Showing posts with label pasta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pasta. Show all posts

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fettuccini Rigate with Peas & Pancetta

This recipe is adapted from one that I found on ABC's tv website by Rocco DiSpirito. I increased the amounts of pasta and other ingredients to serve 6 or 8 people. I don't know if you can find fettuccini rigate at your local grocery store but Barilla has just come out with it in our area. The difference between regular fettuccini and fettuccini rigate is that the rigate has lines in the pasta. The lines actually help hold the sauce onto the pasta. If you have ever eaten regular fettuccini you might have noticed that the sauce sort of drips right off. I also added the peas and pancetta. You could also add chicken and broccoli. The combinations are numerous. I just tasted this pasta and I like it a lot. I think it is quite yummy. It has much less fat than the normal Alfredo pasta sauce. I would definitely make this again if the boys enjoy it. I have to say that I like anything with ham and peas. It is a very "Italian" combination from what I have seen. You can always leave out the peas and just do bacon or ham but that just seems wrong to me. The only complaint was that there was not enough sauce. Next time, I'll have to increase the amounts for the sauce again or decrease the amount of pasta.

Fettuccini Rigate with Peas & Pancetta

1 box Fettuccine Rigate (Barilla)

2 tablespoon butter

6 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Pinch of ground nutmeg

1-1/2 cup low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1-1/2 cup 5% Greek yogurt

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 cups frozen peas, thawed

¼ pound Pancetta cut into strips (may substitute ham or bacon)

Cooking Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the fettuccine and cook according to the package directions, 9 to 11 minutes; drain.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and pancetta and cook until fat is rendered. Discard excess fat.

Meanwhile, combine the cornstarch and nutmeg in a small bowl. Whisk in the chicken broth until smooth. Pour the mixture into the sauté pan, add the peas, raise the heat, and bring the sauce to a simmer, whisking occasionally. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the cheese until it has melted. Remove the sauté pan from the heat and whisk in the yogurt until the sauce is smooth.

In a large bowl, toss the cooked fettuccine with the Alfredo sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top the pasta with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese, and serve.

Serves 6-8


The Creative Cook

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rigatoni with Cauliflower Sauce and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

Rigatoni with Cauliflower Sauce and
Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

I tried this recipe last week.  It made a nice meal that was almost meatless if you don't count the Italian bacon or Pancetta which is technically meat.  This recipe comes from Rachael Ray.  Generally, I think her recipes are a bit complicated for the outcome but this one was pretty good.   It got my family to eat cauliflower which is a good thing.   

Rigatoni with Cauliflower Sauce and Toasted Garlic Breadcrumbs

For the Breadcrumbs:
·         2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
·         4 tablespoons butter 
·         6 cloves garlic, minced
·         1 cup breadcrumbs, Panko or homemade (coarse ground)
·         1/3 to 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley tops, finely chopped
·         1/3 to 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

For the Cauliflower Sauce:
·         2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
·         1/4 pound pancetta, guanciale* or bacon, chopped
·         1 onion, chopped
·         2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
·         2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
·         2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
·         1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
·         3 tablespoons chopped golden raisins
·         1/2 cup dry white wine
·         1/2 cup chicken stock
·         1 head cauliflower, root and core cut away from head with sharp paring knife
·         Salt and pepper
·         1 pound rigatoni
·         3 tablespoons butter

Yields: 4-6

For the breadcrumbs, heat EVOO and butter over medium heat, melting butter into oil. Add garlic and stir 1-2 minutes. Add breadcrumbs and stir until very fragrant and deeply golden in color. Remove breadcrumbs from heat and cool; toss with parsley and cheese.

For the sauce, heat EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan, over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven. Add pancetta, guanciale or bacon and stir until rendered and crispy, 3-4 minutes. Add onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, red pepper flakes and raisins, and stir to soften 3-5 minutes. Add white wine and stock, set cauliflower into pot, season with salt and pepper, and cover. Cook 15-20 minutes until very tender then mash up into small pieces with wooden spoon or potato masher.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil for pasta. Salt water and cook pasta to al dente. Add a cup of starchy water from pasta to sauce just before draining.

