Tetrazzini

Tetrazzini with Chicken and Whole Wheat Pasta

Tetrazzini
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree, Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Yield: 6-8 servings
 
I love pasta, mushrooms and Parmesan cheese, individually and all together. I especially love these things when mixed in a creamy sauce with leftover turkey, chicken, ham or even canned tuna fish. It isn't the most beautiful dish you will cook, but I believe it is one of the tastiest and most satisfying you will eat. This casserole can be put together and baked for a quick dinner or prepared just up to the point of baking and refrigerated until half an hour before serving when you pop in into a 375 degree F. oven to heat through to bubbling. I got this particular recipe from an old friend many years ago and I just rescued it from the well-worn, folded paper covered with spots of butter and burns on the edges from sitting too close to the burner as I cooked it time and again. While Parmigiano-Reggiano is more expensive per pound than other forms of Parmesan cheese, the flavor is more intense, so a little goes a long way. To get the best results, you should grate Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese just before you use it. A microplane makes easy work of that and the fine shreds it produces melt effortlessly into the sauce. If you want to make this a one dish meal, you can add cooked broccoli florets to the mixture before the final heating.
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces of spaghetti or spaghettini.
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or sherry or vermouth
  • 1 cup (~ a 4 ounce chunk) shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 pound sliced button mushrooms
  • 3 cups diced chicken, turkey or ham or 2 7-ounce cans of tuna, drained
  • Salt and pepper
  • Toasted sliced almonds or parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
  • Extra virgin olive oil for garnish (optional)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Cook the pasta according to package directions until it is tender, but not mushy (al dente). Drain, saving 1/2 cup of the cooking water in case the final mixture seems dry.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet and sauté the mushrooms, adding salt and pepper to taste. When the mushrooms stop releasing liquid, push them to one side of the pan, melt the rest of the butter in the empty side, add the flour to the melted butter and cook while stirring the flour and butter together for a couple of minutes, coating all of the flour with butter. This will stop the flour from having a raw, pasty taste in the final dish. Gradually stir the milk and wine into the butter-flour mixture and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese until it is melted into the sauce. Stir in the protein you have chosen (chicken, turkey, ham, tuna, etc.) and the cooked pasta. If the mixture seems dry, use the reserved cooking water to make it moister as needed.
  3. Pour the mixture into a 2 quart shallow casserole dish and bake for 15-20 minutes until bubbling. If you have prepared the casserole ahead of time and refrigerated it, bake for 25-30 minutes.
  4. When you serve this, you can garnish the top with toasted sliced almonds, parsley leaves, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Turkey Italian Sausage Lasagna


 

 

Turkey Italian Sausage Lasagna
Author: 
Recipe type: Entrée, Main, Pasta, Poultry
Prep time: 
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Yield: 8 servings
 
This lasagna comes together quickly using commercial pasta sauce. You could take the time to make your own sauce, but the results are very good using a bottled sauce that you like. We find that Prego sauce with mushrooms works for us. I like to use freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano because a small amount adds big taste. A microplane grater gives very even results easily. Once you have cooked the pasta and the sausage and grated the Parmesan cheese, it is just a matter of assembly, heating the casserole and browning the top. Serve this with a green vegetable and you can have dinner on the table in a little over an hour including baking and setting time.
Ingredients
  • 15 lasagna noodles (from a 1 pound box…there will be some leftover)
  • 1 20 ounce package of turkey sweet Italian sausages
  • 2 cups or 1 15 ounce container of part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons of Italian Seasoning
  • Approximately 6 1/2 cups of your favorite pasta sauce (We like Prego mushroom sauce)
  • 1/2 cup of lightly packed, freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
Instructions
  1. Boil the lasagna noodles in salted water for about 2 minutes less than the package directs to achieve a firm al dente texture. Rinse with cold water and drain.
  2. While the water is heating and the pasta is cooking, remove the sausage meat from the casings and break it into small pieces. Sauté the sausage in a skillet on medium heat for a few minutes until it is cooked through. Do not discard any liquid that may accumulate.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put a thin layer of pasta sauce in a 9x13 non-reactive baking dish. Make a layer of pasta using 4 noodles the long way in the dish and one in the other direction to fill the surface of the pan. Distribute half of the cooked turkey sausage over the pasta. Evenly dot the surface with rounded teaspoonfuls of one cup of the ricotta cheese. Distribute 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese evenly over the layer. Sprinkle the cheeses with 1 teaspoon of the Italian seasoning. If there is liquid left in the sauté pan from the sausage, pour it over the first layer of ingredients. Pour about 2 1/2 cups of the sauce over the meat and cheeses and spread it evenly to cover. Repeat the layers as described above. Top with a third layer of pasta noodles. Use the last cup to cup and a half of sauce to cover the surface of the pasta. Bake until the casserole is heated through and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle the top with the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and return to the over to brown the cheese. You can use the broiler to speed up the browning, but watch it carefully to avoid burning it. When the top is golden, remove from the oven and allow the dish to sit for 15 minutes before cutting to help the layers retain their shape.

