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

Healthy Pesto Chicken Bake

Another great twist on chicken parm. Turning the red sauce into pesto and adding fresh tomatoes makes this American classic easy to enjoy guilt-free!

Healthy Pesto Chicken Bake

healthy pesto chicken bake

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 4-6 Tablespoons Prepared Pesto
  • 1-2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Trim the chicken and lay them in a glass baking dish in a single layer.
  2. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the pesto on top of each chicken breast.
  3. Cut the roma tomatoes into slices approx 1/2″ thick and lay 2 slices on top of each chicken breast.
  4. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the chicken breasts.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is done and the juices run clear.
  6. Serve over a bed of rice or a plate of pasta. Enjoy!

Recipe source: http://www.thepinningmama.com/2014/09/21/easy-dinner-recipe-italian-chicken-bake/

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

Linguine with Lemon and Crab

Talk about a light, filling, healthy recipe! This linguine takes my love of crab to another level! It has such a freshness about it with the lemon and the cherry tomatoes, makes my mouth water just thinking about it! The best thing about this recipe is that it took me just about 15 minutes to make from start to finish!

Crab, Lemon, and Chile Linguine

linguine with crab

Ingredients

1 cup cherry tomatoes; halved
Sea salt
2 cloves of garlic
1 red chile, deseeded and finely chopped (even if you don’t like spicy food, I recommend using the chile. As long as you take out the flesh and the seeds, it isn’t spicy but it adds great flavor)
6 tablespoons olive oil
Juice and zest of 2 lemon
12 oz cooked fresh crab meat (I used the packaged crab meat. It was surprisingly delish, but feel free to use fresh)
8 ounces whole wheat or regular linguine (if you use whole wheat, put 1 tbsp of olive oil in the boiling water before you add your pasta. My pasta tended to stick together without it)
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions

Boil water for your pasta. Make sure to season it with salt and add olive oil if you are using whole wheat linguine. Add in the pasta and cook according to the package.

In a small bowl, cut the tomatoes and sprinkle them with a little sea salt.

In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic and chile into a red pulp. (If necessary, add a little sea salt to help grind the two together). Mix in the olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Add the crab to the mix if your mortar and pestle is big enough; if not, transfer everything to a slightly bigger bowl.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain, and pour the crab mixture on top of your pasta. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with parsley.

Recipe source: http://www.yumsugar.com/Linguine-Crab-15134284

Chicken Tikka Masala {Crockpot}

I am not a huge fan of ethnic food but I crave chicken tikka masala all the time! When I found this crockpot recipe I was more than excited to try it! This is, by far, the best crockpot recipe I have made so far considering I got a crockpot as a wedding present back in October. I haven’t used my crockpot nearly enough as I should, but this recipe makes me want to search for more great crockpot recipes!

Remember: Spices marinating for hours on end intensifies the flavor so be careful when adding the cayenne.

You may think 2 tsp of cayenne isn’t that much, but combining it with the cumin, and the masala, and the cinnamon, the flavor gets intense. As much as my husband and I love spicy food, 2 tsp of cayenne was a little overbearing (which is why I adjusted the ingredients accordingly).

Chicken Tikka Masala

chicken tikka masala

Ingredients

  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins, or about 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3 lbs.) – cut into 1.5″ cubes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 (29 oz.) can of tomato puree
  • 1½ cups plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. Garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. cumin
  • ½ tbsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 0-2 tsp. cayenne pepper (depending on your heat preference)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp. cornstarch
  • Chopped parsley or cilantro, for topping

Directions

  1. Place everything up to the bay leaves in a large bowl. With a spatula, stir to combine everything and make sure the chicken is coated well.
  2. Gently place the mixture in the insert of the crockpot and add the two bay leaves.
  3. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low (or 4 hours on high).
  4. When done, in a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream and corn starch, then pour the mixture into the crockpot and gently stir. Let cook an additional 20 minutes to thicken up.
  5. Serve hot over a bed of white (or brown) rice, or as usual I put mine over couscous. I think a little thicker grain will be better with this though, like rice, to really soak up the great sauce.
  6. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Recipe source: http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/2012/10/19/chicken-tikka-masala-crockpot

Zesty Shrimp Ceviche

This curbs any fancy ceviche craving with the simplicity of this recipe! I made this recipe at Christmas for my huge family and everyone LOVED it! I am not keen on cilantro, but if you are, this recipe will work great with some extra cilantro! What is great about this recipe too is that you can customize it. If you don’t like as much tomato, don’t add as much. If you’d like it a little spicier, keep the seeds in the jalapeño. I am sure you can fancy it up by adding lobster, or scallops! Mmmmm

Zesty Shrimp Ceviche

shrimp ceviche

Ingredients

  • 1 lb jumbo cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails off, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 hass avocado, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper to taste

Directions

Dice your onion. In a small bowl combine red onion, lime juice, olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper. Let the onions marinate for at least 5 minutes to mellow the flavor.

In the meantime, chop up the rest of your ingredients. In a large bowl combine chopped shrimp, avocado, tomato, and jalapeño. Combine all the ingredients together and gently toss. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.

Recipe source: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2011/05/zesty-lime-shrimp-and-avocado-salad.html