Posts tagged ‘Pasta’

Recipe – Spätzle with Parmesan and Parsley

Vita and I have been craving hearty, comfort foods lately and while we were watching Guy Fieri on Food Network Saturday morning, we caught this recipe. This is the perfect pairing for our Chicken Jägerschnitzel and it turned out amazing.

Cooked Spätzle


  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 3/4 cups flour, plus extra for kneading
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 quarts low sodium chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan, plus extra for garnish
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a medium bowl, combine water, flour, eggs and salt with a wooden spoon. Place dough mixture on a clean cutting board. Flour both sides of the dough and roll into a long rectangle, approximately 12 by 2-inches and 1/8-inch thick. With pizza cutter, cut into strips, 2-inches in length and 1/4-inch wide.

Spätzle dough

2. Bring chicken stock to a boil in a large saucepan. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Drop spätzle in batches into boiling stock and cook until pasta floats to the surface. Remove and immediately transfer to the ice bath. Drain spätzle and hold on sheet pan. Continue with the other batches.

Uncooked spätzle

3. Once you’ve completed the cooking, in a medium saute pan, add butter, and melt over medium heat until butter turns a light brown. Add garlic and cook until it becomes lightly colored. Add spätzle to the pan to heat through. Add parsley, cheese, salt and pepper, to taste.

It’s really wonderful, very filling and is pretty simple. If you’ve never made your own noodles, this is a great dish to give it a go. It can be made gluten free with Red Mill flour as well.


March 3, 2009 at 9:52 am 4 comments

Recipe – Gluten Free Pasta in Portobello Mushroom Cream Sauce

One of the things I was most worried about losing in the move to being gluten free was pasta. I love Italian food, especially the various textures and forms that pasta can take. Thankfully, Vita was able to find a gluten free option to pasta. So, tonight we tried it for the first time, mainly because we had some lovely portobello mushroom caps that we didn’t want to let go to waste and we needed a meal that I could make quickly. So, we whipped up the gluten free pasta (which is made from potato, rice and soy) and I made a portobello mushroom cream sauce.

Gluten Free Pasta in Portobello Mushroom Cream Sauce

Here’s how you make it.

Sliced Portobello Mushrooms


  • 1 cup (about two large caps) finely chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup of cream or half and half
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free Pasta

1. Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan.
2. Add the chopped shallots and fry for 3 – 4 minutes followed by the garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes.
4. Add the chopped mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
5. Stir all of the ingredients together and cook until the mushrooms have softened and darkened in color then turn the heat up on the stove and pour in the white wine and add parsley.

Portobello simmering in white wine

7. Stir the ingredients and cook until the wine had reduced by two-thirds, then reduce the heat and stir in the cream.

That’s all there is to it. It’s very simple and really pretty quick. The mushroom cream sauce has a really subtle sweetness to it, but it’s also very flavorful and adds a nice dimension to the gluten free pasta. There’s lots of great textures and the color is really nice as well. I think the gluten free pasta will be a fine replacement to the normal semolina. There is a notable taste difference, but covered in sauce it’s actually really nice.

Gluten Free Pasta in Portobello Mushroom Cream Sauce

See you next time.

January 28, 2009 at 10:16 pm 2 comments

Recipe – Pasta with Spicy Spinach and Garlic Italian Sausage

I’m resolving to start cooking fresh daily. I’ve found that since I commute so far, it’s getting difficult to come home, pull everything out and then get cooking. Now, I shop on my lunch hour, prep the meal in my head and I’m straight to cooking with almost all the ingredients I need, right in my shopping bag. So, yesterday when I was on my shopping excursion I couldn’t pass up some fresh made pasta or the spinach and garlic Italian Sausages (chicken) that they had just placed at the meat counter.

What I ended up making last night was a nice spicy pasta with the fresh linguine and made a tomato and Insalata Caprese as a side. Nice and quick, and very hearty meal for an October night that reminded me just how cold it’s going to get in Michigan soon.


  • 2 large Roma Tomatoes
  • About 8 medallions of fresh Mozzarella cheese
  • Four fresh Italian Sausages of your Choice (we did Spinach,Garlic and Wine)
  • 1 pound of fresh semolina linguine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pasta sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup of diced mushrooms
  • 3 tabespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

1. In a saucepan, cook onion, carrot and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce, mushrooms and crushed red pepper to the mix and stir well. Add any additional spices you like. I usually toss in a few tablespoons of oregano and basil and an extra pinch of garlic salt and a splash of red wine. Allow the sauce to simmer for at least 10 minutes if not 15 to 20 to allow the flavors to merry.

