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

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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

Mushroom Stroganoff

Stroganoff is the epitome of what we view as Russian food. I took a Russian staple and decided to make it healthy. I found this recipe for mushroom stroganoff and decided it would be a great alternative to the typical beef stroganoff. This recipe is also dairy-free!

Mushroom Stroganoff

mushroom stroganoff

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 pound assorted mushrooms
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups mushroom broth or low-sodium vegetable broth (I used chicken broth because that is what I had on hand)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or dill, for garnish

Directions

Place cashews in a small bowl and cover by about 1 inch with boiling water. Let soak 30 minutes. Drain, discarding soaking liquid. In a blender, combine cashews, 1/4 cup water, vinegar and salt, and blend until smooth; add more water a tablespoon at a time as needed to make a cashew cream.

Halve or quarter smaller mushrooms and thickly slice larger ones. Place mushrooms and shallots in a heavy pot and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to brown; add broth a few tablespoons at a time to keep mushrooms from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Cook, adding more broth as needed, until mushrooms are browned and softened, 10 to 12 minutes.

Stir in remaining broth, mustard, paprika and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer until mushrooms are very tender and sauce is thickened, about 25 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of cashew cream. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over pasta or rice with the remaining cashew cream on the top.

Recipe source: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/mushroom-stroganoff

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

Easiest soup recipe ever. Only 15 minutes to make and I love soup on cold winter nights!

Sausage and Tortellini Soup

sausage and tortellini soup

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cooked Italian sausage (I use 2 mild links and 2 spicy links)
  • 3 cups uncooked tortellini
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 6 chicken boullion cubes (if you want to use chicken stock instead, 1 cube= 1 cup of stock)
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • 1 tbsp. chives
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese

Directions

Put all ingredients except tortellini in medium size sauce pan and bring to boil.  Allow to simmer about 15 minutes.  Add tortellini and allow to boil according to pasta package instructions.  Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Recipe source: http://partyinmykitchenparties.blogspot.com/2012/02/new-recipe-to-share.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

Chicken Parm Casserole

As it gets closer to fall, I am excited for all the comfort food that will come with it! Here is one of my favorites. This one is for those who like chicken parmesan but are annoyed with how long it takes. Here is a quick, healthy twist on your favorite.

My husband and I love having wine and cheese nights. When we do, I like to shop in the gourmet cheese section and get a variety of gourmet cheeses to try. I luckily had a block of truffle cheese left over and thought I would use it in this dish. I didn’t have enough of the yummy cheese to cover the dish, so I added shredded mozzarella that I had on hand.

 Chicken Parm Casserole

Chicken Parm Casserole

Ingredients

-Chicken, cut into strips or bite size (I buy chicken pre-cooked to save time)
-2 cups tomato sauce
-2 cups shredded mozzarella (or any kind of grated cheese)
-Pasta (optional)
-hot sauce (optional)
I used a little bit of my favorite Sambal chile paste in the sauce to add a little spice. You can also use red pepper flakes if you prefer a less spicy dish.

Directions

If you are including pasta in your dish, you’ll want to start by boiling water and cook the pasta el dente.

If you are not, you will want to start the layering process:
-Spray a casserole dish with oil, or butter
-Add the cooked chicken to the bottom of the dish (pasta would go before the chicken if you are adding pasta)
-On top of the chicken, spread an even layer of tomato sauce (and hot sauce if you prefer)
-On top of the sauce, layer your shredded cheese
-Drizzle the cheese with olive oil (I used garlic infused olive oil to give it a little more flavor) to create a cheesy crust. And feel free to add more cheese if you like 🙂

Put the casserole dish in the oven at 350 degrees until the cheese melts, approximately 10 minutes.

© 2014 Life Of a Russians Wife

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/