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Category Archives: Pasta

Tortellini with Balsamic Brown Butter

Tortellini with Balsamic Brown Butter
Via Pinterest
(Adapted from Giada DeLaurentis)

  • 18 to 20 ounces store-bought tortellini or ravioli (pick your favorite flavor!)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup toasted, chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans or pine nuts)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the tortellini and cook according to package instructions (generally about 2-3 minutes until tender, but still firm to the bite), stirring occasionally. Drain the tortellini.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. When the foam subsides, and the butter begins to turn a golden brown (and begins to give off a nutty aroma) turn off the heat and remove from the burner. Let cool for about 1 minute. Then gradually (and very carefully!) stir in the balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.
Transfer the ravioli to the pan saucepan with the balsamic brown butter and gently stir until combined. Sprinkle nuts and Parmesan over the top. Serve immediately.

Panera Bread’s Signature Mac & Cheese

Panera Bread’s Signature Macaroni & Cheese
Adapted by Head Chef Dan Kish

1 (16-ounce) package of rigati pasta (or other small pasta shells)
¼ cup butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
2½ cups 2% reduced fat milk (or cream)
6 slices white American cheese, chopped
1 cup (8 ounces) shredded extra-sharp white Vermont cheddar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon hot sauce

1.Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2.Melt butter over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly.
3.Gradually whisk in milk (or cream); cook over medium heat, whisking until mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from heat.
4.Add cheeses, mustard, salt, and hot sauce, stirring until cheese melts and sauce is smooth.
5.Stir in pasta and cook over medium heat for 1 minute (or until thoroughly heated). 

Serves 4 to 6

Chicken & Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups

Chicken & Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups

recipe credit:

3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup milk
1 cup Ricotta cheese
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
8 lasagna noodles, cooked and drained – can be made with GF noodles!
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups Prego Spaghetti Sauce

Preheat oven to 375.

In a 13 by 9-inch baking dish, spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce. In medium bowl, combine chicken, cheeses, milk, and pepper. Spread 1/2 cup mixture on each lasagna noodle; roll jelly-roll fashion. Top with remaining spaghetti sauce. Cover & bake for 30 minutes or until hot. Serve, if desired, with additional Parmesan cheese.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese Cupcakes

Baked Macaroni & Cheese Cupcakes
Vegetable cooking spray

2 cups dried breadcrumbs

8 ounces small pasta such as pennette, shells, or elbows

8 ounces ground turkey or chicken, preferably dark meat

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning

2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

1 ½ cups grated white cheddar cheese

1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered

2 cups chopped broccoli, blanched, see Cook’s Note

1 pound asparagus, cut into ¾-inch pieces, blanched


Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 2 12-cup muffin or cupcake pans with vegetable cooking spray. Using 1 cup of breadcrumbs, coat the inside of each muffin cup with breadcrumbs, shaking off any excess.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey, or chicken, if using, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until cooked through. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add the cooked turkey and the cheeses. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the prepared pasta mixture into the cupcake molds, filling evenly to about 2/3 full. Place a few pieces of tomato, broccoli and asparagus in each cup. Top with a thin layer of the remaining breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool for a few minutes and carefully unmold with a spoon.

Cook's Notes

To blanch vegetables, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the vegetables and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until very crisp. Using a small strainer, remove the vegetables and place immediately into a bowl of iced water. Drain and use.

Summertime Orzo & Chicken

Summertime Orzo & Chicken (Can be made GF)

recipe credit 

  • 3/4 cup uncooked orzo pasta (or use GF pasta)
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium cucumber, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet coated with cooking spray, cook chicken over medium heat for 6-8 minutes or until no longer pink.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cucumber, onion, parsley and chicken. Drain pasta; stir into chicken mixture. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Pour over chicken mixture; toss to coat. Serve warm or cold. Just before serving, sprinkle with cheese. Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts: 1-1/4 cups orzo mixture with 1 tablespoon cheese equals 323 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 65 mg cholesterol, 742 mg sodium, 33 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 30 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

Pistachio Pesto with Gluten Free Pasta

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Pistachio Pesto with Gluten Free Pasta

recipe credit: simply gluten free


1 pound gluten free dried pasta
1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
2 cups spinach leaves
½ cup basil leaves
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Zest (finely grated) and juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ – 1/3 cup olive oil
Kosher salt to taste

Optional garnishes:
Finely grated lemon zest
Grated or shaved parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil and salt liberally. Add the dried pasta and cook according to the package directions. While the pasta is cooking, make the pesto.

