• from Bon Appetit’s Fast, Easy, Fresh Cookbook

    12 ounces rigatoni (I used 16 ounces- an entire box)
    1 1/2 cups diced ham (about 8 ounces- and this you could buy from the deli pre-chopped)
    4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
    1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
    1 cup (packed) grated mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
    1 cup heavy whipping cream

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.  Cook rigatoni in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender- but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.  Drain.  Place in prepared baking dish.  Mix in ham, tomatoes, cheeses and thyme.  Pour cream over.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to blend.  Cover with foil.

    Bake pasta 15 minutes.  Uncover and stir to coat pasta evenly with melted cheeses.  Cover again. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes longer.

    Makes 6 servings.

  • 100_5768

    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    2 eggs, beaten
    1/2 cup milk
    additional flour for rolling

    Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine.  Add the beaten eggs and pulse a few times until evenly combined.

    Turn on the food processor, and slowly drizzle in the 1/2 cup milk.  Process until the dough comes together in a ball.

    Remove the dough from the processor and knead it two or three times.  Set the ball of dough aside for ten minutes to rest.  If you would like to let it rest longer, cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap.

    Divide the dough into four equal portions.  One at a time, roll them out to the desired thickness, flouring as you go to keep the dough from sticking to itself.  Use a pasta roller to cut the dough into ribbons, or roll it up and use a sharp knife to cut it.

    Allow the noodles to dry for at least an hour before cooking.  To cook them, bring a large pot of salted water to boiling, and cook the noodles for about five minutes- beginning to test them around three minutes to see if they are cooked through.

  • “It’s seasoned with soy sauce.”

    1 onion, sliced
    2 cups sliced celery
    2 tablespoons fat
    1 can (19 ounces) bean sprouts, undrained (whoops! I drained!)
    1 1/2 cups finely diced cooked chicken
    2 chicken bouillon cubes
    1 1/2 cups hot water
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1/4 cup cold water
    Salt and pepper
    Chow-mein noodles

    Cook onion and celery in fat 10 minutes.  Add sprouts, chicken, bouillon dissolved in hot water.  Bring to a boil; simmer 5 minutes.  Add soy sauce.  Stir in cornstarch blended with cold water.  Cook, stirring until thickened.  Season.  Serve over noodles, with more soy sauce, if desired.  Makes 4 servings.


  • 1/2  cup  chicken broth
    1/4  cup  chunky peanut butter
    1/4  cup  low-sodium soy sauce
    3  tablespoons  brown sugar
    2  tablespoons  rice vinegar
    2  teaspoons  grated peeled fresh ginger
    2  teaspoons  chile paste with garlic
    4  garlic cloves, minced
    Directions:

    Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

  • sausage pasta3/4 pound of spaghetti, fettuccine, or spaghetti rigate
    1 Tablespoon bacon fat, olive oil or other cooking oil
    1/2 red bell pepper, diced
    1/2 yellow onion, diced
    2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 pound Smoked Sausage, sliced (or Kielbasa would work too)
    1 28-ounce can stewed tomatoes
    1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
    1 Tablespoon butter
    1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
    1 cup of pasta cooking water

    Directions:

    Heat a deep skillet over medium high heat and add the fat to the pan.  When it’s hot and ready, add the bell pepper and onion.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until softened.  Add the garlic and sausage, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, adding salt to the cooking water, and being sure to reserve 1 cup of the water before draining.

    Add the stewed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, black pepper and Worcestershire sauce to the sausage mixture.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Remove the cover and continue cooking for just a few minutes, stirring occasionally.  Taste to check for seasoning, and add some of the pasta cooking water, starting with about 1/2 a cup and seeing how it is from there.  Most likely, that will be enough.

    When the pasta is cooked, drain it and toss with the butter and the Parmesan cheese.

    Serve the chunky sausage sauce over the pasta, and sprinkle with additional Parmesan if desired.

    Serves 4 generously.

  • from Barefoot Contessa Family Stylemacncheese

    Kosher salt
    Vegetable oil
    1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
    1 quart milk
    8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    12 ounces Gruyere, grated (4 cups)
    8 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (2 cups)
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    3/4 pound fresh tomatoes (4 small)
    1 1/2 cups fresh white bread crumbs (5 slices, crusts removed)

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

    Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

    Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gruyere, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

    Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the fresh bread crumbs, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

  • adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

    serves 6

    2 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 onions, finely chopped
    One 4-ounce can or tin of olive-oil packed sardines drained, boned and finely chopped
    2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
    1 cup milk
    1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
    Salt and pepper to taste
    1 pound spaghetti

    Directions:

    In a large, deep skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and cook, stirring often, until softened and lightly golden- about 15 minutes.  Add the sardines and lemon juice and cook about 2 more minutes.  Add the milk and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the sardines kind of melt into the sauce.   Add the parsley, salt and pepper as desired.

    Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and add the spaghetti to the sauce in the skillet.  Toss to coat, seasoning with extra salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately.

  • orange-pastaadapted from Vegetarian Times Complete Cookbook

    5 carrots, peeled and sliced
    1 onion, coarsely chopped
    1 bell pepper, cut into chunks
    3 cloves garlic, peeled, but left whole
    5 roma tomatoes
    An assortment of fresh herbs as desired
    olive oil
    salt and pepper
    1 cup vegetable broth
    1 pound cooked pasta, 1 cup of pasta cooking water, reserved

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 425º.

    Combine the carrots, onion, garlic cloves and bell pepper on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper.  Toss gently.  Place in the oven to roast for 30 minutes, stirring twice while roasting.

    At the same time, cut the toma tomatoes in half, and place them in a baking dish, cut side up.  Add any fresh herbs you desire (or dried if it’s what you have on hand), and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

    Once all the vegetables are roasted, scrape them into a blender, and add the 1 cup of vegetable broth.  Leave the top of the blender askew just a touch when blending a hot liquid to allow steam to escape.  Blend until smooth.

    Toss the roasted carrot sauce with the hot pasta, adding the reserved pasta water as desired to loosen the sauce a bit.

    Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

    Serves 6.

  • from Eating Well, Jan/Feb 2009

    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi
    1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup water
    6 cups chopped chard leaves (about 1 small bunch) or spinach
    1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
    1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
    1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
    1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

    Directions:

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
    2. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard (or spinach) and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer. Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

  • from The Bon Appetit Fast Fresh Easy Cookbook

    2 cups reduced fat milk
    2/3 cup basmati rice
    1/2 cup sugar
    1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
    2 (14-oz) cans light unsweetened coconut milk, divided

    Directions:

    Combine the first four ingredients in a heavy large saucepan.  Stir in 1 can of coconut milk.  Bring just to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat to very low and simmer gently, uncovered, until the pudding is thick and the rice is very tender, stirring occasionally during the first 45 minutes of cooking, and then stirring frequently during the last 15 minutes, 1 hour total.

    Stir in the second can of coconut milk.  Transfer the rice pudding to a bowl; press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and chill until cold, at least 4 hours.

    Makes 6 generous servings.  Can be made ahead up to 2 days.  Keep chilled.

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