Monday, March 30, 2009

Feta and Vegetable Rotini Salad

This is my favorite summer pasta salad...I made this for a changing shift party for my hubbers and it was gone before we even got up to the table. I sometimes also add chopped pepperoni to mine for an extra pop. Enjoy {Kim} lol :)

3 cups tri-color rotini pasta, cooked, drained and cooled
1 cup Athenos Traditional crumbled feta cheese
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped unpeeled cucumber
1/2 c. sliced black olives
1/2 cup Kraft Zesty italian dressing
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to blend the flavors. This makes about 8 1 cup servings.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Super Fast and Easy Steak Stroganoff

Steak Stroganoff

Cook your choice of swirly cut short pasta (tastes better than long noodles) in a large pot according to manuf. directions. I used Picollini (mini bowties), because I love it and it's super cute too. While pasta is cooking,

1 lb steak flap meat (sliced thin), defrosted
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Couple dashes of Montreal steak seasoning
1 tsp minced garlic (I use the pre packed in olive oil minced stuff)

Cook meat in oil, soy sauce, seasoning, and garlic in a shallow saucepan for about 5 minutes per side
Once meat is cooked, remove from pan and cut in to 1 inch pieces. Set aside.

1/4 c. butter
1/2 med. onion
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic

Saute butter, onion and garlic for about 5-7 minutes unitl softened. Add

1 1/4 c. finely chopped mushroom ( I give mine a whirl in the food processor )

and cook another 5 minutes. Add

3 Tbsp. cream cheese (reduced fat)
1/3 c. heavy cream or half and half
1/3 c. milk (we use fat free...hellllo Im trying to stay healthy here)
1/2 c. sour cream (lite)

Stir ingrediants until completely combined. Let cook on med/high for 7-10 minutes stirring occasionally. Drain the pasta when al dente. Combine the pasta and meat with the sauce. You can sprinkle parm. cheese on top if you wish. I didn't wish, but you might :) Serve HOT!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake

Think 'spinach and artichoke dip in pasta form'...where do I sign up?? The original posting of this recipe calls for tortellini, but I figure what the hay...If Ive got them that's fantastic...If not I'm sure ravioli or even any type of shaped pasta would be marvelous in this dish.

To make it a little lighter you can use fat free milk, reduced fat cheeses, and choose a non cheese filled pasta.

Spinach Artichoke Pasta Bake

Serves 6

2 pounds fresh or frozen ricotta-filled tortellini, ravioli, or any shaped pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups milk
a few grates fresh nutmeg (or for us lazy's 1 shake of McCormicks)
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and excess water squeezed out
1 13.75 oz can artichoke hearts, or 1 10-ounce box frozen quartered artichoke hearts, defrosted
ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese (I usually don't have this on hand...I'm sure it doesn't make a big difference if you skip it)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan - Romano
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat broiler.

Place a large pot of water over high heat to boil. Once boiling, salt the water and drop the pasta in. Cook to al dente according to package directions. Drain cooked pasta and reserve.

While the pasta is working, place a large skillet over medium-high heat with the butter. Cook the garlic in the butter until aromatic, about 1 minute, then sprinkle the flour over the butter and cook for another minute. Whisk the milk into the roux and bring up to a bubble to thicken. Add nutmeg, spinach, artichoke hearts, salt and pepper, and cook until the veggies are heated through.

Add the reserved pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Transfer everything to a large casserole dish and sprinkle with the cheeses. Place under the broiler to brown, about a minute.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bread and Pasta a la Pioneer Woman

Pioneer Woman Garlic Cheese Bread

1 loaf crust French bread
1 stick butter
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
4 green onions, white and light green parts minced
Dash of salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced.

Mix cheeses with the mayonnaise and the green onions. Add dash of salt to taste and set aside or keep in fridge until you need it.Cut loaf of bread in half, then each half into half again.Working 1/4 loaf at a time, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet and add 1/4 of the minced garlic.Place 1 of the 1/4 loaves face down in the skillet, swirling it to soak up the butter and garlic. Allow bread to toast in the skillet, removing garlic if it starts to get too brown.Repeat with remaining butter, garlic, and bread.Spread cheese mixture on warm loaves and bake in a 425 degree oven until cheese is hot and bubbly, about 10 minutes.Slice and serve.

Pioneer Women Pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
1/2 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 generous teaspoon ground thyme
2 14-ounce cans whole tomatoes
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
1 1/2 to 2 pounds rigatoni

Heat olive oil in large skillet or pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook a couple of minutes, until starting to turn translucent. Add garlic and stir, cooking 1 minute, making sure not to brown the garlic.Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of excess fat.Add salt, pepper, and ground thyme. Stir to combine.Dump in canned tomatoes with their juice. Stir, reduce heat to low, and cover pot. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring a couple of times.Uncover the pot and cook an additional 30 minutes.Cook rigatoni according to package directions—don’t overcook! Drain and place individual portions into bowls.Stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan into the sauce. Check and adjust seasonings. Ladle sauce over cooked pasta, sprinkle with more Parmesan, and serve.