2. While your sauce is cooking, use a grill pan or your outdoor grill to start cooking your sausages. I cook with gas in my house and since it was raining out, I used the grill pan we got for our wedding. It’s pretty amazing and super speedy.

3. Cook the sausages thoroughly, turning after about 4 to 6 minutes. Once they’ve got a nice brown crust on each side, pull them from your pan and set them aside to rest for a few minutes. While you’re letting them rest, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

4. Cut the sausages into bite sized medallions and promptly add them to your sauce.

5. Once your pasta water comes to temperature toss the fresh linguine into the pot and cook for 3 to 4 minutes tops. Fresh pasta is a totally different beast than the dried, and if you want any sort of texture to the pasta, you have to mind the clock and be quick about stopping the cooking process.

6. Once you’re done, combine everything in the pasta pot and serve. It’s really hearty, warming and the sausage really does a nice flavor job on the sauce as well. We toss a little Parmesan Reggiano over the top as well.

7. The Insalatta Caprese is really easy. Slice your tomatoes into thin medallions, layer it on a plate with your mozzarella medallions and either sprinkle with some chopped fresh basil or tear off whole leaves as we did.

8. Drizzle olive oil and dress the plate with some kosher salt and some cracked black pepper.

That’s it! Serve it with a wedge or two of crusty bread to mop up your excess sauce and you’ve got a great, hearty Italian meal.

October 3, 2008 at 10:04 am 2 comments

Recipe – Shrimp Scampi Over Whole Wheat Pasta

I’m back from the dead. I’m happy to report that I wasn’t even really close to death. Alas, work, a few days off and a lot of family needs took me away from posting for a bit, but I’m back and ready to rededicate myself and redesign. And to kick things back off, I’ll tell you a bit about the Lobster and Shrimp Scampi Over Whole Wheat Pasta I surprised my wife with last night.

Vita has been working very, very hard lately and she did some awesome stuff for my birthday recently. So to make up for it, I plotted all day. Ernesto, my fish guy, scored me some really nice 4 oz. slipper lobster tails, which come from a number of lobster species related to the rock lobster. They were frozen, so they were a little tougher than normal lobster, but they’re just as flavorful and really great for the price.


  • 1 pound of medium to large shrimp, raw, de-veined and shelled
  • 2 4 oz. slipper lobster tails
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 large shallot minced
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 and a half cups whole wheat spaghetti

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your spaghetti according to the package.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Toss the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink. Remove the shrimp from the pan immediately; set aside and keep em warm.

4.Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add the rest of your butter and oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper.

For the Lobster:

Be sure your lobster tails are thawed fully. You can cook them frozen, but they tend to be more tender if thawed first. If you don’t want them to curl, slide a wooden skewer through the base of the tail to the tip. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Brush the tails with a little butter and some olive oil before they go into the oven. Bake the tails for 8 to 10 minutes, a bit longer if they’re frozen. Serve with lemon juice or butter.

There you have it.

Sorry I’ve been absent guys. I’m back in the blogging habit now!

October 2, 2008 at 3:56 pm Leave a comment

Recipe – Four Cheese Spinach Ravioli in Seasoned Olive Oil

I love that we have a pasta maker in our house, it’s probably what sealed the deal on my marriage (ok, maybe there are a few other wonderful things my wife brings to the table). I hate that we never take the time to use it. But, when you have access to really good, ready to go pastas (as we always seem to), it’s hard not to opt for speed. And since last night, I didn’t get home until about 7, speed it was!

This was great pre-made ravioli. They’re really big pieces (you can almost quarter them!) and they’re perfect for just tossing in oil. When I get ravioli of this quality with a really complex inside, I love keeping the dressing for the pasta VERY simple. No tomato sauce here folks. Vita and I opted instead for some great seasoned olive oil.


  • 15 pieces of large Four Cheese Spinach Ravioli
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Mine said five minutes, but I almost wished I would have subtracted a minute. Most fresh pasta (note: not previously frozen) cooks very quickly.

2. While your pasta cooks, add your spices to the olive oil in a small bowl and allow some of the flavors to fuse together.

3. Drain and place the pasta in a large serving bowl and toss with the olive oil mixture.

We served ours with our Tomato, Bean and Mozzarella Salad. Very light, incredibly quick and absolutely delicious after a long day of work. Also, I highly recommend dusting your ravioli with a little bit of grated Romano cheese, it adds a really nice tang. Good stuff.

Tonight, baked Orange Roughy!

