Simple 5-ingredient side dish -->>> Pesto Pasta with Peas

My husband and I love pasta with peas. Anytime I make pasta I almost always throw in a cup or two of frozen green peas. Three things I always have on hand in my kitchen; garlic, olive oil, and frozen green peas. True statement. Some people hate peas. I love them, and boy am I glad I married someone who loves peas as much as I do!

I’ve been trying to spice up my side dishes. I feel like I constantly make the same side dishes with every meal night after night. That’s when I decided to use a jar of pesto sauce, pasta, frozen green peas, heavy cream, and grated parmesan cheese. Yes, just five ingredients to make this Pesto Pasta with Peas. Five ingredients ,that I just about always have on hand made for a tasty new side dish.

Pesto Pasta with Peas

Yes, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have any homemade pesto on hand–my poor basil plant bit the dust earlier this summer before I was able to harvest enough basil for pesto. So when I don’t have homemade pesto on hand I buy the jarred variety. Either way it doesn’t matter. If you’re looking for an easy summer side dish–whether entertaining or just want to jazz up the weekly dinner routine this recipe for Pesto Pasta with Peas is sure to be a winner!

Katie Original Recipe

Pesto Pasta with Peas

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Pesto Pasta with Peas

Ingredients

Directions

  1. In a large pot, cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of starchy pasta water to the side, then drain. Place half of the pesto in the pot, add cooked pasta, thawed green peas, and the remainder of the pesto. Begin to mix then add in the starchy water.
  2. Place heat on low, add in heavy cream and stir until well incorporated and hot. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately!

Notes

This pasta side dish can be served hot or cold!

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slow cooker lemon chicken orzo soup

I’m back today with a slow cooker lemon orzo soup recipe. I’ve made this recipe a few times now over the past 9 months and its been a big hit. Plus, who doesn’t love to let the slow cooker do all the work? I adore my KitchenAid Slow Cooker. It is perfect for entertaining because of the easy serve lid. Each side lifts and locks which is convenient for one-handed serving. No need to find a place to put the lid! I also love that my slow cooker has 4 temperature settings! I also love that its oval and not round. Not that it matters when you’re cooking soup, but if you’re roasting meet it’s a nice feature to have.

lemon chicken orzo soup in the slow cookerThe slow cooker lemon chicken orzo soup is chocked full of veggies, chicken, and flavor and makes enough to feed an army! I also love that it doesn’t really require a lot of ingredients. For instance, you only need 2 boneless skinless chicken breast. From the looks of the soup you would think I used a few pounds of chicken. A few veggies, nothing over the top, plus one cup of orzo pasta and you’ve got yourself a heart soup! You can prep your veggies the night before and place them in a container or a baggie to dump into the slow cooker the next morning or spend a few extra minutes in the morning prepping dinner.

Each time I’ve made this soup I’ve given a nice large container to my neighbor to enjoy. One of the times, she was sick and it just worked out perfect. Who doesn’t love a big bowl of homemade soup when your sick? So whether your up north and still battling the frigid temperatures, starting to come down with a cold, or maybe just craving a simple comforting meal; give my recipe for slow cooker lemon chicken orzo soup a try!

I created this original recipe for Food Fanatic.

Disclaimer: I’m a contributor to Food Fanatic and receive compensation for developing recipes. As always all opinions are my own.


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Easy Lasagna Bolognese Roll-Ups made in less than an hour from KatiesCucina.com

10+ years ago I was introduced to lasagna roll-ups. I thought it was the coolest concept. Forget layering noodle beyond noodle–roll them and serve them individually instead. I mean it makes sense. I always hate when I don’t have a full box of pasta left–then I’m forced to go out and buy another box of pasta only to be stuck with a few remaining noodles for a recipe.

I believe I first saw lasagna roll-ups on an episode of Rachael Ray. She made lasagna roll-ups with a béchamel sauce, I followed the recipe to a tee, since this was back when I wasn’t making recipes quite my own yet. Thankfully, my family loved them. To put my lasagna roll-up making in perspective, this was back when I was in college and living at home! That’s how far lasagna roll-ups date back for me.

Easy Lasagna Bolognese Roll-Ups made in less than an hour from KatiesCucina.com

I make lasagna roll-ups a few times each year. Probably quarterly, and when I do make them they are always chocked full of veggies. Never with meat. That’s just how I roll (no pun intended). I’m starting to make quite a few freezer meals in preparation for the little bambino’s arrival next month. I made a double batch of my bolognese sauce the other weekend. I portioned it out and saved 2 cups of sauce for me to use for lasagna. I had this crazy idea to make lasagna roll-ups and use my bolognese sauce instead of a traditional tomato sauce. Best of all, we only ate half the lasagna bolognese roll-ups, so I got to freeze the other half for the future when we are in need of a delicious and quick homemade meal!

