Day 5 or 5 days of Pasta. As I was flipping through Emeril’s Potluck cookbook I came across an antipasto salad, his salad is quite different than what you see here today but that was the initial inspiration. I had thought that I wanted to use a little stuffed pasta in the salad as I have not made one like that before. My new favorite summer salad has emerged!! So full of flavor and miles away from your average pasta salad.
We all love tortellini and we are big fans of a good antipasto platter, so bringing those two loves together has created this wonderful salad. I have also used an Epicure dip mix again. These add such wonderful flavor to so many dishes. Click here to explore the world of Epicure. Enjoy!!
Day 4 of 5 Days of Pasta and today I give you an Emeril Lagasse recipe from his new cookbook, Emeril’s Potluck. I was fortunate to have won this cookbook through a giveaway that #SundaySupper was hosting. This cookbook has very few pictures but page after page of amazing recipes.
I wanted to try something from it and so today I give you Penne a la Vodka Casserole. This dish I make thinking of my dad. He would have loved this recipe. He was a huge fan of Italian food and loved pasta, most of all a cream/tomato sauce. This one is for you dad, Happy Father’s Day!! This pasta casserole is so full of flavor, with two kinds of sausage and lots of cheese!! Emeril’s recipes are always a sure fire hit. We enjoyed this very much and I hope you do. ENJOY!!
2-16 oz. cans whole tomatoes, crushed with their juices
1 tsp. Emeril’s Original Essence
½ cup heavy cream
1 lb. penne pasta
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
Crusty bread for serving
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large skillet heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over high heat, add the sausages and cook until browned. Add the onions, ¾ tsp salt and the black pepper. Saute until onions are transparent. Stir in the basil and garlic and cook for another 2 min. Add the vodka and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 min. Add the Essence and the cream, stir to mix, and simmer for 5 min. Remove from heat. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to boil with the remaining tsp. of salt. Add the pasta and boil until al dente according to manufacturer’s instructions. Drain. Combine half of the ricotta, and half the Parmesan with the remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Next, add the sausage mixture and the remaining ricotta and Parmesan, mix well.
Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray and add mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 45 min. until golden brown and heated through. Serve with crusty bread.
Day 3 of 5 Days of Pasta. Ken selected this dish from our QOOQ tablet that we have on the counter. There seems like an endless stream of gorgeous pictures displayed on it. I am always thinking, oh I have to try that one or that looks so delicious. I love having the pretty red tablet on our counter top and at the ready for me to pick up and glance through at any time.
The recipes are easy to follow but sometimes they omit an ingredient quantity I have discovered. Most of the time it is pretty easy to figure out. The tablet can do whatever you like it to do, check on facebook, the weather, play songs, you know, the list is endless. Plus it is downloaded with tons of recipes and videos with chefs tips and techniques to help you with loads of recipes. There are explanations on ingredients with background information. You can create meal plans, shopping lists etc. The list of what you can do with tablet is endless. You can also purchase additional recipes and continue to fill your tablet with your favorites.
As I said Ken choose this recipe and it is perfect to go with our 5 days of cheesy pasta. The ingredients are simple and this made a very flavorful entree. Maybe we didn’t stuff the shells as much as they did but I found that the recipe made two 9×13″ pans of stuffed shells. Lucky me I have one in the freezer. I love that!! Enjoy!!
Combine the water and salt in a large pot. Bring the water to a boil and add the jumbo shells. Boil for 8 min. or until tender. Drain the shells with a colander and run under cold water for 2 min. Set aside.
Peel the onion with a paring knife and chop with a kitchen knife. Peel and mince the garlic. Combine the beef, onion and garlic in a frying pan.
Saute over medium until the ground beef is browned and the onions are tender. Stir regularly with a wooden spoon.
Drain the grease from the beef and transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
Preheat oven to 375F. Grate the Parmesan and cut the mozzarella into very small cubes. Wash and pat dry the parsley with paper towel. Chop with a kitchen knife.
Add the breadcrumbs, eggs, Parmesan, mozzarella, salt, pepper and parsley to the beef mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
One at a time, using a spoon, stuff the jumbo shells with the meatball mixture. As each jumbo shell is stuffed, place it in a 9″ square baking pan. Top the shells with the pasta sauce.
Bake the stuffed shells for 30 min. or until bubbly. Remove the pasta from the oven and let cool slightly.
Wash the parsley and pat dry with a paper towel. Chop with a kitchen knife. Divide the cooked stuffed shells between plates. Top each serving with chopped parsley and serve immediately.
Day 2 of 5 Days of Pasta. We have made a pasta from Eat, Shrink and Be Merry cookbook many, many times called Smackaroni and Cheese, something that is quick and easy and kids love!! I wanted to take that recipe and change it up to have a Mexican flair. Still great for a weeknight meal and sticking with our theme of cheesy pasta. This is a lightened up stove top macaroni and cheese. Enjoy!!
Cook pasta according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, whisk together the evaporated milk, flour, and mustard until smooth. Heat over medium heat, until it starts to bubble and thicken, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and add Cheez Whiz, stirring until melted. Season with pepper. Set aside.
In a large skillet add the oil and saute the onion, red pepper and garlic. Stir in the salsa and cook for a minute or two. Add the chilies and the chicken and the reserved cheese sauce. Mix well. Add the cooked pasta and heat through. Adjust seasoning.
Serve in large bowls topped with the Tex Mex cheese and cilantro.
We start off 5 Days of Pasta with this delicious and super easy baked spaghetti. When I asked you all what you would like to see 5 Days of, I had an over whelming response with pasta and then the second was cheese. So I give you 5 Days of cheesy pastas.
This would be a great way to use leftover pasta too. I have incorporated an Epicure dip mix into the middle layer and you can easily purchase this if you are in Canada from my website here. If you are not from here you can substitute another onion dip mix, it gives some nice flavor to that layer and it is easy. Enjoy!!
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13″ baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta according to manufacturer’s instructions or use leftover pasta. Mix with the jarred spaghetti sauce and the ½ cup Parmesan. Set aside.
Mix together the spinach, ricotta, and onion dip mix.
Place half the pasta in the dish. Top with the spinach ricotta cheese layer and then the rest of the spaghetti. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan topping and bake 350F. for 30-45min. until lightly browned on top and heated through.
As I said yesterday I had received some lovely oils from Blue Door Oil and Vinegar. This made me start to think of pasta but not any ordinary pasta, I wanted something different. I went seeking one of Mario Batali’s recipes. Something that would let this good quality olive oil shine through. I found what I was looking for in this delicious pasta. It also ticked off the box of our weekly vegetarian meal. What a delicious dinner this was. Simple ingredients coming together to make something that is so far from simple. Absolutely divine!! I really hope you enjoy this one.
Fill a large pot with salted water, about 6 quarts and bring to a boil.
I a large fry pan heat the oil and saute the garlic over medium heat. Lightly brown the garlic then add the walnuts and red pepper flakes and cook until lightly toasted 3-4 min. Remove from heat and set aside.
Place the pasta in the boiling water and cook per package instructions until just al dente. Before draining the pasta add ⅓ cup of the water to the fry pan and stir.
Drain the pasta in a colander and pour it into the fry pan. Place the pan back onto medium heat and toss the pasta with the sauce. When it is heated through stir in parmesan and serve garnished with parsley. Serve immediately