Fettuccine Alfredo

Just in case you don’t have enough diet busting meals to eat heading in to the holiday season, here is one more to add to the list. Fettuccine Alfredo has been a long time favorite of mine, but for some unknown reason only when eating out. I never attempted to make it from scratch (the sauce, not the fettuccine noodles), and the jarred stuff in the grocery store is pretty much inedible to me. Low and behold, this has to be one of the EASIEST meals to make, and so delicious! The taste does however come with a heavy price, in the realm of probably a weeks worth of recommended calories consumed in one meal! But hey, you only live once, right!

When I make this dish, I use half the quantities listed below. That works best for our house of two adults and two little people. If you are serving more folks, use what it listed. Also, if you have some left over chicken to use up, definitely throw it on top. This time I had a couple of cooked chicken breasts left over from the night before, so I sliced them up, and reheated them in a skillet with a little olive oil and threw the chicken on top.

The recipe is Ree Drummond’s, minus the nutmeg part. I noticed nutmeg used in a few other alfredo recipes I researched and decided to add it. Very happy I did!

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Fettuccine Alfredo

Ingredients

1 pound fettuccine noodles

8 tablespoons butter

1 cup heavy cream

Salt and freshly ground pepper

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.

In a saucepan or skillet over low heat, warm the butter and cream. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Place half of the parmesan cheese in a large serving bowl. Pour the warm butter/cream mixture over the top. Drain the pasta (reserving some water) and immediately pour it into the bowl. Toss a couple of times, and then sprinkle in the other half of the parmesan. Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary.

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Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp, Lemon, and Parsley

Raise your hand if you have a Fannie Farmer cookbook in your cookbook collection! I do, and it was my fathers before mine, and will one day be my son’s. I go back to it often, usually to find a tasty way to make the basics. It has taught me a lot about how to cook and bake, and I have never been disappointed with any of the recipes I have tried.

This recipe is no different. It has good, clean flavors and is very easy and quick to prepare. The flavors blend well, and if you have finicky eaters (such as my boys), this will work for them as there are no strong, bold flavors that will turn them off. Obviously, if they don’t like shrimp, you probably should pass on this one.

I like a little more pronounced lemon flavor when I eat shrimp or fish, so I added the lemon juice, which is completely optional for you.

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Just for fun, I had to throw in the above picture. Anyone remember the Fanny Farmer Candy Shops? They were born a few years after Fannie Farmer died in the early 1900’s. They spelled the first name differently, as there was no official connection between the famous chef and the candy shop. This photo was taken by my Father, I am guessing in the 70’s in Providence RI. He never missed an opportunity to take completely random photos. In this collection, he took about 7 photos of this street from all different angles. Two of them captured the candy shop, this being the better photo of the two.

Angel Hair Pasta with Shrimp, Lemon, and Parsley

Ingredients

Grated or minced zest of two lemons

Juice of one lemon (optional)

½ cup chopped parsley

1 tablespoon minced garlic

½ pound angel hair pasta

1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth

1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 cup bread crumbs (non-flavored) tossed with 3 tablespoons melted butter

Directions

In a small bowl, mix together the lemon zest, lemon juice (if using), parsley, and garlic, and set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until tender. Drain pasta, leaving about 1-2 tablespoons of water in the pot. Return pasta to the pot, cover, and keep warm.

Put the chicken broth in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp, lower the heat, and simmer for 1-2 minutes depending on the size of the shrimp, until cooked through and pink. Using a slotted spoon, remove the shrimp from the saucepan and add to the pot of pasta. Slowly add the chicken broth, one tablespoon at a time to the pasta shrimp mixture until you reach your desired consistency.

Add the lemon-parsley mixture and salt and pepper, and toss to mix well to coat the pasta. Transfer to a warm serving bowl and top with bread crumbs, or serve in individual bowls, adding bread crumbs at last minute before serving.

Slightly adapted from Fannie Farmer.

 

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Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs in a Tomato Cream Sauce

A very kid friendly meal, incorporating many of their favorite flavors in to one dish; chicken, spaghetti sauce (sort of), and cheese! It is hard to explain how good these are, and exactly what they taste like. They are meatballs, but don’ taste like beef, or chicken for that matter, they are just darn good! A definite must try. My wife and boys ate theirs with some penne pasta, but I just ate the meatballs so I could eat more of them, without filling up on pasta! Priorities, right!?!

