Tag Archives: pasta recipes

Spicy Sausage and Spinach Gnocchi Recipe

Looking for a delicious and easy recipe to feed your soul?  Look no further than this delicious Spicy Sausage and Spinach Gnocchi recipe.  Great for cold winter evenings (and perfect for a meal for 2!), this recipe is just spicy enough to make it insanely addicting!

spicy-sausage-and-spinach-gnocchi-recipe6

It may seem weird to not cook the gnocchi in water before browning them, but trust me, this trick works.  Pre-cooking the pasta in water makes it soft and tender and makes browning basically impossible without ruining the pasta.  The “dry cooking” of the pasta gives the gnocchi a yummy crunch on the outside and still keeps the pasta tender and soft on the inside.

spicy sausage and spinach gnocchi recipe

The spicy turkey sausage really adds great flavor to this dish, but if you’re not a fan of spice, you can easily use mild sausage as well.  The reason I chose spicy sausage was that gnocchi really doesn’t have much flavor on its own and adding spicy sausage gave it a great kick that puts this recipe over the top!

 

Spicy Sausage and Spinach Gnocchi Recipe

Spicy Sausage and Spinach Gnocchi

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 3 links hot Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 5-ounce bag fresh spinach, stems removed
  • 1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi

 

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large broiler-safe skillet over medium heat.  Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until brown, 8-10 minutes.

    spicy sausage and spinach gnocchi

  2. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and very tender, about 10 minutes more.  Increase heat to medium and add sausage, garlic, and pepper.  Cook, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add water and cook, stirring up any browned bits, until the water has evaporated, about 1 minute.  Add spinach a handful at a time and cook, stirring, until wilted, 3-4 minutes.

    spicy sausage and spinach gnocchi

  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.  Stir the gnocchi into the spinach mixture.

    spicy sausage and spinach gnocchi
    spicy sausage and spinach gnocchi


What tips do you have for making recipes for 2?  Share your knowledge 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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Fettuccine with Sausage and Kale

As you all may have guessed, I love kale.  It’s one of the best foods you can eat and it really goes well with soups and pastas.

I usually mix sausage and kale in a delicious soup, but I was feeling adventurous the other day and decided to try a pasta combination.  This is a simple recipe for a weeknight meal and it can easily feed 4-6 hungry mouths.  You could also use chicken and spinach instead of sausage and kale, if you prefer.

One reason I like cooking with kale is that it’s very forgiving.  It takes quite a while for kale to really cook and wilt down…so it’s great for those who tend to be a little flaky in the kitchen (*raises hand*).  I also love that kale maintains its crunch and shape after being cooked, unlike spinach which wilts and becomes a soggy mess if you’re not careful.

Veggie lovers can also omit the sausage from this dish without any problem.  This recipe originally calls for 1 lb. of sausage, however I only added 1 sausage link (about the size of a bratwurst).  That way there was just a taste of meat without all the fat and sodium.

This is a great meal for a Wednesday or Thursday night.  As a matter of fact, I think I made this one rainy Thursday evening and enjoyed it with a marathon of Law and Order: SVU.  Strange combination, I know…but I can’t help myself!

Fettuccine with Sausage & Kale

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. whole wheat fettuccine
  • 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • ½ cup heavy cream (or your favorite white sauce)
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large bunch of kale, trimmed and coarsely chopped (about 4-5 leaves)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta until it’s al dente; drain.
  2. In a large skillet, cook sausage over medium-low until browned, about 7 minutes. Add ½ cup water and cream; simmer until reduced by half, about 7 minutes.  Add Cayenne pepper, if desired, and salt and pepper.
  3. Add kale; toss until wilted. Remove from heat; toss with pasta.
  4. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

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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Pepita Pesto Pasta with Roasted Squash

I love cooking with squash in the winter and fall.  If you get it at the right place and time, you can get an awesome deal, and 1 medium butternut squash can easily feed several people.