Put the pistachios in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process until the nuts are coarsely ground. Add the spinach, basil, parmesan cheese, lemon zest and juice, pepper and ¼ cup olive oil. Process until smooth. If the pesto is too thick, add a little more olive oil. Taste and add a pinch of salt if desired.

Drain the pasta and return to the hot pot. Add the pesto and toss to coat the pasta.

Serve immediately with optional garnishes.

Serves 4 – 6 gluten free people.

Butternut Squash Carbonara

Butternut Squash Carbonara
serves 6

recipe credit: a foodday recipe

5 slices bacon
2 cloves garlic, smashed, peeled, and minced
3 c. peeled and diced butternut squash or other winter squash
13-16 oz. dry pasta (the original recipes calls for rotini; I used linguine)
2 eggs
1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

  1. Stack the bacon and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips. Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add the bacon and squash to the pan and cook until bacon is crisp and squash is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook about 1 more minute. Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon, squash, and garlic; set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously and cook pasta according to package instructions.
  3. Beat the eggs together in a large serving bowl and add the cheese. Drain the pasta and immediately add to the bowl, tossing quickly to coat the pasta well (reserve and add a little of the pasta water if you like a thinner sauce). Add the contents of the sauté pan into the bowl and toss. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

Garlic Parmesan Orzo

recipe credit: Krista Hollister

2 cups uncooked Orzo
3 tsp minced garlic
1/4-1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup grated parm
1/4 c milk
2 T. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions. Saute butter & garlic until tender. Drain orzo and add to skillet. Stir in rest of ingredients & heat thoroughly. Serve!

Chicken Tenders Parmesan with Penne and Broccoli


Serves 4.

* Coarse salt and ground pepper
* 2 large eggs
* 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
* 1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
* 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
* 1 3/4 cups tomato sauce, homemade or storebought
* 4 ounces part-skim mozzarella, shredded (about 1 cup)
* 8 ounces penne rigate (ridged) or other short pasta
* 1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed
* 1 tablespoon olive oil


1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs. In another bowl, combine Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Dip tenders in egg, then in Parmesan mixture; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until golden, 2 to 4 minutes per side.

2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Then top with chicken, remaining sauce, and finally mozzarella. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, according to package instructions, adding broccoli for final 30 seconds. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta and broccoli, and return to pot. Add oil and remaining Parmesan. Toss, gradually adding some reserved pasta water until pasta is lightly coated. Serve chicken with penne and broccoli.

Recipe Credit

Pad Thai

Pad Thai
Source unknown

8 oz dried rice noodles
1/4 c fish sauce (nam pla)
1/4 c sugar
1/4 c rice vinegar
2 Tbs hoisin sauce

3/4 lb shrimp, pork, or chicken (or whatever protein you wish to use)
2 Tbs to 1/4 c vegetable oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 tsp of chili sauce (sriracha)
2 eggs
4 green onions, thinly sliced
10 oz fresh bean sprouts

3/4 c ground unsalted peanuts
1/4 c chopped cilantro
lime wedges

Soak noodles in hot water according to the package directions. Drain.

Peel and devein shrimp; slice chicken or pork across the grain into thin strips.
Mix fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and hoisin sauce in a bowl; stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Heat a wok over high heat. Add 2 Tbs of oil, garlic, and chili. Stir fry until golden. Add meat (not shrimp), and stir fry 2 minutes. Add noodles and toss lightly to coat with oil. Push noodles to one side, and add more oil if necessary. Add eggs; cook until slightly set, then break up into pieces and toss with noodles. Add shrimp, most of the bean sprouts, the green onions, and 1/4 c of peanuts. Stir fry until shrimp just turns pink – 1-2 minutes. Add sauce and toss to coat.

Remove to a serving platter and top with cilantro and remaining peanuts. Garnish with bean sprouts and lime wedges. Serve immediately.