And as always, pardon the poor quality photo! I am not a photographer by any means, and I think I had my fork halfway to the plate to dig in while I was taking these pictures, so you are lucky to at least get a couple!

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So there is a slight chance I added a little more cheese than what is called for! Darn! One mistake worth making time and time again.

Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs in Tomato Cream Sauce

Ingredients

For the Sauce

1 (28oz) can whole tomatoes, liquid reserved

1 tablespoon butter

½ cup finely chopped onion

1 ½ tablespoon tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup heavy cream

For the meatballs

½ cup panko breadcrumbs

1/3 cup grated onion

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

3 gloves garlic, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

I pound ground chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil

To finish

4 ounces shredded mozzarella

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

2-3 tablespoons minced fresh basil (optional)

Directions

To make the sauce, add the tomatoes to a blender or food processor.  Puree until smooth, adding a bit of the reserved liquid if necessary to smooth the mixture out.  Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook about 1 minute, until it begins to soften.  Stir in the tomato paste, garlic and red pepper flakes and mix just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the tomato mixture, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook about 5-8 minutes, until the sauce is slightly thickened.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cream.  Set aside.

To make the meatballs, combine the panko, grated onion, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt, pepper, garlic and egg.  Stir together with a fork just until blended.  Mix in the ground chicken and knead together gently until evenly combined.  Form the mixture into meatballs about 1½-inch in diameter.

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the meatballs to the pan in a single layer (two batches may be necessary if you don’t have enough surface area.)  Let cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned.

Once all of the meatballs are browned, place them in the pan with the tomato sauce.  Sprinkle the mozzarella and additional Parmesan over the top.  Bake until the cheese is fully melted and bubbling and the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and garnish with the fresh basil.

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Your new favorite meatballs!!

A while back, I posted half of my spaghetti and meatballs recipe, the meat sauce half. Now, to complete the meal, here are the best meatballs you will ever eat. As I explained in the sauce post, this recipe was passed down from my brother-in-law’s Italian grandmother to my sister, who has shared it with me. After eating this one day at her house, I vowed to never go back to store bought spaghetti sauce again. And these meatballs have ruined me for good. The best thing about the recipe is, it is very easy to make and doesn’t take a whole lot of ingredients. Enjoy!

And a note, I am also adding the sauce recipe below the meatball recipe so you have everything on one page when (not if!) you decide to make it.

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The meatballs just out of the oven after browning.

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Then in to the sauce to simmer for a couple of hours.

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Done simmering. Is your mouth watering yet??

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The final product, on our fancy paper china of course!

Meatballs

Ingredients

3 slices of white bread

1 pound of ground beef (fattier, such as 85-15) (can also use sausage, lamb, or any combination of the 3)

3 eggs

Handful of parmesan cheese

Small onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons of parsley

½ tablespoon of fennel seeds
Directions

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Wet bread under water, and squeeze out well. Shred bread with fingers into a medium size bowl. Combine all ingredients with the bread. Mix well with fingers. Roll into balls and place on a rimmed baking sheet, sprayed with cooking spray. Cook for 15 minutes, or until browned then flip over and cook until brown, about another 10 minutes or so. Place meatballs into simmering sauce until ready to eat.

Sauce

Ingredients

Olive oil

Red pepper flakes

1 onion, chopped

4 gloves of garlic

1 pound of ground beef (or spicy chicken sausage)

1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

Salt

2 tsp oregano

Basil (6ish fresh leaves or Tbsp or less of dried)
Directions

Heat thin layer of oil in large sauce pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes. Add onion and cook until a bit translucent or soft. Add meat and cook through. Make a well in the center of the pot and add the garlic, cooking for one minute or so. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, oregano, and basil (if using dried). If using fresh basil, add it 15 minutes before ready to serve.

Bring to a boil; turn down to a bubbly simmer for a couple of hours. Stir occasionally.

Salisbury Steak Meatballs

A great twist on an all-time classic, Salisbury Steak. The great thing about this version is with the smaller meatballs, it is very easy to take as much, or as little as you want. Served over a nice dish of buttered egg noodles, this dish is very savory and delicious. Quite easy as well. And the gravy that this makes is very, very good!

