ALFREDO SAUCE

I’m backkkkk!!! Sorry I’ve been away so long, but life sometimes gets in the way. I’ve missed my followers and I’m excited to get back into all things food! So let’s start with this yummy Alfredo Sauce recipe I found today on food.com, I’ve adjusted it to suit my taste. You have to try this super creamy sauce soon! Pair it with some blackened or spicy grilled chicken or shrimp and you’re golden!

INGREDIENTS
16 ounces linguine
4 cloves garlic chopped finely
1 1⁄2 pints heavy cream
1⁄2 cup butter
3 tablespoons cream cheese
1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS
1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.

SAUCE:.
1. Put butter in large saucepan on medium heat, add chopped garlic and cook for about 30 secs, add cream cheese, let melt, stir in 1 pint of heavy cream.
2. Let simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Slowly stir in the parmesan cheese, about 1/4 cup at a time.
4. Add garlic powder, salt and pepper if desired. Simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat, stirring frequently.
5. If sauce seems to be really thick then slowly stir in the rest of heavy cream.
6. Toss pasta with sauce, garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese

NOTE : I love using fresh broccoli, so I sautéed about 4 cups of broccoli in a little butter with 4 cloves chopped garlic, red pepper flakes and a little sea salt. Then I added it to the sauce.

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BASIL AND BABY SPINACH PESTO

For a long time I caught myself in a food rut, I would make the same thing every other week and even though the food tasted good we were all getting a little bored. If I left it up to my 4 year old, he would eat pizza every night and not complain * then again, who would?!*. So I decided to try one new recipe every week to break up the monotony.

This week I though I would try this Basil Pesto recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I made a couple of changes because my poor little basil plant looked  a bit naked after I picked a cup’s worth of leaves 😀

I mixed the pesto with penne and grilled some chicken breasts, my son made a salad and we had a quick and easy dinner! It was very tasty and both kids thought it was so cool to eat alien green pasta 😀

Ingredients:

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  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (i used toasted walnuts)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Blend the basil, spinach, pine nuts, cheese, and garlic together in a food processor or blender. Pour oil in slowly while still mixing (or a little at a time, then mix, then more oil, then mix again, etc). Scrape down the sides, then add lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pulse until everything is blended together and relatively smooth. Taste and add more salt/pepper if desired.11059555_10155465329315431_1961515948782417702_o1522819_10155465329410431_2926072482058021621_o11141124_10155465329030431_1796391813302743001_o11008807_10155465329025431_6305651781852818019_o

I’m bringing this dish to Fiesta Friday hosted by  Dini @ Giramuk’s Kitchen and Mollie @ The Frugal Hausfrau 

LEMON SHRIMP SCAMPI

This is one of my favorite pasta dishes! I love making it in spring time because my glorious lemon tree is absolutely covered in huge lemons!

It’s flavorful, zesty, spicy, light and so fresh! I like this dish a lot more than the heavy, oily, creamy version that you’d find in restaurants. The flavorful sauce just soaks into the pasta and the leftovers taste even better the next day!

Here’s the recipe, definitely give it a try if you’re a lover of lemon and garlic!

Ingredients

8 garlic cloves, pressed or grated

2 lemons, zested and juiced

5 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied (reserve shells)

1/4 onion

1 pound thin linguini

2 tablespoons butter

1 small bunch parsley, leaves chopped

Directions

In a bowl, combine the garlic, zest and juice of 1 lemon, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste, and the shrimp. Set aside to marinate.

Meanwhile make a quick shrimp stock: In a small pot, over medium heat, add the shrimp shells and onion. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain into a bowl and discard the shells and the onion.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and add a generous amount of salt. Add the linguine and cook until just tender, 2 minutes less than instructed on the package. Drain and reserve 1 cup of cooking water.

Heat a skillet over high heat. Remove the shrimp from the marinade, reserve the marinade, and add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook until they turn pink and start to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan to a plate and add the reserved marinade. Let cook a few minutes then add about 1 cup of shrimp stock and about 1/2 cup pasta water. Continue to cook until sauce reduces by half. Add the zest and juice of the remaining lemon, the butter and the parsley and stir to combine.

Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste. Add in the shrimp and pasta and toss to combine with the sauce. Turn out into a serving bowl and serve immediately.

