I posted this recipe over a year ago, but I wanted to share it with you all again cause it’s just that good! I made it exactly as the recipe calls for – 1 cup of heavy cream and 1/2 cup of vodka and everything No worries – I didn’t have two drunk minors stumbling around after they ate this. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Penne and Shrimp with Vodka Cream Sauce – adapted from The Pioneer Woman
- 3/4 pounds Penne pasta (I used a pound of spaghetti)
- 1 pound shrimp (I used 1.5 pounds, we love shrimp)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 whole onion (small), diced fine
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup vodka (or white wine)
- 1 – 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- salt To Taste
- pepper To Taste
- Parmesan cheese
Cook the penne pasta until tender-firm, also known as al dente.
Peel, devein and rinse (under cool water) 1 pound of extra large shrimp. Heat about 1 tbsp. butter and olive oil in a skillet. Add the shrimp and cook for a couple of minutes until just opaque. Do not overcook them. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes. Now, put the cooked shrimp on the cutting board and pull off the tails. Chop the shrimp into bite –sized pieces and set aside.
In a large skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the garlic and onion and sauté, stirring occasionally. After the garlic and onions have cooked a bit add your vodka or white wine. Let the vodka or wine evaporate for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If you would rather not use alcohol, you can use low-sodium chicken broth instead (about ½ cup).
Now add an 8-ounce can of plain tomato sauce. Stir well until combined. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream. Continue stirring. Turn heat down to low and let simmer.
Now add your chopped shrimp back into the tomato cream sauce. Give it a stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Finally add your cooked penne pasta and give it a good stir.
I don’t normally make a meal for someone when I haven’t made it before, but PW has yet to steer me wrong; so I went for it. I also don’t get many chances to make meals like this, (the hubbs doesn’t like baked pasta dishes!), so when a friend from home group was scheduled for surgery, I thought that this would be a comforting meal for her and her family. This pasta is rich and filling and what you see in the picture is only half of what the recipe makes! I don’t think a 13 x 9 baking dish could have contained it all – so if you have a lasagna pan, you might want to use it! Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Baked Pasta – adapted from The Pioneer Woman
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
- 1 pound Italian Sausage
- 1 pound Ground Beef
- 1 can (28 Ounce Can) Whole Tomatoes, With Juice
- 2 cans (14.5 Ounce) Tomato Sauce Or Marinara Sauce
- 2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
- Salt And Pepper, to taste
- 16 ounces, weight Ziti Or Mostaciolli, Cooked Until Not Quite Al Dente
- 1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
- 1-1/2 pound Mozzarella Cheese, Grated
- 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 whole Egg
- Fresh Minced Parsley
Heat olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.
Add tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes. After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and salt and pepper. Stir together just a couple of times (do not mix completely).
Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking and cool it down. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and toss to slightly combine (there should still be large lumps.) Add the cooled meat sauce and toss to combine.
Add half the coated pasta to a large casserole dish or lasagna dish. Spoon half of the remaining sauce over the top, then top with half the remaining mozzarella cheese. Repeat with another layer of the coated pasta, the sauce, and the mozzarella.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Just in case you didn’t think that macaroni and cheese could get any more decadent…you come across this gut busting concoction! Seriously though – it calls for four cups of cheese and four cups of heavy cream…in order to redeem this a tad, this Momma is going to use half and half instead of all cream. That’s how I roll, folks! I can’t justify it, even if it is a rare dish in this house. I learned something about myself while making this: handling lobster tails gives me the willies! This was my first time handling raw lobster and the shell grossed me out. My daughter thought the spots on the shell were its eyes! That was kind of funny, but she is always wary of trying new things. I told her lobster is like a huge shrimp, but tastes even better. She ended up eating her entire serving and proceeded to ask if she can take some leftovers to school
Verdict: This came out good, but it could use some more spice. Make sure to season well and taste the sauce as you go. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Lobster Macaroni and Cheese – adapted from The Neely’s
- 4 tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon for greasing dish
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 small shallots, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups shredded sharp white Cheddar
- 2 cups shredded Gruyere
- 2 (8-ounce) raw lobster tails, defrosted if frozen, meat removed from shell, chopped
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and adjust racks to the middle. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with butter.
In a large pot of boiling salted water over medium heat, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta and reserve.
Add 4 tablespoons butter to a large pot over medium heat. Once the butter shimmers, add the shallots and garlic and saute until translucent. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the tomato paste and flour and stir to toast, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the white wine and reduce, by half, about 2 minutes. Slowly add the cream, whisking well to remove any lumps. Add the paprika, cayenne, and bay leaf. Bring the cream up to a simmer and turn the heat to low. Let reduce until the cream is thick and can coat a spoon, about 5 to 10 minutes. When thickened, remove the bay leaves.
