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink.
  7. Drain fat and add spaghetti sauce, tomato sauce, and mis well.
  8. Spoon over spaghetti mixture.
  9. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle with cheese and bake 10 minutes more or until cheese is melted.
  11. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Source: [FF]

Tuesdays With [Parmigiano]-Reggi[ano]

25 11 2008


I wish I could keep up with my fun “Tuesdays with Reggie”, but unfortunately the bulk of my Reggie pictures are on my laptop which is currently out of commission. I can’t get Windows to boot, so I can’t access anything. 😦


This week, I thought I’d do a little play on words and post a recipe for Parmigiano-Reggi(e)ano Crusted Chicken Piccata (get it? haha i’m so clever). And yes, it’s another Rachel Ray Magazine recipe. I’m a glutton for punishment. But this recipe was a lot easier. I was actually able to cook it completely in a fairly short amount of time and without having to whine for help from WH.

imgp2299 imgp2302

I didn’t really know what “piccata” meant before making this recipe, and considering the fact that I omitted the capers from this recipe, I’m not sure how “piccata” this dish actually is. I’ve still got the tart lemon flavor, but WH hates capers and I knew he wouldn’t even touch the dish if I added them.


Regardless, I was quite successful with this dish, as WH brought up “the rotation” again. It’s funny because I haven’t made the same recipe twice in months (except for stuffed peppers and fajitas/tacos). Does he think the rotation is several months long? Or is he so blown away by my fabulous cooking that he doesn’t realize he hasn’t been eating the same thing twice? I’ll pretend it’s the latter 😉


Parmigiano-Reggiano Crusted Chicken Picatta

Serves 2

Stuff you need:

  • 1/8 c. flour
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 c. grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded 1/4 inch thick
  • salt
  • 1/4 lb. angel hair pasta
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon, plus 1/2 sliced lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/8 c. flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 c. chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 & 1/2 oz. baby spinach
  • pepper
  • (1/8 c. capers, drained and patted dry; or 6 caper berries, sliced)

What to do with that stuff:

  1. Put the flour on a plate. In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Place 1/4 c. cheese on another plate.
  2. Coat each chicken cutlet with the flour, then egg, then cheese, pressing to adhere.
  3. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and then pasta. Cook until al dente.
  5. Drain, reserving a ladleful of water.
  6. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat.
  7. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until deeply golden, about 10 minutes.
  8. Transfer to a platter and cover with foil.
  9. Add the remaining 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil to the skillet.
  10. Add the sliced lemon and garlic (and capers) and cook for 2 minutes.
  11. Stir in the wine and parsley and cook until reduced, about 1 minute.
  12. Lower the heat and bring to a simmer.
  13. Stir the chicken broth into the sauce for 1 minutes.
  14. Stir the butter until melted, then stir in the lemon juice.
  15. Spoon a little sauce over the chicken.
  16. Add the spinach to the remaining sauce in the skillet and cook until wilted.
  17. Add the reserved pasta water.
  18. Stir in the pasta and toss to coat; season with salt and pepper.
  19. Add the remaining cheese and toss.
  20. Serve the pasta with the chicken.

Source [11] November 2008

Four Foods on Friday (54) & Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

7 11 2008

#1. Name a food you like that uses a red sauce or anything red in it.


#2. Name a food you like with whipped cream in it or on it.

Does strawberries with whipped cream count? Ohhh, that makes me want some right now.

#3. Name a food you like with blueberry in it.

Blueberry muffins!

#4. Share a recipe for pasta or dessert or a beverage.


I’m excited to share this recipe, because it’s so fresh and quick. WH loved it. I was so surprised. The flavors are perfect together (obviously) and taste so fresh and light. We also got to use our new restaurant style cheese grater 😀


Pasta with No-Cook Tomato Sauce

Serves 2 or 3

Stuff you need:

  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. pasta
  • 1 lb. tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1/2 c. fresh basil leaves thinly sliced
  • parm for serving


What to do with that stuff:

  1. In a cup, put the crushed garlic in the olive oil so the flavors can infuse.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  3. Cook pasta about 11 minutes.
  4. Reserve 1/2 c. of pasta water and drain pasta.
  5. In a large bowl, crush the tomatoes with your hands & season with salt & pepper.
  6. Remove the garlic from the olive oil and discard.
  7. Add the oil, butter, and lemon peel to the tomatoes.
  8. Add the pasta and toss, adding a splash of the pasta water if you need to thin the sauce.
  9. Add the basil and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Serve with parm.


Source [11], September 2008