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This is my collection of pasta recipes that we have come to love and I thought I would share. If you have any feedback on any of them, let me know in the comments.

One Pot Pizza Pasta Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed if necessary
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (24 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 8 oz penne pasta
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • sliced pepperoni

One Pot Pizza Pasta Recipe

Directions

  1. In a large skillet brown the sausage, onion and garlic. Drain any grease.
  2. Add in the spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, water, oregano and basil. Stir to combine. Add in the pasta and carefully stir to combine. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the pasta is tender.
  3. Preheat the broiler.
  4. Top pasta with shredded cheeses and pepperoni. Place under broiler for 3-5 minutes or until cheeses are melted.

Leftover Turkey Pasta with Bacon, Peas and Cream Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 thick rashers streaky bacon or pancetta, diced small
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • leftover turkey, chopped fairly small
  • 200g/7oz fresh or frozen peas
  • 2-3 tbsp double cream
  • salt and pepper

To serve

  • 200-300g tagliatelle, cooked according to packet instructions
  • fresh parmesan

Directions

  1. In a heavy frying pan fry the bacon or pancetta until just crispy. Turn the heat down, then add the onions and garlic and cook gently until soft but not coloured.
  2. Add the peas and a splash of water and allow to bubble for a couple of minutes. When the pan is almost dry again add the turkey and heat through.
  3. Add the cream and season well with salt and black pepper. Allow to bubble until the cream has reduced a little and the sauce has a nice coating consistency.
  4. Serve tossed with the cooked tagliatelle, with plenty of fresh grated parmesan on the table.

Seafood Lasagna Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound solid white fish, uncooked (cut fish into bite size pieces)
  • 10 large prawns, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup crabmeat, cut up
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper

Herb Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely minced
  • 1 small fennel bulb, chopped fine (approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp fresh basil
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp fresh dill
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 fresh pasta sheets

Directions

  1. Heat first amount of oil until hot. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. (do not allow to brown at all)
  2. Add wine and bring to a boil. Turn down and cook until wine is reduced to 1/2 cup. 
  3. Add seafood and cook only until prawns turn slightly pink. This will only take 4-5 minutes over medium heat. Salt and pepper.
  4. Place in a glass bowl, cover and place in refrigerator to cool. 
  5. To make herb sauce, heat oil until hot. Add garlic, onion and fennel. 
  6. Cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes. (do not allow to brown)
  7. Add white wine and cook until it’s reduced by half.
  8. Add cream and cook, stirring occasionally until reduced by half.
  9. Add the spices half way through the reducing time of the cream. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Allow mixture to cool.
  11. To assemble grease a baking pan. Spoon enough herb sauce into bottom of pan to barely coat.
  12. Top with a sheet of pasta.
  13. Top with seafood mixture, then a layer of herb sauce and then a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. 
  14. Continue to layer ingredients. End with a topping of herb sauce and parmesan cheese. 
  15. Bake uncovered in oven preheated to 350º for 45-60 minutes.

NOTE: You can make both the seafood and the herb sauce mixtures ahead of time. You can assemble the whole lasagna earlier in the day. Cover well and refrigerate.

Cooked broccoli or roasted asparagus, and crusty bread go well with this lasagna.

*This* Is Why Your Pasta Is Never Quite Al Dente

To make spaghetti the Italian way, there’s one thing you must do.

*This* Is Why Your Pasta Is Never Quite Al Dente

Boiling pasta would appear to be a task that even non-cooks could complete; it seems so ridiculously basic. But after one bite of spaghetti cacio e pepe at a restaurant in Rome, we’re sure that Italian chefs must know something we don’t. In Italy, they serve noodles (rigatoni, farfalle or any other pasta) tender, yet with a pleasant, slightly chewy texture. The very center is ever-so-slightly underdone (that’s the pasta’s “soul,” as an Italian artisan once explained to The New York Times). And while we’d always figured our not-quite-al-dente pasta was due to a timing miscalculation, that wasn’t our number one mistake. We pored over cookbooks and spoke to chefs and experts, and hands-down, the most common thing they said Americans do wrong when cooking pasta starts, simply enough, with the pot itself.

Any noodle, whether long or cut, will expand when it cooks. So, if it barely fits into the pot when you add it, it’s going to be way too packed once it’s been bubbling away for a few minutes. The crowded situation is bad for a few reasons, say 99 percent of experts (there is a scientific school of thought that says using a smaller pot with less water is okay, but you must stir it almost constantly). First, a low water-to-pasta ratio means it’s going to take longer for the water to come back up to a boil once the pasta is added. Rapid boiling is good; it bounces the pasta around and prevents sticking, so the water can permeate the dried pasta (right to its soul, of course). Second, as the pasta cooks, it releases starch. A small amount of water won’t let that starch dilute enough, and the finished pasta will have a gummy texture—decidedly not al dente.

Select a pot that holds at least 6 quarts, says Nicole Karr, a chef who has worked in restaurants in northern Italy and New York City, and the author of Handmade Pasta. That generally means a vessel with two handles—not one long handle, which is how saucepans that fit 1 1/2 to 4 quarts of liquid are usually designed. Two-handled stock pots can typically contain 6 to 8 quarts. Fill yours about 3/4 of the way with water for a pound of pasta.

When the bubbles are coming fast and furious, salt it well (it should “taste like the ocean,” says everyone from Karr to Mario Batali) and gently pour in the pasta. Stir occasionally, and Karr says the first two minutes are crucial, since that’s when the pasta is mostly likely to stick to the bottom of the pot—and itself. As for timing, Karr swears by the directions on the pasta box. That usually means about nine minutes.

Though we may not have mastered a true Roman cacio e pepe, at least we’ve got the noodle part down.

