Italian Vegetarian Fusilli


You all know by now that I love my vegetarian pastas and with a recipe like this you’re sure to always have the ingredients on hand. This little dish may look plain but it’s packed with delicate flavors and is a truly authentic Italian dish. When you’re busy you need to have some great go to recipes on hand and ready and this is one of mine. You can easily whip it up, toss a salad, brown some bread and there you go you have a fast and still very filling meal. Trust me ladies you do not have to slave in a hot kitchen every night to have a good meal and why should you?

2 white onions, chopped
1 small chili pepper, slit and seeds removed
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound fusilli
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup finely chopped basil
2 tomatoes, diced

1. In a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and the chili pepper, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften. Add 1/4 cup water, cover, and cook for another 5 minutes, until the liquid starts to evaporate.

3. Add the tomatoes to the skillet, and season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 5 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender.

4. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the pasta, and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, and add it to the skillet. Sprinkle with the Parmigiano and basil, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss well, and serve.

Yields: 4

Vegetarian Carbonara


My husband is always at work or at our store so that means I get to make more of the meals that I enjoy. I am much more into eating salads, pastas and vegetarian dishes. I love the real Italian pasta and I promise you will not even notice that this is a meat free dish. Fresh arugula on top of pasta just is the perfect ending in my book. Also make sure that you follow the directions because you do not want to end up scrambling your sauce.

sea salt
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon plus 2-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 garlic clove, diced
1 teaspoon dried basil
1-1/2 tablespoons cold water
1 pound spaghetti or linguine
2-1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 cup arugula

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, lightly beat eggs. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1-1/2 tablespoons cold water. Cook pasta in the boiling water until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, bring milk to a boil, then whisk in cornstarch mixture. Whisking constantly, cook milk mixture until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes; remove from heat. Whisking, pour about 1/2 cup hot milk mixture into bowl with eggs. Repeat twice, then, whisking, add the egg mixture back to remaining milk mixture. Whisk in cheese and 1 teaspoon salt.

3. In a non-stick skillet on medium heat add tomatoes, cook until tender. Add garlic and basil, cook a remaining minute.

3. Drain pasta, then return to pot. Add egg mixture to hot pasta; toss to combine. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes (pasta will absorb some of the sauce), then toss again. Add tomatoes. Adjust seasoning, if desired, then divide among serving bowls. Spoon extra sauce over the top. Add a handful of fresh arugula on top of each bowl. Serve immediately.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Chicken Piccata Pasta Toss

I tend to think us Americans killed the real dish of pasta loading every dish down with tons of cheese and seeming to think it’s just not pasta without it. In reality many real Italian pasta dishes do not even have cheese and (gasp) are amazing as they are. I have found that real Italian pasta taste so much. Chicken Piccata Pasta is such a savory dish tossed in a simple light sauce that packs a big punch. I love the way freshly diced tomatoes or even arugula garnished on top taste with it.

12 ounce pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1-1/4 pound boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 shallots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cup chicken stock
1 juice of one lemon
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper
tomatoes and arugula for garnish

1. On medium heat in a sauté pan add half of olive oil. In a small bowl add chicken and coat with salt and pepper. Add chicken into pan and cook until no longer pink, about 10-15 minutes.

2. When chicken has cooked make a well in the middle of the pan and add shallots and garlic. Cook until tender then add remaining oil, flour and chicken broth. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Add lemon juice, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Drain pasta and add into the pan, toss with mixture. Allow to completely warm, about 5 minutes. Garnish top with tomatoes and arugula.

Yields: 4 servings

Outback Steak I mean Pasta House

My family and I are addicted to Outback
Steakhouse. I actually was long before I even knew my husband. My mammaw and I
used to be frequent visitors at the one in Chattanooga. It’s funny though when
I think about it because of all the times I have gone I have never ordered
anything but steak. I mean what else would one order from a steakhouse other
than the obvious anyway right. About a month or so ago I decided to order some
shrimp alfredo pasta and wow I was in love. No joke this is one of the best
pastas if not the best I have ever had. My husband has even gone crazy over it
and now when we go this is what we order. You all just have to try it.