While I have to credit Rachel Ray for this delicious meal, I will say that this is no where near a 30 minute meal, as she claims.  It does take some time, but it’s well worth the wait.  Perfect for a cold winter night, this meal is soul food at its finest.

You can also liven this dish up by adding some sausage, like we did here, or some blackened chicken.  The squash is good in this recipe, but I think using a meat would be much better.  And I don’t recommend altering the pesto at all…it’s so good just as is!  If you don’t like pumpkin seeds or have any allergies to them, they can easily be omitted without loosing flavor, but the pesto is my favorite part of this dish!  I might make it again in the summer to marinate chicken or maybe fish.

Pepita Pesto Pasta with Roasted Squash

Ingredients:

  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb. quinoa penna or whole wheat penne
  • 1 ½ lbs. butternut squash or pumpkin—pealed, seeded and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Nutmeg, for grating
  • 1 cup chopped parsley and cilantro
  • ½ cup grated romano cheese
  • 1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and cut into small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 lime, juiced

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.

2. While the pasta is working, on a baking sheet, drizzle the squash with oil and season with salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg. Roast until tender and charred at the edges,, about 18 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, using a food processor, pulse 1/3 cup oil, the herbs, cheese, peppers, garlic, pumpkin seeds, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the pesto, reserved pasta cooking water and squash to the drained pasta. Toss gently and serve.

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 Tortellini Soup with Chicken and Kale

In my apartment, Sunday means 1 thing…sports.  More specifically, Bears.  My boyfriend is a huge sports fan and Sunday is his day to watch men pummel and pound each other while enjoying the simple thrill of throwing a ball around 😉

I kid, but I know how important sports are to him…and to the general population of Chicago.  I grew up in a household where Sunday was football day and we’d all gather around the TV with a bowl of hot chili or soup.  I cherish those memories so much that I often crave chili or soup every Sunday afternoon.

This is my favorite go-to soup recipe.  It’s hearty, but light…filled with veggies and garlic.  Like many soups, you can add or omit to your taste, but I highly suggest you try this soup as is.  It’s delicious and nutritious, and perfect for an afternoon of football.

This recipe originally calls for spinach rather than kale, but I love kale so much in this soup!  It goes perfectly with all the other flavors.  If you’d rather add spinach, add it right before serving…as you don’t want it to wilt too much.  The kale has a similar taste, but holds up better to the heat (meaning temperature) of the soup.  And if you’d rather use meat tortellini, go right ahead!  Try adding Italian sausage instead of chicken and using meat tortellini rather than cheese.  This is a great soup for mixing and matching…so be creative and have fun!  Oh, and GO BEARS!

Cheese Tortellini Soup with Chicken and Kale

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breast fillets (or 2 full chicken breasts)
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 14-oz cans of chicken broth
  • 3 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 bunch kale
  • Water
  • 2 medium carrots, cut up into matchsticks
  • 12-19 oz cheese filled tortellini

Directions:

  1.  Season chicken with salt and pepper, if desired.  Cut into bite sized pieces.
  2. Cook chicken in oil in soup pot.  When chicken has slightly browned, add garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in broth and add equal parts water (if you add 2 cans broth, fill both cans with water and add that as well).  Bring to a simmer, then add mushrooms and carrots.
  4. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes.  Add tortellini and let simmer 5-6 minutes.  Reduce heat and add kale.  Let cook 2 minutes.  Serve.

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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Creamy Fettuccine with Peas, Salmon, and Dill

This is my attempt to make fettuccine just a little bit healthy!

This creamy pasta dish is great for a guilty pleasure meal.  If you’re not big on fish, use chopped chicken and broccoli instead of salmon and peas.  You could read my recipe for Pasta Alfredo with Chicken and Broccoli that I posted a couple of years ago.  I still make it at least a couple times a month.

The dill in this dish is optional, but it really does enhance the flavor of the salmon.  It’s a great recipe for spring and perfect with a side salad and a cold beer.

