Farfelle With Sausage, Peas, Tomatoes and Cream


As a child, I grew up spending my Saturdays and Sundays playing soccer. And, believe me, after spending so many years becoming acquainted with mud, dirt, sweat and camaraderie, I have really come to enjoy and love the sport.

Euro 2012 started this past weekend and, as a result, I found a perfect opportunity to watch a few games. Although soccer is popular in the States, it is much more popular in Europe. It is nice to see a change of pace and see how utterly ecstatic and passionate the European fans are and how much they truly love their teams. At the weekend’s end, I am lucky to say that I had watched two games, Germany vs. Portugal and Spain vs. Italy, both of which were great games!

However, after watching Italy play, I became quite hungry and thought of Italian food (naturally). Plus, I had just purchased a basil plant so I wanted to welcome the first opportunity to use some fresh basil in an Italian dish. So, after a little bout of searching, I found a perfect recipe: Farfelle With Sausage, Tomatoes and Cream.

Step 1: Chop Onion and Garlic;
Saute Italian Sausage;
Add Onions and Garlic 

Step 2: Add Pureed Tomatoes
and Touch of Cream; Add Peas 

Step 3: Boil Pasta, Drain; Add Sauce
to Pasta; Toss Extra Basil on Top; Eat! 

After a jam-packed weekend, I was not too utterly inspired to make something uber complex or intricate. As a result, I was very pleased with this recipe because it was simple, yet flavorful and did not feel “heavy” despite the use of a little cream. Plus, the addition of some peas (to add some color and sneak a vegetable serving in) and a sprinkle of Parmesan made this into a delicious meal!

Cheers!

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Roasted Sweet Potato, Rosemary and Garlic Lasagna

Calk me crazy – but even though multiple layers of meat and gooey cheese in lasagna sounds completely appealing and a recipe that undoubtedly will fulfill my taste buds, I was craving something more and different this past weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I love an original lasagna; however, I need variety and the ability to try new options in my life.

As a result, I ditched the usual meat and cheese combo and choose to feature a starch that packs plenty of vitamins instead – Roasted Sweet Potato, Rosemary and Garlic Lasagna (the original recipe calls for squash but I substituted sweet potatoes instead).

Step 1: Peel Sweet Potato, Chop and Roast

Step 2: Sauté Garlic and Add Flour and Butter

Step 3: Add Milk to Mixture and Let Thicken


Step 4: Add Sweet Potatoes to Mixture;

Layer Noodles then Potatoes
and then Cheese; Repeat


Step 5: Bake and Eat!

Even though this isn’t a traditional lasagna, I liked the variety of the savory and sweet favors that this surprisingly hearty meal provides. A must try recipe and one that is great if you do not eat meat!

Cheers!

Tomato Crostini


Sometimes, it is just nice and convenient to be able to throw a quick appetizer together for a dinner party or get-together. This recipe was no different. Considering this recipe uses only five ingredients (not including salt & pepper) and creates one of my favorite ingredients (sun dried tomatoes minus the sun), I became absolutely smitten.

I made these as an appetizer this past Christmas for my family. My brother, who is quite a picky eater, does not usually appreciate my cooking and choices; however, this time, he actually really liked this appetizer. So, for your next get-together, make sure to make these (even the most picky eater will like them!): Crostini With Thyme-Roasted Tomatoes.

Step 1: Cut Tomatoes in Half Lengthwise

Step 2: Place Tomatoes on Pan With
Olive Oil, Thyme, Salt and Pepper; Roast

Step 3: Slice Bread and Bake in Oven

Step 4: Place Roasted Tomatoes
on Top of Bread and Eat!

If in a bind, this is perfect for a last-minute recipe since it uses normal household items. Plus, it results in a simple, yet delicious result!

Cheers!

Baked Macaroni & Cheese With Garlic Bread Crumbs

“It tastes so good, it must be bad.” This thought kept reverberating through my mind while both making this dish (no judgments — I had to sample!) and during consumption. Sometimes, I just get the itch to make comfort food and this past Saturday was no different.

The idea to make macaroni and cheese dawned on me when I happened to peruse down the aisles of the grocery store and spotted one of my childhood favorites in a box: Macaroni & Cheese. Although some of the boxed kinds of Macaroni & Cheese are too die for, I decided to forgo the powdered cheese and unknown-mysterious-overly-processed-can’t pronounce ingredient combination in order to try the “real deal”. However, in making this decision, I knew I would be consuming exorbitant amounts of butter, cream, milk, and cheese in order to delight my taste buds. But, every now and then, I truly believe these types of good (but, oh-so-bad) foods are just absolutely necessary. My final response? Dig in!

Macaroni & Cheese With Garlic Bread Crumbs.

