Archive for Pastas

Chicken – Eggplant Bake

Posted by: · Apr 02 2012 · Comments (1)

I have been super lazy about posting lately.  I like to blame it on the stomach flu that visited me last week and severe lake of sleep.   The two, however, are not related.  My sweet baby who has slept through the night for the last month recently  decided nighttime should really be playtime, that or she wanted to put her gloating parents in their place.  Of late, a glance at the baby monitor hasn’t revealed the sprawled out, deep in sleep angel that we have become accustomed to, but rather, a wide eyed, fist chewing, appendage thrashing, cooing and razing monster.  All of this activity is usually topped off by just one giggle.   I have come to find this sweet little giggle that we usually celebrate is in fact the precursor to full blown screams and me running up to her room in panic.  Once cuddled in mom’s arms a chunky hand typically grabs onto my face and a huge grin follows as if to say, “Ha-ha, I won.  Now entertain me.”  Two hours of rocking and singing and then we start all over again. This game has clearly compromised her sleep needs and obviously mine.  As a result, last night two exhausted girls slept without interruption for 9 hours.  We are both so refreshed and bright eyed this morning that we can hardly contain our energy.  So, Miss Eliza is sitting on my lap, talking up a storm and helping me write up this recipe that I have neglected to post for over a week. Enjoy!

Serves 4-6


-1 LB chicken breast, diced into ½”pieces

- 1 large eggplant, cut into ½” slices along the width of the eggplant

- 8 ounce package whole wheat penne pasta

- 1 tablespoons olive oil

- 1 tablespoon butter

- ¼ cup finely chopped basil

- 1 large shallot, finely chopped

- ½ cup oyster mushrooms

- ¾ cup canned artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

- 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese

- 1 tablespoon salt

- 2 cups mozzarella cheese

- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

- ½ cup store bought bread crumbs

-  1 large egg, whisked



Pre-heat oven to 425°. 

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.  Drain and set aside.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the chicken pieces and lightly brown on all sides.  Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook for 5 additional minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the basil, artichoke, mascarpone cheese, salt, red pepper flakes and the pasta.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place one layer of eggplant slices on the bottom of an 8” x 8” baking dish.  Pour the pasta mixture on top of the eggplant layer and use a spatula to spread out in one even layer.  Sprinkle one cup of the mozzarella on top of the pasta and then place another layer of eggplant slices on top.  Finally, top the eggplant slices with the remaining cup of cheese, then evenly sprinkle the bread crumbs on top.  Use a pastry brush to lightly brush the egg on top of the bread crumbs.  Transfer the dish to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is nicely browned.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Categories : Dinners, Pastas, Poultry
Comments (1)

Teriyaki Tuna over Udon Noodles

Posted by: · Feb 22 2012 · Comments (0)

Yum, yum.  This dish is a breeze to make and full of sweet and sour flavors. 

Serves 4


- 3 medium sized ahi tuna steaks

-  1/3 cup store bought teriyaki sauce

- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce

- ¼ cup chili sauce

- 2 cloves minced garlic

- 10 ounces Udon noodles

- 1 tablespoon butter

- 12 ounces broccolini, ends trimmed



Whisk together the teriyaki sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce and garlic in a small bowl.  Place the ahi steaks in a shallow dish.  Pour the teriyaki mixture on top of the ahi and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the udon noodles according to the instructions on the package.  Drain the noodles and toss with the butter.

Remove the tuna from the refrigerator.  Heat a large sauté pan over high heat.  Once the pan is sufficiently hot, cook the tuna steaks for 2-3 minutes per side.  Add the broccolini to the pan as well as the remaining teriyaki mixture.  Remove the tuna from the pan and set aside.   Continue to cook the sauce and the broccolini for 4 minutes.  Stir the udon noodles into the sauce.  Remove from the heat.  Cut the tuna into ¾” slices and serve atop the noodles.  

