Archive for the ‘pasta’ Category

6-Minute Mac & Cheese

August 12, 2016 1 comment

6-minute Mac n cheese in the Instant Pot

When trolling Pinterest for dinner ideas, I always gag a little when I see pasta made in the crock pot. It always looks mushy, like cafeteria or hospital food. When I got my Instant Pot, I felt the same way. Pasta doesn’t take very long, why not just make it the usual way? Read more…

Categories: food, Instant Pot, pasta Tags: ,

Spaghetti & Meatballs

August 19, 2014 1 comment


It was my birthday recently and I told my friends I wanted spaghetti & meatballs. I found a recipe from our reliable friend Smitten Kitchen and as usual, the recipe was a keeper! I used 1/2 pork and 1/2 beef because Whole Foods doesn’t carry veal. I didn’t bother making fresh breadcrumbs–just a combination of Italian breadcrumbs I had laying around supplemented with panko. Our sauce (make sure to double the recipe) was thickened up with tomato paste and doctored up with extra spices. What resulted were some super tender delicious meatballs that got even better over the next week. Read more…

Categories: Italian, noodles, pasta

Pesto Quinoa w/Roasted Veggies

January 15, 2014 2 comments

Pesto quinoa with roasted veggies

The Peru-inspired quinoa kick continues. Incidentally, I’ve lost a few pounds in the last few weeks. Whether it is due to the mostly gluten-free diet or the vast amounts of quinoa itself is debatable. We’ve had pizza a few times in the last few weeks but other than that, our diet has mostly been traditionally rice- or pasta-based meals with quinoa as a substitute: quinoa with adobo, quinoa fried rice, quinoa lasagna, quinoa salad, and today’s pesto quinoa.  Read more…

Categories: food, pasta, vegetarian Tags: ,

Pasta with chicken liver & porcini sauce

July 16, 2013 Leave a comment

Liver & porcini tagliatelle

I’ve always loved chicken liver. When my mom boiled or roasted a chicken, she would always set aside the heart, liver and lungs for me (gizzards require a lot more manipulation for me to enjoy). My husband (!), on the other hand, didn’t think he liked liver. He’s said that in the past about many things, including coconut, beets, and green beans. It turns out he just doesn’t like certain preparations (generally American/midwestern) of these items. Mounds does not equal all coconut, beets don’t only come from cans, green beans should never be cooked to a mush.

When Claire’s husband posted about this pasta several months ago, I knew it might be a challenge dish for Joel. But I also knew I’d like it. I finally made it earlier this week and he gave it the thumbs up to put into our meal rotation. That said, it is a rich dish that may be better suited for special occasions, but it takes only 30 minutes to pull together. So you can get fancy without spending much time–and your liver-hater might just love it too! Read more…

Categories: Italian, noodles, pasta Tags: , ,

Meatballs w/Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce & Pappardelle

July 15, 2012 1 comment

Ad Hoc Meatballs w/Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce & Papperdelle

The weekend he proposed, we cooked a lot. On Friday, he made lobster rolls and discovered his abilities in the kitchen. He had originally planned on serving  meatballs from the ad hoc at home cookbook on Friday night as an appetizer but ran out of time. So on Saturday, we made the meatballs together with oven-roasted tomato sauce and homemade pappardelle. On Sunday, I had coincidentally planned on making the ad hoc fried chicken (before I even knew he planned on attacking the cookbook himself) but ended up making Ruhlman’s fried chicken instead.

Thomas Keller’s recipes are pretty fussy but these meatballs were surprisingly simple. We ground the meat ourselves, stuffed each ball with some mozzarella and roasted them in the oven until they were done. The most time-consuming items were the oven-roasted tomato sauce, which I found a little sweet and won’t make again, and the homemade pappardelle. I didn’t use Keller’s recipe for the pasta but I probably should have. I found a random food processor-friendly version online which didn’t have enough egg for my tastes. I will definitely make the meatballs again but next time I’ll simplify significantly with a simple marinara and pre-made pasta. Read more…

Categories: appetizers, food, Italian, meat, pasta Tags: ,

Seriously, Best Lasagna Ever (thank you Smitten Kitchen!)

March 2, 2012 5 comments

Holy crap this is good. Ps you can't see my salad

You have to make this! I don’t normally eat a lot of lasagna: I never order it at restaurants and we have it at home rarely. However, Smitten Kitchen posted a recipe and hailed it as her culinary Mount Everest, which piqued my interest. Soon after, Tuna Toast called it The Best Lasagna Ever. Boy, were they right!! Something that’s often a dense gut bomb was transformed into a light but comforting meal that had me looking forward to dinner several nights this week. Call me Garfield.

It takes some time to put together, but the methods aren’t difficult. The bolognese I knew I could handle. However, pasta was new for me. I got a KitchenAid pasta attachment for Christmas last year and had yet to use it. I’d previously attempted bechamel twice for moussaka and failed both times. Deb’s directions seemed straightforward so I went for it. We hibernated last weekend after consecutive weekends out of town, so I had the time to enjoy the process. Read more…

Categories: food, Italian, pasta Tags:

Penne w/Cheese, Squash & Tomatoes

August 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Pasta w/cheese, pattypan squash & tomatoes

This is the last of the white pasta in the house (and before I realized my jeans no longer fit). From hereon out, we’re back to whole wheat pastas…and lately, soups (out of season for many of you but perfect for SF year round) and salads.

Last week, we didn’t feel like going out but didn’t have a meal planned, so this was put together on the fly. I boiled some penne in salted water and sauteed shredded pattypan squash in a bit of butter (from our Paso Robles trip several weeks ago…its amazing how long squash can last on the counter!). Once the pasta was ready, I mixed in the squash, a pat of butter, some shredded cheese (whatever we found in the fridge: parmesan, goat pimento and edam), cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market, salt and pepper.

Easy, simple and flavorful!

Lake Tahoe
View from our cabin in Lake Tahoe last weekend

Categories: pasta, vegetarian Tags: ,