Yellow Squash & Tuna Pasta

August 6, 2013

Yellow Squash & Tuna Pasta 2Yellow Squash & Tuna Pasta

What to do with all of that summer squash?  Each time I plant a garden I seem to have a bumper crop of squash and the neighbors seem to benefit the most.  Here is a nice quickie dinner that puts your summer squash to good use.  I love making this dish when I’m short on time and just don’t feel like making a big production out of dinner.


1 Cup Chopped Cipollini Onions

2 Chopped Green Onions (With Green Parts)

5 Minced Garlic Cloves

1 Large Sliced Yellow Squash

1 Chopped Roasted Red Pepper

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

2 Cans Olive Oil Packed Tuna

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 Pound Spaghetti

1/2 Cup Butter

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1 Cup Basil Leaves

In a large size skillet add the olive oil and heat over a medium high heat for 3 minutes.  Add the minced garlic cloves, cipollini onions, kosher salt and green onions.  Cook for 4 minutes making sure to stir constantly.  Add the sliced yellow squash and roasted red pepper.  Cook for 2 minutes on medium high and then turn the heat down to medium low.  Drain the tuna and then add the tuna to the skillet. Add the fresh lemon juice. Give a good stir.  Meanwhile fill a large size pot with water and add salt.  Turn to a high heat and bring to a boil.  Add the spaghetti and cook until done.  When the spaghetti is done cooking (don’t overcook) remove from the heat, drain and then place the spaghetti back into the pasta pot.  Make sure not to rinse the pasta.  The heat should be off now.  Add the butter and stir into the cooked spaghetti until the butter is melted.  Add the tuna mixture to the spaghetti and stir.  Stir in 3/4 cup of the basil leaves.  Transfer to a serving bowl.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the pasta mixture and give a good toss.  Yes, I know that typically one doesn’t use cheese with a seafood pasta dish, but for this recipe I do. Garnish with the remainder of the basil leaves and serve.  Serves 4

Yellow Squash & Tuna Pasta 1


Orzo Salad

May 28, 2013

Whole Wheat OrzoOrzo Salad

Try this whole wheat pasta and spinach salad tossed with sun-dried tomatoes and garbanzo beans.  It’s satisfying enough to have as a light main course and, of course, perfect for serving alongside your grilled entrées.


1/2 Pound Whole Wheat Orzo

1/4 Pound Baby Spinach (About 4 Packed Cups)

4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice

24 Pieces Sundried Tomatoes in Olive Oil (Chopped Plus 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil  From The Jar)

15 Ounces Cooked Garbanzo Beans (Rinsed & Drained)

Cook the orzo in a large size pot of salted boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes until al dente.   Drain and rinse in cold water and then drain again.  In a large bowl toss the orzo with the spinach, lemon juice, sundried tomatoes, olive oil and garbanzo beans.  Refrigerate for 1 hour or serve room temperature.  Serves 4

Tuna & Bow Tie Pasta Salad

April 10, 2013

Tuna & Bow Tie Pasta SaladTuna & Bow Tie Pasta Salad

Here is a quick and light pasta salad that everyone will love.  If you want to lower the calories then use a low-fat mayonnaise.


8 Ounces Regular or Whole Wheat Bow Tie Pasta

6 Tablespoons Mayonnaise

3 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar

3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil or 1 1/2 Teaspoons Dried Basil

2 Chopped Garlic Cloves

2 Sliced Cipollini Onions

1/4 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

12 Ounces Canned Tuna (Drained & Flaked)

1 Cup Thawed Frozen Peas

2 Cups Halved Cherry Tomatoes

1/3 Cup Chopped Red Onion

In a large size pot, filled with salted water, cook the bow tie pasta, over a high heat, to al dente.  Remove from the heat and drain, but DO NOT rinse.  Rinsing pasta is a big No No.  Let the pasta cool for 5 minutes.  In a large size bowl combine the mayonnaise, vinegar, basil, garlic and pepper.  Mix well.  Add the drained tuna, cipollini onions, thawed peas, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped red onion and the drained pasta.  Mix very well and chill for 1 hour.  Transfer to a serving bowl and serve either as a main course or as a side dish.  Serves 4

Mafaldine Pasta With Sausage & Roasted Peppers

April 3, 2013

MafaldineMafaldine Pasta With Sausage & Roasted Peppers

Easy & delicious!  Enough said!


