Shells with Sausage and Broccoli

Shells with Sausage and Broccoli

Shells with Sausage and Broccoli

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Pasta is one of those go to items when you really can’t decide what’s for dinner and since there are literally hundreds of variations you’ll never be stuck for a recipe.

I particularly like this one because my grandson inhaled it and wanted more for lunch at school the next day.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 1/4 cups Large Shells
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6 Mild Italian Sausage – casing removed
  • 1 small yellow Onion – diced
  • 1 medium yellow Pepper – diced
  • 2 handfuls Spinach
  • 4 cups Broccoli florets
  • 3 1/2 cups Low Sodium Chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp granulated Garlic
  • Salt to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven and cook the onion and peppers with some salt until softened.
  2. Add the sausage and cook until broken up and brown then add the Broccoli and Garlic.
  3. Pour in half the Chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta shells and cook until the pasta is cooked through and most of the broth is absorbed.
  4. Mix in the spinach and cook until wilted.
  5. Place in bowls and dust with the Parmesan.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                                  Bon Appetit

Ground Beef Stuffed Shells

 

Ground Beef Stuffed Shells II

Ground Beef Stuffed Shells

  • Servings: 8 - 10
  • Difficulty: Easy
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This is a recipe I have wanted to try for some time now but for some reason I just never got around to it until today.

Now since I have never made this one before I am borrowing a recipe from Taste of Home Magazine but of course I will be adding my own little flair to it.

Cooks Note: This recipe is a bit labour intensive so give yourself adequate time to prepare it. 

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 package Jumbo Pasta Shells
  • 3 tbsp Canola Oil.
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion – diced
  • 4 Garlic Cloves – chopped
  • 5 cups Baby Spinach
  • 15 ounces Ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 8 ounce jar Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
  • 1 jar Spaghetti Sauce
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • chopped Parsley for garnish.

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a large pot of salted water cook the shells according to the package instructions. When cooked run under cold water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking brown the  ground beef in a large pan, drain and remove to a bowl.
  4. Return the ground beef to the pan and add in the onion, garlic, spinach, pesto, salt and pepper and simmer for about ten minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl mix the Ricotta cheese, 1 1/2 cups Parmesan and egg.
  6. Mix half the beef mixture with the cheese.
  7. In a greased 13×9 baking dish spread 3/4 cup of pasta sauce. Stuff the shells with the beef and cheese mix and place in the dish.
  8. Mix the remaining pasta sauce in with the remaining half of the ground beef and pour over the stuffed shells.
  9. Top with Parmesan and Italian blend and bake until cheese has melted and is bubbly, about 15 mins.
  10. Garnish with Parsley and enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                            Bon Appetit

Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Bake

Shrimp Alfredo Bake

Shrimp Alfredo Pasta Bake

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Around our house on Fridays we try to have fish or seafood just because it’s healthy for you and let’s face it, it’s good. Now this particular recipe came about as a collaboration between my wife and my grandson. My wife said she wanted a seafood pasta and my grandson (all of 7 yrs old) asked for Lobster….. Really?? Where did this kid come up with these Champagne tastes??

Well it just so happened one of my local grocers had Lobster tails on sale for $3.00 each so I said “What the hell” and went for it.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 2 lbs Penne
  • 8 ounces Slab Bacon – diced
  • 1 bag 21 – 30 Shrimp – cleaned, peeled and tail off
  • 4 3 ounce Lobster Tails
  • 2 jars Classico Alfredo Pasta sauce
  • 4 Garlic cloves – chopped
  • 1 medium Shallot – chopped
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Putting it all together:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°
  2. Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions.
  3. In a saute pan cook the bacon until lightly browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the bacon fat cook the garlic and shallots for about three minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink.
  5. Drain the pasta, add the Classico sauce, half the Parmesan, bacon and shrimp mixture. Pour into a casserole dish, cover with tin foil and bake for about 20 minutes.
  6. While the pasta is baking boil the lobster tails in salted water until pink in colour. Let cool and remove from shell.
  7. Plate the pasta, top with the Lobster tail and garnish with parsley and the remaining Parmesan.
  8. Enjoy.

There you have it another “Simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time……..

                           Bon Appetit 

Tuscan Style Spaghetti with Chicken and Pancetta

 

Tuscan style spaghetti with Chicken and Pancetta

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Tuscan style spaghetti with chicken and bacon

As someone who cooks on a daily basis every once in a while I run into the “cooks” version of Writer’s Block and have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner and as any seasoned cook knows this can be very frustrating so when I ran into this particular issue tonight I turned to the Internet and searched for some inspiration and “what do you know”…. I found some.

I stole this particular recipe from Delish.com and I modified it ever so slightly and to say it was a hit would be an understatement so thank you Delish for the inspiration.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 12 ounces of Spaghetti
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Breast – sliced into strips
  • 6 ounces Pancetta – diced
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic cloves – finely chopped
  • 5 ounces sliced Olives
  • 2 cups Tomatoes – diced
  • 3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of salted water cook the pasta according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and reserve one cup of the pasta water.
  2. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Add the Pancetta to the skillet and cook for about 6 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain half the fat.
  4. To the skillet add the garlic, tomatoes, olives and spinach. Season with salt and pepper, then add the heavy cream, Parmesan and half a cup of pasta water and let simmer. Add the past and mix until well coated.
  5. Add back the chicken and Pancetta, mix well and serve.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time…..

