Monday, January 31, 2011

Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

My favorite way to prepare brussels sprouts as a side dish is with bacon. So I was elated to find this main dish recipe featuring brussels and bacon with pasta! (recipe from Martha Stewart) This is a great way to get plenty of vegetables in your main dish, along with plenty of flavor! You can use fresh or frozen sprouts; I use frozen cause I almost always have them on hand.

Slice the sprouts, either in halves or quarters, depending on how large they are.

Cut the bacon in pieces, then cook it in a large skillet

over medium high heat until crisp. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate.

Slice the shallots

and add them to the skillet along with the garlic.

Add the brussels sprouts

and cook for about 3 minutes or until the shallots are pale golden, being sure to stir up the good bacon bits on the bottom of the pan!

Add the broth

and season to your liking. Cook until the sprouts are tender, about 6 minutes for frozen or 10 minutes for fresh. While they're cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pasta, cooking until al dente; drain.

Chop the sage,

then add the pasta to the brussels mixture.

Add the Parmesan

then the sage

and bacon.

Give it a good stir to combine all the ingredients and serve with additional Parmesan for sprinkling! Delicious!

Get more inspiration at Mouthwatering Monday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Delectable Tuesday, What's Cooking Wednesday and Whatcha Makin' Wednesday.

Pasta with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

7 slices bacon, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 large shallots, cut into thin rounds
1 1/4 pounds brussels sprouts (fresh or frozen), trimmed and halved (quartered if large)
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
12 oz. rigatoni pasta
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh sage leaves, about 15 leaves

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon; cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Add garlic, shallots, and sprouts; cook, stirring occasionally, until shallots are pale golden, about 3 minutes. Add chicken broth; season with salt and pepper. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed and sprouts are tender, 10 to 12 minutes for fresh sprouts or 6-8 minutes for frozen.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; and add the pasta. Cook until al dente; drain. Add pasta to sprouts mixture, along with parmesan cheese, sage and bacon. Toss until combined. Serve with more cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spicy Pasta with Sweet Potatoes

I am really proud of myself for trying this recipe. It's a main dish without MEAT, which is a big departure for me. And I'm so glad I did. It is amazingly delicious with a variety of flavors. And, I must admit, it's a nice change from meaty dishes. If you're working to incorporate more meatless meals, or you like spicy food, or even if you "just" like GOOD food, this dish is for you!

Peel and cube the sweet potatoes, then place them in a medium bowl

and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with chili powder


and cinnamon,

then toss well to coat all the pieces.

Spread the potatoes on a large greased baking sheet (use a rimmed one!, I love using my pampered chef stoneware bar pan for roasting vegetables) and bake for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

While the potatoes bake, start the pasta cooking in a large pot of boiling water. Then, prepare the sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine the peanut butter, chili sauce,

soy sauce

and cream cheese. When the pasta is done, reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water - I find it easiest to do this just by dipping a measuring cup into the pot.

Add about 1/4 cup of the water to the sauce mixture.

Cook and stir over medium heat until the sauce is heated through and all the ingredients are well incorporated. If the sauce seems too thick, just add a bit more pasta water. Stir in about 2/3 of the green onions.

To serve, place pasta on individual plates and top with sauce

and sweet potatoes.

Garnish with the extra green onions.

Serve with large glasses of milk to calm the spiciness!

Find more great ideas at Seasonal Sunday, Cooking Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, It's a Keeper Thursday, Foodie Friday, Food on Fridays, Friday Food, What's Cookin' in the Kitchen and Fun with Food Friday, Ingredient Spotlight.

Spicy Pasta with Sweet Potatoes

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes (about 2 cups)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
8 oz. rigatoni
1/3 cup peanut butter
3 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
2 tsp. Asian chili sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
6 green onions, thinly sliced

Place potato cubes in a medium bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon and chili powder over and stir well to coat all the pieces. Spread onto a greased rimmed baking pan and bake at 450 for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

In the meantime, cook rigatoni in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking water.

