Category Archives: Pasta

Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi in a Roasted Acorn Squash

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well. I can’t believe we are two weeks away from my favorite holiday- THANKSGIVING!

I just love Thanksgiving, no pressure of gift-giving, a great meal and desserts, and a great time of the year – I enjoy the Fall season.

This year I am especially thankful because I passed my 1,000 days from a heart transplant and I am feeling well, and my son will be able to visit for the holiday this year.

Last year I slept through Thanksgiving because Bob and I were stricken with Covid. Thankfully we recovered without hospitalization and life is good. I do pray that the pandemic comes to an end soon and life returns to pre-pandemic 2019 days… I am hopeful and waiting for the day when we can all gather once again without worry or fear….. Be safe!

Now on to the recipe I want to share with you …

Every year on Thanksgiving, for our first course, we have chicken soup with escarole and meatballs, which some would recognize as Italian Wedding Soup. In our home, we lovingly call it “Uncle Vinny Soup” because that was my Godfather Vinny’s favorite soup and he would be happy if you served it every day even on the hottest day of the summer he loved it so much. He was thrilled when we named the soup after him.

The link below is for the soup and the story.

If I don’t add a small pasta to the soup such as Acini de Pepe, then we have the second course as a complete pasta course and usually, it is a small taste of either a filled pasta such as tortellini or stuffed rigatoni.

When I was growing up we had the soup with the pasta and then an additional pasta course after that. There was no such thing as skipping courses.

A few years ago, I decided to combine both a pasta dish and a side vegetable as my second course and it was Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi in individual Acorn squash.

Acorn squash is usually small and you can pick out the smallest size you can find and add a small amount of pasta. This is an eye-catching presentation served in the squash with a delicate butter sage sauce.

This looks so beautiful when served and it is a lighter course so that you are not full before the “main event” of the turkey.

I have to say that in an Italian home and I do hate to admit this, but the turkey is usually not the featured attraction (at least not when I was growing up). There was the antipasto, the soup, the pasta, then the turkey and many sides, a salad, followed by fruit and nuts, and dessert which included apple pie, pumpkin pie, coconut custard pie, and Italian pastries with after-dinner liquors and espresso. It is a full day of food and a marathon of eating.

I have reduced and altered the menu quite a bit over the years but still include all my family’s favorites.

I just wanted to share this recipe in case anyone wants to add something different to their Thanksgiving table this year. I made homemade sweet potato ricotta gnocchi but there are so many packaged and frozen varieties of pumpkin, sweet potato, or butternut squash gnocchi, or tortellini in stores that you could use either one of them to save some time.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it.

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Sweet Potato Ricotta Gnocchi


By combining the sweet potatoes with ricotta, you retain the flavor and end up with pillowy soft gnocchi, just what gnocchi should be!

Ingredients:
2 Pounds Sweet Potatoes
2/3 Cup Ricotta Cheese (Full Fat Is Best)
1 Large Egg Yolk
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Finely Ground Black Pepper
1 1/4 Cups All-purpose Flour (Approximate)


Browned Butter Sage Sauce Ingredients:
1 1/2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
20 Fresh Sage Leaves
Salt & Pepper- cinnamon and nutmeg


To Serve:
Freshly Grated Parmesan Or Pecorino Cheese, a dash of cinnamon, and some fried sage leaves.


Preparation
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Prick the potatoes with a sharp knife and place them on a baking sheet.


Bake until very tender, about 55 minutes to an hour.

Cool slightly, cut in half,
and scoop out the pulp with a spoon.

Use a potato ricer to mash the potatoes into a bowl. (You should end up with approximately 2 cups of sweet potato pulp.)

Add the ricotta, egg yolk, and salt,
and pepper and mix well.

Lightly flour a baking sheet and set it close to your work area.

Adding about 1/2 cup of flour at a time, add just enough to create a workable dough.

Take a fist-sized
ball of the dough and roll it into a 1-inch roll on a lightly floured counter.

Use a sharp knife to cut the roll into 1-inch pieces and set it aside on the floured baking sheet.

Cooks Note: you could get fancy and roll the piece of dough over the back tines of a fork to get the desired lines or leave it as is to look like little pillows.

Continue to work the rest of the dough in this same manner.

Refrigerate the gnocchi on the baking sheet until ready to cook.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

In the meantime, place the butter in a small saucepan and allow it to foam.

Add the sage leaves and season with salt and pepper and continue to cook until the butter is lightly browned, and keep warm.

I add a dash of nutmeg and some cinnamon to taste to the butter sauce.

Cook the gnocchi in the boiling water just until they rise to the surface.

Use a slotted spoon to remove them to a heated platter.

Pour the sauce over the gnocchi and gently toss to coat.

Serve immediately offering grated cheese at the table.

Roasted Acorn Squash

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove the tops of the squash and scoop out the seeds.
  3. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 20- 30 minutes or just until tender to touch but not falling in.
  5. Scoop the gnocchi into the acorn squash shell and add some shredded gruyere cheese to the top.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven…dig in!!

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

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Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

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Pasta Primavera

Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all well and if you live in the Northeast like me, I hope you still have power after the storms and high winds we have been having the past few days.

I have been testing some new dessert recipes for Halloween and really haven’t given much thought to dinner, so I whipped something up as a last-minute meal that I wanted to share with all of you for a quick weekday meal when you don’t have much time.

I made a quick easy version of Pasta Primavera which is a simple dish of pasta and fresh vegetables in oil and garlic with your favorite herbs and spices added. It is a great way to use up leftover veggies left in the bin toward the end of the week before they spoil.

I have been taking a little shortcut the past few weeks with vegetables, by steaming some vegetables at the beginning of the week and storing them in an airtight container for easy meal prep during the week to add to salads and pasta or as a side dish to have ready in minutes.

This week I had some carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower so I incorporated these veggies and some shallots and tomatoes and made a simple garlic, olive oil, and anchovy sauce for a delicious quick meal served over tri-color spaghetti.

I read once that most people think Pasta Primavera is an Italian dish but it is an American dish created by chef Sirio Maccioni and two sous chefs and was first served in a New York City restaurant. It wasn’t until a recipe for this dish was published a few years later in the New York Times that this dish became popular.

The ingredients vary for this dish depending on what veggies you have, what pasta choice you make, and what sauce you want so I am providing a basic recipe as a guideline but please feel free to change ingredients according to what you have (steaming the vegetables ahead of time is a blessing and a timesaver). So here is the recipe. Have fun and enjoy every bite……

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz of pasta (suggestions: penne, spaghetti, farfalle, gemelli, cassarecce)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 medium red onion or shallot, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups cauliflower
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 medium yellow squash
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 3 – 4 cloves garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • 1/2- 1 cup grated cheese
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 anchovy fillets (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp of calabrian pepper paste (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
  2. Meanwhile heat olive oil in a 12-inch (and deep) skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Add olive oil, onion or shallots and saute 2 minutes to get a slight golden color.
  4. Add garlic and anchovies (if using) and saute for 2 minutes to melt the anchovies.
  5. Add the vegetables of your choice and saute until the veggies are softened but still a little crisp.
  6. Add the Calabrian pepper paste (if using) and mix well.
  7. Add Italian seasoning and dried oregano, saute 2 minutes longer and mix well.
  8. Add drained pasta to the veggies and add the pasta water with 1/2 cup grated cheese and mix well to form a sauce. Check for seasoning and add a little more salt & pepper as needed (additional pasta water and cheese can be added to make the sauce a consistency you prefer).
  9. Toss in parsley and serve with additional grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil on top.

Cooks Note – if you want to make this a complete meal on a single plate you can also add the protein of your choice – (suggestions: shrimp, scallops, grilled chicken slices, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, or nuts).

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Diane

Please ask your family and friends to “follow”, “like” and “share” DishingwithDiane.com 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post…

Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Tri-Color Tortellini with Trapanese Sauce

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all well. Today I wanted to share with you a secret weapon I have in my freezer at all times- and that for me is “Trapanese Sauce”. If you love pesto, you will love this sauce. Similar to pesto with a few additions.

I always like to have a “stand by” recipe available for those nights when you just don’t feel like spending time cooking dinner but don’t want to order take-out. I always keep a bag of frozen tortellini or cavatelli and a pesto or trapanese sauce in the freezer.

Last night was one of those nights. I had taken meat out to defrost in the morning but by the time dinner came around, that was not what I was in the mood for so I boiled the frozen pasta and added some of the frozen trapanese sauce, a little grated cheese and within 20 minutes, dinner was on the table- hot and delicious. I served the pasta with homemade garlic bread and that completed the meal.Whenever I have an abundance of fresh, beautiful basil, I make pesto and trapanese sauce and put it in zip-lock bags laying flat (to save space) in the freezer for those no cook nights.

The trapanese sauce has almonds, grape tomatoes, and sun-dried tomatoes added to the basil. Here is the recipe, enjoy….

Ingredients:

1 pint of cherry tomatoes

2 cups packed fresh basil

1/3 cup of whole almonds, lightly toasted – the skin can be on or off

2 – 3 garlic cloves

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper – to taste

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil

1/2 cup grated cheese

1 lb any pasta of your choice

Directions:

Toast the almonds in a dry pan or on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees between 5-10 minutes, until just lightly toasted. Watch carefully, they can burn easily. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Rinse and pat dry the tomatoes and basil.

In a food processor, ADD the tomatoes, garlic, cooled almonds, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and use short pulses until mixed well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

While the food processor is still running, add the olive oil and form a creamy paste- Do not puree. 

Put the pesto in a large bowl and taste for seasoning.

Generously salt the pasta water. Cook pasta 2 minutes under al dente as per package directions.

Save 1 cup of pasta water. 

Drain the pasta and toss into the pesto. Toss quickly to coat, ADD the grated cheese and toss again. Add pasta water, 1 tbsp at a time to adjust consistency so that the pesto coats the pasta and is not too dry or too thick. 

I serve the pasta immediately, but in can be served at room temperature.

Additional grated cheese can be added at the table. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

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Saffron Fregola with Clams, Mussels and Shrimp…

Hi Everyone,

Hope all is well. Tonight I made a Lenten meal of clams, mussels and shrimp in fregola ( Sardinian pasta) with saffron and white wine. One of my favorite dishes and I posted it before with a different selection of seafood ( see directory for original post Dec/2017). Any combination works well.

I wanted to repost the recipe for all of you who need a few new ideas for Lenten meals. Enjoy every bite.

I purchased the Fregola at an Italian deli but it is also sold on Amazon if you can’t find it locally. This is my favorite brand and they are sold in a 3-pack on Amazon for $28.40.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we do. The Fregola is a toasted pasta and it tastes like a nutty couscous.

Saffron Fregola with Seafood

A bit of culinary exotica, fregola is a type of pasta from the Italian island of Sardinia. The more common Israeli couscous may be substituted. Serve this hearty stew with a refreshing butter lettuce and pear salad and plenty of crusty bread for dipping.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. saffron threads
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 lbs. mussels- scrubbed and debearded
  • 2 lbs. clams- scrubbed ( I used cockles)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup fregola (Sardinian couscous) or Israeli couscous
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Crush the saffron in a small bowl and add the wine. Set aside.

In a large, heavy pot over high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. When the pan is very hot, add the shrimp and sear for 1 minute per side (do not cook all the way through). Transfer to a bowl.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, the onion and garlic to the pot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the saffron mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the fregola and stir to combine, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the clams and mussels, discarding any that do not close to the touch. Cover the pot tightly and steam for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and quickly add the shrimp. Cover the pot tightly again and continue to cook just until the clams & mussels open and the shrimp are cooked through, about 3 minutes. Discard any clams that failed to open. Ladle the stew into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2011).

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

If you enjoy the posts, please spread the word and ask your family and friends to subscribe to DishingwithDiane.com 

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Also, continue to send me your comments, I love hearing from you.

Pumpkin Fettucine Alfredo

Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all fine, turned your clocks back for that extra hour of sleep on this lazy Sunday and had a wonderful Halloween yesterday!

We had a total of 75 trick or treaters (much lower than years before). I just love to see the toddlers in their costumes. This year for the first time as per doctors orders I wasn’t allowed to open the door to greet the children so I had to leave a bowl of candy outside on the steps, but watched them through the window. So cute. Some costumes are so clever and this year we saw a lot more parents and guardians in costume.

Bob and I made the traditional Turkey and 3-bean chili to keep our Halloween tradition alive and served it with whole grain cornbread …. (recipe on blog)

I am still cooking today, which brings me to todays post…….

Today I made a pumpkin alfredo pasta dish and posted it on my personal timeline. I thought I had included it on the blog once before and today I received so many requests for the recipe from friends that couldn’t find it via the blog index so I decided to post it again.

The original recipe calls for fettuccine but you can use any pasta of your liking. Today I used pappardelle, a large, flat & broad pasta noodle.

The secret ingredient for me is sprinkling the pasta with amaretti cookies before serving. The flavor between the amaretti, pumpkin and sage are fabulous.

These are my favorite amaretti cookies but there are many brands on the market … These can be ordered on Amazon or found in Italian delis.

They are wrapped 2 mini cookies to a package.

Lazzaroni Amaretti, 16-Ounce Tin

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it as much as we do.

Ingredients:

12 ounces fettuccine (or pasta of your choice)

2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin pureeNOT PURE PUMPKIN

2 cups heavy cream

Freshly ground nutmeg

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

4-5 fresh sage leaves, chopped

Additional Parmesan cheese for serving

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat.

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion; sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until softened.  Stir in the pumpkin puree and a few leaves of sage.  Add the heavy cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the sauce is slightly thickened.  Stir in the Parmesan cheese.

Drain the pasta and add to the sauce.  Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl.

Sprinkle the chopped sage over the top.  Serve with additional grated

Cooks Note: Feel free to toss some toasted, chopped walnuts or crushed amaretti cookies on top. 

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, 

I Love hearing from you.

See you soon with the gumbo recipe…..

Pasta with Peas

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are all doing well and staying safe.

I can’t believe that it is October already. Wow, time is sure flying by. I haven’t been on the blog for a few weeks because it seems that all of my post-transplant doctor appointments have been scheduled around the same time; but I have been thinking of all of you constantly.

Yesterday morning, driving to one of my appointments the roads were crowded with school buses and I thought of all the moms and dads that are faced with the beginning of the school year and homework, school projects, new schedules and still having to get dinner on the table.

And then I thought…… What could be a really easy meal to feed a family that could be prepared under 30 minutes and less than 8 ingredients & one of my favorite meals popped into my head and I wanted to share it with my members.

The dish is “pasta piselli” or pasta and peas. I might have posted this before but as the years go by I tweak all my recipes, especially since the heart transplant, searching for better choice ingredients.

When I first got married, my mother told me to always keep canned and frozen peas, a container of mascarpone cheese and 1 box of medium shell pasta in the house and you will always be prepared for a quick easy meal and Mom was always right.

I cannot tell you how many nights this meal came in handy- after a day in the city for doctor appointments or when my son was younger, a late night dinner after sports practice.

But before I type the recipe, I want to wish “Good Luck” to all the students starting school and to the administrators and teachers that have to keep themselves and our children safe while working with Covid19 restrictions.

God Bless them all.

Now, let’s eat some Pasta with Peas ….

Ingredients:

1 lb. box of medium shells pasta

 6-8 TBSP mascarpone cheese *

1-2 cans low sodium sweet peas, rinsed and drained

1 bag frozen peas (10 oz)

2 medium red onion (sliced)

Salt & pepper to taste

1 tsp. dried Italian oregano

Olive oil

2-3 TBSP Pecorino Romano cheese (or more to taste)

Reserve 1- 2 cups of the pasta water

  1. Prepare pasta shells according to box
  2. In the meantime, in a large skillet or saucepan add olive oil to slightly cover the bottom of the pan (approx. 1/3 cup).
  3. Add onion and sauté for approx 2-3 minutes
  4. Lower the heat to low and add the frozen and canned peas, turning slightly and gently not to smash them, only heat them.
  5. Add the mascarpone cheese to make a sauce
  6. When the pasta is ready, Reserve 1- 2 cups of the pasta water and set aside prior to draining the pasta.
  7. Drain the pasta and add to the peas & sauce in the pan and mix gently.
  8. Add the salt, pepper, oregano, and Romano cheeses and 3 TBSP of the pasta water. Mix well
  9. If you feel the pasta is too dry, add a TBSP at a time of the pasta water to the desired texture, otherwise this dish is complete.

Can be served with additional Romano cheese (to taste)

SAVE the pasta water in a jar. You will need it to heat up the pasta piselli leftovers.

I hope you try the recipe and enjoy it.

  • If you cannot find mascarpone cheese, you can substitute heavy cream, low fat Greek yogurt, cream cheese or sour cream.
  • If you do use mascarpone for this recipe and don’t know what to do with the leftover (remember it is an ingredient in tiramisu), it can be used the same as butter on toast with a little cinnamon and added berries as a sweet treat for breakfast.
  • ********************************************

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to share, like, comment, and join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails

I Love hearing from you.

Pasta with Peas (Pasta Piselli)

photo jan 08, 6 46 17 pm pasta piselli with cream sauce

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to the original size.

Hi Everyone, 

I hope all your decorations are put away and you have recovered from the holidays and have begun a wonderful, happy, healthy New Year!

A lot of people start diets this month or they just want to start incorporating meatless meals into their diet and I have the perfect recipe.

I posted a picture of this meal on my personal Facebook page and received many requests for the recipe, so I decided to post it for all of my members.

If you want an easy, quick meal, this is for you.

The dish is “Pasta Piselli” or pasta with peas.

I call it comfort food- Italian style.

When I first got married, my mother told me to always have the ingredients to make pasta piselli in the house because it can be whipped up in no time for the nights you are tired, can’t think of what to make for dinner or just need something quick.

I took my mothers advice and it has come in handy on many occasions. 

The original recipe has only six ingredients plus seasonings.

Below is the recipe that my mother taught me.

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Ingredients:

1 lb. ditalini pasta or small shells

Extra virgin olive oil to slightly coat the bottom of a saucepan

Small red onion, finely chopped

3 cloves minced garlic

2 cans sweet peas, with their juice

Salt & pepper to taste

red pepper flakes

Freshly grated cheese – your choice (I use Locatelli)

Instructions:

Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente- follow package directions.

Drain pasta and reserve one cup of pasta water, set aside.

Heat oil in another large pot. Stir in the diced onion and a pinch of salt.

Sauté for a few minutes and add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1-2  minutes.

When the onion is soft, add 2 cans of peas and their juice.

When peas are heated through, add the drained pasta to the pea mixture and stir to combine. Adjust seasoning of salt and pepper.

Take off the heat and add grated cheese and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

If the pasta looks to dry for your liking add a little pasta water or chicken broth- 1 tbsp at a time.

Serve with more grated cheese.

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For those of you who know me, you know I have to tweak a recipe and I decided to tweak this recipe and make it

Pasta Piselli with a Cream Sauce. 

So this is my new version of this dish… The photo above is this new version, but the original is fabulous as well.

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Ingredients:

1 lb box of medium shell pasta or ditalini pasta or any small pasta (I used penne)

8 TBSP mascarpone cheese * (Mascarpone cheese is Italian cream cheese)

1 can low sodium sweet peas, rinsed and drained

Small bag (10 oz) of frozen peas

1 medium red onion (sliced)

3-4 cloves garlic (minced)

2 Dorot brand cube of crushed garlic (found in Trader Joe’s frozen section- photo below).

½ tsp garlic powder

Salt & pepper to taste

Olive oil

3 TBSP of grated cheese (or more to taste)

Reserve 1- 2 cups of the pasta water

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

In the meantime, in a large skillet or saucepan add olive oil to slightly cover the bottom of the pan.

