Category Archives: pasta recipes

Easy and tasty pasta recipes.

Gnocchi with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

You want to know the secret to amazing Brussels Sprouts?  A CAST IRON SKILLET.

And bacon…bacon always…but cast iron for sure!

This Gnocchi with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts dish is so rich and creamy and perfect for a cool fall or winter night.  It truly can be made and ready to go in about 30 – 45 minutes, so it’s great for a last-minute weeknight dinner (and tastes even better for lunch!).

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I used those little frozen Brussels Sprouts for this recipe because they’re much smaller than the fresh ones, but you can easily use fresh sprouts, too.  Just cut them into smaller pieces before putting them in the skillet.

Gnocchi with Bacon and Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • 1 package gnocchi, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups frozen Brussels sprouts, cut in half (you can also use fresh!)
  • 5 strips bacon, diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Instructions:

Place bacon, onions, and Brussels sprouts in cast iron skillet and heat over medium low heat.  Continue cooking until onions turn translucent and sprouts start to caramelize.

Look at this deliciousness.

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Add garlic and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes.

In a saucepan, add cheese, milk, butter, flour, and nutmeg with the cooked gnocchi and heat on medium low heat until all ingredients combine and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.  Fold in bacon-sprouts mix and serve!  Season with salt and pepper to taste and top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Meanwhile, add cheese, milk, butter, flour & nutmeg to the pot with the cooked gnocchi and heat on medium-low until the cheese melts. Then fold bacon-veggie sauté mixture into the pasta. Enjoy!

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Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Mini Shells with Italian Sausage, Asparagus, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Looking for an easy weeknight meal that the whole family will love?  Try this Mini Shells with Italian Sausage, Asparagus, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes dish.  Filled with flavor, this pasta dish uses basil pesto instead of marinara sauce and packs a little punch depending on how spicy your Italian sausage is!

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If you don’t like asparagus, you can easily sub it for peas or spinach…and the sausage can easily be replaced by chicken, if desired.  Though this dish is baked entirely on the stove, you could top it with some more grated cheese and pop it under the broiler for a tasty pasta casserole that is sure to make the house smell amazing.

Mini Shells with Italian Sausage, Asparagus, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 1 box Mini Shells
  • ½ lb. Hot Italian Sausage
  • 5-7 Asparagus Stalks, chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 8-10 Sun-Dried Tomatoes, chopped
  • Classico Basil Pesto (8 oz. jar)
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for garnish)
  • ½ cup Provolone cheese, grated

 

Instructions:

  1. Prepare pasta following box instructions.  Once pasta is cooked, drain it and set the pasta aside.  Return the pot to the stove.
  2. In the pot, brown the sausage, using a wooden spoon to chop it up into small pieces.  Once sausage is cooked, add asparagus stalks and garlic.  Heat until garlic is fragrant, about a minute or so.
  3. Add sun-dried tomatoes and entire container of basil pesto.  Mix until pesto is hot, about another minute.  Add the pasta back into the pot.
  4. Add cheeses, reserving some Parmesan cheese for garnishing.  Remove pot from heat.  Mix everything together.  Serve immediately, topping with reserved cheese.

 

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Summer Pasta Salad

Looking for a light and refreshing summer pasta salad that isn’t dripping in fat and mayo?  Well, look no further!

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This tasty and bright Summer Pasta Salad is bursting with color and features tasty veggies and other ingredients that will keep you fueled all day.

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The great thing about this pasta salad is that you can really add whatever you’d like – but remember – we eat with our eyes!  EAT THE RAINBOW, PEOPLE!

Summer Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 box bowtie pasta
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • Small yellow tomatoes
  • 10 strips bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 head broccoli, florets cut off
  • ½ red onion, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 container small mozzarella cheese pearls
  • 2 small cans black olives, sliced
  • Salt and pepper
  • Good quality olive oil

Instructions:

Prepare pasta following the package directions.  While the pasta cooks, prepare the rest of your ingredients.

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Once the pasta is cooked, drain it completely and run it under cold water to stop the cooking and cool off your pasta so your cheese doesn’t melt.  Pour the cooled pasta into a large bowl.

Then just add all your ingredients and mix it together!  Salt and pepper to taste and drizzle with good olive oil.

Like most pasta salad, this gets better as it sits in the fridge and the flavors marinate.

Feel free to mix up the ingredients to whatever you fancy…but try to get a good selection of color to make your salad all the more appetizing!

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Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

I am one of probably a handful of people who actually loves Brussels sprouts. I LOVE them. Blanched, grilled, roasted…I’ll eat them however…and they’re even better if combined with pancetta or bacon…

I mean, what’s not instantly improved with bacon, really?

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Anyway, in an effort to eat more veggies, I’ve been keeping Brussels sprouts in my fridge for last-minute side dish ideas. And since I absolutely HATE grocery shopping, these particular sprouts would have actually started sprouting something if I didn’t use them ASAP…

So I scoured my fridge and pantry for ingredients I could throw together for dinner…and as luck would have it, I happened to have everything I needed to create this tasty rigatoni pasta dish with bacon and Brussels sprouts!

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This pasta dish made WAAAAY too much pasta (not a bad thing, just a forewarning!), so you could easily cut it in half for a more manageable amount. I think next time I might add some grilled chicken, since this dish is a bit lacking on the protein.

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Served alongside a side salad, this Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon will force even the pickiest of eaters to widen their palette.

