Nothing beats pasta for a quick dinner. Friend of blog, LFern, often does pasta and olive oil, tossed with fresh vegetables when she needs a quick meal. I always keep a pint of frozen Garden Fresh Pasta Sauce for quick dinners. And if you need gluten-free, there many choices now in gluten-free pastas. I usually go for a nice brown rice pasta or whole wheat pasta, for added flavor to any pasta dish.
I thought for tonight’s recipe exchange it would nice to explore a diversity of flavors in quick pasta meals, moving away from the more traditional tomato or cheese sauces.
Pictured above, JeffreyW does a quick and simple pasta, sauce and cheese. I have my version of that, Hot & Sweet Penne here, which spices things up a bit.
Butternut Squash Pasta (recipe here) is one of my favorite hearty dinners that blends the sweetness of butternut squash with spicy Italian sausage.
Slow-cooker Beef and Pasta Soup, (recipe here) is a nice soup to come home to on a rainy spring evening.
Family favorite, Portuguese Beef and Pasta, recipe here, so simple, with just a few ingredients, but tastes amazing.
For a real taste treat, try this week’s complete dinner menu (and shopping list) Pasta Jambalaya recipe here.
What’s on your menu this weekend? Do you have a favorite, quick and easy pasta recipe? Anyone make their own fresh pasta? Hit the comments and share.
For tonight’s featured recipe, I went with a flavorful vegetarian pasta dish. The recipe calls for green and red peppers, but you can use any variation. When they’re on sale, I usually buy one of each color for a really pretty dish.
Linguine w/Garlic & Peppers
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp crushed garlic
- ¼ to ½ tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 green pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
- 2 oz fresh basil leaves
- 14 oz can diced tomatoes*
- salt & pepper to taste
- 4 oz fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
- 9 oz pkg. fresh linguine (there are some really good gluten-free pastas out there if needed)
saucepan and skillet
In skillet heat oil, add garlic, red pepper flakes, green & red peppers and sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat. Add fresh basil, tomatoes, salt & pepper let simmer while pasta cooks. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain well. Toss with pepper mixture & cheese.
* you can use fresh tomatoes, about 2 large, but I couldn’t find any decent ones this time of year.
I have been so busy, I’ve barely been in my kitchen to eat, much less cook, and I’m holding onto several items to post, which hopefully I’ll get to eventually. But until then, once again Joshua D comes to the rescue with another recipe. Thanks Joshua!!!
This is an oldddd dust-off recipe from the long-forgotten files! It’s inspired by a restaurant in Spokane, Washington called Niko’s that serves great Greek food. If you’re one of those unfortunates for whom cilantro tastes like soap, just use Italian parsley. The effect won’t be the same, but I understand the why. This can also be spiced up with a chile if desired.
- 1 can garbanzo beans, drained
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 1/2 cup olive oil
Break up beans in the food processor. Add in lime juice, sesame seeds, garlic, and cilantro. Blend until well-ground. Pour in olive oil slowly through the feeding tube until it’s the consistency you want. A wonderfully different take on a Mediterranean classic!
Joshua De Mers
I have a pot of this simmering on the stove as I write this. I wanted to make it a second time to see if I could make the recipe a bit simpler. Really couldn’t, so I wrote it as I went, to make sure I didn’t miss a step. I really like this soup, it has a very rich flavor, like chicken and biscuits. Mmmm….
Because I have a vita-mix, most of the soups I make start with a thick vegetable broth. It gives a great depth of flavor. It’s chocked full of nutrients and anyone who knows me well, knows I don’t eat enough vegetables, so I do what I can to up my daily veggies. But you may not want to go to that trouble, so you can substitute 4 cups of chicken broth for the vegetable broth in the recipe below.
Cream of Chicken Soup
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp basil
- 2 stalks celery (with leaves), rough chopped
- 2 medium carrots, rough chopped
- 1 cup cut green beans (I use frozen)
- 4 cups of water
- 2 chicken breasts (bone-in or boneless, doesn’t matter it will be shredded)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
saucepan, dutch oven or large saucepan, blender
In the blender, add rough chopped carrots, celery and green beans, spices, 2 cups of water and blend until smooth. Add to dutch oven along with chicken breasts and 2 additional cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken to a plate to cool. Add diced carrots, celery, salt and pepper to the liquid and cover. Cook until vegetables are tender crisp.
While the chicken is cooking, melt butter in the saucepan, add onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent. Whisk in flour and cook about 2 minutes or more. Turn the heat up to medium-high, slowly stir in milk and bring to a low boil, whisking until thickened. Reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
While the vegetables are cooking, shred the chicken. The easiest way to do this is to use two forks and pull across the grain of the meat in different directions. You can then use your fingers to break apart any large pieces.
Once the vegetables are tender crisp, whisk in the white sauce and then stir in the chicken. Cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve with parsley garnish.
Makes about 6 cups.