Basil Pesto

posted in: Basil Pesto, Pasta | 0

Pesto4Pesto is one of my favorite sauces.  I love it on all kinds of pasta hot and cold.  Before I learned how to make it, I would always order it whenever I went out to eat.  But, not that I have an herb garden and grow lots of basil, I always have it in my fridge and freezer.  I keep jars of it in the fridge and freeze it in ice cube trays and keep it in the freezer to add to soups and stews all year round.  





In the large bowl of a  food processor, add the basil and the nuts.  Chop. 
Add the cheese, garlic, salt and pepper to the food processor and blend.  While the food processor is still running, drizzle the olive oil through the tube until it is completely combined. 
Isn’t this glorious.  Pesto on fresh pasta is great, but don’t stop there.  You will love it on chicken or in soups and tomato sauce.  
Here’s the recipe

Basil Pesto

3 Cups Fresh Basil leaves, packed
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Grated Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
1/2 Cup Pine Nuts
1 Garlic Clove
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
In the large bowl of a  food processor, add the basil and the nuts.  Chop.   Add the cheese, garlic, salt and pepper and put the food processor on the continuous on setting.  While the food processor is still running, drizzle the olive oil through the tube until it is completely combined.Store pesto in the refrigerator with a film of olive oil on the top or a piece of plastic wrap touching the top of the pesto.

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Pasta with Artichokes and Pancetta

Pasta with Pancetta and Artichokes
The combination of flavors in this pasta dish is amazing.  They all go together so well.  The shells hold the sauce and pancetta and the artichokes give it a really fresh taste. 



4 Cups Medium Shells
1 Can Quartered Artichoke Hearts
1 LB Italian Sausage
12 oz Pancetta
6 Sun-dried Tomatoes
2 Garlic Cloves – chopped
1 Cup Fresh Parsley
1 Cup Parmigiano-reggiano Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fill a large stockpot with water and 1 tablespoon salt.  When it starts to boil, add the pasta and stir so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.In a large skillet, brown the pancetta.  When the pancetta is starting to brown, add the sausage meet.  Break it up into small pieces.  When the sausage is brown, add the garlic.  Saute for 1 minute.  Add the sundried tomatoes parsley and the artichoke hearts.  Add 2 ladles of the pasta water.  Let cook 1 minute.  Season with salt and pepper.Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet.  Stir to combine all the ingredients.   Remove the skillet from the heat and add the parmigiano-reggiano and gently stir to combine all the ingredients.Serve immediately

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Baked Pasta with Almonds

posted in: Baked Pasta with Almonds, Pasta | 0
Pasta with Almonds
This is a dish that my Great-Grandmother on my father’s side created.  We had this on Christmas and it was a very special occasion.  This is really easy and especially delicious. 

2 Cans San Marzano Tomatoes – 28 oz each
2 Cans Tomato Paste – 6 oz each
1Lb Ground Beef
1LB Ground Pork
1LB Ground Veal
1 Yellow Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1 Cup Fresh Parsley
Salt and Pepper
¼ Cup Olive Oil
1 Cup Dry Red Wine
1 LB Ground Almonds plus more for serving
1 Cup Grating Cheese plus more for serving
1 LB Ditalini Pasta



1.    In heavy bottom Stockpot, heat the olive oil.
2.    Slice the onion and add it to the hot oil.  Let brown.  When the onion is soft and translucent, add the Garlic.  Browning the garlic will only take a minute or two. 
3.    Remove the Garlic and Onion from the pot.
4.    Add the ground beef, pork and veal. Season the meat with salt and pepper and ½ cup fresh chopped parsley.
5.    In a large bowl, crush the tomatoes.  You can do this by hand or with an emulsion blender. 
6.    Once the meat is browned, add the crushed tomatoes to the pot.   Swirl some water in the tomato cans to get any leftover tomatoes out of the can.
7.    Add the tomato paste. Fill each empty tomato paste can with water and add to the sauce.
8.    Add the red wine.
9.    Stir to mix all ingredients together.
10. Add ½ cup chopped parsley
11.   Season with Salt and Pepper.  Don’t forget, this is a lot of tomatoes, so add enough salt.
12.   Let simmer for 1 hour.
13.   Skim off any visible grease from the top of the sauce.
14.   Boil the pasta until al dente.  Drain.
15.   Assemble the pasta in a baking pan by layering sauce, pasta, nuts and cheese.  Continue with the layers until you have filled the baking pan.
16.   Serve with additional sauce, cheese and almonds.

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Cold Pasta Salad

posted in: Cold Pasta Salad, Pasta | 0
Pasta Salad
Pasta salad is so good.  You can make it ahead of time and it gets better and better the longer it sits. I make this as a side salad for most barbecues, and I have brought it to the beach for lunch.  It’s great.



1 Lb Rotini Pasta
1 Pint Grape Tomatoes – sliced lengthwise
1 Can Small Black Olives – Pitted
6 oz, Feta Cheese
¼ Lb Sliced Pepperoni
½ Lb Hard Salami
2 – 6oz Jars Marinated Artichoke Hearts
2 TBSP Chopped Basil
2 Cups Broccoli Florets – Optional
1 Bottle (16 oz) Italian Salad Dressing
Salt & Pepper
Boil Pasta following the package directions.  Cook until al dente.  Drain pasta and season with salt and pepper.  In a large bowl, add the hot pasta and ½ the feta cheese.  Mix well.  Add the grape tomatoes, olives, pepperoni, salami, artichoke hearts and cooked broccoli florets.  Toss to combine all the ingredients.  Add the salad dressing and the chopped basil.  Mix thoroughly.  Sprinkle the rest of the feta cheese on top before serving.

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Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil

Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil 1
Spaghetti with Garlic and Oil is a staple in all Italian homes.  This is a great meal when you are in a rush or when you come home late and want something good to eat.


1 Lb Spaghetti
2/3 Cup Olive Oil
6 Garlic Cloves – Siced thin
¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
½ Cup Parsley – Chopped
Fresh Ground Pepper


Boil the pasta following the package directions.  Cook until the pasta is al dente. Reserve 1 ½ – 2 Cups Pasta water.  In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the sliced garlic.  When it is starting to turn brown, add the pasta water and let it reduce by 1/3.  Add the al dente pasta.   Toss with tongs to ensure that all the spaghetti is coated.  Add Salt and pepper to taste.  Toss for 1 minute.Remove from the heat.  Add the cheese and parsley.  Toss and serve immediately.

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