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Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

I made up this pasta recipe when I was in college and wanted to use pantry items I already had around.  I’ve been making it for years and I thought it was too boring to post until a friend asked for the recipe recently and his family gave it rave reviews.  It can be made very simply with dry basil and parmesan from the green container, or prettied up with fresh basil and fancy grated parmesan.  I made it the original way most recently and added some beautiful sautéed shrimp.  Other fantastic additions are chopped kalamata olives and sun-dried tomatoes.  You could even toss some spinach with the hot pasta to make it a complete meal.  There is a lot of garlic, so be prepared.

Mary Anne Pasta

  • 1 – 13 oz package spaghetti, thin spaghetti, or angel hair pasta (I used whole grain, but the flavor is better with regular pasta)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons dried basil or about 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, or a dash if serving kiddies
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions, don’t forget to add salt to the cooking water.  While pasta is cooking, in a glass measuring cup, combine the olive oil, garlic, basil, pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.  When the pasta is almost done microwave the olive oil mixture for 30 to 45 seconds.  Watch it closely, it needs to bubble and sizzle for a few seconds, but no longer because it will scorch.  You should be able to smell the garlic before you open the door.  Drain the pasta when done and return to empty cooking pot.  Pour the olive oil mixture over the pasta and toss well.  Add the cheese and toss until combined.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

For sautéed shrimp:  Peel and devein shrimp (about 1 lb).  Toss clean shrimp in a bowl with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning.  In a non-stick pan over medium to medium high heat melt 2 tablespoons butter.  Add the shrimp and saute for about 2 – 3 minutes per side until opaque.  Be careful not  to over cook the shrimp or they will get tough.  Serve with pasta.

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So my summer tomato craving has extended to canned tomatoes.  I use jarred pasta sauce often, but every once in a while I like to make my own sauce.  This is a 40 minute meal from start to finish.  You could cut down on the prep time by simply browning the ground beef and adding it to the sauce instead of making the meatballs.  My kids love meatballs so we almost always make them.  I used fresh basil and oregano from my yard for this recipe.

You may find it strange that I use oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs in my meatballs.  I wanted to use something whole grain that served the same purpose and oatmeal is great alternative.  Just be sure to use plain quick cooking oats.  Start heating your pasta cooking water after you get the meatballs in the pan so that it boils while the sauce simmers.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

For Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground beef (ground round or leaner)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons quick cooking oatmeal
  • ¼ milk
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper

Sauce:

  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 28 ounce can peeled crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup total fresh basil and oregano leaves roughly chopped
  • salt and pepper

Mix together the meatball ingredients with a fork until well combined.  Heat about 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat in a 12 inch non-stick pan (I like Calphalon’s hard anodized 12 inch sauté pan).  Form 1”meatballs adding them to the pan as you form them.  Make sure to leave some room in between each one.  Brown well, about 4 minutes, flip them carefully and brown the other side.  Remove meatballs to a paper towel lined plate to drain.  Pour all but about 1 tablespoon fat from the pan and add onion and garlic.  Sauté until fragrant, about 90 seconds and add the chopped fresh herbs.  Sauté briefly then carefully pour in the canned tomatoes.  Season with about 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill.  Bring to a simmer.  Add the meatballs back to the pan and very gently stir to submerge most of them in the sauce.  If you like your sauce thinner cover the pan and turn heat to low.  If you like a thicker sauce like me, leave the pan uncovered and the heat on medium low.  Simmer for about 10 minutes while your pasta cooks. Serve with whatever kind of pasta you like and parmesan cheese.  We like the non-fancy kind in the green can.  Serves 5.

New Camera = lots of pictures 🙂

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