Archive for ‘pasta’

July 6, 2012

Mexican Orzo Salad

Pasta Salad: good on the side or perfect for a light meal.

There are so many different types of pasta salad, how do you choose just one!?

This Mexican Pasta Salad is delicious enough to count as a light summertime meal while still being healthy (and vegetarian). Often you see pasta salad made with big chunky pastas but this version switches it up a little allowing the other fresh summer flavors a chance to shine!

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October 10, 2011

Smoked Gouda Ravioli with Sun Dried Tomato Garlic Sauce

Boca eyes up the ravioli

We went to Easton’s Garlic Festival last weekend & enjoyed many tastings of local goodies. We enjoyed taking part of a tasting in which we enjoyed 8 different raw garlics (chopped up) in order to vote for our favorite (we both really like “Music” – a garlic that has a spicy kick to it, good stuff – I never knew there were so many different types of garlic and that they had so many different flavors). While there we also took advantage of some local samples and really enjoyed everything that Keepsake Farm & Dairy had as we sampled their fares.

After enjoying so much garlic, it was kinda refreshing to have some different flavors and their cheeses were out of this world! As we tried their Smoked Gouda, Rich looked at me and said we had to have it. We immediately both thought ravioli which I knew I could make some sort of awesome garlic sauce to go with it. Rich then requested a sauce that used “that stuff that I really love but tell you all the time that I hate” (which meant sun dried tomatoes)

Instead of going all-out and trying to make our own pasta (which Rich has done before, I just wasn’t feeling the mess) we went with the pre-made Won-Ton Wrappers which just happen to be perfect for making Ravioli!! This process could not have been more simple or tasty. Having a 2nd person to help you with this is good (and that also gives you a perfect excuse to have a hands-on fun date night besides just the meal).


So get out to your local farmers markets & check out the local goodies and get inspired to have an awesome meal soon!!



  • 1 package Won-Ton Wrappers
  • 2 ounces Parmigianno Reggiano
  • 6 ounces smoked gouda
  • 4 ounces fresh ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper

Put your ricotta in a bowl with a well beaten egg. Grate/Shred the rest of your cheese into the bowl and mix well. Add in some garlic to taste (I chopped ’em up real small in the food processor I was going to use for the sauce, but feel free to micro-plane them or just chop finely with a knife).

Line up 6 Won-Ton Wrappers on a board at a time and put a bit more than a tablespoon on each square. Flatten the filling slightly then wet the perimeter of the square and press another square on top, being sure to seal all the way around.

*This is where another person comes in handy* Place your first round of ravioli into a large pot of salted boiling water. They need to cook for about 3-4 minutes. While the first batch is cooking, make the second batch. When your ravioli are done place them onto a lightly oiled tray in a warm oven to keep warm. Continue process until they are all made. Then plate and add your sauce (which you made before boiling any ravioli)…

Sun Dried Tomato Garlic Pesto Sauce

  • 10 large fresh basil leaves
  • 10 sun-dried tomatoes (the kind packed in oil – or your own)
  • 3 + cloves garlic
  • 1 ounce parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup + olive oil (use a mix of Oil from the Tomatoes & Extra Virgin)

Rough chop the tomatoes and garlic. Then in a small food processor or blender combine basil, tomatoes, cheese, garlic, salt. Puree. Add olive oil slowly, and blend until the mixture is desired texture & be sure to taste!

And I leave you with this… What “cheats” have you taken in your cooking that you feel are totally worth it (or any ‘cheats’ that you have taken that you wish you hadn’t)?

July 6, 2011

Tuna Pasta Salad

This classic and awesome Tuna Pasta Salad from Kids Can Cook – the cookbook I grew up with & did lots of my early on my own cooking from. I almost did not get this cookbook when I moved out! My parents would not let me take this cookbook until they copied a few recipes from it: this was a go-to book for its simplicity and reliability, one I still enjoy as a “grown-up” chef 🙂

Feel free to add whatever fresh veggies you have laying around to this (peppers, more tomatoes, asparagus – whatever): the beauty is the perfect simple base that you can add to. The recipe I give you here is what my family adapted this pasta salad to after years of making this. And to be honest – we usually just make it as is without adding more, but more veggies would make it healthier!

Tuna Pasta Salad

from Kids Can Cook

  • 6 oz macaroni (elbow or whatever you have 1/2 used in the house already)
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  • < 3 T red wine vinigar
  • 1 T dried basil (or 2T fresh)
  • 1/4 t granulated garlic
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t pepper
  • 2 cans tuna (drained)
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives

Cook maccoroni according to package directions to al dente. Drain, set aside to cool.

In your covered container combine mayonnaise, vinegar, basil, garlic, salt, & pepper. Whisk together & taste. Then add your tuna into the bowl and break up any chunks of tuna. Add your cooked pasta, onion, olives (and whatever else you want). Mix well. Store in the fridge and enjoy!

And I leave you with a question: What childhood favorite dish do you have as a go-to that is so simple but you will never give up!?

June 14, 2011

Arugula & Tomato Pasta

Pasta: go to & quick and easy.

There are so many ways to do pasta, but so often we find ourselves going to the same recipes. No no no – not this time! I pulled out my Pasta and Sauces cookbook from the  Prevention Magazine’s Quick & Healthy Low-Fat Cooking cook-book. I do not even know where I got this cookbook from! I am assuming that years ago my mom got one of those “free” offers (you know, the ones where you send in the info and then they try to rope you into buying more but even if you don’t you get to keep the ‘free gift’) I’m very glad that mom (assumingly) got this book years ago since we often used it for pasta inspiration when I was growing up & now that I am always looking for healthy tasty recipes I find myself returning to this book 🙂

This pasta is quick and easy & tastes so fresh (even though you can use some canned products). If you use those canned items the only thing  you need to buy fresh is your scallions (which I always have) and arugula (or watercress) so its really budget friendly too if you stock up on sale items (yay – go sales!) Whip this up the next time you are short of time: enjoy!

Arugula & Tomato Pasta

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 oz (1/2 cup) sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil for a healthier option)
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 6 thinly sliced scallions
  • 3 minced cloves garlic
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes (1.5 lbs) coarsely chopped OR 1 medium can diced tomato
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t crushed red peppers
  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 1 bunch watercress or arugula (washed & tough stems removed)
  • < 1 T grated parmesan

Boil your water and your dried tomatoes. Once boiling remove from the heat and let stand for about 5 minutes, until soft. Drain & cool then cut into small pieces.

Bring your pasta water up to a boil. Heat a skillet over high heat with your olive oil. Add the scallions & garlic and saute for a minute or so until scallions have wilted. Stir in all your tomatoes, salt & red pepper and cook until juices from tomatoes have released (fresh) and the juices just come to a boil. Reduce your heat to medium then cover and simmer (stir occasionally) for about 10 minutes.

While your sauce cooks – cook your pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta. Drain your pasta. Place your arugula/watercress into a [warmed] serving bowl. Add your pasta then the sauce. Toss to mix all ingredients together and wilt the greens. Top with some fresh parmesan & enjoy!

And I leave you with a question: what is your favorite (not just sauce & pasta) quick go-to pasta recipe!?

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