Category Archives: Pasta

Skillet Beef with Pantry Goods

My MIL gave me this recipe a long time ago.

1 lb ground beef

1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves minced garlic

Brown these in the frying pan and then add:

14 oz can stewed tomatoes

1 1/2 cans water (use the tomato can)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp Italian seasoning

about 2 cups uncooked noodles

Cook until the noodles are done, about 10 minutes or so.

Sprinkle about a cup or more of grated cheddar cheese on top and let melt.


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Filed under Beef, Cheese, Italian, No oven necessary., Pasta, Quick

Hearty Lasagna Soup

1 lb ground beef

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2, 14 oz cans seasoned beef broth with onion

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning

1 1/2 cups uncooked mafalda or corkscrew pasta

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook beef with garlic in skillet until browned. Pour off fat.

Add broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Heat to a boil.

Stir in pasta. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Stir in cheese. Serve with additional cheese.

Serves 4.

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Filed under Beef, Comfort Food, Italian, Pasta, Quick, Soup

Baked Macaroni & Gouda

Rachael Ray’s tip: Skip the sausage and add chopped tomato to the cooked pasta and onions.

1 lb macaroni

1 1/2 lbs uncooked sweet Italian sausage, casings removed

1 1/2 cups carmelized onions

1 quart whole milk

6 T unsalted butter

6 T flour

3/4 pound aged Gouda cheese, grated (about 4 cups)

Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente, about 11 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring and breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the sausage to a large bowl and wipe the saucepan clean.
3. Add the pasta and 1 cup caramelized onions to the sausage and stir to combine. In a medium saucepan or a microwave oven, heat the milk until steaming.
4. Return the large saucepan to the stove, add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking constantly, for 3 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk, 1/4 cup at a time, and continue whisking until the sauce is smooth and thick and comes to a simmer. Add 2-1/2 cups cheese, remove from the heat and whisk until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the cheese sauce to the pasta mixture and stir to combine.
5. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and add the pasta mixture in an even layer. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup caramelized onions and 1-1/2 cups cheese on top. bake until golden and bubbling, about 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

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Filed under Casserole, Cheese, Comfort Food, Pasta, Pork, Vegetarian Main Dish

Caryn’s Meatballs

I believe this is the final recipe from my “John & Caryn” collection.

Mix together:

1 lb ground beef

2 cloves garlic

2 eggs

1 cup Parmesan

1 1/2 T parsley

s & p

Then add:

2 cups bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water (1/2 cup at a time)

Form into 2″ balls.

Heat 1 cup olive oil in a skillet and fry the meatballs in batches.  When very brown and slightly crispy, remove from heat to paper towels.  If they fall apart when cooking, cover.

Cook fried meatballs in tomato sauce 15 minutes.


Filed under Basic Cooking, Beef, Italian, Kid friendly, Mike's favorite, No oven necessary., Pasta

Caryn’s Tomato Sauce

I just reread Caryn’s Eggplant Parmesan recipe since we received eggplant in our co-op, and realized I have no post for her sauce!  Hands-down, I get more requests for this recipe than any other.  We always freeze most of the sauce to use later.

First, cook 1 or 2 bone-in country-style pork ribs in hot water.  I usually do this the night before.

In a very large pot cook a small chopped onion and about 4 minced garlic cloves in olive oil.  This may sound obvious, but don’t let them burn!  If they do you need to start over so the entire batch of sauce doesn’t taste like burnt garlic.

Add in 2 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz each) and cook for a bit.  Then pour in a gigantic, super-sized can of tomato sauce from Costco or Sam’s Club (6 lb, 10 oz).  Sprinkle salt over the entire surface of sauce.  Add some pepper red pepper flakes (I often use a packet that comes with pizza deliveries).  Cook over medium-high until bubbling. If the sauce looks too thick (if the surface resembles Labyrinth‘s Bog of Eternal Stench–video here), add a little water.

Place the cooked pork ribs into the sauce, cover and cook on medium-low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Add a bit of chopped, fresh oregano and a large handful of fresh basil, chopped.  Cover and cook 1/2 hour longer.  Be sure to test it before you’re done!


Filed under Basic Cooking, Comfort Food, Healthy, Italian, Kid friendly, Mike's favorite, No oven necessary., Pasta, Pork

Turkey Sausage Vegetable Soup

This happens to be what I’m cooking tonight, in fact.  Easy & yummy, any time of year.

14.5 oz can chicken broth

1 cup water

1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning, crushed

1 cup dried rotini (corkscrew) pasta

2 cups loose-pack frozen zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, lima beans and Italian green beans

14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano

8 oz cooked smoked turkey sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced

1/4 cup lemon juice

2 tsp sugar

Combine broth, water, and Italian seasoning in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil; add pasta.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer 8 minutes.

Stir in frozen vegetables, tomatoes with juice, sausage, lemon juice and sugar. Return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 5 minutes longer or until vegetables and pasta are tender.

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Filed under Healthy, No oven necessary., Pasta, Soup, Turkey

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Parsley, & Breadcrumbs

Martha Stewart says, “Cauliflower tastes surprisingly nutty and sweet when roasted–break it up into small florets to help it cook quickly.”

coarse s & p

1 head cauliflower (about 2 1/2 lbs), cored and broken into small florets

1 medium red onion, halved and cut into thin wedges

5 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

1/4 cup olive oil

4 slices white sandwich bread

12 oz cavatappi or other short pasta

1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Heat oven to 475, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Set a large pot of salted water to boil. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss cauliflower, onion, and garlic with 2 T oil; season with s & p. Roast on lower rack until lightly browned and tender, 20 minutes, tossing once.

2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine bread and remaining 2 T oil; pulse until coarse crumbs form. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake on upper rack until golden brown, 5-6 minutes, tossing once.

3. Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta, and return to pot. Add cauliflower mixture, Parmesan, and parsley; toss to combine. Tossing pasta, gradually add enough pasta water to form a thin sauce that coats pasta. Serve topped with breadcrumbs and more Parmesan.

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Filed under Healthy, Italian, Pasta, Side Dish, Vegetarian Main Dish