Step 1: Grate Cheeses; Chop Garlic


Step 2: Melt Butter; Whisk Flour &
Mustard; Pour in Cream & Milk




Step 3: Add Sauce to Noodles and Cheese


Step 4: Melt Butter; Add to Olive Oil,
Bread Crumbs and Chopped Garlic


Step 5: Add Bread Crumbs to the Top
of Macaroni; Bake and Enjoy!

“It tastes so good, it must be bad.” Wait, I have a correction: “It tastes so good, it must be bad – but, I’m going to enjoy it anyway!”

The moral of the story: indulge every now and then — it’s a good thing!

Cheers!

Fresh Lemon Pasta


If you haven’t noticed already, I’m literally all about “ease, ease, ease” and “few ingredients, few ingredients, few ingredients”. Rarely a time exists where I cave and use a recipe that requires over 12 seperate ingredients. That being said, this Tuesday was no different. A friend from college came over to visit my roommate and I. I decided to make a simple dinner and one that would require few ingredients (of course!!).

I had already picked up a lemon at the store a few days prior and decided I wanted to incorporate it somehow. Since I already had pasta on hand, I figured I’d try to figure out some type of pasta-lemon duo. After some glancing around the cupboard, I decided to make Fresh Lemon Pasta as a nice, summery dish.

Step 1: Smash Garlic and Chop Finely


Step 2: Grate Parmesan; Juice and Zest Lemon


Step 3: Combine Zest, Juice, and Olive Oil


Step 4: Combine Cheese, Cooked Noodles, Sauteed
Garlic, and Olive Oil/Lemon Sauce Together; Enjoy!

Although it almost seems too simple, my tastebuds were not disappointed and my wallet was sure happy with me too. As cheesy as that sounds, it is completely true! Anyway, the key to this recipe’s success is lots of garlic (lots!) and playing around with the lemon-to-olive oil ratio in order to make a sauce that includes enough lemon, but doesn’t make your mouth pucker in a sour grin. Next time, I’d like to add chicken or perhaps olives and tomatoes. Until then…

Cheers!

Glorified Cheese Pizza


During one of my last few visits to the store, I happened to pick up a copy of Real Simple. The cover held the infamous “3 Ingredient” featured recipes. I was instantly intrigued. If you haven’t noticed already, I really enjoy making simple recipes and ones that require few ingredients. Therefore, I was extremely drawn towards this issue.

One of my favorite recipes that I saw was for a “flat-bread-esque pizza”. Since I already had puff pastry leftover from making a Rhubarb Tart (as seen here), I knew that this would be the perfect recipe. Plus, whenever has melted cheese and tons of carbohydrates not resulted in a pleasantly awesome situation? Unless something goes drastically wrong, I’d say pretty close to never!

So, I decided to make this recipe. Even though I cheated (I used more than the 3 ingredients as listed in the recipe), I would make this again and again. Real Simple has it right — 3 ingredients (plus a few more minor ones) always wins!

Step 1: Thaw Pastry Dough and Roll Out


Step 2: Cut Tomatoes


Step 3: Layer Cheese and Tomatoes Onto
Puff Pastry; Add Olive Oil, Salt/Pepper, and Spices 


Step 4: Bake and Enjoy!


I absolutely loved this recipe. Although this definitely resulted in just another glorified version of a cheese pizza, it definitely tasted better than a frozen pizza or one from the local joint down the street. The flakiness of the crust just can’t be beat and the authentic gooey-ness was perfection. I’m smitten.

Cheers!

Spaghetti & Sicilian Meatballs

For most last minute or large gatherings, spaghetti is often the menu item of choice. Naturally, it depends on which way you decide to make it — but, it is extremely easy (especially if not making the sauce from scratch!). Personally, I love spaghetti. It’s extremely simple, requires few ingredients, and serves as a perfect comfort food. But, lately, I’ve been becoming bored of my usual rotation of spaghetti for evening dinners. I’ve tried adding chicken or other types of vegetables to help alleviate my taste bud boredom. Unfortunately, those additions did not result in any success.

It wasn’t until I was surfing through Netflix that I saw the movie Lady and the Tramp pop up. Whenever I think of that movie, I always revert to the scene where the two dogs eat eat spaghetti and meatballs together. Instantly, this movie provided the perfect inspiration in order to spice up my boring pasta dinners. So, it was decided: Spaghetti and Sicilian Meatballs it is!

Step 1: Chop Garlic, Onions, Basil
Currants, and Toasted Pine Nuts

Step 2: Let Bread Crumbs and
Milk Sit for Five Minutes

[I accidentally threw the onions on top for this step… oops!]

Step 3: Mix Dry Ingredients With
Wet Ingredients; Add Meat Mixture

Step 4: Form Meat Balls
(Key: Make Sure Hands are Wet); Bake

Step 5: Add Meatballs to Sauce
and Spaghetti and Enjoy! 

Prior to this meal, I had never made meatballs from scratch. It was surprisingly simple and easy. Let’s just say I’m glad that I happened to stumble upon Lady and the Tramp or else I would have made another simple pasta dish.

Cheers!