For the sauce, combine the peanut butter, cream cheese, chili sauce and soy sauce in a medium saucepan. Add about 1/4 cup of the cooking water and cook and stir over medium heat until heated through, adding more water if the sauce seems too thick. Stir in 2/3 of the green onions.

To serve, divide pasta among 4 plates or bowls, top with sauce, sweet potatoes and garnish with the rest of the green onions. Serves 4.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sausage Pumpkin Pasta

Do you still have a few cans of pumpkin leftover from all the fall baking (or even one can)? This is a really delicious main dish featuring pumpkin - but don't think it will taste like pie... it doesn't! The pumpkin lends wonderful flavor and body to the sauce for this pasta, and adds lots of nutrition! It's really delicious and I will make it again and again, along with my other favorite sausage bow ties recipe.

Put your pasta water on to boil, and when it does, add the pasta and cook until al dente. For the sauce, saute the onions, mushrooms,

garlic and sausage

over medium heat until sausage is cooked through.

Drain any fat that has accumulated in the skillet. Then add the salt, pepper, garlic powder and sage

to the broth, then stir in the pumpkin.

Give it all a good stir, then add to the skillet.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet.

Doesn't that look delicious already?

Spoon the pasta into individual bowls or plates, then sprinkle each serving with the parsley

and the parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetit!

Get more inspiration at the Ultimate Recipe Swap, Mouthwatering Monday, Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table , Tasty Tuesday, Whatcha Making Wednesday and What's Cooking Wednesday, This Week's Cravings, Friday Food: Pasta.

Sausage Pumpkin Pasta

2 cups uncooked farfalle (bow ties)
1/2 pound Italian sausage
1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp. rubbed sage
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook the sausage, mushrooms, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the broth, pumpkin, sage, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Drain pasta; add to the skillet and heat through. Just before serving, sprinkle with cheese and parsley. Serves 4.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies

This is a fun way to dress up a box of brownies. For the most delicious peanut butter chocolate combo, I would still go for the buckeye brownies, but these are good too, and a little easier.

Start by making a boxed brownie mix according to the directions: combine the mix, 2 eggs, water and oil and stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and set aside.

For the peanut butter layer, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter, egg, sugar,

and milk

and beat with a mixer until smooth. Drop the peanut butter batter in heaping spoonfuls on top of the brownie batter,

and drag a table knife through the layers to create swirls.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

There are more recipes at What's Cooking Wednesday, Whatcha Makin' Wednesday , Cooking Thursday, Foodie Friday, Friday Food , Food on Fridays, What's Cookin' in the Kitchen, Fat Camp Friday and Sweets for a Saturday.

Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies

1 brownie mix (for 9x13 pan)
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup water
3 eggs, divided
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. milk

In a large bowl, mix together the brownie mix, oil, water and 2 eggs with a wooden spoon until smooth. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 egg, and milk until smooth.

Drop the peanut butter filling over the top. Using a knife, gently swirl through the layers for a marbled effect.

Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out almost clean. Cool completely, then cut into bars.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Carrot Bran Muffins

Time for another great muffin recipe - this one amps up the fiber with all bran and carrots, and the raisins add nice sweetness. You can just stir it up with a wooden spoon, so these healthy and tasty muffins will be ready in no time.

Start by pouring the cereal into a large mixing bowl and then covering with the buttermilk.

Let sit for about 10 minutes, then add the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Stir well to combine, then add the raisins (I used golden)

and the carrots.

In a measuring cup, combine the egg and oil and whisk well. Add this to the muffin batter,

and stir to combine. Pour the batter into paper-lined muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.

Find more great carrot recipes at the Ingredient Spotlight.

Carrot Bran Muffins

1 1/2 cups All-Bran Original cereal
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup raisins
1 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten

In large bowl, stir together flour, cereal, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, soda, salt raisins and carrots.

Add buttermilk, oil, egg, stirring just until combined.

Spoon into paper-lined muffin tins. Bake 400 for 20 minutes or until tops are firm to the touch.
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