Tag 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



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!

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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Parmesan Pasta Salad

This is my favorite pasta salad. It makes a lot so it’s great for entertaining or for a potluck. The standout flavour that makes this recipe for me is the salami. I use Brand’ts all beef, and it is excellent. I also roast my own peppers but you could use jarred.

You can make it in advance, just store the dressing in a jar in the fridge and mix and toss when ready to serve. It also makes great leftovers.
This was made for Day 5 of my 101 salads in 101 days challenge.   It is adapted from Canadian Living


Parmesan Pasta Salad

1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 oz thinly sliced salami
3/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted
2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
6 cups penne pasta
3/4 cup chopped roasted red pepper
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley


In large bowl, whisk together Parmesan cheese, oil, vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper; set aside.

Cut salami into thin strips. Chop olives. Cut grape tomatoes in half or cherry tomatoes into quarters.

Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until tender but firm, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup (125 mL) pasta water. Rinse under cold water; drain well and add to dressing along with reserved pasta water.

Add salami, olives, tomatoes and red pepper; toss to combine. Add basil; toss again.

Caprese Pasta Salad

Ok so I am on a bit of a caprese salad kick, I already posted a plain caprese salad recipe, here’s one with pasta in it. Perfect for a potluck or feeding a crowd. I made this for a large dinner party with many children attending. The kids will eat the pasta and the occasional bocconcini and very rarely a tomato. So I consider this kid friendly!

  • 1lb pasta (I used orrechietti)
  • 2 tubs of bocconcini
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/2 cup basil chopped
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  1. cook the pasta as directed, rinse and cool pasta, add the rest of the ingredients and serve. I eyeballed this recipe, so you may want to adjust the dressing to your taste. Season generously with salt and pepper.

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.

Inside or Out and all mixed up Ravioli or Pasta with beef and cheese

While looking for recipes I came across basically the same recipe three times.  Well I am not one to look past fate.  Pasta with Beef and Cheese was meant to be.

The first one was titled Inside out Ravioli.  Found on a beautifully photographed blog called Taste and Tell.    It made me think, what is in ravioli that can be on the outside?  Cheese and spinach?  I wasn’t left long to ponder, cause I came across this one next and started to plan.

I found Micheal Ruhlman’s Mac and Cheese on his itouch app, posted on the same day as I came across the inside out ravioli.

Inspired by both recipes and I made something in between, and  found my own.  I wish I had read the part in the Ruhlman recipe to cook the pasta till it was only half done, cause I think that would have taken it up a notch.

Inside Out and Mixed up Ravioli

  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Italian Spice (a mix of oregano, basil etc)
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • (Ruhlman suggests fish sauce that I really wanted to use but forgot)
  • 1L Tomato Sauce (with water spooned off)
  • 1lb lean ground beef
  • 2 cups raw spinach, wilted and chopped fine (nano fine, so the kids can’t identify it)
  • 2 eggs whites (that’s all I had, but I think regular eggs would work better)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1lb or 454g macaroni
  • 1 grated mozzarella ball (approximately 2 cups)

Sweat the onions and garlic in the olive oil, add the beef and cook stirring till it is no longer pink, spoon off fat, and add the tomato sauce, simmer to thicken.

Meanwhile boil the pasta according to instructions.  This is where I wish I had remembered the part in the Ruhlman recipe to only cook the pasta till half done, and cook the rest in the sauce.  Since I had not read this part, till the pasta was done, I decided to skim more water off the top of my sauce, and allow it to simmer to thicken.

Never to pass on an opportunity to use my Le Crueset, I mixed the whole thing together (pasta, meat sauce, 1/2 the cheese, and spinach, eggs, breadcrumbs), topped it with the rest of the cheese and drove over to my moms.  Popped it in the oven for about 30min at 350F, and broiled for a few minutes to get the cheese nice and golden.  Then we enjoyed it during out Mother’s Day Dinner.

The verdict:   it was good, but I think I would change up the spices next time.  The sauce was too close to my lasagna recipe, and I think I would like a slightly different flavour next time.  I think smoked paprika, and fish sauce sound very interesting.   The kids loved it, and we had the leftovers for lunch the next day.  I will definitely be making variations of this to come for a long time!

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