Nicki's collection of recipes, open for all friends, family, and anyone who wishes to share from his/her own collection!

Category: Pastas (Page 1 of 6)

Mmmmmmm, pasta!

Easy Thanksgiving Mac ‘n Cheese

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So my bestie gave me an Instant Pot last December for Christmas.  It has sat in my living room floor for nearly a year because I was afraid of using it.  Silly, I know!  We started planning our departmental Thanksgiving lunch here at work and she suggested that I bring my IP and learn to use it and actually cook a dish rather than buy something to heat up.

Best suggestion ever.

I’ve been slowly saving up some recipes on my Copy Me That account and picked one by Pink that sounded like a good one for beginners.  And it was. Just. HELLA. EASY!

Instant Pot Mac and Cheese ⋆ by Pink

Recipe Source: by-pink.com

Ingredients:
16 oz dry macaroni noodles
4 cup water
16 ounces Colby and Monterrey Jack blend cheese
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper for serving

Instructions:
Put macaroni and water into your pressure cooker. The macaroni should be just covered with the water, if it isn’t add more water. Lock the lid and set for high pressure and 4 minutes. At the end of the 4 minutes use the quick pressure release method. Remove the lid and add remaining ingredients and stir till all the cheese is melted. There shouldn’t be much water left, if it is drain the water.

You can salt and pepper to taste but we didn’t need it.

Notes:
To make this instant pot mac and cheese in other cookers such as the Ninja foodi follow the directions.  For stovetop, cook your noodles as normal then follow the ingredients.

I followed the recipe to the letter except for the salt and pepper, and received rave reviews (even though I myself thought it was a bit bland).  I am thinking next time using some Pepper Jack cheese and a dash of Tabasco for a little heat and flavor.  Otherwise I had to admit, it was VERY easy and quite filling!  One of the guys in the department liked it so much that he asked if he could have what was left over to take home for dinner.  I’d call that a compliment!  🙂

Alfredo Sauce

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Nicki’s note: This is without a doubt the easiest and one of the tastiest recipes for Alfredo sauce I’ve made over the years. (and it does not have cream cheese!) Anyways, I’m re-posting this because it’s a recipe I use often, and … well, this is my site and I feel this recipe deserves some love. 🙂

I suggest making it as close to the recipe as possible. I add roasted garlic and a dash of white pepper to mine and it’s divine!

Recipe Source: copykat.com

Alfredo sauce is one of the most popular Italian sauces.

Many people rate Italian restaurants by their Alfredo sauce. Now you should know that Alfredo sauce isn’t hard to make. You can easily make a very tasty plate of pasta at home. The key is good quality ingredients. Don’t skip on the butter, heavy cream, and Parmesan cheese. While this dish may not be the healthiest choice in dining, it is a nice treat.

Do use good quality butter, and cream. I have found that buying them relatively close to before you make the dish is a good idea. Sometimes butter and cream can pick up flavors from your fridge. When it comes to the Parmesan cheese, be sure to use good quality cheese. If the cheese comes in a can, please use some fresh Parmesan cheese. You will be rewarded with a flavorful sauce if you do.

Ingredients:

1/2 C. Butter
2 C. grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 C. Heavy Cream plus 2 Tbsp.
1 lb. dried pasta

Directions:

Prepare pasta according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter, heavy cream, and half of the Parmesan cheese, cook over low to medium heat. When the pasta is done drain and pour into a bowl. Then add the melted cheese mixture to the pasta. Combine and then add the remaining Parmesan cheese. If you like you can add some salt, and white pepper to season.

Mixing the sauce with the pasta is an Italian way to serve up this particular dish. It coats the pasta well, and gives you a delicious bit of sauce in every bite. You do not need to rinse your pasta. Following these directions you can make delicious Alfredo sauce at home.

Spaghetti Tacos

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(Posted earlier to my personal blog)

As I was standing in front of my pantry last night waiting for culinary inspiration to hit me, Jessie made a suggestion for dinner: spaghetti tacos. She had gotten the idea from a recent episode of iCarly. At first I laughed (the show really is cute and I like to watch it with her), but the more I thought about it, the more I thought that it sounded pretty darned tasty! Granted, I cheated and used pre-made items, but it turned out great so I thought I’d share in case anyone else is looking for a new spin on an old family favorite.

You’ll need:

Jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (or make your own)
Your favorite pasta
1 box of your favorite taco shells
Meat of choice, or meatballs
Cheese and/or other toppings of choice.

Steps:

Cook your pasta according to package directions. I made approximately 8 servings, using a mix of “regular” and wheat thin spaghetti noodles. This ensured that I would have made enough for everyone to get their fill, and would have plenty leftover for me to take with me the next morning for lunch! Next time I may use some medium-sized shells or perhaps angel hair.

While your pasta is cooking, cook your meat (or warm it if using pre-packaged) and set to the side. I used Tyson’s fajita chicken strips. These can be warmed in a skillet or in the microwave and are handy when I need to throw together a meal in a hurry. In a large skillet, combine your sauce and meat, and simmer until thoroughly warmed to desired temperature.

Warm your taco shells according to package directions. I used Old El Paso Stand ‘n Stuff shells. These things are handy because I can sit them down on a flat surface and stuff!