1 Pound Sweet Italian Sausage

6 Chopped Garlic Cloves

12 Ounces Roasted Peppers (Drained, Rinsed & Chopped)

2 Cups Chicken Broth

28 Ounces Crushed Tomatoes

1 Pound Mafaldine Pasta

3/4 Cup Chopped Green Olives

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Grated Romano Cheese

In a large size skillet sauté the sausage for 5 minutes, over a medium heat, until browned on the outside.  Remove the sausage from the skillet and place onto a cutting board.  Slice into 1/4 inch pieces.  Return the sausage to the skillet and add the garlic. Sauté the sausage and garlic for 5 minutes.  Add the roasted peppers and chicken broth.  Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil.  Add the tomatoes.  Cover and reduce the heat to medium low.  Let simmer for 20 minutes.  In the meantime cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente. Drain the pasta, but don’t rinse it.  Remove the skillet from the heat and add the drained pasta, green olives, olive oil and cheese to the sausage & garlic.  Mix thoroughly and transfer to a large pasta bowl.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6



Creamy Chicken Parmesan Pasta

March 21, 2013

Creamy Chicken Parmesan Pasta  

Your family will love this quick pasta dish that is easy enough to make any night of the week.  Makes good left-overs too!


2 1/2 Cups Uncooked Dried Gemelli Pasta

3 Tablespoons Butter

3 Cups Broccoli Florets

1 Cup Whipping Cream

1/4 Cup Butter

1 Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

6 Ounces Cooked Chicken Strips

1/2 Cup Cooked & Chopped Bacon

1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

Extra Shredded Parmesan Cheese For Garnish


Cook the pasta in a large size pot filled with salted water until al dente.  Remove from the heat and drain in a colander.  DO NOT rinse the pasta.  Return the pasta to the pot and place a lid on the pot to keep warm.  In a medium size sauté pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter over a medium heat for 1 minute.  Add the broccoli and cook for 5 minutes until the broccoli is crisp and tender.  In a medium size saucepan add the whipping cream and 1/4 cup of butter.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Cook over a medium low heat for 6 minutes. Stir frequently.  Remove from the heat and pour the Parmesan sauce over the pasta.  Add the broccoli, cooked chicken, bacon and garlic powder.  Gently stir until well mixed.  Transfer into a serving bowl.  Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if you like.  Serves 6


Farfalle Pasta With Asparagus, Peas & Proscuitto

February 21, 2013

Farfalle Pasta With Asparagus, Peas & Proscuitto

Busy households need good and easy weeknight meals.  Here is a nice pasta dish that is sure to be a big hit. Make sure to use half & half and not fat-free half & half for this dish. 


3 Slices Prosciutto

8 Ounces Farfalle Pasta

1 1/2 Pounds Diced Asparagus

1 Cup Defrosted Frozen Peas

2 Minced Garlic Cloves

2 Tablespoons Butter

1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch

1/4 Cup Fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 Cup Half & Half

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

1/8 Teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper


Preheat your oven to 400º F.  Bake the prosciutto on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside.  Cook the pasta and during the last 2 minutes of cooking the pasta add the asparagus.  Place the defrosted peas in a colander and drain the pasta and asparagus over the peas. Transfer the pasta, asparagus and peas to a large serving bowl. In a medium size sauté pan add the butter and the minced garlic.  Cook over a medium heat for 1 minute.  Add the chicken broth and cornstarch to the sauté pan.  Whisk into the garlic and butter.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in the salt, pepper and cayenne.  Add the lemon juice and half & half.  Cook for 1 minute.  Cook for 30 seconds more.  Remove from the heat.  Pour the garlic/half & half mixture over the pasta and toss.  Crumble the prosciutto over the top of the pasta dish.  Serve with a salad and Italian bread.  Serves 4

Chorizo Pasta Bake

February 15, 2013

Chorizo Pasta Bake

Make sure to slightly undercook the pasta as it will cook in the oven too.  The goal is for the finished dish to retain some bite and texture. 


