Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

Bacon Peas Pasta

I kinda mixed a bunch of ideas together here, but it was a hit and super fast. I eyeballed this based on how much I thought my kids would eat.

Boil up some mini shell pasta (or whatever you’ve got)
Fry up some bacon.
When bacon is almost done chuck in some frozen peas and cook until peas look done.

Create a white sauce:
Melt 1tbsp butter in pot.
Add 1tbsp flour and stir. Cook on low constantly stirring for a few minutes.
Slowly add milk until it reaches the consistency you think the kids will like.
Add some grated Parmesan.

Mix the whole lot together.

That’s it! I left out salt and pepper in the sauce, but feel free to spice it up anyway you see fit.


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This one is a fave in the Forbes/Zachariah home.  Robin stole it from the Moosewood Restaurant (and I think this isn’t the first time she’s stolen from them).  She throws everything in the food processor or a bowl with the immersion blender, and doesn’t grate or chop anything. She also adds more more cottage cheese (use the entire medium size container).

1 1/2 c 1% cottage cheese
1 1/2 c skim milk or buttermilk
1 t dried mustard or 1 T prepared mustard
pinch of cayenne (or more)
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/4 c grated onions
1 c grated sharp cheddar (4 oz.)
1/2 lb. uncooked elbow macaroni (or other tubular pasta)
2 T finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese
1/4 c bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375. Prepare square baking pan with a light spray of oil.

In a blender, combine cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper and puree until smooth. In a large bowl (actually, I did this right in the baking dish), combine pureed mixture with the onions, cheddar and uncooked macaroni. Stir well. Pour macaroni and cheese mixture into the baking pan. Combine the grated Pecoino or Parmesan and bread crumbs and sprinkle over top.

Bake about 45 minutes, until topping is browned and the center is firm.

Serves 4.

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You’ve never seen lasagna in 7 short steps before, have you?  This is from Pauline and while it’s not tested, I’m pretty sure my girls will be loving it.  We’ll be trying it tonight.  This was a huge hit!  The whole family loved it.  I’ve made some suggestions based on my kids but you should experiment.  I bet you could hide all sorts of stuff in this one.

1 jar pasta sauce  (700 ml)
2 bags (550ml each) of frozen large cheese ravioli (I only used one large bag)
1 box frozen spinach, chopped and squeezed to remove excess water (the spinach wasn’t a big hit with my kids, so I think I’d replace with baby spinach or brocolli)
1 bag shredded mozzarella
125 ml ( one half cup) parmesan cheese

Spoon 1/3 of the pasta sauce into a 9 by 13 baking dish.
Place 1/2 the ravioli over the sauce in a single layer.
Top with another third of the sauce.
Sprinkle with spinach and 1/2 the mozzarella cheese.
Add rest of ravioli in a single layer (you may not need all of the 2 bags).
Top with remaining sauce and cheeses.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
Uncover and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer, until bubbling.

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Alert Alert – Apparantly this recipe almost passed the Chanyi kid test, but then, alas, failed.  It was a good try Jo.  The kids in the Gagne/Tsianos household give it their stamp of approval and I’m pretty sure my girls will be all over it (as long as Addie can pick out the mushrooms).

Jo says you could add peas or carrots to this too and that she used full fat milk and cheese and it wasn’t too rich.

8 oz (or more) pasta
5 tbsp butter
1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup all purpose flour (whole wheat works just as well)
3 cups milk (2 cups is fine)
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
1 cup chicken or veg stock
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1/5 tsp pepper
3 cups cubed cooked chicken (2 breasts)
Boil pasta (you ladies think you can handle that first step?)

In a large sauce pan melt 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until tender. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Wipe out saucepan and melt 3 tbsp butter over med heat. Add flour and whisk until bubbly. Whisk in milk, then wine and stock. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to med-low and stir until thickened – 4 minutes

Add 2 cups grated cheddar, parmesan, thyme and pepper – stir until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth

Add chicken and pasta and mushrooms

pour it into prepared dish with 1 cup grated cheddar. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 20 minutes

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According to Joanne, John Nicolas looked at this and said, “this doesn’t look yummy (it has a dark brown and green colour) but it tastes super yummy!”  Jo also says that , “this is not a recipe for Cade, sorry Shirley.”  Well – I guess if it doesn’t contain cashews and salami, Shirley is out of luck.  The rest of us may have better luck, so I’m giving it the Kid-Approval stamp.

1 pkg pasta
1-2 cups broccoli florets
2 tsp olive oil
2 boneless chicken breasts
5 tsp salt and pepper (Jo says you can omit the salt)
2 cloves garlic, minced
5-6 Roma tomatoes (a few tblsps of tomato paste was a good sub.)
1 tbsp oregano
1/3 cup pitted olives sliced (Loblaws sells nice kalamata pitted olives in their olive bar now)
2 tbsp pesto

Cook the pasta and add the broccoli to the last 30 seconds of cooking.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Season chicken on all sides with salt and pepper and cook for about 10 minutes and browned.

Drain pasta and broccoli reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water

Add onion and garlic to the chicken and cook a few minutes.  Add tomatoes (or paste), oregano, olives and reserved pasta water. Simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Add Pesto.

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I found this on allrecipes.com and Adelaide loved it.   I know, I know, the title has the word VODKA in it and yes the recipe does call for it, but you can exclude it.  Unless of course, you want the kids to go to bed early, then I suggest you add some more vodka 😉  You can also reduce the quantity as it does make quite a bit.

1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil (I didn’t use nearly this much.  Just covered the bottom of the pan)
1/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
3/4 cup vodka (optional – I used chicken stock instead)
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (omit if you’re serving to your children)
1 cup half-and-half cream (I only used 3/4 cup of 1/2 and 1/2)
1 pound penne pasta

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion, celery, and garlic in oil; stir until soft. Add prosciutto and vodka. Simmer until almost all liquid is gone.
Add tomatoes, cayenne, and herbs. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in half and half, and heat for 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling salted water until done. Drain. Serve sauce over noodles.


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This is a family fave from my friend Kate.  I know, a throwback for the 70s, but it got the Adelaide Approval award.  Two helpings!

1 can tuna
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1 cup uncooked macaroni or mini-shell pasta
3/4 cup chopped onion (I used green onion)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Salt, pepper, paprika to taste

Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients except cheese into a casserole dish.
Bake uncovered for 45 mins.
Sprinkle with cheese and bake for another 15 mins.
Serve with side green salad.

Variations: add broccoli, frozen peas, top with bread crumbs, different types of cheese, chinese noodles – go crazy!

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