Easy Lasagna Bolognese Roll-Ups made in less than an hour from KatiesCucina.com

In less than an hour you can have a delicious homemade lasagna bolognese roll-ups. They are easy enough to make after a busy day at the office–I promise! Of course, serve it up with a salad and garlic bread.

Katie Original Recipe

Lasagna Bolognese Roll-Ups

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 9

Lasagna Bolognese Roll-Ups

Ingredients

  • 9 Lasagna Noodles
  • 1 cup Ricotta Cheese
  • 4 oz Light Cottage Cheese
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 3 tbsp shredded parmesan
  • 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
  • 2 cups bolognese sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package (10-12 minutes). Strain the noodles and rinse with cold water (placing a few ice cubs in the colander to help cool the noodles down quicker). Once the noodles are cooled down begin to pat dry them.
  3. In a square baking dish, apply cooking spray to pan then spread 1 cup of bolognese sauce.
  4. Using a medium-size bowl, place ricotta, cottage cheese, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt, pepper, shredded parmesan, and 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella. Mix until well incorporated.
  5. Take one sheet of lasagna noodle and place 3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup of cheese mixture on one end. Carefully begin to roll. Place the first roll-up seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until all lasagna noodles and cheese mixture are used. Cover with remaining 1 cup of bolognese sauce.
  6. Bake with foil on top for 20 minutes. Then add the remaining 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella to the top, bake with foil off for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Notes

Have leftovers? Freeze in an airtight container for another meal!

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Cacio e Pepe quick and easy one-pot meal made in less than 20 minutes! Last Sunday, we rested from our baby shower. It was amazing and I honestly can’t say enough about it. Our family and friends are so generous and showered our baby boy with gifts galore. With all the festivities on Saturday it left me drained on Sunday. I honestly had enough energy to cook three meals, do a few loads of laundry, and go grocery shopping. That was it. That might sound like a normal day to most, but not for me. I’m so use to being on the go. Sitting on the couch on the weekends is a luxury in our home. Although in between the few things I did I managed to put my feet up and relax (and nap) a little bit. After breakfast I was pooped and spent most of my morning on the couch. When it came to lunch time I didn’t have the energy to make it, but knew that we needed to eat. That’s when I whipped up a quick and easy one-pot meal of Cacio e Pepe! Simply translated pasta with pepper and parmesan.

Cacio e Pepe

Even though I had no energy I was still able to make a “fancy” lunch in just minutes and with just one pot used! Woohoo. My husband was working away on the nursery (which is the norm around here) and as soon as we were done eating I was back on the couch to rest a little more before heading out to the grocery store.

Cacio e Pepe
The thing I love about Cacio e Pepe is that it requires very few ingredients and best of all I always have these ingredients on hand. Pasta, freshly ground black pepper, parmesan cheese, and olive oil.  You can’t get much more simpler than that. I like to think of Cacio e Pepe as a grown up spicy Italian version of mac and cheese.

Cacio e PepeHead on over to Food Fanatic to get the recipe for Cacio e Pepe and while over there enter to win Swissmar salt and pepper grinder Giveaway!


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One Pot Creamy Vegetable Spaghetti Primavera from KatiesCucina.com

I apologize for my absence last week. I have a great excuse… my kitchen was under construction! If you follow me on social media you saw bits and pieces of the progress take place. I cannot wait to unveil my new kitchen next month. We ripped out our formica countertops and replaced them with gorgeous butcher block. Before doing that my amazing husband (seriously, he deserves the biggest shout-out ever he has done it all with minor help from me), cut out two of the cabinet walls to extend my cabinets so I could use the wasted space the builder never built out. I gained an entire cabinet!  My friends at Moen send us the deepest sink on the planet and the new MotionSense Faucet by Moen. We extended our kitchen island so I have even more work space and built on a custom bookshelf to store my ever growing collection of cookbooks and other kitchen stuff. All that happened in the past week. In the coming weeks we have backsplash to do, a new door to install for our pantry, a custom spice rack to build, and hopefully some custom lighting. That’s all phase one, and we are both hoping for it to be done by the end of this month! I’ll share a glimpse into my kitchen on Katie’s Cucina but all the tutorials will be available on my DIY blog, Sew Woodsy.

