Thursday, April 19, 2007

Busy Me Equals Recipes For You

I feel as if I've been on an endless run for several days now. J and I had visitors for the weekend and first part of last week, the weekend brought about babysitting and lunch with the S's followed by a cold afternoon in the hot tub for Mrs. S and me. I've also been finishing up monogramming orders. This week has been busy as well as I've tried to clean and organize for the weekend. Tonight I'm hosting Bunco and will leave work early on Friday to pick up Mrs. Y and head to the lake cabin in middle Tennessee to meet Mrs. S where we will then all go to the Nashville Airport to pick up the other Mrs. M and Mrs. G. I've been making hors d'oeuvres for Bunco and also premake dishes for our girls weekend. Dishes that go well with wine. Lots and lots of wine. So for you dear readers, here are four great pasta recipes. I'm making the lasagna and chicken and pasta this week, and the others are just things I love! My school of cooking is a pinch of this and dash of that, so you may want to play with the recipes. Enjoy!

Tortellini Soup
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 to 8 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cups homemade or low-salt chicken broth
6 ounces fresh or frozen cheese tortellini
14 ounces canned diced tomatoes, with their liquid10 ounces spinach, washed and stemmed; coarsely chopped if large8 to 10 leaves basil, coarsely chopped Grated Parmesan, preferably Parmigiana Reggiano
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook halfway, about 5 minutes for frozen pasta, less if using fresh. Add the tomatoes and their liquid, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook just until the pasta is tender. Stir in the spinach and basil and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve sprinkled with the grated cheese. It's also tasty with cheese quesedillas. Yum! **Makes about 6 hefty servings.

The C-S Family Lasagna Recipe
2 boxes of Lasagna Noodles Uncooked
1 Large Jar of Ragu – Meat or Traditional Sauce
1 Large Jar of Ragu – Chunky Mushroom
1 Large Can of Sliced Mushrooms
1 Large Can of Diced Garlic Tomato and Onions
1 Large Can of Diced Tomatoes
1 Pound of Ground Beef (Ground Chuck is best if available)
1 Large Container of Ricotta Cheese
1 Large Container of Small Curd Cottage Cheese
1 Container of Parmesan Cheese
1 Large Bag of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1 Large Bag of Shredded Swiss cheese
1 Large Bag of Shredded Italian Cheese mix
Garlic Salt

Start with the sauce first because it needs time to simmer and blend together.
Empty both Ragu containers into a large pot
Drain mushrooms then add to sauce
Add both cans of diced tomatoes
Add drained browned ground meat into the mixture. (When browning the meat, season with pepper and garlic salt)
Season with garlic salt, pepper, salt, and Parmesan cheese

Stir all ingredients together on medium to high heat until the mixture begins to bubble. After bubbling, stir, continue to season to taste, and cover so it can simmer.

In a large mixing bowl beat the following ingredients: (I use my KA blender to get the smoothest texture)
Ricotta Cheese
Cottage Cheese
Mozzarella Cheese
Swiss Cheese
Parmesan Cheese
Italian Cheese Mix
A pinch of pepper and salt
Mix all ingredients to a smooth paste like mixture

Putting It All Together

Layer of Marinara sauce into the bottom of a large lasagna pan
Layer of Uncooked Noodles (The noodles will cook in the marinara sauce and will keep from being soupy)
Layer of cheese mix completely covering the noodles.
Layer of Shredded Mozzarella Sauce

Repeat this process until your pan is full. On the last layer add a layer of marinara sauce, and then cover with Parmesan and shredded cheese.

Bake the lasagna in a preheated oven at 425 degree for approximately an hour. Cook until a knife can cut the lasagna. **Makes a hearty large dish. About 10 Servings.

1 or 2 cans of tuna
1 can of cream of mushroom soup (ok I use cream of anything I have around)
Splash of Milk
Egg Noodles or Bow Tie Pasta
Shredded Cheese, I prefer swiss

Cook pasta until nearly done. Drain and return to pot. Add tuna, milk, soup, and finely chopped onion. (I also add a little garlic). Mix well. Place in small casserole dish (8x8) and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-30 mins. **Makes 4 servings.

Cold Chicken and Pasta
1 pkg vermicelli pasta
1 lb chicken
1 jar artichoke hearts
1 onion
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 c. of oil
Chicken bouillon cubes
Basil (4 tsp?)
6 tsp lemon juice
3 tsp (Lawry's) season salt

Cook chicken in water with 3/4 diced onion and chicken bouillon cubes. While cooking, make the dressing. When chicken is finished remove from pot but keep the now made chicken stock. Add noodles to the stock for cooking. Allow chicken to cool and cut in small chunks or shred. When noodles are finished drain completely and put on top of chicken. Poor dressing over pasta and chicken. Take artichokes and squeeze over sink one at a time. Once drained they should easily crumble on top of pasta. Toss together. NOTE: This works great to put in a bowl with a lid so you can shake it up really well. Best if it sits over night. (You can eat it hot, but it's meant to be cold and I think it's best that way.) Also when cherry tomatoes are in season I slice a few on the top. Delicious! ** Makes several small snack sized portions or 6-8 dinner sized portions.

Combine in bowl: oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, basil, season salt, sugar, and remainder of onion grated. Wisk. Set aside to poor over hot noodles.


BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

YUM! I heart you.

I have to do the dreaded grocery run today and had no inspiration to cook until now.

Christy said...

YUM! I'm printing those now..