Creamy Fettuccine with Peas, Salmon, and Dill

 Ingredients:

  • 1 box of fettuccine
  • ½ bag of frozen peas
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 jar creamy alfredo sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Directions:

1.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.  When the pasta is at an al dente stage, add the peas and cook until the pasta is soft.

2.  Drain pasta and peas and place back in the pot.  Add the sauce and mix to combine.

3.  Season salmon with salt and pepper.  Add to a hot pan and cook about 3-5 minutes per side.  Use a fork and flake the salmon into small bite sized pieces.  Add salmon to pasta and mix to combine.  Add dill right before serving and mix until combined.

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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Tortellini Soup with Chicken and Spinich

I have been craving soup like no one’s business.  It’s been cold and rainy in Chicago and nothing goes with a rainy day like soup and a Johnny Depp movie 🙂

So last night we whipped up this batch of chicken tortellini soup that seriously warmed my soul.  It’s perfect for a weekday meal because it’s so easy to make!

Soup for the Soul

Ingredients:

12 oz. chicken breast

2 TBS olive oil

3 cloves garlic

2 14.5 oz cans of chicken stock

3 cups sliced mushrooms

2 cups fresh torn spinich

1 3/4 cup water

2 carrots, sliced into matchsticks or chopped into bite-sized pieces

19 oz. cheese filled tortellini

1.  Cut up chicken into bite-sized pieces and cook in the oil in a large soup stock pot (this is a 1 pot chop n’ drop kind of thing).

2.  Add garlic and cook 5 minutes, or until garlic is soft.

3.  Stir in broth and add rest of ingredients, except spinach and tortellini.

4.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium.  Add tortellini and let simmer until noodles are ready.  Stir in spinach just before serving.

5.  Enjoy!  PS-your kitchen will smell AMAZING!

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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Pasta with Baked Cherry Tomatoes

Spaghetti with marinara sauce is a go-to staple for thousands of families.  It’s cheap, easy, and almost always satisfying.  But if you’re looking for something a little more “grown up”, consider pasta con pomodori al forno, or pasta with baked cherry tomatoes.  The tomatoes still give you the taste of sauce without the mess.

pasta with baked cherry tomatoes

WHAT YOU NEED:

3 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
⅓ cup fine dry bread crumbs
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta pot
¼ teaspoon peperoncino flakes, or to taste
1 pound spaghetti, gemelli, or penne
10 plump garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
½ cup pecorino, freshly grated, plus more for passing
4 ounces ricotta, or ricotta salata

Arrange a rack in the center of the oven, and heat to 350 degrees.

Toss the cherry-tomato halves in a large bowl with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle over tomatoes the bread crumbs, salt, and peperoncino; toss well to coat the tomatoes evenly. Pour the tomatoes onto the parchment-lined sheet, and spread them apart in a single layer. Bake until the tomatoes are shriveled and lightly caramelized (but not dried out), about 25 minutes in all.

Meanwhile, fill the large pot with salted water, and heat to a rolling boil. When the tomatoes are nearly done, drop the pasta into the pot, stir, and return the water to a boil.

As soon as the pasta is cooking, pour the remaining olive oil into the big skillet, set it over medium- high heat, and scatter in the sliced garlic. Cook for a minute or two, until it is sizzling and lightly colored, then ladle in about 2 cups of the pasta cooking water, and bring to a vigorous boil, stirring up the garlic. Let half the water evaporate, then lower the heat, stir in the chopped parsley, and keep the sauce barely simmering.
As soon as the tomatoes are done, remove them from the oven.

When the pasta is al dente, lift it from the water, drain for a moment, and drop it into the skillet, still over low heat. Toss pasta quickly with the garlic-and- parsley sauce in the pan, then slide the baked tomatoes on top of the pasta. Scatter the basil shreds all over, and toss everything together well, until the pasta is evenly dressed and the tomatoes are distributed throughout. Turn off the heat, sprinkle on the grated cheese, and toss once more.

Mound the pasta in a warmed serving bowl. Shred the ricotta all over the top of the pasta, and serve immediately.

Courtesy of http://www.lidiasitaly.com/.

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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