Categories : Dinners, Pastas, Seafood
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Lobster Pappardelle with Bacon-Orange Sauce

Posted by: · Feb 07 2012 · Comments (1)

Last week consisted of a lot of cereal dinners as Justin was out of town on business.  My desire to cook solely for myself was non-existent, particularly with an adorably fussy baby on my watch.  To welcome dad home, I decided to make something special and this pasta was just that.  Lovely flavors and surprisingly easy.



- 8 ounces parppardelle pasta

- 2 lobster tails, shelled and roughly chopped

- 1 teaspoon olive oil

- 4 pieces thick cut bacon, diced

- 2 cups chopped baby Portobello mushrooms

- 3 cloves minced garlic

- 1 tablespoon butter

- ¼ cup half and half

- ¼ cup white wine

- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice

- ¼ teaspoon orange rind

- 2 teaspoon chopped parsley

- ½ teaspoon salt

- ¼ cup pecorino cheese



Cook pasta according to instructions on package and drain. 

Heat the olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the lobster and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan, cook the bacon over high heat until crispy.  Drain the fat from the saucepan and return the bacon to the heat.  Add mushrooms and the butter and lower the heat to medium.  Cook until the mushrooms are tender- about five minutes.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. Stir in the wine, orange juice, orange rind, half and half, parsley and salt.  Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low.  Stir in the cheese and lobster and continue to cook while stirring frequently until the sauce has thickened.  Add the cooked pasta to the saucepan and thoroughly coat with the sauce.  Serve immediately.

Categories : Pastas, Seafood
Comments (1)

Whole Wheat Gnocchi with Madeira Grape Sauce

Posted by: · Nov 16 2011 · Comments (1)

I was just about to make this gnocchi with white flour when my husband interjected and asked that I make it with wheat flour so not to derail him from his health kick.   Not only was the substitution a healthy upgrade, it was also a wonderfully tasty deviation from the standard preparation.  The dish is just fantastic when combined with this simple but decadent sauce.

Serves 6


- 4 large russet potatoes, peeled

- 2 large eggs

- 1 ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

- 2/3 cups shredded Romano cheese

- 3 cup whole wheat flour

- 2 tablespoons butter

- 2 tablespoons Madeira wine

- 1 tablespoon chopped truffles

- 1 cup chopped seedless red grapes



Bring a large stockpot filled half way with water to a boil.  Add the potatoes and reduce to a simmer.  Cook until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork- about 40 minutes.  Strain the potatoes in a colander and then let them cool to room temperature.  Once the potatoes are cool, run them through a potato ricer, transfer to a large bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl whisk together the eggs and the 1 teaspoon of the salt.  With clean hands, fold the egg mixture into the potatoes, followed by the cheese and then the flour.  Mix until a smooth dough forms.  Separate the dough into 6 equal size portions.   Roll each portion into a ball on a clean and floured surface then use both hands to roll the ball into a long ½” in diameter cylinder.  Using a pastry knife, cut the cylinder along its width into ½” pieces.  Place the gnocchi pieces onto a sheet of wax paper while you roll and cut the remaining dough.  

Bring a stockpot filled half way with water to a boil.  Add the gnocchi and boil until the gnocchi floats to the surface of the water.  Strain the gnocchi and set aside.

In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium-high heat.  Coat the pan evenly with the butter.  Add the gnocchi and lightly brown on each side, stirring frequently.  Add the Madeira, truffles, salt and grapes and continue to cook until the Madeira is reduced by half.  Serve immediately.

Categories : Dinners, Pastas
Comments (1)

Simple Autumn Pasta

Posted by: · Nov 02 2011 · Comments (1)

I know it seems a little counterintuitive to add cream and bacon to whole wheat pasta, but hey, one healthy trade off is better than none.  This dish is the perfect easy fall dinner and so tasty.


- 12 ounce box whole wheat pasta

- 1 LB large raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

- 3 pieces thick cut bacon, diced

- 1 yellow squash diced

- 1 cup diced Portobello mushrooms

- 2 cloves finely diced garlic

- ¼ cup chopped parsley

- ½ teaspoon salt

- ½ cup Marsala wine

- ¼ cup whipping cream

- ½ cup shredded provolone

- ¼ cup parmesan



Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box.  Strain, toss with a touch of olive oil and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the bacon and cook until browned.   Strain the grease from the pan and return to the heat.  Add the squash, mushrooms, garlic and parsley and sauté for 5 minutes stirring frequently.  Add the shrimp and cook until they turn slightly orange.  Stir in the wine, salt and cream and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.   Now add the chesses and stir until fully incorporated and thickened.  Fold in 5 cups of the cooked pasta ensuring that the pasta is thoroughly coated with the sauce.   Remove from the heat and serve.