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Rigatoni with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. rigatoni noodles
  • 5-6 large fresh Brussels sprouts, sliced and chopped thin
  • 8-10 slices bacon, diced into small pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook rigatoni noodles according to package instructions.
  2. While your pasta cooks, cook bacon in large skillet.  Once crisp, remove from pan.
  3. Drain bacon grease, leaving enough to coat the bottom of the pan, about 2 tablespoons.
  4. Add chopped Brussels sprouts to the skillet, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.  Add garlic, bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until sprouts soften a bit, about 8 minutes.
  5. Once pasta is done cooking, drain and return to pan.  Add Brussels sprouts mixture to pasta, along with Parmesan cheese and cooked bacon.  Mix to combine.
  6. Drizzle olive oil over pasta.  Add oil to your liking.  Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve immediately and top with remaining cheese.

 

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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10 of My Favorite Pasta Recipes

When the weather blows cold and the snow and rain fall in heaps, there’s literally nothing better than a nice big bowl of soul-soothing pasta.  Whether it’s a cheese sauce, a tomato sauce, a beer sauce, or a garlic sauce, these delicious pasta recipes are sure to warm you up from the inside out!

To make today an even BETTER day for eating pasta, it’s WORLD PASTA DAY!  I mean if that’s not the perfect excuse, I don’t know what is.

Pinterest Top 10:  My Favorite Pasta Recipes

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Creamy Mozzarella Sun-Dried Tomato Tortellini

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Chicken Parmesan Pasta Skillet

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One Pot Cajun Chicken and Sausage Alfredo Pasta

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Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese Casserole

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Chicken Alfredo Stuffed Shells

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Crispy and Baked Toasted Ravioli

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Pasta with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce

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Cheese Tortellini in Garlic Butter Sauce

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Slow Cooker Beer Mac & Cheese

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Orecchiette with Baked Mini Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Cream Sauce

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Want to see more of my favorite recipes?  Check out my Pinterest board, Favorite Recipes!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Baked Penne with Spicy Chicken

This yummy pasta recipe is so easy to make and tastes delicious! This recipe gives you enough to make two casseroles, so you can cook up one tonight and freeze the other for later in the month.

Filled with sun-dried tomatoes, provolone, and Parmesan cheese, this pasta dish explodes with great flavor. Cooking the mushrooms ahead of time also add a depth of flavor that’s really tasty.

I like a little spice in my food, so I seasoned my chicken with some cayenne pepper to add a little heat. You could also add red pepper flakes right to the sauce if you’re looking for something with a bigger kick.

Served with a Greek salad, this casserole makes a wonderful and easy dinner for any night of the week.

 

Baked Penne with Spicy Chicken

*Adapted from Marta Stewart’s Baked Penne with Chicken and Sun-Dried Tomatoes recipe.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 pounds penne rigate
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken tenders (you can also use chicken breasts, but tenders cook up quicker and are usually more budget-friendly)
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper, or more to taste
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 (8.5 oz.) cans oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
  • 1½ cups shredded provolone cheese
  • 1½ cups finely grated Parmesan cheese

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Butter two shallow baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salt water, cook pasta just short of al dente. Drain and return to pot.
  2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Season chicken as desired. Cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  3. OPTIONAL: I pre-cooked the mushrooms here because I like getting a nice brown on them. You don’t need to do this if you don’t want…but it does add great flavor to the pasta! I just cooked them in the same pan I cooked the chicken in to pick up that great flavor.
  4. In a Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, for 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk. Bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute.
  5. Remove pot from heat and add provolone and 1 cup Parmesan.
  6. Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes. Sprinkle each with ¼ cup Parmesan.
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  7. Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

To Freeze: Prepare your casserole through step 6; let cool. Cover dish tightly with foil and freeze. Pasta will stay up to three months. To Bake: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place covered dish in oven and bake until center is hot, about 1½ hours. Remove foil and bake until top is golden, about 15 minutes.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Arugula

I don’t know about you, but I love anything with arugula in it.  Spicy and refreshing, this green adds a great bite to everything from a plain salad to a pasta dish.  In this Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Arugula recipe, it brings a bright, springy flavor to this comforting winter stable.

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I meant to make this meal with smaller mini raviolis, which are better for cooking and browning in the pan, but all I could find were these larger rounds.  They did work really well and gave this dish a nice look, but the raviolis did tend to fall apart once I tried browning them.  Something to look out for if you decide to tackle this recipe.

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Like all my favorite recipes, this one can easily be altered to suit your needs.  If you want more/less peas, bacon, arugula, or want to try adding something totally wonky, go for it!  Despite the fact that this recipe uses heavy cream, it’s actually quite light.  It’s wonderful in the winter, but would also be a great dish for the spring.

And, like most other pasta dishes, this one is quite tasty cold, as well!

 

Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Arugula Recipe

cheese-ravioli-with-peas-and-arugula-recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 20-ounce package frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups loosely packed baby arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Cook frozen ravioli according to package directions.  Drain ravioli and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the ravioli and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the frozen peas, heavy cream, and garlic powder into the saucepan.  Mix carefully so ravioli doesn’t rip apart.
  4. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  If the sauce is too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is proper consistency.
  5. Add arugula and toss until arugula begins to wilt, about 1 minute.

 

Do you like arugula?  Share your favorite arugula recipe below!

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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