Once the shells are warmed, layer pasta, sauce, and desired toppings into your taco shell. We used Parmesan cheese, but I’ll be eating my leftovers today with a mix of Parmesan and sharp cheddar. 😀

The finished product:

I think next time I’ll add some salsa and/or hot sauce to give it some kick! 😀

Lasagna Soup

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Recipe Source: Modified from a Betty Crocker recipe.

Originally called ‘Cheesy Lasagna Soup

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef
1 medium onion, sliced
2 large green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups water
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes with Italian herbs, undrained
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 cups uncooked pasta (4 ounces)
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, crumbled
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (6 ounces)

Directions:

Cook beef, onion, bell peppers and garlic in Dutch oven over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until beef is brown and onion is tender; drain.

Stir in water, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir in pasta, brown sugar, Italian seasoning and pepper. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is tender.

Top with cheese and serve.

Thai Style Chicken

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This recipe is one of my daughter’s favorites, and is a great (and easy!) way to break up the monotony of every day dishes — not to mention introducing new types of food to your family. 🙂

Ingredients:

1/3 cup peanut butter (shown with creamy, use chunky if desired)
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chili powder
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
2 cups uncooked pasta
2 boneless chicken breasts

Directions:

Take two cups of your favorite pasta and cook according to package instructions. I made mine with thin spaghetti. While that’s cooking, chop the chicken breasts into bite size pieces and cook until meat is no longer pink in the middle and the juices run clear.

To mix up the sauce, combine the peanut butter, water, soy sauce, lemon juice, honey, garlic, chili powder, and cayenne pepper (optional) in a medium sized bowl. I found it easiest to mix with a small wire whisk to combine the peanut butter and wet ingredients first, then use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in dry ingredients.

When the chicken is done, toss in with peanut butter mixture until well mixed. Drain pasta, toss in olive oil (if desired).

Serve in a bowl with pasta topped by chicken and peanut butter mixture.

Suggestions:

I think next time I may make this with chunky peanut butter to add a bit of texture to the sauce. My daughter suggested topping with cashews — which I would have done if I had any. 😉

I ran across a similar recipe earlier tonight that added crushed pineapple (drained), so I’ll keep that in mind for future alterations to this recipe! 🙂

Cheeseburger Pasta (2)

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Recipe Source: Campbell’s Tasty Tuesday website (tastytuesday.com)

Prep/Cooking Time: about 15-20 minutes total

Ingredients:

1 pound ground beef
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1 can tomato soup
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups uncooked medium shell pasta

Directions:

Cook beef in skillet until browned. Pour off fat.

Add soups, water and pasta. Heat to a boil. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes or until done, stirring often.

Nicki’s Variation:

This is an excellent recipe as-is, but we love it with small shells, southwestern pepperjack cheese soup and chicken!

Garlic Butter Noodles

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Recipe Source: My18andonly / myrecipe.org

Ingredients:

1 small bag of egg noodles, any size or shape
Water
Oregano
Salt
Garlic salt
1-2 sticks of butter or margarine

Directions:

Fill a pot with enough water to cook as many noodles as you are making. Set on the stove on high heat. Add to the water oregano, salt, and garlic salt to taste. DO NOT pour any in- sprinkle it in, otherwise your noodles will be VERY strong and spicy!

When water has come to a boil, add the noodles. DO NOT let them sit, or they may cook onto the bottom of the pan- keep watch and occasionally try one to see if it’s cooked yet. When the noodles are cooked, take them off the heat and strain out the water.

After the remainder of the water is gone, add the butter or margarine to the noodles and stir until completely melted. If needed, add more- it should look like an actual sauce on the noodles. Add a somewhat generous amount of garlic salt- you want it to taste strongly of garlic, NOT of salt! Adjust to your taste. Sprinkle with oregano and serve.

Deviled Pasta

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Recipe Source: realsimple.com

Ingredients:

1 1-pound box penne
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 bell peppers (any color), cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 24- to 26-ounce jar pasta sauce
1/2 cup ricotta

Directions:

Cook the penne according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the bell peppers, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper. Cover and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pasta sauce and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

Drain the pasta and divide it among individual bowls. Top with the sauce, a dollop of the ricotta, and the remaining black pepper.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

Cheesy Tomato Penne Bake

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Recipe Source: hunts.com

Prep/Cooking Time: Prep Time: 20 / Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes

Ingredients:

12 ounces dry penne pasta, (3 cups), uncooked
1 pound lean ground beef (or ground turkey)
2 cans (14.5 ounce each) Hunt’s® Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic and Oregano, undrained
1 can (15 ounces) Hunt’s® Tomato Sauce
2 packages (8 ounces each) Sargento® Chef Style Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, divided
PAM® Olive Oil No-Stick Cooking Spray

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, brown meat in large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat; drain. Stir in tomatoes with their liquid and tomato sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, about 8 minutes.

Drain pasta; return to same pot. Add meat mixture; toss well. Add 3 cups of the cheese; toss again. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour pasta mixture into dish; top with remaining 1 cup cheese.

Bake 20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted.

Makes 8 servings (about 1-1/2 cups each).

Pasta Hot! Hot! Hot!

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Recipe Source: Kathleen Novo

Prep/Cooking Time: 30 Min

Ingredients:

1 (16 ounce) package spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

In a small saucepan over low heat place olive oil, garlic and peppers and simmer. Pour olive oil mixture over cooked pasta and serve with Parmesan cheese.

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