Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

Margherita Penne

March 6, 2018

I found this recipe on Dairy Goodness and it turned out fantastic.  And no, those are not marshmallows in the pasta, they are mozzarella balls (Bocconcini).  Please see the tips and notes below.

12 oz penne pasta
2 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot pepper flakes
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups  Milk
2 cups  cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup grated Canadian Parmesan
12 1-inch mini Canadian Bocconcini
1/2 cup  fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
Canadian Parmesan, for serving



“Not” Caprese Pasta Salad

April 24, 2017

I have been making the Caprese Pasta Salad on our blog for a few years now and it’s Mark’s favorite pasta side dish.  The problem with making it is that it calls for “slow roasted tomatoes” and that takes up to 3 hours in the oven.  So making this dish on a week night is really out of the question for people who work.  Well, I came up with the thought to use fresh grape tomatoes and we found that we like this version better.

And you will notice I’m using my fine china for the picture!


    1 (10 ounce) box Bow Ties (I used the spiral noodles because that’s what I had on hand)
    1/2 cup Basil Pesto, store-bought or homemade (recipe below)
    1 cup grape tomatoes (We like more of the tomatoes, so I used about 2 cups, and you could also use any tomato)
    8 ounces Mozzarella Pearls or Bocconcini
    Aged Balsamic Vinegar, optional
    Sea Salt
    Freshly ground black pepper


American Goulash

March 8, 2017

Mark found this recipe on Betty Crocker’s website.  He has found a lot of recipes on there.  They have some good stuff and most of it is inexpensive and easy to make.

This one was fantastic!  See a couple of notes at the bottom.


1 lb lean (at least 80%) ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups (from 32-oz carton) Progresso™ beef flavored broth
1 can (15 oz) Muir Glen™ organic tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
3 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz)
1/2 cup flavored croutons, coarsely crushed


Beef Stroganoff

January 28, 2017

I have always been a big fan of beef stroganoff but have never tried it from scratch.  This is a pretty good recipe and really simple to make. And another bonus, it’s easy on the pocket book.

Please see my notes below for suggestions.


2 pounds beef chuck roast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 ounces butter
4 green onions, sliced (white parts only)
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed beef broth
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
1(6 ounce) can sliced mushrooms, drained
1/3 cup sour cream
1/3 cup of white wine
Egg noodles or rice
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste

Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo

June 5, 2016

I am a huge chicken fettuccini alfredo fan, but Mark doesn’t care for it much. So, I buy it a lot in the frozen section and take it to work for my lunches.  Marie Callenders has it for $7.99 and I can get two meals out of it.  I decided that I wanted to try making it from scratch.  I wrote this recipe down one day at work while I was on lunch and it is the best chicken fettuccini alfredo I have ever eaten.  You can’t believe how easy and inexpensive this recipe is. For about $6, I made enough for 3 lunch meals.


1 stick of butter
1 pint of whipping cream
5 cloves of minced or crushed garlic
1 cup of grated parmesan cheese
2 cooked chicken breasts
¼ cup of olive oil
noodles of your choice


Heat the olive oil in a pan until it shimmers.  Brown your chicken on each side; roughly 5 minutes each.  Remove from pan and let rest for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta according to the package direction. Slice the chicken into ¼ pieces and set aside. At the same time melt the butter in a pan (watch the butter so that it does not burn) and add the garlic, cook on medium heat until garlic is almost translucent.  Add the whipping cream and bring to a boil.  Slowly add the cheese a little at a time until melted.  Drain the pasta and add to the cheese mixture, then add the chicken.  Gently stir until mixed thoroughly and serve.  Garnish with extra cheese and some chopped basil if desired.

Bruschetta Pasta Salad

May 16, 2016

I have no idea where I found this recipe or I would give them credit.  It was one of those recipes you find floating around on Facebook.  I seen this one and I knew we would love it.  It’s so light and refreshing.  The fresh vegetables are amazing in it.  And it’s so inexpensive to make.  This would make the perfect summer BBQ side dish.  You could also have it as a meal with a side of garlic toast.


    3 cups cooked pasta
    5 tomatoes, chopped
    2 green onions, chopped
    1 tbsp red onion, chopped finely
    1-2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 bunch basil, chopped
    1 tbsp olive oil
    2 – 4 tsp balsamic vinegar (to your taste)
    1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
    salt & fresh ground pepper to taste


    In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic, chopped basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese.
    Let this mixture rest for at least 15 minutes.
    Then toss the tomato mixture with the cooked noodles.
    Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.
    You can serve and enjoy this recipe right away, or let it rest for up to an hour before enjoying!


You could modify any one of these ingredients to your taste. We thought some red or orange bell peppers would be a nice addition.

Italian Chops in Red Sauce

April 25, 2016

This is another recipe that Mark found. I have no idea where, but it was some foreign blog.  We went through it together and made some changes and I basically rewrote the recipe.  This is definitely a restaurant quality meal.  Don’t be nervous by all of the steps, it’s not as bad as it looks.

IMG_5291 IMG_5292 IMG_5293 IMG_5294
Pork chops (I used 3)
1 can 14 oz. diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 lb. button or cremini mushrooms, sliced
½ lb. box of rotini pasta
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
Crushed Red Pepper (Optional)
Olive Oil

Tuscan Chicken Pasta

March 22, 2016

I got this recipe from a post on Facebook.  We normally give credit to sites where we find them, but I have no idea which one it was. 

This recipe is OUTSTANDING!!!  I used my homemade pasta but you can use store bought.  FYI, you won’t need anything to go with it other than some garlic toast.  This is without a doubt the best pasta recipe that we have tried yet.


  • 12 oz. spaghetti or angel hair
  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 c. diced tomatoes (canned or fresh)
  • 3 c. baby spinach
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1/3 c. grated Parmesan
  • Basil, for garnish


One-Pot Cheesy Tortellini and Sausage

March 5, 2016

I made this yummy dish last night.  It is very easy to make and not too bad on the pocket book.  Trust me, you want need to make anything else with it, it’s very filling by itself.  We had garlic knots on the side and that was plenty.   Mark got this recipe from Betty Crocker’s web site.


1 lb cooked pork sausage, sliced
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jar (25.5 oz) Muir Glen organic pasta sauce tomato basil
1 can (14.5 oz) Muir Glen organic diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup Progresso chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
20 oz refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (4 oz)
6 fresh basil leaves, chopped

Fettuccine Pasta with Tomatoes and Garlic

February 16, 2016

This recipe is kind of a special one for me.  A milestone, so to speak.  I have wanted to make my own pasta from scratch for years. Our kids got me a really nice KitchenAid mixer for an early Mother’s Day present, so I bought the attachments to make my own pasta.  It was a lot of fun and there will be more pasta in my future.  The pasta recipe comes from my brother-in-law Adam’s girlfriend, Joy.  If you don’t make your own pasta, this recipe will be just as tasty with the store bought stuff. 

This recipe was so good, Mark told me, “you could seriously sell this in a restaurant”, I would say that’s one heck of a compliment. I got the recipe from Hunts Recipes.

So I can cross one more thing off my “bucket list”. Next up, Bungee Jumping.




  • 8 ounces dry fettuccine pasta, uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt’s® Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese