Category Archives: Pasta

Summer Seafood Pasta Salad

I love a cold salad for summer supper.  It satisfies but you don’t feel stuffed.  This bright, fresh, seafood salad is one of my favorites.

pasta salad

Summer Seafood Pasta Salad

8 oz uncooked spiral pasta (I used Dreamfields)
1 package (8 oz) imitation crabmeat, chopped
½ cup finely diced celery
¼ cup finely diced pickles
¼ cup finely diced Vidalia onion
½ cup mayonnaise
1 Tbps ketchup
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp Stevia (I used a splash of liquid Stevia)
salt and pepper to taste

photo (4)
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, lemon juice and seasonings. Set aside.

Drain pasta and rinse in cold water. Gently combine crabmeat and sauce mixture with pasta. Chill for a couple of hours for the seasonings to blend.

*Optional additions: fresh chopped broccoli or cauliflower,  shredded cheese, cooked salad shrimp.

pasta salad2

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Friendship Casserole – Keep one, share one

This hearty meal makes enough to share!  

friendship-casserole

 

I happened upon this recipe when I was looking for a dish to take to a friend who had just had surgery.   This recipe is just right!  It makes enough for you to keep and then you get to share with a friend.

FRIENDSHIP CASSEROLE

2 pounds ground beef, browned
1 jar 48 oz of your favorite spaghetti sauce
16 oz bag medium egg noodles
½ cup butter
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
12 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350º
In a skillet, brown meat and drain fat. Then put the meat back in the skillet.  Add spaghetti sauce to meat; simmer for 20 minutes.

Cook noodles as directed on the package (cook to al dente); then drain and
toss the noodles with butter, seasonings and parmesan cheese.  Spray two
9×13 pans with non-stick spray ( I prefer to use my Misto sprayer that I fill with oil).

In each pan layer one quarter of the sauce, half of the noodles, then split the remaining sauce between the two. Top each with half of the mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil; bake 45 minutes.

*You can also add some sauteed green bell peppers, onions and
mushrooms to the sauce.  I added mushrooms after checking with my friend to make sure she liked them, too.

**You can use foil pans like these if you’re sharing with a friend.

Frienship Casserole 2

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NOTE:  I use Dreamfields pasta for low carbers.  It’s possible that another low carb pasta or veggie “pasta” could be substituted as well and be equally delicious.  Enjoy!

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Carbonara

I ran across this super rich classic bacon and egg spaghetti dish and it sounded so easy and delicious that I just had to try it!

Talk about the ultimate comfort food.   It has everything I love…bacon…pasta…and cheese!  Yummo!

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on authentic Italian cooking.  🙂

Carbonara

1 lb. spaghetti *pasta
8 slices bacon, cut in small pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
4 egg yolks
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
diced green onions
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta as directed on package.

Fry bacon and garlic in a heavy skillet until crisp (mine is actually more done that what it looks like ;)).   Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Set bacon aside.  Set skillet aside, but save bacon fat.

Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, half of the Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper in a medium bowl until well blended.

When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving about 1/3 cup cooking water, and immediately add to the skillet with the bacon drippings.   Place over low heat and toss for 1 minute, scraping the pan to loosen the pan drippings.

Stir in the egg mixture and toss thoroughly until combined. Add the pasta cooking water as needed to form a creamy sauce.  Add the bacon and remaining cheese and toss again to coat.  Top with diced green onions.  Serve immediately.

*Can substitute Dreamfields Spaghetti to lower carbs.

Another option is to use diced ham instead of bacon.  I believe the authentic recipe calls for pancetta, which is a yummy salt-cured Italian bacon made from un-smoked pork belly.

From Wikipedia:

Pasta alla carbonara (usually spaghetti, but also fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini) is an Italianpasta dish based on eggs, cheese (pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (guanciale orpancetta), and black pepper. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century.

The pork is fried in fat (olive oil or lard), then hot pasta is dropped into the pan to finish cooking for a few seconds. A mixture of raw eggs, cheese, and a fat (butter, olive oil, or cream) is then combined with the hot pasta away from additional direct heat to avoid coagulating the egg, which must remain a liquid component of the sauce as it cooks.  Guanciale is the most usual meat, but pancetta, or local bacon are also used.

Cream is not common in Italian recipes, but is often used elsewhere.  Other variations on carbonara outside Italy may include peas, broccoli, mushrooms, or other vegetables.  Many of these preparations have more sauce than the Italian versions.   As with many other dishes, there are ersatz versions made with commercial bottled sauces.

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Easy Cheesy Chili Mac…low carb comfort food!

Easy Cheesy Chili Mac

1 pound lean ground beef 

1/2  medium onion, diced

1 (14 1/2 ounce) can Italian style stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided

1/2 cup  sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper, to taste

8 ounces dried Dreamfields Penne Rigate (2 cups)

Cook ground beef and onion in large skillet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown beef until no longer pink.  Drain fat.  Stir in tomatoes with juice, 1 cup Cheddar cheese, sour cream, chili powder and garlic powder.
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Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.
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Add chili mixture to pasta and stir until pasta is coated.  Place in a 2 quart baking dish.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.   Bake at 350º for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.  Serves 4
 
COOK’S NOTE: If you prefer not to use the Dreamfields pasta, substitute your favorite steamed or roasted veggie like cauliflower or spaghetti squash.
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