Along with starchy water, stir butter into cauliflower sauce. Combine with pasta and adjust seasoning. Serve in shallow bowls topped with garlic breadcrumbs. 

*Guanciale (Italian pronunciation: [ɡwanˈtʃaːle]) is an unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with pig's jowl or cheeks. Its name is derived from guanciaItalian for cheek. Guanciale is similar to the jowl bacon of the United States.   This definitionis from

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sugo Bugiardo or "Fake" Sauce

This recipe comes from a restaurant in Italy called Fattoria il Colle via a Tuscan food blog by Emiko Davies.  The sauce name Sugo Bugiardo indicates that the sauce itself is a fake or liar.   It contains a cheaper cut of meat such as sausage rather than beef.  These “fake” sauces came about when times were hard.  These are traditional peasant meals that “stretch” the food dollar to make an excellent, tasty meal with little money.  The Tuscan peasants used mostly leftovers to make these meals.  Traditionally, this meal is served with Pappardelle but I used Campanelle pasta which is shaped like a flower or  bell because I could not find any Pappardelle.  I liked the way this sauce tasted with the Campanelle even though it wasn’t what was recommended.  A good substitute that is recommended on some blogs is fettuccine.    

Sugo Bugiardo
Serves 6-8
1 Onion, finely chopped
2 Carrots, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
Italian parsley
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
½ pound pancetta
4 Tuscan style sausages, taken out of their skin casings
1 glass of red wine
2 lbs canned whole tomatoes (plum)
Salt and pepper , to taste

1.       Prepare the soffrito (sauce base) by chopping the onions, carrot and celery finely and sautéing them gently in some olive oil.  When they are golden, add the pancetta and sausage meat, crumbled. 
2.       Brown the meat slightly.
3.       Add the glass of wine, tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper. 
4.       Bring it all to a simmer on low heat to reduce slightly.  Cook for 1 hour.
5.       Meanwhile, put on a pot of water to cook the pasta (this goes well with ribbon pasta like  Pappardelle or any long pasta). Even a bag of "noodle" type pasta would work.
6.       Serve with your pasta of choice, a sprinkle of parsley and some Parmesano Reggiano.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lemon Ricotta Linguine with Garlic and Zucchini

This is another recipe that I have been looking at for a long time but have only just made it today.  I adjusted the amounts to make a larger portion.   It is originally from Food 52 website and I combined that recipe with one I found in Cooking Light Magazine's August issue.

Lemon Ricotta  Pasta with Garlic and Zucchini
Serves 6-8


1 16 oz box of linguine
1 cup fresh ricotta, preferably homemade (see recipe below)
6 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 small yellow squash, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
zest of 2 lemons
1-1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
black pepper


1.  Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente and drain.

2.  Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil to pan; swirl to coat.  Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic.  Gently cook the garlic until it is starting to turn golden.  Add squash, zucchini, and red pepper flakes to pan; saute 1 minute.  Add broth and pasta to pan, cook for 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, tossing to combine.

3.  Add the ricotta, lemon zest, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.   If pasta needs more moisture, add additional chicken broth.  Add black pepper to taste.  Dig in.

Homemade Ricotta

2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons cider vinegar

1.  Combine ingredients in a microwave safe 1-quart liquid measuring cup; microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes.

2.  Stir to form small curds.

3.  Strain through a sieve lined with a double layer of cheesecloth; let stand for 5 minutes.

4.  Discard liquid.

5.  Scrape cheese mixture into a small bowl; stir in rind and 1/4 teaspoon salt.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Spaghetti With Roasted Zucchini

I saw this recipe in a People Magazine while we were driving through Montana.  It looks amazing that I made it for dinner tonight!