2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Finely Chopped Red Onion

3 Crushed Garlic Cloves

8 Ounces Sliced Chorizo

7 Cups Chopped Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar

14 Ounces Fusilli

1/2 Cup Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves

1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan


Preheat your oven to 350º F.  In a large sauté pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Remove and place into a 1 1/2 quart glass baking dish.  In the same sauté pan sauté the chorizo for 2 minutes until it starts to get a bit crisp. Return the cooked onions to the pan with the chorizo and add the chopped tomatoes and red wine vinegar.  Cook for 10 minutes and then turn the heat off and let sit until you are ready to assemble in the baking dish.  In a large pot add water and salt.  Add the fusilli and cook until nearly al dente.  Remove from the heat and drain.  Toss the cooked pasta with the remaining olive oil.  Stir the cooked pasta nto the sauté pan.  Add the basil.  Pour the contents of the sauté pan into the glass baking dish.  Sprinkle with the grated parmesan and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.  Serves 4

Cacio e Pepe

October 19, 2012

Cacio e Pepe

Roman food certainly is comfort food and this pasta dish, made with pasta, cheese & black pepper, is the mac & cheese of Rome.  Cacio e Pepe is Italian for cheese and pepper.  The ingredients are very simple and are either made with spaghetti, tonnarelli or vermicelli.  I like to make mine with good old reliable spaghetti. 


4 Tablespoons Kosher Salt

1/4 Cup Coarsely Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Cup Toasted Sesame Seeds

4 Tablespoons Olive Oil

8 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter

1 Pound Dried Spaghetti

3/4 Cup Pasta Water

1 Cup Freshly Grated Pecorino Romano

Fill a large size pot with 8 quarts of water and 4 tablespoons kosher salt.  Bring to a boil and add the spaghetti.  Cook until al dente.  Drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.  While the spaghetti is cooking you will need to toast the sesame seeds.  Take an extra large sauté pan and turn the heat to medium high.  You will not need to add oil.  Just pour the dry sesame seeds into the heated sauté pan and toast for 1 minute.  Stir constantly and make sure not to burn the sesame seeds.  Remove the sesame seeds from the heat and place in a bowl.  Set aside.  Add the pepper to the same pan and toast for 1 minute and continue to stir.  The pepper should be nice and fragrant.  Add the olive oil and butter to the toasted pepper and cook until the butter has melted.  Remove from the heat.  Add 3/4 cup of the pasta water (this is the water that the spaghetti cooked in) to the pepper mixture.  Add the toasted sesame seeds and then add the pasta.  Stir and toss over a medium heat.  You will want the past to be well coated.  Stir in the grated Pecorino Romano cheese.  If you need more pasta water to loosen the sauce then add a bit more of the pasta water.  Toss once again and then transfer to a serving bowl.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6

Fettucini Carbonara

October 5, 2012

Fettucini Carbonara

Fettucini Carbonara is the perfect fall dish and a great way to end the work week.


1/2 Pound Bacon or Prosciutto

1/4 Cup Half & Half

4 Beaten Eggs

1 Pound Cooked Fettucini

1/2 Cup Melted Butter

1 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

1/4 Cup Parsley

Cook the fettucini according to package instructions. In a large sauté pan cook the bacon or prosciutto, over a medium heat, until almost crisp.  Remove from the skillet and crumble into a small bowl.  Drain the fat and return the sauté pan back to the burner.  Heat the half and half until it is warm, remove from the burner and beat in the eggs. Beat well.  Return the sauté pan back to the burner and cook, over a low heat, for 5 minutes.  Stir constantly.  Add the bacon or prosciutto and cook for another minute.  Place the cooked fettucini into a large bowl and add the butter.  Toss the fettucini with the butter.  Pour the half & half mixture over the fettucini and toss.  Finally add the Parmesan cheese and parsley and toss again.  Transfer to serving platter and serve warm.  Serves 6

Penne Rosa

September 26, 2012

Penne Rosa

Here is a quick and delicious weeknight meal that everyone is sure to love.


8 Ounces Penne Pasta

2 Tablespoons Butter

2 Tablespoons Minced Garlic

2 Cups Whole Tomatoes (Drained & Finely Chopped)

1 Teaspoon Dried Basil Leaves

1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Pepper

2/3 Cup Heavy Cream

3 Tablespoons Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook the penne according to package directions.  Make sure NOT to rinse the pasta after draining the pasta. While the pasta is cooking melt the butter, over a medium heat, in a medium size skillet.  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Make sure NOT to brown the garlic.  Drain the tomatoes, but reserve the liquid.  Add the tomatoes with 1/4 cup of the tomato liquid.  Add the basil, salt and pepper.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until most of the liquid is reduced.  Add the cream.  Heat through on a low heat for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and in a large pasta bowl toss the hot pasta and the sauce together.  Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.  Serves 4

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