Easy Noodle Bake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 cups uncooked egg noodles (I used medium)
  • 1 cup frozen vegetables of your choice (I used chopped broccoli)
  • 10 oz. can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup shredded colby/jack cheese

Directions

  1. Saute onion with a little olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add ground beef and cook thoroughly, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, drain excess fat, set aside.
  3. Spread uncooked noodles evenly in bottom of prepared baking dish.
  4. Top with cooked beef and the vegetables.
  5. Whisk soup, milk and water together.
  6. Pour over vegetables.
  7. Top with cheese.
  8. Cover dish with foil sealing well.
  9. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  10. Serve hot with a side salad if desired.

Turkey Stroganoff Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups broccoli — frozen, cut
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup onion — chopped
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 2 cups turkey — cooked, cubed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1  can mushroom — sliced, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • hot cooked noodles

Directions

  1. Cook broccoli according to package directions.    Drain and set aside.  In 2 quart microwave safe casserole, melt butter. Add onion; cover and cook on high until tender. Add flour and blend well.  Whisk in broth; cook on high for 4 to 6 minutes or until thickened and bubbly, stirring every 2 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients except noodles. 

  2. Cook on high for 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through, stirring once.  Serve over noodles. 

Source:  Taste of Home Magazine:  June/July 1995.

Lasagna Party Ring Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ pound ground beef, 80:20 ratio of lean to fat
  • ¾ pound ground sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 28 ounces tomato sauce
  • 15 ounces ricotta
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan
  • ¼ cup basil,chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 18-20 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • ½ cup marinara sauce, to serve

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. In a large pot over high heat, add oil, onions, and garlic, and cook until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the beef, sausage, salt, and pepper, cooking until all of the moisture has evaporated and the meat is starting to brown on the edges, breaking the meat up as you stir.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, then reduce heat to a simmer, cooking the sauce down until the mixture becomes extremely thick, almost paste-like. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. In a bowl, combine the ricotta, Parmesan, basil, and egg, mixing until smooth. Set aside.
  6. Slice 6 of the lasagna noodles in half. These will serve as the layers in between the meat and the cheese mixture.
  7. Spray a bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray, then lay about 10-12 noodles into the bottom of the pan, fanning them out in an overlapping pattern. One end of the noodles should be just as tall as the center of the pan, and the other end of the noodles should hang over the sides of the pan.
  8. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella into the bottom of the pan on top of the noodles. This will help bind the noodles together when cooked.
  9. Spread half of the meat mixture evenly in a ring over the top of the mozzarella, then lay half of the cut noodle pieces over the top to create a noodle layer.
  10. Spread all of the ricotta mixture over the noodles in an even ring, then layer with the rest of the noodles and the rest of the meat sauce.
  11. Fold the edges of the lasagna noodles hanging over the sides of the pan back towards the center, creating another overlapping pattern.
  12. Sprinkle the rest of the mozzarella evenly on top.
  13. Bake for approximately 45 minutes, or until the cheese is a deep golden brown.
  14. Cool for about an hour, then carefully invert the ring onto a cutting board.
  15. Slice the ring, then top with any extra Parmesan and basil.
  16. Place a small bowl filled with marinara at the center of the ring, for dipping.
  17. Serve!

Farfalle Tuna Casserole Recipe

Alfredo sauce, Italian seasoning and sun-dried tomatoes give an old classic an update with Italian flair.  Buttered bread crumbs on top add the perfect crunch to contrast with this creamy bake.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 4 cups hot cooked farfalle (bow tie) pasta (from about 8 ounces dry)
  • 1 can (5 ounces) tuna in oil , drained
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, crushed
  • 1 jar (14.5 ounces) Roasted Garlic Parmesan Alfredo Sauce or Artisan Three Cheese Alfredo Sauce

Farfalle Tuna Casserole Recipe

Directions

  1. Set the oven to 350°F.  Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl.
  2. Stir the farfalle, tuna, peas, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and sauce in a 2-quart round casserole.  Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes or until the tuna mixture is hot and bubbling and the bread crumb mixture is golden brown.

Creamy Seafood Fettuccine Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pancetta-style bacon
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 canwhole baby canned clams,
  • 1clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can CAMPBELL’S Condensed Low Fat Cream of Celery Soup
  • 1 cup )low fat (1%) milk
  • 12 oz extra-large or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 12 oz fettuccine pasta or other long pasta, cooked
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Creamy Seafood Fettuccine Recipe

Directions

  1. In large saucepan,cook pancetta and onion over medium heat until softened,about 5 minutes. Drain clams,reserving ¼ cup (60 mL) liquid. Add clams and liquid to pan. Stir in garlic.
  2. Stir in condensed soup,milk,shrimp and peas; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer,stirring,until reduced and thickened,about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in pasta; sprinkle with parsley.

Easy Turkey Lasagna Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups chunky-style spaghetti sauce
  • 2 cups chopped cooked turkey — (10 ounces)
  • 1 small zucchini — shredded (1 cup)
  • 6  uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4  cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese — (8 ounces)

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350 F. Mix spaghetti sauce, turkey and zucchini.Spread 1 1/2 cups of this mixture in ungreased rectangular baking dish, 11x7x1/2″. Top with 3 noodles.
  2. Mix ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and oregano; spread over noodles in dish. Spread with 1 1/2 cups of the turkey mixture. Top with remaining noodles and turkey mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
  3. Bake uncovered about 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting

Makes 8 servings.

Notes: You can replace the ricotta cheese with small curd creamed cottage cheese.

Time Saver: You can cover and refrigerate unbaked lasagna for up to 24 hours, or wrap tightly and freeze for up to 1 month. When ready, bake refrigerated lasagna uncovered as directed in recipe, or bake frozen lasagna, uncovered at 375 F. for about 1 hour.