Category Archives: Pasta

One Pot Vegetarian Bolognese Pasta

This was  a great recipe.  I adapted from the original in that I used 1lb of tofu and elbow pasta instead of egg noodles.  I really liked it, and the kids were ok with it, they each ate different  parts of it.   The best part was that it really did only take one pot.

I will definitely make this again, and again and again!

One-Pot Creamy BologneseImage from Canadian Living


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup  sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 lb extra firm tofu
  • 1 can  diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup  red wine
  • 4 cups  vegetable stock
  • 350 g elbow pasta
  • 4 oz  cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated  Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup  each chopped fresh parsley


In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; cook onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add tofu, crumble using hands; cook, breaking up with back of wooden spoon, about 1 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and wine; cook until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
Stir in broth; bring to boil. Stir in pasta; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, about 8 minutes.
Stir in cream cheese until melted, about 1 minute. Stir in Parmesan cheese, basil and parsley


Meal plan Sep 16-25, 2011

Back to school has kicked my a$$. It’s been BUSY. Lacking a concrete meal plan has not helped. Then yesterday I got the latest issue of Everyday Food from who else but Martha. So I am dedicating the next week and a bit to this issue. I have to say I am pretty excited to try these recipes. I already made the curried cauliflower and it was ok. Sort of bland, but if you don’t like a strong curry, then this may be the dish for you. The kids hated it.

You will notice that I haven’t been including lunches during the summer. But guess who’s baaaack, well sort of next week I will add the lunch menu that I have been working hard on all summer (hah who’s kidding who, pbj anyone?)  At least I don’t have to brown bag them!

All these recipes are from the latest issue of Everday Food, and likely not on the website, so I am not including any links here.  But if I ever to putting together another post about them there you will have them.  I am so pleased with this 10 day plan, that I may repeat it, in which case I will include the links.


Dinner:  Curried cauliflower and chickpea casserole (sort of bland, so how is that the kids hated it?!)

Turkey stuffing casserole  (this was truly awesome, the kids hated it!)

Pineapple beef red curry  (quartering the curry paste made this bland and the kids hated it anyways!)

Chicken barley soup  (cooked the barley separately to avoid it sucking up all the broth, and it still happened, but I liked this one, the kids hated it!)

Three cheese macaroni  (I doubled the pasta but left the sauce as is, and there was MORE than enough sauce, two kids liked it, one hated it!)

Slow cooker pea soup

Braised chicken with squash

Maple Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, broccoli, couscous

Green turkey curry with eggplant

lunch:  White bean chili with bacon scallion cornbread
Dinner:  We are going out to “smoke-fest 2011”
lunch:  Chicken enchilada casserole
Dinner:  take out chinease at the great grand parents!

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

This is a simple and quick recipe for the summer.  I kind of winged this and I think you can add what you have on hand such as onion, chickpeas, etc and enjoy.

Mediterranean Pasta Salad

1lb pasta your choice of cut, I used ditali
1 tbsp olive oil (more for pasta)
1 pint of grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 cups cucumber diced
1/2 cup feta cheese cubed
1 can sliced black olives
1/2 cup chopped parsley

1.   Cook Pasta according to package instructions
2.  Drain and then toss with olive oil (about a tbsp)
3.  Cook tomatoes and garlic for a few minutes to soften them (3-5min)
4.  Combine all ingredients and serve!

Double mozza baked meatballs

Come in out of the cold and enjoy some comfort food.  These little nuggets of goodness pack a little surprise…

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Ravioli Lasagna with Sausage and Mushrooms

This is the recipe on the cover of the February issue of Chatelaine, and it looks awesome, and it pretty much tasted as good as it looks.   I bought a 1kg package of spinach and cheese ravioli, but only needed 700g for this recipe, so I took out 300g and used it for lunch.  I boiled it according the package instructions, and it turned out ok.  But when the same ravioli was prepared according to this recipe it was really really good.  I’m not sure if it was baking in the 35%cream, but the pasta had a really nice texture, and even the filling seemed creamier.  The other bonus of cooking ravioli like this was that it didn’t get all mangled and broken while boiling.  I used button mushrooms instead of cremini (that’s what I had), and I chopped the onion and the mushrooms in the food processor to make sure there was little evidence of them in the sauce, so the kids had no clue what was lurking there.  I also used chicken sausage instead of Italian and my homemade canned tomatoes.

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Pumpkin Gnocchi

This was a really fun recipe.   It came from Canadian Living’s October issue, where you can find the recipe, just click on the link!  Too bad the link doesn’t have a picture from the magazine, their gnocchi was really orange, mine wasn’t.   This was easy to make and the kids “helped” and ate some of it too! I roasted some sugar pumpkins that we had left over from Halloween, but I think you could use canned.  My issue with canned is that I think they taste tinny, but if you get a fresh can, hopefully it wouldn’t.

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Pasta al Limone

I “test” recipes for Cook’s Illustrated.  Not as glamorous as you may think.  Really just add it to the long list of other things I do, that I do not get paid for.  I randomly get recipes mailed to me to complete within a few weeks, along with a survey, just like homework.  This makes me happy, sometimes I have to cram, and stay up late, just like the good ol’ days, which strangely enough also makes me happy!  I recently received a pasta dish.  I saved it to make the night before my marathon, to carbo load.  It was so easy, and tasty, and helped load up my quads with additional glycogen.

What this picture illustrates besides the ingredients, is some of my favorite tools for the kitchen.  The microplane to zest lemons and shave the parmesan, the small measuring cup with the slanted measuring graduations, so you don’t have to pick it up to see how much is in there, the olive oil dispenser, and the teeny tiny cutting board that was handed down to me from my mom, the only thing missing is my vegetable peeler, more on that later.

Pasta al Limone:

Recipe inspired by Cook’s Illustrated.

  • 454g or 1lb  pasta
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot minced (up to 3 Tbsp)
  • 1/4 whipping cream
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese shaved using a microplane
  • fresh basil chopped

Prepare pasta according to package instructions, al dente, don’t forget the salt in the boiling water.  Reserve 2 cups of cooking water.  My tip here, I am sure I read this in Cook’s Illustrated is to place a measuring cup into the colander while the pasta is cooking, otherwise, if you are like me, you only remember the water, once it is down the drain, irretrievably lost.

Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in dutch oven, add shallot and 1/2 tsp salt, cook or sweat down for approximately 2 min.  Whisk in 1  cup of reserved pasta water, cream and simmer for 2 min.  Remove from heat, mix in pasta, stir until coated, add 2Tbsp olive oil, lemon juice and zest, cheese and freshly ground pepper.

Let stand for a few minutes, toss again, and serve with chopped basil and parmesan.  The longer it stands the more the sauce thickens, like when you go up for seconds, it is really nice and thick.

The Verdict:

I really liked this dish.  It reminded me of a risotto that I make with lemon zest,  that I need to make again soon.  One day I will post that recipe, it is a keeper, I have been making it for years.  The sauce was a bit too runny, so I suggest a cup of pasta water to start with and add more if required.  It did thicken up for seconds and was great the next day as well.

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