 

Mean Woman Pasta

Mean Woman Pasta
Author: 
Recipe type: Salads, Vegetarian
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Yield: 12-16 sides
 
Here is another very versatile salad that is great for potlucks. It is best after it has marinated for a minimum of several hours, so it is a good salad to prepare the day before you plan to serve it, with no last minute effort other than a quick re-stir. If you are going to a party with a loved one, make sure you both eat some, as garlic has a strong role in this. As with other pasta salads, it can go a long way and is inexpensive, especially in the late summer when tomatoes are abundant. You can still make it at other times of the year using good quality canned, diced tomatoes, but there is nothing quite like the sweetness of a home-grown, ripe tomato. If you are planning to do some of the preparation with a food processor, I suggest dropping the garlic cloves into the running processor and when they are chopped, stop to add the tomatoes and pulse them to get small chunks of tomato. Resist the urge to set the processor to “on”, as that will give you tomato sauce. If you haven’t tasted a Kalamata olive, you should. Kalamata olives are the ones you also will find in a tasty Greek salad. I don’t recommend trying to substitute with other sliced black olives as they will not have the distinctive taste of the Kalamata which makes this salad so good.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound small pasta such as shells, elbows, bowties, etc.
  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 24 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped coarsely
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 pepperoncini (pickled peppers)
  • 1/4 pound of feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain, but do not rinse. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, olives, basil, olive oil, and pepperoncini. Toss the pasta with the sauce and marinate for several hours or overnight. You could eat it immediately after preparation, but it will improve from letting the flavors meld and the garlic mellow a bit over time.

Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Red Pepper


Made with Juice and Zest from a Lemon, and Capers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta with Garlic, Olive Oil, and Red Pepper
Author: 
Recipe type: Pasta, Vegetarian, Entree
Prep time: 
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Yield: 6 servings
 
When I am tired of tomato sauces and I want pasta with an easy, yet satisfying taste I turn to extra virgin olive oil, lots of garlic, red pepper flakes, flat leaf Italian parsley, and freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese sprinkled over the top. A microplane grater makes quick work of grating a block of cheese. Although Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is expensive, a little goes a long way because of its depth of flavor. Once you have tried freshly grated cheese, you won’t be satisfied with pre-grated parmesan cheese in those green cans. The olive oil loses some of its distinctive taste when heated, which is why we are reserving half of it to add to the dish when it is off the heat. After the basics, you can throw in extras like tuna fish, capers, lemon zest, lemon juice, Kalamata olives, broccoli, spinach leaves, asparagus, marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil leaves or a myriad of other ingredients to switch up the pace. If you are adding chunky ingredients, it is good to use chunky-shaped pasta. The base recipe clings nicely to any of the long pastas. There is a classic Italian dish called Pasta Aglio Olio e Peperoncino which is made with those basic ingredients I described. Here is a base recipe which you can tweak to your own tastes.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound of pasta of your choice
  • 12 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 large cloves of garlic, sliced very thin or minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed flat Italian parsley leaves, chopped coarsely
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly ground coarse black pepper
  • Salt
  • Water
Instructions
  1. Cook the pasta in a large amount of salted water for a minute or two less than the time suggested on the package. Taste. The pasta should be cooked, but still a little short of the ideal “al dente”. Drain the pasta, reserving about a cup of the cooking water.
  2. In a skillet large enough to hold the drained pasta, heat 6 tablespoons of the oil. Sauté the garlic and the red pepper flakes in the oil until the garlic is golden, but not browned, about a minute or two. Stir in the drained pasta and some of the pasta water to moisten the pasta if needed. Add the reserved extra virgin olive oil, freshly ground coarse black pepper to taste, the parsley and any add-ins that you would like. Serve the pasta with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on top.