Spaghetti with Roasted Zucchini
By Piper Perabo in People Magazine July 11, 2011

2 medium zucchini, sliced into ½-inch rounds
½ cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1-1/2 teaspoons butter
¼ cup fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
6 ounces spaghetti
¼ cup pitted Kalmata olives
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

1.        Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place zucchini on a sheet pan.  Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Roast for 10-15 minutes, stirring once.  Remove from oven and set aside.
2.       In a 12 inch sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sauté onions over medium-low heat for 5 minutes or until translucent.  Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.  Stir in zucchini and lemon zest.  Remove pan from heat.
3.       Melt butter in small skillet over low heat.  Add bread crumbs and sauté until lightly browned.  Let cool, stir in mint and set aside.
4.       Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook for 9 minutes. Drain, reserving ¼ cup of pasta cooking water.  Add pasta to zucchini mixture.  Add olives and reserved water.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to low and sprinkle in cheese.  Toss pasta until cheese melts.  Divide between two bowls.  Top with bread crumbs.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pasta Carbonara Frittata

I have been having a yen for Pasta Carbonara recently. When I looked up the recipes I saw how many eggs were in it and the fact that you don't really cook the eggs. They are poured over the pasta and are supposed to cook from the heat of the cooked pasta. Well, that doesn't sit well with me especially with all the E-coli issues and other food borne illnesses around. That's why it was so strangely fortuitous that I found a recipe for a Pasta Carbonara Frittata in this month's All You Magazine. This pasta carbonara is at least cooked in a skillet and then put under the broiler. It was really yummy. Of course, I changed it a bit. I used a liquid egg substitute and instead of the turkey bacon, I used Pancetta which is an Italian bacon. I used it because I had it in my refrigerator not for any other reason. I doubt it has less fat or less sodium than turkey bacon. This is a delicious, inexpensive and easy recipe so try it!

Pasta Carbonara Frittata

Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 25 min.
Serves: 4

8 oz. spaghetti
2 Tbsp. olive oil
4 oz. turkey bacon
6 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook spaghetti until just tender, about 8 minutes or as package label directs. Drain, transfer to a large bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Let cool to room temperature.

2. Cook turkey bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 6 minutes. Remove bacon to paper towels to drain. Discard all but 1 Tbsp. of fat in skillet.

3. Preheat broiler to high. Whisk together eggs, Parmesan, garlic, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a large bowl. Pour over spaghetti and toss to coat. Crumble bacon into bowl and mix well.

4. Place skillet on stove over medium-low heat and add egg-and-spaghetti mixture, spreading into an even layer with a spatula. Cook until bottom is well-browned, about 8 minutes, sliding a spatula underneath frittata occasionally to loosen.

5. Place pan under broiler and cook until top is golden and set, about 3 minutes. Cut frittata into wedges and serve.


The Creative Cook

Friday, September 11, 2009

Orecchietti with Peas & Ground Turkey

I bought a bag of orecchiette a few weeks ago and every time I opened my cupboard, I wanted to make it. I just couldn't think if what to make it with. Finally, I decided that it would be nice with peas, ground turkey and marinara sauce. I simply cooked up a pound of ground turkey in some olive oil and threw in some onion that I minced along with some powdered garlic and basil. Then I threw in the frozen peas and let them thaw and cook a bit. After that I put a jar of really good organic marinara sauce into the pot and let it get nice and hot. Meanwhile I cooked the orecchiette for the 11 minutes suggested on the bag. Believe me, this was a really good, quick dinner. My hubby and I both loved it.

In case you didn't know, orecchiette is a type of pasta native to Apulia, whose shape resembles a small ear. In Italian, "ear" is orecchio, so this translates as "little ears". In the Taranto area it is still called by the synonym chiancarelle. An orecchietta is about 2 cm (¾ inch) in size and looks like a small white dome with a thinner center than edge and a rough surface.