Add the sliced onion and a pinch of salt and saute for a few minutes. Add the garlic, frozen garlic cubes and red pepper flakes and saute for approx. 2-3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and add both the drained cans of peas and the frozen peas, turning slightly and gently not to smash them, only heat them.

Add the mascarpone cheese to melt and make a sauce.

When the pasta is cooked, reserve 1- 2 cups of the pasta water and set aside.

Drain the pasta and add to the peas & sauce in the pan and mix gently.

Add your seasonings-  salt, pepper, garlic powder plus grated cheeses and 3 TBSP of the pasta water. Mix well and set aside for 1-2 minutes to blend all the flavors.

If you feel the pasta is too dry, add a TBSP at a time of the pasta water to the desired texture, otherwise this dish is complete.

Can be served with additional grated cheese (to taste).

Save the remaining pasta water in a jar. You will need it to heat up the pasta piselli leftovers.

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This is the crushed garlic cube that I use…


photo jan 09, 4 11 48 pm crushed garlic cube__________________________________________________________________

I hope you try this recipe and add it to your meatless meals.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Ask your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane.com and become part of the family!

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments and emails, I Love hearing from you.

 

Note from Diane….

Hi Everyone, 

I received a few comments from members that just the slideshow posted from yesterdays post and not the other pictures, it just read “image”.

So here are the pictures of the Baked Squash Mac & Cheese.

Sorry for this problem. I will contact wordpress to see what caused this error.

Stay well, 

Diane

Ingredients

Photo Oct 06, 2 35 14 PM INGREDIENTS ONE

The finished product…

Photo Oct 06, 5 08 36 PM BAKED SQUASH MAC AND CHEESE

Written recipe and step by step slideshow on yesterday’s post.

Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Baked Squash Mac & Cheese…

Photo Oct 06, 5 08 36 PM BAKED SQUASH MAC AND CHEESE

Click on the photo to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone,

Well, I hope your Fall is off to a good start. For me, I am slowly adjusting to the season and the cooler weather.

I can’t say that I am at the pumpkin latte, apple cider donuts and big sweater level yet, but I am working on it. 

The cooler weather and the month of October always brings my mind to comfort foods. Soups, stews and mac & cheese. Mac & cheese being my favorite. 

I am always on a quest for new recipes and then I tweak them to my liking. The other day while searching for fall recipes, I found a great recipe that caught my eye on the website HalfBakedHarvest.com.

It is “Baked Squash Mac & Cheese”. Two things I like rolled into one entree- not bad.

The mac & cheese is served in a mini squash (or pumpkin) for a great presentation and can either be a lovely weeknight meal or a seasonal lunch for company, served with a salad.

I bought all the ingredients, tried the recipe, loved it and wanted to share it with all of you. So here we go…

A slideshow preparing this recipe will be posted after the written recipe.

I had one big problem, everywhere I went I couldn’t find really small squash and I didn’t want to use a small pumpkin so the squash I bought would be considered a medium size. 

I still think that this would look cuter with small individual squash, but the taste was great.

Ingredients…

Photo Oct 06, 2 35 14 PM INGREDIENTS ONE

Baked Squash Mac & Cheese

courtesy of HalfBakedHarvest.com

Photo Oct 06, 5 07 14 PM BAKED SQUASH CLOSE

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-6 small acorn squash or pie pumpkins
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt + pepper
  • 4 slices thin prosciutto
  • 4 slices sourdough bread pulsed into fine crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small sweet onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-pound short cut pasta
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste

COOKS NOTE:  I added shallots to my onions…

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Remove the tops of the squash and scoop out the seeds. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Lay the prosciutto flat on the baking sheet next to the squashes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp. Remove the prosciutto from the pan and continue baking the squash another 10-20 minutes or just until tender to touch but not falling in.
  3. Add the crisp prosciutto and bread to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the crumbs and cook until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook another 30 seconds. Spoon the crumbs out onto a plate. Set aside.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain.
  5. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the same pot used for the crumbs. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook/bubble for 1 minute, stirring once or twice to avoid burning. Gradually whisk in the milk, whisking until combined. Raise the heat up to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in all of the cheese, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is fully melted (if needed, return the pot to the heat to fully melt the cheese). Stir in the pasta. Spoon the mac and cheese into the roasted squash bowls, you may have leftover mac and cheese depending on the size of your squash. Sprinkle on the bread crumbs over and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven…dig in!!

STEP BY STEP SLIDESHOW…

 

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Enjoy the recipe and let me know what you think.

Stay well, 

Diane

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Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

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Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce …

 

Photo Jun 28, 9 16 36 PM CAPELLINI WITH FRESH TOMATOES

Click on the photos to enlarge and then the back arrow to return to original size.

Hi Everyone, 

Very busy since my last post and the time is flying by. I can’t believe that we are at the end of June already. Wasn’t it just Easter?

I have received several emails regarding a recipe that I had posted on Instagram and I wanted to share it with all of my DishingwithDiane members. The recipe is for a tomato sauce that takes less than 20 minutes and is made with fresh tomatoes. I use cherry tomatoes.

Sounds to good to be true, but it is.

With all of our gardens that are bountiful this time of year with tomatoes and basil (one of my favorite combinations), this recipe is perfect.

It is a go to recipe of mine for the summer months. 

It is much quicker than ordering take out and much healthier.

I hope you give it a try and let me know what you think.

Fresh Tomato Sauce with Garden Tomatoes

Photo Jun 28, 7 30 40 PM INGREDIENTS

Ingredients

3 pints of cherry tomatoes – washed and sliced in half — ( Roma or vine tomatoes can be used as well- your choice.)

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cloves of sliced garlic (or more)

Red pepper flakes

1 tbsp. of tomato paste

Salt and pepper

1 tsp. dried oregano

Fresh basil leaves

Fresh thyme

1 tbsp. butter

Pasta of your choice

½ to 1 cup of white wine (optional)

1 cup frozen or fresh peas (optional)

Diane’s tips: 

Dry herbs are stronger than fresh herbs so you need to use a smaller amount.

Don’t just sprinkle dried herbs in your pot, instead rub dried herbs between your fingers to crush the herb. This releases the oils that are left in the leaves which adds more flavor.

Directions:

Wash and slice 3 pints of cherry tomatoes in half, set aside

In a large skillet, add 1/3 cup olive oil, 3 cloves (or more) of sliced garlic and red pepper flakes (the desired amount you want).

Once the garlic starts to turn golden, add the tomato paste and saute for a few minutes to toast the tomato paste and blend it well with the garlic.

Next, add all of your tomatoes and season with salt, pepper, dried oregano, some fresh basil leaves and a few sprigs of fresh thyme.  I added 1 cup white wine (optional).

Simmer for approx. 15- 20 minutes on medium heat partially covered. Stir occasionally and crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon or a potato masher to release their juices.

Add peas now if using (optional)

In the meantime, make your pasta per directions, two minutes shy of al dente.  Reserve 1-2 cups of pasta water and add the drained pasta to the skillet to finish cooking.

If pasta sauce is too thick or too dry, add some pasta water- ( a tbsp. at a time).

Off heat, I finish the sauce with 1 tbsp of butter, grated cheese and a few fresh basil leaves.  Serve and enjoy!

Slideshow of steps starting with ingredients…

 

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Until my next post, make every day a celebration!

Stay well,

Diane

Thank you for visiting my blog and please spread the word to your family and friends to join DishingwithDiane. 

Once you become a member, you’ll never miss a post.

Also, continue to send me your comments, I LOVE to hear from you.