Stir in the grated cheeses, a handful at a time, combining well after each addition. Add the chopped lobster meat to the sauce and stir well. Add the pasta and stir. Add to the greased baking dish and sprinkle with the panko crumbs and parsley. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle individual servings with parsley.
Every once in a while I make something that isn’t worth making again, and this is a good example. It was bland and I forgot that I really don’t like the texture of wilted spinach – it grosses me out! I bet the hot spinach artichoke dip on the previous post would be amazing poured over pasta. I meant to try it; but when I make the dip, it’s meant for an appetizer and not an experiment If I ever do I’ll be sure to post about how it turned out. Thanks for reading!
Spinach Artichoke Pasta – adapted from The Pioneer Woman
- 6 Tablespoons Butter
- 4 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
- 2 bags Baby Spinach
- 2 cans Artichoke Hearts, Drained And Halved
- 3 Tablespoons Flour
- 3 cups Whole Milk
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- Salt And Pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1-1/2 cup Mozzarella Or Monterey Jack Cheese, Grated
- 1/2 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth (less Or More)
- 12 ounces, weight Penne, Cooked Until Al Dente
- 1/2 cup Seasoned Panko Breadcrumbs
- Crushed Red Pepper, To Taste
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot or skillet. Add garlic and throw in the spinach. Stir it around until it’s wilted, about 1 minute. Remove spinach from heat and set aside.
Add 2 tablespoons butter to the same pot and raise the heat to high. Throw in the halved artichokes and stir it around until they get a little color, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the artichokes from the pot and set them aside.
Reduce the heat to low. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pot. When melted, sprinkle in flour and whisk until it’s combined. Pour in milk and whisk to combine. Let it cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add Parmesan, Mozzarella/Monterey Jack, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper. Stir to melt, and if it’s overly thick, splash in chicken broth.
Add artichokes and pasta, tossing gently to combine. Gently fold in spinach, then pour the pasta into a serving bowl. Sprinkle the top with crushed red pepper flakes and plenty of Panko breadcrumbs for crunch.
My husband prefers decadent cream sauces to my preferred red, but I’m willing to make the sacrifice to make him happy I’m already planning on going to the gym in the morning! Any exercise after such a fat-filled, dairy-tastic meal has to be better than no exercise at all! This recipe makes about 6-8 servings and sadly, does not reheat well. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Fettuccine Alfredo – adapted from The Pioneer Woman
- 1 pound Fettuccine Noodles
- 1 stick Butter
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- 2 cups Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
In a saucepan or skillet, warm butter and cream. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Grate Parmesan cheese and place half of it into a large serving bowl. Pour warm butter/cream mixture over the top. Reserve some of the pasta water, then drain pasta and immediately pour it into the bowl.
Toss a couple of times, then sprinkle in the other half of the Parmesan. Toss to combine, thinning with pasta water if necessary. Serve immediately as a main course or accompaniment to meat or salad.
Cooler weather always motivates me to make comforting meals, and what could be better than soup? This was so good and it made a huge batch – too bad we didn’t get to enjoy leftovers…the hubbs forgot to put the container in the fridge…and it stayed on the counter overnight…boo! I forgave him, of course There are worse things, I suppose. I once left a container of ice cream out on the counter overnight – don’t be like me! I remember the mess was thick, sticky, and a hassle to clean up! Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Sausage and Bean Soup with Pasta – adapted from The Italian Dish
- 1 cup dried cannellini or cellini beans or 1 15-ounce can of any beans you like, drained
- 1 pound ground sausage (*I used half hot, half mild Italian sausage*)
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 6 to 8 cups chicken broth (*I used 6 cups homemade chicken stock*)
- 1 teaspoon thyme, fresh if you have it
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup ditalini pasta, or any small pasta
- Parmigiano Reggiano rind (optional)
- grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
If using dried beans, place them in a pot, cover with cold water and let soak for several hours or overnight. Drain.
In a large pot, brown the sausage. Remove from pot. If there is a lot of fat left in the pot, pour this out but do not wipe out pot. Add onion, carrot and olive oil and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add garlic and saute about a minute more. Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, Parm rind, thyme, bay leaf, some salt and pepper and the drained beans and the sausage and cover the pot. Cook for an hour over low heat, at a gentle simmer.
If using dried beans, check for doneness at this point. (If using canned beans, add the pasta now.) If the beans are not soft enough, cover the pot again and cook for another 30 minutes or until the beans are soft. Add the pasta and cook, uncovered, until the pasta is tender. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper to taste. If the soup is too thick for your liking, add some more chicken broth.
Serve with grated cheese on top and an extra drizzle of olive oil.
