Pasta with Romesco Sauce

I had this pasta with romesco at a restaurant near my house so I was determined to learn how to make it! I found a recipe for romesco sauce and put my skills to the test and low and behold, it was just as amazing! I feel like romesco sauce is a healthier, much quicker, version of old fashioned tomato sauce.

Pasta with Romesco Sauce

pasta with romesco sauce

Ingredients

1 lb pasta of your choice
2 large, thick slices country bread, crusts removed, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3/4 cup whole almonds
1 pound ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fruity olive oil

Directions

Boil water, and once it is boiled add a good amount of salt to the water. Add the pasta and cook according to the package.

Meanwhile, in a bowl, soak the bread cubes in the vinegar for 20 minutes.

Grind the almonds in a mortar and pestle or food processor until they are finely ground but not oily.

Add the vinegar soaked bread, tomatoes, paprika, salt and pepper to the processor and grind together briefly until evenly pureed. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream.

romesco sauce

Once the pasta is cooked, strain and then add the romesco sauce to the pasta and stir. Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/romesco-sauce-recipe.html

Chile One-Pot Pasta

I love this one pot meal! It is a life-saver to my new life as a full-time Mommy to a newborn! Not only is this easy (and less clean-up) but its delicious!

Chile One-Pot Pasta
 

Ingredients
1 pound penne pasta
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup grated pecorino
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 tablespoons Calabrian hot pepper paste (I used Harissa chile paste)*
1/3 cup chopped chives
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions
In a 10-inch high-sided saute pan, bring 1 inch of water (about 4 cups) to a boil over high heat. Add the penne and the salt. Cook, stirring often, until the pasta is al dente, about 9 minutes; there should be a little water left in the pan.

Sprinkle the pecorino over the pasta; toss to coat. Add the tomatoes, chile paste, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil, and toss.

*Harissa comes in mild to hot varieties, so make sure to choose the level of spice depending on your preference.
Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/calabrian-chile-pasta.html

Spicy Garlic and Anchovy Farfalle

Pasta can get boring but I love finding new and exciting recipes to spice up boring ole pasta. This recipe is a keeper!

Spicy Garlic and Anchovy Farfalle

spicy garlic and anchovy farfalle

Ingredients

Kosher salt
1 pound farfalle pasta
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon anchovy paste
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5 cups baby spinach leaves (about 6 ounces)
½ cup plain breadcrumbs
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Directions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the extra-virgin oil over medium heat. Add the anchovy paste, red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook until aromatic, 2 minutes. Add the spinach and 3/4 teaspoon salt, and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the breadcrumbs and cook until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.

In a large serving bowl, toss together the breadcrumb mixture, cooked pasta and half of the cheese. Add in the reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta. Drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and sprinkle with the remaining cheese, and serve.

Recipe source: http://www.giadadelaurentiis.com/recipes/1181/spicy-garlic-and-anchovy-farfalle

Linguine with Avocado-Arugula Pesto

My love for avocado continues with this avocado pesto combination! Adding avocado to pasta is my all-time favorite thing. Adding pesto to that mix just makes this dish heavenly!

Linguine with Avocado-Arugula Pesto

linguine with avocado arugula pesto

Ingredients

1 pound linguine pasta
2 medium avocados, halved, peeled, and seeded
3 cups baby arugula leaves (3 ounces)
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 large limes)
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted (see Cook’s Note)

Directions

Cook’s Note: To toast the almonds, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven for 6 to 8 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool completely before using.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water. Place in a serving bowl.

Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the avocados and place in a food processor. Add the arugula, basil, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth.

Pour the pesto over the pasta and toss together. Add the cheese and almonds and toss together until coated, adding the pasta water, as needed, to loosen the sauce.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/linguine-with-avocado-and-arugula-pesto-recipe.html

Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup

On these cold winter nights soup is the infamous go-to meal. I’ve finally found my homemade chicken soup recipe! It is so easy and using rotisserie chicken and chicken broth makes this dish just as homemade as I like it to be 🙂

Lemon Chicken Noodle Soup

lemon chicken noodle soup

Ingredients

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 dried bay leaf
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into ¼-inch pieces
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 (2-inch) piece Parmesan cheese rind
1 cup (about 2 ½ ounces) spaghetti, broken into 2-inch pieces
2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken, preferably breast meat, diced
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
In a large stockpot, bring the chicken broth, lemon juice, and bay leaf to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add the onions, carrots, and celery, parmesan rind and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the mixture simmers and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the broken pasta and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken and heat through, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the cheese and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the soup into serving bowls

Recipe sources: http://www.giadadelaurentiis.com/recipes/219/lemon-chicken-soup-with-spaghetti and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/lemon-chicken-soup-with-spaghetti-recipe.html

Pesto Pasta Bake

I have been really into bakes lately and this one is one of my favorites. The original recipe has you making your own pesto, but with my busy schedule I just used pre-made pesto. The best thing about bakes is that you can add whatever you have on hand to make this dish suitable to your tastebuds. You can add artichokes, different cheeses, a different tubular pasta, really whatever you have on hand.
Pesto Pasta Bake
pesto pasta bake
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. whole wheat rigatoni
  • 2-3 cups chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups of chopped spinach
  • ½ cup pasta water
  • ½ cup shredded cheese of choice (I used mozzarella)
  • pesto (as much or as little as you like)