One Pot Creamy Vegetable Spaghetti Primavera from KatiesCucina.com
Enough about my kitchen, let’s talk about this delicious one pot meatless meal! I’m all for less dishes after cooking and so is my husband who usually is a trooper and cleans them for us after dinner. I don’t know why I make more one pot pasta meals. This meals comes together beautifully in just under 30 minutes. Of course if you have carnivores in your home that demand meat you could always cook chicken on the side, slice it up, and serve it on top of a big bowl of this Creamy Vegetable Spaghetti Primavera! We prefer this dish just as it is. It makes for a wonderful lunch on the weekend and best of all it makes a lot so you could indulge on it later in the week. Or make it as a quick week night meatless dinner.

Head on over to Food Fanatic to get the recipe for Creamy Vegetable Spaghetti Primavera: Buon Appetito for Meatless Monday


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Grilled Italian Chicken with Veggies & Bow Tie Pasta from KatiesCucina.com

I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today. Its a recipe I cook often yet I’ve never shared it with the world and today I’m sharing it for a very special occassion. It’s my dear friend Aggie’s surprise virtual baby shower! If you’ve never visited Aggie’s Kitchen before, head on over there asap and check out her fresh and healthy recipes that the whole family will love. Aggie and I live near each other and I’ve had the opportunity to get to hang out with her in real life a few times now. We also randomly text message each other on any given day. Can I just tell you that I love the girl! We both eat very much alike… mainly vegetarian and every now and then will eat some meat. When I started brainstorming about what I would bring to her virtual baby shower this recipe came to mind.

aggie's baby shower invite

This is the ideal flexitarian meal to make. I’m pretty sure once Aggie reads this recipe she’ll be making it for her family. Tons of veggies and pasta in a light cream sauce and best of all the meat is on the side. So for those who want to partake in the meat you top the chicken right on top of the pasta! I know Aggie likes to eat healthy but today she can indulge a little with a cream sauce in this pasta! 


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 Orzo Antipasto Salad via KatiesCucina.com #FlavorsOfSummer

When I think of picnics and barbecues I think of pasta and potato salads. Something about the quintessential side dish that gets me every time. I’ve made my tried and true pasta salad year after year but wanted to spice it up recently at a barbecue. That’s when I created this recipe for Orzo Antipasto Salad. Who doesn’t love tomatoes and fresh mozzarella? Why not put it into a pasta salad? I chose orzo pasta because its light and to be honest I neglect it more often than use it. So I wanted to do something with it.

Orzo Antipasto Salad via KatiesCucina.com #FlavorsOfSummer

This Orzo Antipasto Salad is loaded full of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, and pepperoni! I also love pasta salads because you can make them ahead of time and nine times out of ten they only get better over time! For this pasta salad I used Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs paste which made a pesto like taste throughout the pasta salad! This salad pairs beautifully with everything from burgers to pulled pork (pictured in the background).

Orzo Antipasto Salad via KatiesCucina.com #FlavorsOfSummer

Katie Original Recipe

Orzo Antipasto Salad

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Orzo Antipasto Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp salt (for water)
  • 16 oz Box of Orzo Pasta
  • 1/4 cup Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs Paste
  • 1 tbsp Gourmet Garden Garlic Paste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 10 oz Mini Marzano Tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup mini mozzarella, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Garlic Stuffed Green Olives, chopped
  • 25 slices of Pepperoni

Directions

  1. Cook pasta according to box instruction. Make sure to 1 tablespoon of salt to your pot. Drain the orzo in a colander and run under cool water until the pasta is at room temperature. Place pasta in a large container.
  2. Add to the container the 1/4 cup Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs paste, garlic paste, olive oil, mini marzano tomatoes, chopped mozzarella and olives, and pepperoni slices. Mix well until everything is incorporated. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving and store in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
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Celebrate Sweet Vidalia Flavors of Summer with the great tastes of fresh Vidalia Onions, Avocados from Mexico, Gourmet Garden Herbs, Johnsonville Italian Sausage, mangos, watermelon and Stemilt Cherries. Great food and good friends make everyday a party to remember so start entertaining and visit www.flavors-of-summer.com for recipes, coupons and entertaining tips.