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I am submitting this recipe to the amazing Angie’s Fiesta Friday #61 at http://fiestafriday.net/2015/03/27/fiesta-friday-61/

BAKED ZITI

OK… so maybe I have a little thing going on for Italian food! I swear it’s my best friend’s fault and her name is Katherine Pagaaaannnnoooo * I just tried to pronounce it in her voice, not the same, I miss her and Italy and her cooking is so far away*… anyways, I digress! I decided to try this recipe because the seasonings looked about right! Am I the only one who chooses recipes based on what the seasonings look like? Show of hands!? *bunch of weirdos* 😀

This recipe turned out delicious and my small family of four devoured a meal made for 8! Well I guess if I didn’t starve them half to death while I took pics, I might have had some left overs for lunch! Here’s the recipe, have at  it! Bon Apetite or whatever! *insert weird hand gestures*

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb hot Italian sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 (14.5-oz) can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
  • 1 (8-oz) can tomato sauce
  • ½ (6-oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp dried Italian seasoning
  • 16 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz fresh grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lb dried pasta (ziti or penne are best)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (8-oz) package shredded Italian cheese blend ( I used half and it was plenty cheesy)
  • basil, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large skillet over high heat, brown sausage, about 10 minutes. (I drain the oil to cut down on the fat)
  2. Add tomatoes, sauce, paste, Italian seasoning, dried pasta, and water. Stir to combine, cover and bring to a boil. Boil until pasta is al dente.
  3. Meanwhile; combine ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stir until well incorporated.
  4. Stir ricotta mixture into pasta. Preheat oven to broil. Top skillet with shredded cheese and place in oven. Broil until cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Keep a close eye on it or you will have crispy cheese pretty quick.
  5. Garnish with basil and serve. Easy peasy!

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SPICY TURKEY FARFALLE

Spicy turkey farfalle is a huge favorite in my family. It’s quick and easy to prepare, spicy and cheesy and goes nicely with some crusty garlic bread! My 4 year old son calls this dish butterfly wings and sausage 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

1 t extra virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
13 oz Smoked Turkey Sausage, sliced (I used Hillshire Farms)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 ¼ cups low sodium fat free chicken broth
10 oz can Ro-Tel tomatoes & green chiles, original (you can reduce by half and add diced tomatoes if you can’t handle spicy)
½ cup fat free half and half ( I use regular milk)
½ t salt
½ t black pepper
10 oz uncooked wheat pasta (I used farfalle/bowties)
4 oz reduced fat Pepper jack cheese, shredded (I used Cabot 50%)
4 oz shredded mozzarella
2 medium scallions, diced

DIRECTIONS:

In a large skillet or sauté pan (oven-safe if you have it – I don’t!), add the olive oil and bring over medium heat.

Add the onions and sausage to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes until sausage is browned and onions are tender.

Add the garlic and stir. Continue to cook for another 30 seconds until fragrant.

Add the broth, Ro-Tel, half and half, salt and pepper and mix together.

Add the uncooked pasta and stir together until the liquid covers the pasta.

Cover the skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and keep covered. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked.

Set your oven to broil and make sure one of your oven racks is in the top 1/3 of the oven. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in half of the shredded cheeses. If your skillet is oven-safe, you may continue to use it in the following steps. If it isn’t (mine isn’t) or you aren’t sure, transfer the pasta into a baking dish. I used a 7×11 dish but you can certainly use a 9×13.

Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese over the top of the pasta and follow it with the sliced scallions. Place the dish in the top 1/3 of the oven and broil for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown (keep checking because broiling can happen really fast!).

Serve with garlic bread and maybe some wine, if you’re fancy 🙂

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SPIRALIZER…you complete me!

I have a new love and his name is Paderno… Paderno spiralizer and he makes my life complete! I don’t know whether I love watching the spirals of veggies flow quickly through his sharp blades or eating the quick and super easy meals he gives me. Either way, he makes yummy recipe options, especially if you’re trying to lose your Christmas weight *thanks a lot sugar cookies and eggnog*

The spiralizer is really easy to use, you select a blade according to how thick or thin you want your veggie noodles, attach your vegetable and turn the handle and watch your beautiful noodles filling your plate!

For my dish, I kept it really simple. I spiralized zucchinis, carrots and onions. Then I sliced some garlic cloves. Sir fry the garlic, with kosher salt and red pepper flakes in a little olive oil and then add your noodles and cook until the texture is to your liking! Easy peasy and oh so yummy!!

My quick and super easy veggie noodles
My quick and super easy veggie noodles