Wheat Orzo, Creamed


This is my easy substitute for Risotto.  I love risotto but I don’t like the time and care it takes to make it.  I find that orzo can give you the same rich texture of the risotto in a lot less time and effort.

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Ingredients:

1 cup wheat orzo

3 cups chicken stock, 1 cup reserved

1 tbsp. butter

2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

Ground pepper

Directions:

In a medium pot over medium high heat place the orzo and 2 cups of chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to simmer.  When all the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is soft but chewy place the orzo in a large skillet over medium heat.  Stir in a little of the reserved chicken stock stirring until it is absorbed.. Continue to do this until the orzo is aldente. Season the orzo with the pepper   Add the butter and Parmesan cheese stirring until you have a creamy texture.  Remove from heat and serve.

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Pasta ala Daddy


This is one of my go to recipes I have been making for years.  It is very versatile because you can add any kind of vegetable and protein you happen to have on hand.  Add some pasta and sauce, top with some great cheese and you have a very delicious meal.  Just saute your vegetables and protein, add them to your sauce.  Combine the sauce and the pasta, top with cheese and cook at 375 until the cheese is melted just the way you want it.  This is a great way to clean out the refrigerator and have a delicious dish at the same time.

Pasta Salad


Pasta Salad

I love a good pasta salad with any meal but I do not like mayonnaise.  That’s right I am a mayo hater and proud of it.  This salad is made with a good extra virgin olive oil and veggies.  Use whatever veggies you like to change up this salad every time you make it.  Enjoy.

Ingredients:

½ red pepper, chopped small

1 green onion, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped small

2 pickle slices, chopped

2 green olives (queens), chopped

2 Kalamata olives, chopped

¼ red onion, chopped small

1 lb. pasta, cooked (use your favorite kind

1 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated

Salt and pepper

Oregano fresh, chopped

Directions:

Combine the first seven ingredients and mix together.  When the pasta is cooked and cooled add it to the vegetable mixture and combine.  Coat the pasta with olive oil.  Add the Parmesan cheese and mix.  Season with salt and pepper and add the oregano.

 

Capellini with Vegetable Garlic Sauce


Capellini with Vegetable Garlic Sauce

I wasn’t planning to do a pasta dish when I was thinking about my weekly menu but when I was shopping at Sprouts Sunday I noticed this beautiful package of Capellini (angel hair) pasta.  Well this man can only resist things for so long.  I love angel hair pasta.  I instantly thought of a vegetable garlic sauce to pour on top.  One word of caution, if you’re like me and love garlic make sure your significant other enjoys this dish with you or you will never be kissed again.

Ingredients:

1 package of Capellini pasta

Salt

Olive oil

2 green onions, chopped

1 zucchini, chopped in small pieces

1 yellow squash, chopped in small pieces

3 Roma tomatoes, chopped

1 handful of fresh oregano, chopped

2 tbsp. butter

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

Parmesan cheese, grated

1 handful lemon balm, chopped

1 handful cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Heat a large pan of water on high heat.  When the water boils add 2 large pinches of salt and your pasta.  Cook for 3 minutes and drain.

In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil, green onion, zucchini, yellow squash and cook until tender.  Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, oregano and cook until the tomatoes start to break down.  Remove to a serving bowl.

Add olive oil and butter to your skillet add the garlic and cook stirring often.  Don’t let the garlic brown.  Combine the pasta, vegetables and garlic oil.  Top with parmesan cheese, lemon balm, and cilantro.

Lasagna


Lasagna

There is nothing light about lasagna so I will try to make up for it next week.  For the moment, I love lasagna; it is the ultimate in comfort food.  I am trying new lasagna pasta made by Delallo, no boil lasagna pasta.  I really hope this works because it is such a chore to boil the pasta.

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Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 lb. ground beef, 85%

½ yellow onion, chopped

¼ red pepper, chopped

¼ green pepper, chopped

1 24oz. jar marinara sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

Delallo no boil lasagna

1 lb. ricotta

1 lb. mozzarella, shredded

Fresh parsley, chopped

1 egg

¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

½ cup red wine

Oregano and basis

Directions:

Mix ricotta, ½ mozzarella, egg and parsley together.  Season with pepper.  Heat a skillet over medium heat and add onion and peppers.  Cook until soft and add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Remove.  Add ground beef to the pan and cook until no longer pink, season with salt and pepper. Add the red wine, add bake the vegetables and add the sauce.  Turn the heat to simmer, season with oregano and basil.

Place ¼ cup sauce in a baking dish and spread to cover the bottom.  Make a layer of lasagna.  Cover with ricotta then meat mixture.  Add some mozzarella and Parmesan.  Seasoning with oregano and basil.  Repeat each layer cover final layer with pasta, sauce, and mozzarella cheese.  Bake in a 350 oven for 40 minutes.  Let rest before serving.

Pasta Primavera


Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

¾ lb.    Pasta

1 tbsp. Olive oil

1          Yellow onion, chopped

1          Red pepper, chopped

Ground black pepper and salt to taste

1          Zucchini, chopped

1          Yellow squash, chopped

1 cup   Artichoke hearts, chopped

2-3       Garlic cloves, minced

1 jar     Pasta sauce

Directions:

Cook pasta al dente.

Heat olive oil in the skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and red pepper, season with pepper.  Add garlic and cook for one minute.  Add zucchini and yellow squash cooking for one minute.  Add artichoke hearts and stir cooking for one more minute.  Check for seasoning.  Add pasta sauce, reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add cooked pasta and serve.

Serves 4

 

Mac & Cheese


Mac & Cheese

I was looking in the refrigerator last night trying to figure out what to cook when I noticed I still had some cheese sauce left.  This cheese sauce should never be forgotten, it is too good.  So, being Friday I was having the urge for some type of comfort food to compensate for a really crappy week that Lynda and I had.  It was a no brainer, mac & cheese.

Ingredients:

1lb       Pasta

Cheese sauce

½ cup Bread crumbs

1          Roma tomato, sliced

Extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Heat the cheese sauce over low heat stirring often.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Cook the pasta until aldente.  Add the cooked pasta to the cheese sauce.  Place your mac & cheese into an oven safe dish.  Cover with the bread crumbs and tomato slices.  Sprinkle a little olive oil on top.  Place in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes.  Put the mac & cheese under the broiler to brown the top.  Be careful it does not burn.

Serves 4