I’m usually leery about crock pot recipes and I rarely search for new ones. Most recipes I have seen (or most that are popular on Pinterest), are full of canned this and packaged that…I have seriously considered creating a new pin board entitled: “Recipes that Scare Me”! There is nothing questionable in this recipe and it is so good! The aroma greeted me as I walked through the door after picking up my SIL from the air port. This was the perfect meal to come home to and I will make this again. It’s rich, hearty and goes perfectly any thick, tube pasta. I served this with a quick garlic bread, but if I had more time – I would have made this one (always a favorite!) Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce – adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
- 1 lb ground beef (I used 90/10 ground sirloin)
- salt & pepper
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 6 oz can tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 bay leaf (or 2 small)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes (optional)
- 2 Tablespoons butter
Season ground beef with salt & pepper then brown with minced onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain then add to a large crock pot. Add all the ingredients except for the butter, stir to combine, then cook on low for 5-6 hours. Remove bay leaves, stir in butter, then serve over cooked pasta.
Quick Post: This pasta was amazing! I have tried and posted several shrimp pastas here, and this one is sure to be a repeat offender in this house. This was my first time using mascarpone cheese – it’s like butta! It created a smooth and creamy sauce that perfectly complimented the rest of the flavors in this dish. I really like the oven dried tomatoes, because all that richness would be overpowering if not for the presence of the slightly acidic, sweetness of them. They’re worth making, especially if you want to avoid preservatives of most store-bought sun dried tomatoes. The kids were leery of them, but I explained that they’re like tomato-raisins Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Shrimp Pasta with Oven Dried Tomatoes – adapted from Annie’s Eats
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- Olive oil
- Small pinch of sugar
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 lb. bowtie pasta
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, divided
- 1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ¾ cup chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ½ cup dry white wine (or chicken broth)
- 6 oz. mascarpone cheese
- ½ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped (*I forgot to buy this*)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
To make the oven dried tomatoes, preheat the oven to 225˚ F. Place the tomatoes in a small baking dish in a single layer, cut side facing up. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and season with a pinch of sugar, salt and pepper. Bake for about 3 hours, or until the tomatoes are mostly shriveled up. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once boiling, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain well.
While the pasta is cooking, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the shrimp to the pan and cook in a single layer, flipping once during cooking, just until opaque, about 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate, tent loosely with foil and set aside. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter in the pan. Sauté the onion until slightly softened, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the pan and sauté just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the wine or broth and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Return the shrimp to the pan and add in the drained pasta along with the oven-dried tomatoes. Add the mascarpone to the pan and stir until completely melted. Stir in the basil and Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan as desired.
It was getting closer and closer to dinner time, but I had no idea what to make. My girl and I flipped through Pintrest and came across this recipe and she said I should make it This mac n’ cheese is so easy, you don’t have anymore excuses to buy boxed stuff, and if you can boil water, you can make this tasty macaroni and cheese! It’s pretty neat how cooking the noodles in milk makes all the difference. My daughter (aka. The Picky One) ate two servings of this – that is a very rare occurrence in this house. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Miracle Macaroni and Cheese – heavily adapted from Budget Bytes
- 4 1/2 cups milk
- 1 pound elbow macaroni pasta
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese ( I used sharp white cheddar)
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt, More To Taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Seasoned Salt, More To Taste
- 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
Combine the dry macaroni and 4 cups of milk in a medium pot. Place a lid on top and bring it up to a boil over medium/high heat while occasionally stirring. As soon as it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer until the pasta is tender (about 10-15 minutes). Make sure to stir often during this process to keep the pasta from clumping or sticking to the bottom of the pot. Promptly replace the lid each time to help hold in the moisture. Once the pasta is soft and has absorbed most of the milk, season with salts, pepper, paprika, and dry mustard, or the spices of your choice. If the mixture begins to look dry, add the remaining 1/2 cup of milk. Turn the heat off and stir in the shredded cheese. Serve immediately.
Quick Post: If you like spice, love shrimp and adore carbs and cheese – this is the dinner for you! We thoroughly enjoyed this meal, and I will make this again. I served it with some quick garlic bread (I forgot to roast the garlic for this), but it hit all the right buttons I used a loaf of this, lots of chopped garlic, butter and four different Italian cheeses. Thanks for reading, enjoy!
Shrimp Fra Diavolo – adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
- 1 pound large shrimp, peeled, deveined
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus additional as needed
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
Heat the 3 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat, add the red chili flakes to the oil. Add the shrimp and saute for about a minute, add the salt and toss, and continue cooking until just cooked through, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large plate; set aside. Add the onion to the same skillet, adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pan, if necessary, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, wine, garlic, and oregano. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Return the shrimp and any accumulated juices to the tomato mixture; toss to coat, and cook for about a minute so the flavors meld together. Stir in the parsley and basil. Season with more salt, to taste, and serve.