Tag Archives: pasta

Veggie and Feta Pasta Salad.

When the Fruitaholic was born, I was the only one amongst my friends who had a baby.  Friendships tend to change with various life events so when he was four months old, I joined a stay at home moms group.  It was the one of the best things I’ve ever done.  Having a baby can be incredibly isolating and I was extremely grateful to find a group of other new moms with similarly aged babies.  I’ve remained friendly with most of those women and it’s been an amazing journey watching all of the children grow.

So when the Baby Burrito came along, I did the same thing.  Because the babies were all born in the Fall/Winter, we met at a bakery each week to chat over coffee.  Once Spring rolled around, we took advantage of the nicer weather and started taking our outings to the local farmers market.  You can find us there every Wednesday morning.

What does any of this have to do with pasta salad, you ask?  Well, all of the main components of this swap recipe came from ingredients purchased from the market *and* served to those mamas at our very first “Moms Night In” where we ate lots of tasty food and drank waaaaaay too much wine.  It was a fabulous night.

I loved the Greek flavors of this pasta salad.  They were even better the next day!

Veggie and Feta Pasta Salad.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Lb. Pasta
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives, chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, quartered and diced
  • 1/4 Cup Feta Cheese
  • For the Dressing!
  • 1 tsp. Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Garlic Clove, crushed or pressed
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. White Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Instructions

Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water. Shake the colander to remove as much excess water as possible.

Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until emulsified. Pour over the pasta mixture and mix to evenly distribute the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

http://www.thejeyofcooking.com/veggie-and-feta-pasta-salad/

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Pasta Salad.

On Monday, we had dinner over at our friends’ house.  And while we enjoyed grilled steak, corn and pasta salad, the Fruitaholic would have nothing to do with any of it, instead requesting the stick of butter that was on the table for the corn (who does this kid think he is, Paula Deen?  For the record, we ended up making him PB&J).  I posted something similar as my status on Facebook, when a friend asked me if I meant corn and pasta salad or corn pasta salad.  And ever since that moment, I could not get the idea of pasta salad with corn out of my head.

This one hit the spot.  While making the chipotle sauce, I was afraid it was going to be too spicy (my mouth was on fire after just a taste!) but it had just the right amount of heat.  And the sweetness of the summer corn went incredibly well against the smoky chipotles.  It came together really easily and required minimal cooking on a super hot day.

On hot days, we usually either order takeout or I’ll send the Husby out to do the dirty work and man the grill.   I quickly dry-roasted the corn and pan fried the chicken.  You could just as easily grill them so you don’t have to turn on the stove.

Chipotle Chicken and Corn Pasta Salad.

Ingredients

  • 1 Lb. Curly Shaped Pasta (I used Mafalda), cooked and drizzled with olive oil to prevent sticking
  • 3 Ears Fresh Corn, husks and silk removed, kernels cut off
  • 1/2 Cup Diced Sweet Onion
  • 3 Chicken Thighs, fat trimmed
  • 1 Cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 Cups Fresh Cilantro, roughly stemmed
  • 1 7 oz. Can Chipotle Peppers in Adobo, pureed (You will use 2 Tbsp. of the Chipotle puree. Freeze the remainder for later use)
  • 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes, halved

Instructions

Set a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the corn kernels and onion. Stir after 2 minutes then cook another two minutes. Stir again and cook an additional minute. Do not overcook. Corn will be browned in spots. Remove the corn-onion mixture from the skillet and set aside.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the chicken. Cook 5-6 minutes per side, until cooked through. Allow to cool a bit before shredding (I use my stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment).

Combine cilantro, mayo and chipotle puree in a food processor. Start with 1 Tbsp of the puree and work your way up to your desired heat level. Pulse until well combined.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, shredded chicken, corn-onion mixture and the dressing until well mixed. Top with the cherry tomato halves before serving.

Serve cold or at room temperature.

Source -

Adapted from The Farm Chicks

http://www.thejeyofcooking.com/chipotle-chicken-and-corn-pasta-salad/

Pasta with Tomato Mascarpone Sauce.

For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was given the opportunity to become familiar with Rebecca’s blog A Dusting of Sugar.  Rebecca is a college student, keeping her passion alive while she’s away at school.  While I found myself drooling over her cookies, cakes and brownies, I ultimately decided on her Tomato Mascarpone Sauce.  Leave it to me to choose one of the few savory recipes on a blog that’s primarily about baking!

It was the mascarpone that won me over.  A true weakness of mine!  I made some embellishments to the recipe in order to amp up the flavor.  And once that sweet, creamy cheese came into play?  Swooooon.  This one is definitely a keeper.

Pasta with Tomato Mascarpone Sauce – adapted from A Dusting of Sugar

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 1 Large Shallot, diced
  • 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 28 oz. Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 8 Large Basil Leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine
  • 4 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Lb. of Your Favorite Pasta, cooked

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  When hot, add the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for a few minutes until soft.  Add the tomatoes and basil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes, adding the red wine about halfway through.

Remove from heat and stir in the mascarpone, salt and pepper.  Toss the pasta with the sauce.  Serve with parmesan cheese.



Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Rolls.

In this week’s swap, we revisited pasta dish.  I was thrilled when I received this one from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks since I don’t have anything like it in my repertoire!  I was even happier when I realized just how easy this recipe is.  Lasagna is typically time consuming with a ton of ingredients and is all together a pain in the butt to make, but this one took less than an hour from start to finish!  And it was super tasty to boot.

One of my great food loves is spinach artichoke dip, so I decided to add artichokes to the mix and I’m glad that I did.  I also used whole wheat lasagna noodles in an attempt to up the health factor, but next time I think I’ll stick to regular old lasagna noodles.  I also decided to try baking the individual rolls in muffin tins, and while it worked fairly well, I thought they didn’t get enough extra sauce that way, but luckily I had enough leftover to serve over the top.

Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Rolls – slightly adapted from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks

  • 12 Lasagna Noodles
  • 1 8 oz. Package Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
  • 1 10 oz. Package Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 14 oz. Can Artichoke Hearts, quartered
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 3 Cups Alfredo Sauce, divided
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 Cup Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 375.   Spray a muffin pan or baking pan with cooking spray.

Cook and drain the noodles, then set them individually on waxed paper to prevent sticking.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, spinach, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup alfredo sauce, garlic and oregano.  Mix well, then spread evenly on top of each noodle.  Sprinkle with the roasted red peppers.

Roll the noodles up tightly and place into the muffin tin (or baking pan, seam side down).  Top with remaining alfredo and mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through.