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Salisbury Steak Meatballs

Ingredients

1 pounds Ground Beef

1/2 cups Seasoned Breadcrumbs

1/4 cup Brown Mustard

1/4 cup Ketchup

1 teaspoon Powdered Beef Base Or Crumbled Beef Bouillon Cubes

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper

1 whole Half Stick (1/4 Cup) Land O’ Lakes Salted Butter

1 whole Large Onion, Halved And Sliced

2-1/2 cups Beef Broth

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce (addition)

1 Tablespoon Ketchup (additional)

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch Mixed With A Little Beef Broth To Make A Thin Paste

1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet (optional)

1 pound Egg Noodles, Cooked to Al Dente and Drained

Minced Fresh Parsley

Directions

To make the meatballs, combine the first 8 ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead until completely combined. Form in to medium sized meatballs and place on a plate.

Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, then add 2 tablespoons of butter. When melted, add half the meatballs and gently move around the pan to brown. When browned, remove them to a clean plate and repeat with the rest of the meatballs.

In the same pan, add the onions and cook 3-4 minutes, until golden brown and starting to soften. In a small bowl, mix ½ cup beef broth with the corn starch.

Next add to the skillet 2 cups of the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and mustard. Stir to scrape up the bots off the bottom of the pan. Bring to a gentle boil and add the cornstarch mixture. Return the meatballs to the pan, reduce the heat to low, and allow to simmer in the sauce for 10 minutes until the meatballs are done and the sauce is thick. (Splash in more beef broth if needed for thinning.) To give the sauce a deeper color, add a little Kitchen Bouquet.

Serve meatballs and sauce over a platter of egg noodles, tossed in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and sprinkle with remaining parsley.

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

One Dish Sausage Pasta – Updated

As I search and search for good, easy recipes to make for my family, I have come across many misses, but this one was a definite hit! It is tasty, easy, and loved by adults, as well as children and toddlers. I haven’t steered away from this recipe, albeit I imagine you can add different meats or spices to suit your needs.

If you try one recipe on my blog, I would recommend this one for it is one of the top three tastiest recipes I have, but it is by far the easiest to make.

Simple list of ingredients.

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Everything in the pot ready to simmer for 15-20 minutes.

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Finished cooking, just out from under the broiler.

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Look at how good this looks!

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One Dish Sausage Pasta

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lb smoked turkey sausage (or regular if you choose)

1.5 cups diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, Mild

1/2 cup heavy cream

8 oz penne pasta

1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

Directions

1. Add olive oil to a Dutch oven over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.

Originally from Kevin & Amanda: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/spicy-sausage-pasta.html

Penne Pasta with Braised Short Ribs

Not sure how to describe this recipe, other than, “Oh My God, this dish was Awesome!!”. Seriously though, you have to try this. It takes a few hours but it is well worth it, and most of that time is down time, with the meat slowly braising away making your house smell wonderful! The meat comes out so tender and flavorful. I had made a slightly different version of this a number of months ago that was a little more tomato based in the sauce, but I definitely prefer this one. You will not be disappointed!

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It is a simple list of ingredients, most of which you likely have in your pantry and refrigerator already. And yes, sometimes I cheat and used pre-shredded cheeses in my cooking. Pick your battles, right!

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Browning the beef, a few pieces at a time in the olive oil.

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Once the meat was browned, I removed it and added the onion and garlic for a few minutes.

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Then the tomatoes, mustard, and wine go in. Once that comes to a boil, reduce heat and add the meat back to the pot.

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This is the meat after it braised for a few hours, before I removed the bones.

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And look at that, an absolutely delicious final product.

 

Penne Pasta with Braised Short Ribs

Ingredients

3-4 pounds beef short ribs

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

5 Roma tomatoes cut into eighths

1 cup red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon (I used Pinot Noir)

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 cups low-sodium beef broth

1 pound penne pasta

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

 

Directions

Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Season the ribs with salt and pepper. In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or ovenproof stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. In batches, add the ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the ribs and set aside. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine and mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the ribs to the pan. Add the beef broth, cover the pan and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours until the meat is fork-tender and falls easily from the bone.

Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid. Using a large spoon, remove any excess fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Using a ladle, transfer the cooking liquid to the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones. Using 2 forks shred the meat into small pieces. Stir the shredded meat into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the sauce and add to the pasta. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the pasta. Toss well and thin out the pasta with more sauce, if needed. Sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley before serving.