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the pasta to the water and cook according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, chop up the tomatoes and spinach and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cooked noodles with the chopped tomatoes, pesto, and a little pasta water if it needs to be more saucy. I usually had enough pesto to coat all the pasta. Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Recipe source: http://pinchofyum.com/healthy-baked-pesto-rigatoni

Pasta alla Formiana

Although this dish takes a bit of time in the oven, it is really easy to assemble and you don’t even have to pre-cook the pasta! Its a great twist on a simple pasta with red sauce recipe by adding fresh tomatoes!

Pasta alla Formiana

pasta alla formiana

Ingredients

  • Butter, for greasing dish
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces) mezze penne or other small pasta
  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 to 5 very ripe, extra-large or beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch glass baking dish. Set aside.
  • In a food processor, blend together the crushed tomatoes and garlic. Pour into a medium bowl and add the uncooked pasta, 1/3 cup olive oil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss until all the ingredients are coated.
  • Line the bottom and sides of the baking dish with tomato slices. Pour the pasta mixture into the dish and spread evenly. Arrange the remaining tomato slices in an overlapping layer on top of the pasta mixture, making sure the mixture is completely covered.
  • Drizzle with olive oil. Bake until the tomatoes are slightly crispy and the pasta is cooked, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Recipe Source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/pasta-alla-formiana-recipe.html

Spicy Red Wine Spaghetti

Talk about an “adult” spaghetti. This takes a simple pasta dish and elevates to a level that is so elegant and yet so easy to make! This dish is bound to make a great impression on anyone you make it for!

Spicy Red Wine Spaghetti

spicy red wine spaghetti

Ingredients

Kosher salt
1 pound spaghetti (I recommend not using whole wheat to get that great purple color)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large shallot, halved, thinly sliced into strips
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (add more for more of a kick)
One 750ml bottle zinfandel (I recommend using a red wine that you really enjoy to drink)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
4 ounces coarsely crumbled goat cheese

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook for 6 minutes, stirring pasta occasionally, until par-cooked. Drain and reserve the pasta water.

In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, crushed red pepper flakes and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until the garlic becomes fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the wine and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer gently for 3 minutes.

Add the pasta to the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, until almost all of the wine is absorbed and the pasta is tender but still firm to the bite, about 5 minutes (if the pasta mixture is too dry, add pasta cooking water 1/4 cup at a time).

Stir in the butter and 1 teaspoon salt. Increase the heat, and toss until the wine sauce thickens enough to coat the pasta, about 1 minute. Toss to blend.

Add the parsley and goat cheese and serve.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/spicy-red-wine-spaghetti-recipe.html

Mascarpone and Lemon Gnocchi

My husband loves gnocchi so I was happy to find this recipe for an easy version. These gnocchi are so light and fluffy, and doesn’t use your typical potato base for the dumplings. You will be in awe on how deliciously light this meal is!

Mascarpone and Lemon Gnocchi

marscapone and lemon gnocchi

Ingredients

Gnocchi:
1 cup mascarpone, at room temperature (8 ounces)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 large lemons, zested
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan (4 ounces)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra

Sauce:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions

For the gnocchi: In a large bowl, combine the mascarpone, egg, egg yolk, nutmeg, lemon zest, Parmesan, and salt. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in 3/4 cup flour until the mixture forms a soft dough.

Sprinkle a pie pan or rimmed baking sheet with flour. Using 2 small spoons, drop 1 teaspoon-sized pieces of dough into the pie pan. Shake the pan gently to cover the dough with flour. Gently roll the pieces of dough into oval shapes.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a simmer. In batches, carefully add the gnocchi. The gnocchi should sink and then float to the top. As soon as the gnocchi begin to float, cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Drain and place in a large serving bowl.

For the sauce: In a small saucepan, warm the oil and salt over medium-high heat for 1 1/2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Add the sauce, cheese, and lemon juice to the gnocchi and gently toss until coated.

Recipe source: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/mascarpone-and-lemon-gnocchi-recipe.html

Creamy Avocado Pasta

I look forward to this dish every summer. It is my all-time favorite pasta! It combines my love for avocados and pasta into one fabulous dish. The summery freshness of this recipe gets me every time.

Creamy Avocado Pasta

creamy avocado pasta

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized ripe Avocado, pitted
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced + lemon zest to garnish
  • 1-3 garlic cloves, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • ~1/4 cup Fresh Basil
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 servings/6 oz of your choice of pasta
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium, and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice, and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, and salt. Process until smooth and creamy.

3. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in a strainer and place pasta into a large bowl. Pour on sauce and toss until fully combined. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately.

TIP: This dish does not reheat well (due to the avocado) and it may brown after a day in the fridge. However, this is a great dish to eat cold the next day.

Recipe Source: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/