Don’t forget to enter the Flavors of Summer Giveaway



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Lemon Bruschetta Pasta with Grilled Chicken from KatiesCucina.com

Bruschetta. How I love thee. I could eat bowls full of tomato and basil bruschetta. It had been a few years since last making a bruschetta chicken pasta. It use to be my go-to meal and to be honest I have no clue why it fell off the radar. I never blogged about it, so that right there tells me that I think its been almost 4 years since I’ve last made it. If I didn’t blog about it most likely it can be dated as a pre-blog recipe. When I made the recipe I would use a soup-mix pouch to get a lot of the flavors. I did not have the mix on hand and figured I would create my own version using fresh ingredients and flavors!


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Lighter Spaghetti Carbonara from KatiesCucina.com

Would you hate me if you knew that I ate my first bowl of Spaghetti Carbonara last year in Europe? Yep totally true. I think the whole egg thing has thrown me off all these years, and thus kept me far, far away from the egg based pasta. But while on vacation I tend to get a little more adventurous. I was craving creamy pasta and I gave it a try… and what do you know? I loved it, and then proceeded to gorge myself until I had a stomach ache (which by the way I don’t recommend that).

I was inspired to make a lighter version of spaghetti carbonara at home. I was craving comfort food. I had a busy day at the office and all I wanted to do was eat a quick comforting dinner and then veg on the couch (which lets get real I rarely ever veg on the couch. I typically get my second wind after dinner and start working on blog stuff until the wee-hours of the morning).

Lighter Spaghetti Carbonara from KatiesCucina.com

So on that sluggish evening (this happened be right after I made tons of homemade spaghetti) I knew I wanted to make pasta but I didn’t know what. I typically make my go-to Shrimp Scampi recipe, but on this particular night I did something I haven’t done in a while… I opened a cookbook! gasp! I find myself opening cookbooks less and less and going straight to the internet. And then, of course,  once I open the cookbook I tend to get lost in it for hours just as I would the internet. That’s when I flipped to this glorious recipe. This was also around Easter time when I had leftover Slow Cooker Ham. Might I add, that I never have ham in the refrigerator, so I felt that this recipe was destine to be cooked. I will tell you that Spaghetti Carbonara is not as scary as it might seem… even if you aren’t a fan of egg yolks–its creamy and comforting and brought me right back to Italy!

Adapted from Cooking Light Five Star Recipes

Spaghetti Carbonara

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4

1 cup

Ingredients

  • 8 oz fresh spaghetti
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1/4 cup chives, diced

Directions

  1. Cook fresh spaghetti for 3 minutes or until al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. Drain the pasta and set to the side.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add the diced ham and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pasta to the pan and stir well.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the Parmigiano-Reginnao, sour cream, skim milk, salt, and lightly beaten eggs. Mix well, then add the reserved pasta water. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta and stir until incorporated and cook for 5 minutes. You'll want the sauce to thicken--make sure it does not boil. Stir in ground black pepper and fresh chives and serve immediately.
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 Fire-Roasted Tomato & Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta Bake from KatiesCucina.com

I love a meal where I can use up leftovers. Transform them into something new. That is exactly what this recipe is today. Back in January, I shared how to make Spicy Italian Sausage Subs with Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce in the Slow Cooker. Super simple meal that allows your slow cooker to do all the work for you. Then a few weeks later I showed you how to Roast Red Bell Peppers. Well, I don’t know about you but when I have lots of leftovers I like to transform them. And thus this beautiful Fire-Roasted Tomato & Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta Bake came to life.

Not only did I utilize some of the leftovers I had on hand, but I used a few more pantry staples include Dreamfields Pasta, some fresh herbs from my garden, and cheese in the refrigerator. After boiling up my pasta, I toss all the ingredients together and voila a beautiful pasta bake ready in less than an hour. Typically, most pasta bakes are loaded with cheese. This pasta bake just so happened to not be loaded with cheese. I chose to place a few dollops of ricotta in the bake. Every now and then we don’t need our pasta loaded with cheese, right? Ok, maybe I’m wrong, but I loved it just the way I made it. If you love cheese feel free to load it up! Either way–its a great way to use up leftovers!

Katie Original Recipe

Fire-Roasted Tomato & Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta Bake

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 4-6

Fire-Roasted Tomato & Spicy Italian Sausage Pasta Bake

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Then add in pasta, chopped roasted red bell peppers, spicy Italian sausage, and sauce. Toss well them add 8 dollops (tablespoons) of ricotta, sprinkle with caramelized onions and grated cheese.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes or until the inside of the pasta is hot and the cheese is melted.
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Disclaimer: I received pasta from Dreamfields pasta; however, I was not compensated nor required to write about them. This is a brand I buy on a regular basis and enjoy eating. As always, all opinions are my own. 


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