A perfect vehicle for almost any flavor. A good, cheap, filling starch,
or a delicate envelope for a delicious filling.
For some reason, I prefer tortellini to ravioli. Maybe it's the shape,
how it holds onto the sauce, or the ratio of pasta to filling. Whatever
it is, I'm always up for tortellini.
Unfortunately, it's a lot of work to make. This endeavour is best done
with friends in large batches, frozen until ready to eat. The
alternative, ready-made fresh tortellini, is usually outside my budget.
So, when there was a sale, I had to jump on it.
So I bought some chicken and mozarella tortellini. Combined with my
recipe for tomato sauce, and some roasted
cauliflower, I had an excellent dinner!
I've been making this tomato sauce recipe for
a few months now, and I have to say I'm not going back to cans or jars.
Tomato sauce is easy (though it does take 30 minutes) and delicious,
with bright flavors that don't seem to survive the canning process.
And, since my oven was empty while making the pasta and sauce,
I roasted some cauliflower with pepper and
thyme. The result was perfectly browned and tasty.
Okay, just stick with me on this one.
In my late teens and early twenties, a lot of the food I ate came from
cans and boxes, as I imagine most 20-somethings working shitty
manufacturing jobs that paid enough to eat better than ramen noodle soup
(those poor, lazy college kids). When I remembered, I'd pick up bags of
frozen veggies, because I needed to offset the unhealthy with something
resembling actual food. This healthy food I would, of course, offset
with the cheapest macaroni and cheese I could find (no high-class Kraft
Dinner for us, no sir).
As I imagine most of us have done at one time or another (I'm talking to
you, KFC Famous Bowl),
one day I got the fantastic idea to combine them, and my own personal
Bachelor Chow (Now With
Flavor) was born: Canned tuna,
broccoli normandy, and macaroni and cheese.
This is not that recipe, but it belongs to the same dumb kid, 15 years
This recipe calls for a can, yes, of chicken. If you're not feeling that
adventurous, or that lazy, you can boil and shred or pan-fry some
chicken breast. The pan-fry method will probably result in the most
flavor, especially when you get some nice browning.
Continue reading Southwest Chicken Mac and Cheese...
Standing in stark contrast to the last pasta dish
I made, there's this one.
The blog I got this from, The Pioneer
Woman, calls it Penne a la
Betsy. In my
mundane way, I'm calling it Shrimp and Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce.
This wonderful, rich, creamy dish comes together quickly and, except for
the shrimp, I had everything I needed: A small can of tomato sauce from
the Indian-spiced Stew a few weeks
ago, some pasta I collected (bow
ties are cool), and some
cream. I've started keeping the ultra-pasteurized cream in my fridge
for emergency scone baking and sauces. It keeps for a month, and it's
I didn't have any white wine left (thank the chicken for that
one), so I just used a bit of
water. This turned out a bit thin, so I let it simmer to thicken it back
up. A bit of chicken stock would help fill in some flavor gaps,
I suspect, if you don't have wine. Personally, I filled those gaps with
some parmesan and red pepper.
All in all, this one was very good. I gorged myself stupid, have plenty
of leftovers, and now, fat and happy, I'm telling you about it.
PS: The leftovers went well mixing the peas right in there.
I love the versatility of pasta. With just a few pantry ingredients, you
can make a delicious meal. But not always, like this Tuna Lemon and
Dill recipe from Olive
I made some modifications due to the nature of US grocery stores and
Imperial units, and my appalling lack of fresh dill, and the result was
interesting, for a little while. I couldn't bring myself to finish it
If I had a rating system based on how many days of leftovers I could
tolerate, this recipe would get a 2/5. Other people might find it
appetizing, but this is definitely not my style of food.
Tonight I made Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Carbonara from
I'm trying to get more vegetables in my diet. So adding mushrooms and
cauliflower to a classic carbonara, instead of the Italian sausage,
sounded like a good idea.
And it was! It turned out really well, and came together easily, though
roasting the vegetables does make the whole thing take about 20-30
This is making me curious: What other vegetables can I add to carbonera?
Asparagus perhaps? Broccoli maybe? I'm definitely going to need to