                           Bon Appetit

 

Pasta Salad

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Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 10 - 15
  • Difficulty: Easy
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We had a BBQ for family and friends this past weekend and along with the typical burgers, sausage and pulled pork I decided to do a side dish that I don’t normally think of doing but decided to for this occasion because although it can be found at almost every BBQ get together it is pretty much never found at mine….. Pasta Salad.

Now everybody and I do mean everybody has there own version of a pasta salad. Some like it with Farfale or Penne while others prefer a creamy dressing and still others want less veggies….. I even know someone who once put red wine in theirs.

The hardest part for me was coming up with a dressing that was suited to the other ingredients however after a little searching I managed to come up with one.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • 1 box Tri Coloured Fusili (or your pasta of choice)
  • 1 English Cucumber – chopped
  • 4 Roma tomatoes – deseaded and chopped
  • 1 large Red pepper – rough chopped
  • 1 Large Yellow pepper – rough chopped
  • 4 Green onions – chopped
  • 1 bag Shredded Old cheddar
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Granulated Garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Grainy Mustard
  • Fresh chopped Basil and Oregano – about 3 tablespoons each
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. In a large pot of salted water cook the pasta per the package instructions.
  2. In a non reactive container mix together the Olive oil, Red wine vinegar, Granulated garlic, Grainy mustard, herbs, salt and pepper. Seal and set aside.
  3. When the pasta has cooked and cooled add the vegetables and cheese and blend well.
  4. Shake the dressing well and pour over the salad. Mix thoroughly and top with more cheese.
  5. Enjoy.

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………

Bon Appetit 

Sausage and clam Carbonara

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Sausage and clam Carbonara

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: Medium
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Let me first begin by wishing one and all a very Happy New Year and may the coming year be filled with nothing but joy and happiness.

I chose this recipe for this post as it is something I have never tried before and to be quite honest I’m not entirely sure I have ever had it before in a restaurant and so it seemed rather apropos to ring in the new year with something fresh and new.

You will notice that I have rated the difficulty for this one as “Medium” and the reason for that is there is a step that is kind of tricky and if it is not done correctly you will wind up with “scrambled egg” pasta.

Here’s how we do this one.

Shopping list:

  • One large package of Penne
  • Five Sun-dried Tomato Turkey sausage – cut into bite sized pieces
  • 20 Pasta clams – Scrubbed and de-bearded
  • Three tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Three garlic cloves– crushed
  • Six Eggs
  • 12 ounces diced Pancetta
  • One medium Onion – diced
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parsley for garnish and colour

Putting it all together:

  1. Cook the Penne in a large pot of salted water until just al dente
  2. While the pasta is cooking heat the oil in a large sauce pan and add the onion and garlic cooking until the onion is translucent and the garlic has infused the oil
  3. Remove the garlic and discard
  4. Add the pancetta and sausage and cook until both are cooked through
  5. While the meat is cooking crack the eggs in a large mixing bowl along with the salt and pepper and beat well
  6. Add the Parmesan to the eggs and mix until well incorporated. Set aside
  7. Add the cooked pasta, along with a little of the pasta water, to the pancetta and sausage and mix well
  8. Take off the heat and allow to cool slightly, about five minutes.
  9. While the pasta is cooling steam the clams until open discarding any that don’t as they are dead
  10. Pour the egg  and cheese mixture over the pasta and blend until smooth. If the pasta is too hot the egg will scramble
  11. Plate the pasta and top with the clams and some parsley

There you have it another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond.”

Until next time………..

                           Bon Appetit

Marinara sauce

Marinara sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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When I was a neophyte (like that word eh?) to the culinary world and I heard the word Marinara it would conjure up an image of a mysterious sauce that was very difficult to make let alone master. Well over the years I have made this sauce many many times and while I won’t go so far as to say I have mastered it I have become very comfortable in making it.

This particular spin on Marinara has kind of morphed over time from what was a very simple basic sauce to the one I like to make and my family loves to devour.

I would also like to mention that this sauce freezes very well for use in future recipes.

Here’s how we do this one…………

Shopping List:

  • 1 large can San Marzano crushed tomatoes (if you can’t find San Marzano then use a good quality crushed tomato)
  • 12 to 15 medium Roma tomatoes- cored and halved
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves- finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons each dried Oregano and Basil
  • 5 fresh Basil leaves- Chiffonade the leaves
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiana
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Putting it all together:

  1. Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees
  2. Place the Roma tomatoes on a sheet tray (cut side up) and drizzle with Olive oil. Dust the tomatoes with the Salt, Pepper, Oregano and Basil
  3. Pop the tomatoes in the oven for 20 minutes or until they are tender
  4. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan
  5. Add the garlic and saute until tender- about three minutes
  6. Pour in the San Marzano tomatoes and mix well
  7. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes
  8. Add the roasted tomatoes
  9. Using an Immersion blender or regular blender * mix the sauce until smooth
  10. Incorporate the Parmigiana and the basil leaves and simmer for 2-3 minutes
  11. Serve with your favourite pasta.

* If using a regular blender, blend the sauce in batches.

There you have it…. another “simple but tasty recipe for the grilling season and beyond”.

Until next time……….

                      Bon Apettite