Categories : Dinners, Pastas, Seafood
Comments (1)

I can’t take all the credit for this dish.  The Italian restaurant around the corner from our home serves a pasta dish with similar ingredients, minus the sausage ravioli.  I spent last night trying to emulate RoseAngelis and I can say I was quite successful. The sauce is rich and creamy and goes wonderfully with fresh homemade pasta. If you don’t have the time to make homemade pasta just use store bought and toss with the sauce and sausage.

Serves 6

- 2 cups flour plus extra for kneading

- 3 eggs

- ¾ teaspoon olive oil

- ¼ teaspoon salt

- 2 tablespoons warm water

- ½ LB sweet Italian sausage, casing removed

- 1 tablespoon butter

-  1 cup heavy whipping cream

- 1 cup chopped gorgonzola cheese

- ½ cup grapes, cut in half

- ¼ cup chopped walnuts


Start with the pasta dough.  Whisk together the eggs, olive oil and salt in a medium size bowl. Place two cups of the flour in the bowl of a standing mixer fixed with a dough hook.  Mix on medium speed and slowly pour in the egg mixture followed by the water.  Continue to mix until a sticky dough forms.  Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat floured surface.  Hand knead the dough for 5 minutes until completely smooth.   Divide into two equally sized balls and place in two separate bowls. Cover the bowls with cellophane and let sit at room temperature for at least one hour.

While the dough is settling, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage and use a wooden spoon to break up the clumps.  Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is slightly browned.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the sauce, melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan over low heat.  Add the cream and cook until just barely simmering.  Whisk in the cheese.  Stir frequently and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the grapes and walnuts right before serving.

While the sauce is thickening, roll out both pasta dough balls on a floured surface until 1/8” thick.   Place small spoonfuls of the sausage on one pasta sheet with 2 inches between each spoonful. Cover with the other pasta sheet.  Use a large knife to cut the raviolis.  Use your fingers to press the two pieces of pasta together around the sausage.

Bring a large stockpot filled half way with water to a boil.  Add the raviolis and cook for five minutes.  Drain in a colander.  Plate 3-5 raviolis per person and top with the sauce.  Enjoy!

Categories : Dinners, Pastas
Comments (1)

Soba Noodle and Beef Stir Fry

Posted by: · Apr 30 2011 · Comments (2)

This dish is just as tasty as it is beautiful.  Full of fresh flavors with a fine balance of salt and sweet.


- 1.5 LB’s Beef Sirloin cut into ¼” slices

- 4 tablespoons plum sauce, available in the Asian food section of most grocery stores

- 2 tablespoons soy sauce

- ¼ cup chopped scallions

- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

- 5 carrots, shaved and julienned

- 8 ounces green beans, cleaned and ends trimmed

- 1.5 cups cabbage, roughly chopped

- 1 cup bean sprouts

- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

- 2 cloves minced garlic

- ¼ cup beef stock

- 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce, available in the Asian food section of most grocery stores

- 1 tablespoon butter at room temperature

- 1 tablespoon flour

-10.5 ounce package buckwheat/soba noodles


Combine the beef, 2 tablespoons of the plum sauce, the soy sauce and the scallions in a bowl and cover. Marinate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to package instruction.  Drain and toss with a touch of oil.

Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large wok.  Add the carrots, green beans and cabbage.  Sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the ginger, garlic and bean sprouts.   Continue to cook for 2 minutes before adding the remaining 2 tablespoons of plum sauce, the beef stock and the sweet chili sauce.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer over low heat.  Mix the butter and flour together in a small bowl.  Whisk the flour/butter mixture into the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.