September 9, 2008 at 9:15 am 3 comments

Recipe – Spicy Chicken Penne in Olive Tomato Sauce

Being sick really sucks my friends. Unfortunately, I’ve been continually coughing for my fourth straight week and it has seriously cut into my willingness to cook and work on original recipes. Pair that with the holiday weekend and you have a near week with no recipes. This is certainly not the way I wanted to kick this thing off.

At any rate, I’m starting to feel a bit better and am working on a bunch of recipes to cook throughout September as it gets cooler here in the Mitten state (yes, I can point to the city I live in using the bottom side of my hand and still do it frequently… one of the little joys of living in Michigan!). Last night we made a Spicy Chicken Penne in an Olive Tomato Sauce… which is super fast and really warming, like the Pasta Puttanesca I made a few weeks back.

I didn’t make it in the door until 6:50 last night after a particularly long commute, but I’m pleased to say that this hit the table by 7:15, making it a nice quick meal (Rachel Ray eat your heart out!).


  • One and one-half cups whole wheat Penne Pasta
  • One Jar of your favorite pre-made tomato sauce, or use 2 cups canned tomato sauce
    and 2 tablespoons tomato paste to make your own version
  • 1 13 oz can of chunk chicken in water
  • 1/2 can of black olives – cut into thirds
  • 10-12 Manzanilla Olives – cut into thirds
  • 3 tablespoons dried red pepper flake
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 2 tablespoons
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • Grated Romano cheese to taste

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to directions.

2. As your pasta cooks, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan, add chicken and cook until chicken begins to flake slightly.

3.Add pasta sauce, red pepper, basil and oregano and bring to a slight simmer. Add olives and cook mixture for 5 to 10 minutes to allow red pepper to marry with the sauce.

4. Toss with pasta and dust with some grated Romano.

What you’re left with is an amazingly flavorful pasta dish that’s really filling. The chunk chicken makes it really hearty. I’ve toyed with serving this in a bread bowl or a hollowed out section of French bread and then throwing it under the broiler and baking mozzarella over the top, or frying the noodles in garlic infused oil after they’ve cooked to give a crunchiness to the dish. Hope you enjoy it!

September 5, 2008 at 8:16 am 4 comments

Recipe – Spicy Penne Pasta Puttanesca

Whenever my wife is on call at the hospital, I usually use it as an opportunity to eat things that are either:

a.) Incredibly bad for my health
b.) Very meaty and delicious
c.) Very strong in flavor
d.) All of the above

While the aforementioned call was in effect last night, I went against my cravings for a Benito’s Pizza and opted to cook myself something from category “c,” a Spicy Penne Pasta Puttanesca.

The beautiful thing about this dish is that you can make it at any time of the year because it’s made with a sugo alla puttanesca sauce. From what I’ve learned, Puttanesca a modern sauce, that is particularly useful because it’s not dependent upon seasonal ingredients, which means you can rely on what’s in your cupboard or local market shelf rather than the garden.

Apparently the name comes from prostitutes from Naples, who would place cooked pots of the sauce in the windows of bordellos to entice the men to come inside. I can see why the name stuck, because the aromas in this dish are certainly enticing, especially if you’re big on garlic. I LOVE my version of this Italian dish. Check it out.


  • 1/2 cup brine-cured black olives, pitted and cut into slivers (you can use Kalamata olives to)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3 to 4 anchovy fillets finely chopped (go with the ones packed in oil)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley (unfortunately I only had curly)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, preferably “no salt added” (the olives and anchovy paste will add plenty of flavor, believe me)
  • 8 ounces Penne or whatever pasta you choose (I just prefer Penne)
  • Grated Parmesan to taste

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook according to directions. I strongly recommend you make your pasta al dente. It adds a wonderful dimension to the dish.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, olives and red pepper flakes, stirring until garlic is golden and fragrant, about a minute and a half. Add the parsley, capers, anchovy and oregano to your skillet, and saute for 2 minutes more. Follow this up quickly with your tomatoes – which you should simmer for about 5 minutes more to allow all the flavors to marry.

3. When the pasta is done, drain it and add it to the skillet, tossing it with the sauce to combine. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.

When you’re done, you’ll have an incredibly spicy, full-of-flavor meal that’s quite hearty and heavy on the aromatics. I think my kitchen still smells like Puttanesca, which should torture Rafiki and my wife when she returns home around noon.

I served myself a generous portion of Tomato, Bean and Mozzarella Caprese (recipe coming in a day or two) and a glass of red wine to accompany my pasta. A fantastic meal that I almost wish I would have saved until Vita was home to enjoy. But, you can make some amazing stuff with the leftovers from this dish as well. Aren’t leftovers great?

August 26, 2008 at 9:44 am 7 comments

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