This is from the Food Network’s, Giada De Laurentiis

Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

This is another easy and satisfying meal the whole family will love! And a surprising thing about it is, all the flavors meld together perfectly. No one ingredient takes center stage in this marinade. I thought maybe the soy sauce or garlic would stand out over the shrimp, but they don’t. The flavor of the shrimp is the centerpiece, and everything else comes together just right now make very delicious noodles! You will not be disappointed. On the red pepper flakes, I did go about 1/4 of a teaspoon on ours as my sons don’t do spices too well. I think the next time I will go the full amount as the oldest didn’t even pick up on any spice, again, as everything melded together perfectly.

Shrimp and marinade cooking

Shrimp and marinade cooking

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With the pasta added

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Finished product

Don't let it's simplicity fool you, the shrimp and noodles are covered in a delicious marinade.

Don’t let it’s simplicity fool you, the shrimp and noodles are covered in a delicious marinade.

Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

Ingredients

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons soy sauce

4 garlic cloves, minced

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or less if you don’t want much heat)

1 pound raw, peeled and deveined shrimp

8 ounces uncooked penne pasta

Pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper

¼ cup green onions, diced

Directions

In a bowl, whisk together the first 6 ingredients. Add shrimp to large resealable bag, and then pour marinade over top. Seal the bag, and then mix around well to ensure all the shrimp are coated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to a few hours.

Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot, and then add the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet (I used a Dutch oven) over medium high heat. Add shrimp and marinade to skillet, trying to get as much marinade out of the bad as possible. Cook the shrimp until just pink, about 2 minutes per side. Be careful not to overcook.  When shrimp are finished, add the drained pasta to the skillet, tossing completely to coat. Add salt and pepper. Top with additional parmesan cheese and sliced green onions, and then serve.

Adapted from How Sweet it is

Spaghetti Meat Sauce

This is another one of the first recipes I learned how to make when I took the plunge in to cooking. We went to Massachusetts to visit my sister and her family late last year. She made this (with meatballs, which that recipe will follow later), and I was amazed. I asked her for the recipe, and she said she would try to come up with it in writing for me. I asked her what she meant, and she said she learned it from watching her husband’s late Italian grandmother make it every Sunday. My sister would watch her make it, and of course the grandmother didn’t measure anything out as I trust she had been making it for 50 plus years.

The below is the best my sister could guestimate watching her. You will not be disappointed!

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Everything just starting to simmer

Everything just starting to simmer

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Meat Sauce

Ingredients

Olive oil

Red pepper flakes

1 onion, chopped

4 gloves of garlic

1 pound of ground beef (or sausage, lamb, or any combination of the 3)

1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

Salt

2 tsp oregano

Basil (6ish fresh leaves or Tbsp or less of dried)
Directions

Heat thin layer of oil in large sauce pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add a couple of shakes of red pepper flakes. Add onion and cook until a bit translucent or soft. Add meat and cook through. Make a well in the center of the pot and add the garlic, cooking for one minute or so. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, oregano, and basil (if using dried). If using fresh basil, add it 15 minutes before ready to serve.

Bring to a boil; turn down to a bubbly simmer for a couple of hours. Stir occasionally. Serve over whatever pasta is your preference. Ours is penne.

Recipe adapted from my sisters grandmother-in-law.

One Dish Sausage Pasta

As I search and search for good, easy recipes to make for my family, I have come across many misses, but this one was a definite hit! It is tasty, easy, and loved by adults, as well as children and toddlers. I haven’t steered away from this recipe, albeit I imagine you can add different meats or spices to suit your needs.

One Dish Sausage Pasta

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 lb smoked turkey sausage (or regular if you choose)

1.5 cups diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1 (10 oz) can Ro-Tel tomatoes and green chiles, Mild

1/2 cup heavy cream

8 oz penne pasta

1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper, each

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions

Directions

1. Add olive oil to a Dutch oven over medium high heat until just smoking. Add sausage and onions and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2. Add broth, tomatoes, cream, pasta, salt and pepper and stir. Bring to a boil, cover skillet, and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes.

3. Remove skillet from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Top with remaining cheese and sprinkle with scallions. Broil until cheese is melted, spotty brown, and bubbly.

Originally from Kevin & Amanda: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dinner/spicy-sausage-pasta.html