Thursday, May 26, 2011

Creamy Bowtie Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, and Pinenuts

I've been trying some new pasta dishes lately and this creamy pasta is SO yummy! It is from the blog Favorite Family Recipes. The sauce is very much like an alfredo sauce, but then the asparagus, bacon and pine nuts make it unbelievably delicious! My 7 year old said this was his favorite pasta ever and he loved the asparagus in it. That goes to show that when you cover things in a buttery, creamy, cheesy sauce magic happens.:)

Creamy Asparagus Bowtie Pasta

16 oz bowtie pasta
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pint heavy cream
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
3/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped parsley, or 2 teaspoons freeze dried parsley
15 spears of asparagus, cut into 1-2 inch pieces (you can double this if you love asparagus)
1/2 cup cooked, chopped bacon
1/2 cup toasted pinenuts
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, for topping

Boil some water in a saucepan, add asparagus pieces and boil for about 2-3 minutes, until asparagus is cooked. Drain and place asparagus in a bowl and set aside.

Boil pasta according to package directions, until cooked.

In a large deep skillet melt butter. Add minced garlic and cook for a few seconds. Whisk in cream and bouillon and cook stirring until mixture begins to boil. Turn down heat and add Parmesan cheese. Add cooked pasta, parsley, asparagus, bacon, and pine nuts. Toss until pasta is well coated with sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with extra Parmesan sprinkled on top of individual servings.

Crockpot Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

This is my friend Janet's spaghetti sauce and it is so tasty. This recipe makes enough sauce for 2 spaghetti dinners or 2, 9x13 pans (4, 8x8 pans) of  Janet's Mostocioli Pasta Bake (I've listed this recipe separately). So you can have it with spaghetti one night and then freeze half and make Mostocioli Pasta Bake another night. I love great double duty recipes! Thanks Janet!

Crockpot Spicy Spaghetti Sauce

1 lb hot Italian sausage, cooked and drained
1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups diced green peppers (I used frozen chopped green peppers)
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1, 12 oz can tomato paste
1, 15 oz can tomato sauce
1, 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
1, 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 cup sugar
2 bay leaves

Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours. Makes about 12 cups of spaghetti sauce.

Mostocioli Pasta Bake

This is a great Italian casserole using the 6 cups of Crockpot Spicy Spaghetti Sauce. I got the recipe from my friend Janet. I have a feeling we'll be using this recipe a lot. You could also use any other thick spaghetti sauce to make this dish. Also you can split the recipe into 2, 8x8 baking pans if your family is smaller and freeze the second for another night. This dinner is great with garlic bread and Caesar salad.

Mostocioli Pasta Bake

6 cups premade Crockpot Spicy Spaghetti Sauce (or other thick spaghetti sauce)
16 oz Mostocioli pasta (penne would also work)
12 oz (or 3 cups) shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook mostocioli pasta for about 14 minutes in boiling water, drain. In a large bowl combine cooked pasta and spaghetti sauce. Turn half of the pasta mixture into a 9x13 baking dish. Layer half of the mozzarella on top. Top with remaining pasta mixture, remaining mozzarella and then sprinkle with Parmesan. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, or until hot and bubbly and cheeses are melted. (Make sure to test the middle to make sure it's nice and hot).

Food Nanny Garlic Bread Sticks

These bread sticks are simply awesome. They taste a lot like Olive Garden's bread sticks.The dough is easy to whip up and work with and from start to finish these breadsticks only take about 45 minutes to make. That's awesome. My 4 year old loved rolling the dough into "snakes" to for the bread sticks. We didn't roll them out long enough to make them look like Olive Garden bread sticks but they still tasted great. This recipe makes 16-18 bread sticks. Oh, and also this is the Food Nanny's (aka Liz Edmunds) pizza dough recipe - it makes 1 large pizza crust.

Food Nanny Garlic Bread Sticks

1 tablespoon active dry yeast (I use SAF)
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt or garlic powder

Mix the yeast and water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand until foamy (about 5 minutes). Add the oil, honey, and salt to the yeast mixture. Add 1/2 cup of flour at a time, up to 2 1/2 cups mixing well after each addition. If the dough is too wet mix in more flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is soft and pulls away from sides of mixing bowl. Knead with the mixer or by hand for 5-6 minutes or until dough is stiff and somewhat firm to the touch.

Pinch off about 2 tablespoons of dough at a time (or divide into 16 - 18 pieces) and roll on a flat surface to form a bread stick. Lay formed dough pieces on a greased sheet pan.

Mix together melted butter and garlic salt. Brush onto bread sticks. Cover with non-stick sprayed plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

After bread sticks have risen bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Brush additional garlic butter halfway through baking and again after the bread sticks come out of the oven.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Mini Quiches

These little quiches are great! Wow, I guess I'm doing 2 Demarle baking pan posts in a row. I really do love my new Demarle pans which are a kind of woven glass silicone mold baking pans. I baked this recipe in the "Square Savarin Tray" to be exact. I bet you can make these very tasty mini quiches in a muffin pan also, just be sure to grease it really well. Or you could also make this recipe in ramekins, that I'm sure would work quite well if you just serve straight out of the ramekins.I got this recipe from a Demarle cooking show that my friend hosted. My whole family loved the quiches.

Mini Quiches

8 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small can chopped green chilies

Combine all the ingredients. Pour into the baking pan of choice (I used the Demarle Square Savarin Tray and it makes 12 muffins size quiches). Bake at 350 for 25-28 minutes.