Tag Archives: pasta

Pretty Pepperoni Pasta

Why is pepperoni reserved only for pizza? It has so much to offer other dishes.

It’s got a lovely, spicy kick that adds lots of flavor, even when only a small amount is used. And, turkey pepperoni is just about as good as the real thing, so it can really liven up a healthy meal.

Currently, my goal is to use up everything in my fridge and pantry, and only buy groceries needed to achieve that goal. One item on the list was a package of turkey pepperoni. There aren’t very many non-pizza pepperoni recipes out there, but I finally came up with one that sounded good.

When I delved into the pantry to see what types of pasta I had, I found this:

The finished recipe came together beautifully with the colored pasta, the veggies and the pepperoni. It looked so nice in the bowl that it earned its name of Pretty Pepperoni Pasta.

This is a nice, light yet very full-flavored dish. The pepperoni provides a delicious, spicy kick. And although it takes a few minutes to simmer, it’s quick and easy to make, with really only one messy pot (not counting the pasta pot).

Although I used sliced pepperoni here, I would recommend using diced instead. The slices wanted to stick together and just generally didn’t play well with the other kids in the bowl. And while the colored pasta is beautiful, whatever pasta you have on hand will work.

Give it a try! Even the picky boyfriend likes it!


Pretty Pepperoni Pasta

Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 437, Fat: 7g (sat: 2g), Fiber: 7g, Sugars: 7g, Protein: 25g

Customizable Baked Gnocchi

What do you make when you want something quick and easy, yet hearty and delicious? Try some baked gnocchi.

This recipe is awesome because you don’t have to pre-cook the gnocchi. You can just layer everything up like a lasagna and stick it in the oven. Plus, it’s so very flexible. This dish can be made with whatever you have in the fridge and pantry. White sauce or red – either would work. Don’t have any jarred sauce? Try some canned diced tomatoes with some Italian seasoning (or Mexican!). Throw in whatever meat (pre-cooked), veggies and/or cheeses you need to use up. About the only required components are the gnocchi and, I’d say, the ricotta. The gnocchi is the hearty base, and the ricotta is what binds it all together.

Here’s the version I made the other day. My boyfriend scarfed it down and was happy there were leftovers for lunch the next day. Hearty, filling, delicious and easy! My favorite kind of recipe.

Next I want to try it with a white sauce and maybe some spinach. Or maybe some asparagus…


Baked Gnocchi

Chili Pappardelle with Chicken & Mushrooms

I find that pasta is like a backup singer. It supports the star without being in the spotlight, fills in where needed and makes the show complete.

Sometimes, the backup singer becomes the star. Such as the chili flavored pappardelle I found recently at World Market! Unfortunately, I threw away the package without noting the brand, but any of these would probably be a good substitute:

I also discovered that there are lots of other interesting flavored pastas available – check it out:

      Plus a bunch more. After loving the chili pappardelle so much, I can’t wait to try these others!

      This dish could certainly be made with a standard pasta, but the chili flavored pasta gave it a wonderful, subtle spicy flavor, so if you use regular pasta, be sure to increase the crushed red pepper flakes. If you can, definitely do try the flavored kind. We loved it!


Spicy Garlic Rosemary Shrimp & Pasta

Mother in Law's Tongue pastaIs this not the coolest pasta you have ever seen in your life? I found this (and a bunch of other fun colored and shaped pastas) at World Market the other day and could not resist them, but I think this one is the most unique. I love it! I even love the name – “Mother In Law’s Tongue” pasta.

I’ve been pondering how to serve this beautiful pasta. Most pasta sauces would cover up the lovely colors, and I didn’t want to go that direction. Then, while browsing through some tried and true recipes, I found just the perfect thing. Spicy Garlic Rosemary Shrimp!

This is one of those wonderful recipes that proves that healthy meals don’t have to be boring or skimpy or any of that. It’s quick, easy to make, very flavorful and low enough calorie that you can have a hearty portion. Even my anything-healthy-hating-boyfriend loves this recipe. It’s perfect for a weeknight meal because it’s so fast and easy, yet special enough to serve for company.

You could add some goodies to this dish if you want to add some veggies – try some chopped bell pepper or frozen peas for a quick, colorful addition. If you don’t want to use pasta, serve this over rice or bulgur, instead.

Unfortunately, after boiling the Mother In Law’s Tongue pasta, the colors faded somewhat and it separated into skinny strips (along the color lines). It still looked pretty but not as cool as it was when dry. Nonetheless, we enjoyed having such unique and colorful pasta with our shrimp. I wonder if all brands do this or just the one I got? Maybe I boiled it too hard? Have any of you used this kind of pasta before?


Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 266
Fat: 8g, Sat Fat: 1g
Fiber: 1g
Sugars: 0g
Protein: 26g

Shrimp on FoodistaShrimp
Rosemary on FoodistaRosemary

Pan Fried Gnocchi with Goat Cheese Sauce

Ah, gnocchi. Have you tried it? I hadn’t until about last year sometime, when I found some at the local Sam’s Club. I’d seen lots of recipes to make it, but I rarely have time for things like making fresh pasta, so hadn’t yet had a chance to try it.

Even though I’d never tasted it, I bought the economy pack of over 3 pounds. I mean, after all, it’s potatoes – starchy, fluffy, filling potatoes. What’s not to like? Let’s just say that 3 pounds did not go to waste.

Dried gnocchi cooks very fast. It takes a lot longer for the water to come to a boil in the first place than it does for the gnocchi to cook in it. Consequently, gnocchi has become a go-to quick meal staple. Boil some gnocchi, top it with a jarred or homemade sauce, add in some grilled chicken, sausage and/or veggies and it’s a filling, yummy one pot meal.

Recently, I saw this post with such a gorgeous photo of pan fried gnocchi that it made my mouth water. Immediately, I knew I had to try it that way.

After much cogitating and surfing and considering what I had in my fridge and pantry, this was the result. The gnocchi was delicious – crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. Slightly salty from the seasoning I put on it as it was cooking. The sauce was also delicious – tangy and creamy. If I were to do it again, I might actually separate the gnocchi from the rest of it and leave it sauceless – it was so good in its crispy state, and the sauce, though minimal, was somewhat distracting.


Nutritional Info calculated with BigOven Recipe Software

Calories: 730
Fat: 15g, Sat Fat: 8g
Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 7g
Protein: 37g

Gnocchi on FoodistaGnocchi
Soft Goat Cheese on FoodistaSoft Goat Cheese