While the sauce is simmering, remove the meat from the refrigerator.  Heat a large sauté pan over medium- high heat and add the meat and the marinade.  Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.  Transfer the meat and the residual liquids in the pan to the wok. Fold the noodles into the wok as well. Increase the heat to medium-high heat and thoroughly toss the noodles with the sauce and the meat.  Spoon into bowls, top with some chopped scallions and serve.

Categories : Beef, Dinners, Pastas
Comments (2)

Veal and Orzo Meat Balls

Posted by: · Apr 21 2011 · Comments (0)

My initial name for this meal was, “Veal Balls.”  I quickly realized this name was not only unappetizing but also slightly obscene.  So I re-named it “Veal and Orzo Meat Balls.”  Much better.  Despite my earlier indiscretion, this dish is amazing!

Serves 4


- 1 12 ounce box orzo pasta

- 1 LB ground veal

- ¼ finely chopped parsley

- 2 eggs

- ½ cup grated parmesan

- 1.5 cups fresh bread crumbs from a French baguette

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1 tablespoon truffle oil

- 2 tablespoons cream

- 2 tablespoon butter


Pre-heat the oven to 400°.

Cook the orzo according to the instructions on the box and drain.  Measure one cup of the cooked orzo and place in a large bowl along with the veal, parsley, eggs, parmesan, bread crumbs, salt and truffle oil.  Place the remaining orzo in a saucepan and toss with the cream and butter.  Cover the pan to keep warm.  Use clean hands to mix the contents of the bowl together. Form the mixture into gold ball size meatballs.  Place on a baking dish and transfer to the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes uncovered and remove from the oven.  Serve on top of the remaining orzo and enjoy!

Categories : Dinners, Pastas, Veal
Comments (0)

Three Cheese and Shiitake Mac

Posted by: · Apr 14 2011 · Comments (3)

This one definitely goes down in the books.  The mushrooms add a subtle smokiness combined with a slight sweetness from the bread crumbs.  Delectable!

Serves 6-8


- 14.5 ounce box macaroni

- 1 tablespoon olive oil

- 2 tablespoons butter

- 2 tablespoons flour

- 2 cups half and half

- 3 cups white cheddar cheese

- ¼ cup goat cheese

- ½ cup gorgonzola

- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms sliced and stem on

- 1.5 teaspoons salt

- 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

- 1 cup fresh brioche bread crumbs


Pre-heat oven to 350°.

Cook the macaroni in a large pot according to the directions on the box and drain.  Return the macaroni to the pot and toss with the olive oil.

In a medium size saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the half and half and increase the heat to medium.  Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in the cheeses until fully melted and incorporated into the half and half.   Fold in the mushrooms, parsley and salt.

Pour the sauce over the pasta, mix and transfer to a 9x 13” casserole dish.  Spread the bread crumbs on top and place in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crusty.  Cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Categories : Dinners, Pastas
Comments (3)

Duck Confit Fettuccini

Posted by: · Feb 19 2011 · Comments (0)

Confit is terminology for cooked meat that is stored in its own fat.  I admit, it sounds a little nasty, but it is amazingly tasty.  Duck confit comes on the bone and is generally canned or shrink wrapped.  I discard as much of the fat as possible leaving the richness of the duck and a delicious, but not overwhelming heavy meal.

Serves 6


- 18 ounces spinach fettuccini

- 1.5 LB’s duck confit, meat pulled from the bone and removed from the fat

- 1 teaspoon butter

- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

- ¼ cup white wine

- ¾ cup cream

- 1 teaspoon lemon juice

- 1 teaspoon salt

- 1 tablespoon chopped truffles or truffle pate

- ¼ cup parmesan


In a large sauté pan heat the butter over medium-high heat.  Add the duck and sauté for 3 minutes.  Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and add the cream, parsley, lemon juice, salt and truffles.  Cook for 5 additional minutes or until the sauce thickens.  Add the parmesan and continue to cook for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Cook pasta according to package instructions.  Drain and incorporate a spoonful of pasta at a time into the sauce.  Serve immediately.

Categories : Dinners, Pastas, Poultry
Comments (0)