Tag Archives: Pasta

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

slow-cooker-baked-ziti

Delicious, baked ziti from the slow cooker?  Yes!  It’s delicious and the pasta cooks just perfectly.

 

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 lb Hot or Sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
8 oz Ziti
28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
8 oz Whole-Milk Ricotta Cheese
4 oz Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons Basil, sliced for garnish

Fold 2 (18 inch) pieces of aluminum foil in half lengthwise.  Line the perimeter of the slow cooker with the foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  This will prevent burning.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage, break it up into pieces and cook until browned.  Add onion and cook until lightly browned.  Season with garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Cook for another minute.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add the ziti.  Stir and cook until the edges of the pasta become translucent, about 4 minutes.  Turn off the heat and stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Pour into the prepared slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.

Remove the foil from the slow cooker.  Spoon dollops of ricotta over the pasta and top with mozzarella cheese.  Cover and let the cheese melt for about 20 minutes.  Garnish with basil.

Serves: 6

Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta

bacon-chicken-mac

 So delicious!

 

Ingredients:
12 oz Penne
6 Thick Cut Slices Bacon
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 lbs Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
2 Cups Whole Milk
1 Cup Chicken Broth
2 Cups Shredded Cheese, divided (1 ½ cups poured into sauce and ½ cup on top)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt water, add pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain and reserve.

While the pasta is cooking.  Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat.  Cut bacon into ½-1 inch pieces.  Cook until crisp and remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate.  Leave the bacon fat in the pan.

In the same skillet over medium/high heat, add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add chicken, cooking until browned.

While the bacon and chicken is cooking, make the sauce by melting the butter in a medium size saucepan over medium/high heat.  Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in broth and milk.  Bring to a bubble, reduce and simmer until thickened.  Add 1 ½ cups shredded cheese, stirring to melt.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the pasta, chicken and sauce together in a 9×13 inch casserole dish.  Top with bacon then remaining cheese.  Bake until the cheese is melted and delicious, about 20 minutes.

 

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Pasta with Tomato Cream Sauce

tomato-cream-sauce

 

I added a couple cups of leftover Slow Cooked Spicy Pulled Pork to this pasta to make it extra delicious.

Ingredients:
12 oz Fettuccine
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Medium Onion, finely diced
4 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 (15oz) Cans Tomato Sauce
Salt and Pepper
1 Cup Heavy Cream
½ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Chopped Fresh Basil

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add salt and cook the pasta.  Reserve a little cooking liquid before draining.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, butter, onion and garlic.  Cook until onion is softened.  Add tomato sauce, salt and pepper, and heavy cream.  Stir together.  Once hot, stir in the parmesan cheese then toss in the pasta.  Add in a little of the reserved cooking liquid if the sauce is too thick.

Just before serving, add the basil and toss to combine.

Yield: 6-8 Servings

-Recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook-

Fancy Mac and Cheese

fancymacOh my!  This was amazing.  I need to make this again very soon.  Chloe loved it too.  She loved the bacon, mushrooms and onions the best.  The roasted mushrooms and sautéed onions are amazing.  The mixture of cheeses make this mac and cheese super awesome amazing.  I didn’t end up using the Gruyère cheese, so I just added more parmesan and fontina cheeses.

Ingredients:
16 oz White Mushrooms, sliced
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
1 ½ lbs Macaroni
8 Slices Thick Cut Bacon
2 Onions, thinly sliced
4 Tablespoons Butter
¼ Cup Flour
2 Cups Whole Milk
½ Cup Half-and-Half
2 Eggs, beaten
½ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
½ Cup Gruyère Cheese, grated
½ Cup Fontina Cheese, grated
4 oz Goat Cheese (chèvre)
4 oz Crumbled Gorgonzola Cheese

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Place mushrooms on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast until browned, about 20-25 minutes.  Reserve.  Turn oven temperature down to 350°F.

Cook the macaroni to al dente.

Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crispy.  Drain on paper towels, leaving 1 Tablespoon of bacon fat in the skillet.  Chop the bacon and reserve.

In the same skillet with the bacon fat, cook the onions over medium-low heat.  Stir occasionally until light brown, about 15 minutes.  Reserve.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook for about a minute.  Whisk in the milk and cook for about 4 minutes until thick and bubbly.  Whisk in the half-and-half, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper.  Temper in the eggs by adding a ladle of the sauce into a bowl with the eggs.  Mix with a fork while adding the sauce.  Pour the eggs into the sauce while whisking.  Stir the parmesan, Gruyere, fontina and goat cheeses into the sauce to melt.  Fold in the cooked macaroni until coated with the cheese sauce.

Butter a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.  Layer in half the onions, half the macaroni, half the mushrooms, half the Gorgonzola, and half the bacon.  Repeat these layers.

Bake until bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.

Yield: 6 for main dish/12 for side dish
-Recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks cookbook-

Taco Stuffed Shells

Taco-Stuffed-Shells

 

Taco Stuffed Shells are a different take on the typical stuffed shell recipe.  These are filled with beef and cheese and smothered in enchilada sauce.

 

Ingredients:
1 lb Ground Beef
2 Tablespoons Taco Seasoning
1/2 Cup Salsa
1/4 Cup Water
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
12 oz Package Jumbo Shells, at least 21 shells
12 oz Enchilada Sauce

 

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Cook shells as per box instructions, set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, brown beef over medium/high heat in a skillet.  Drain off any excess fat.  Add taco seasoning, salsa and water.  Simmer for 5 minutes.

Mix together cottage cheese, 1 cup cheddar cheese and beef mixture together in a large bowl.

Stuff the shells with the beef and cheese mixture.  Place them in the prepared casserole dish.  Top with enchilada sauce and remaining 1 cup cheese.  Bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.

Yield: 4-6 Servings

-Recipe from Plain Chicken-

Apple Bacon Mac and Cheese

 

This Apple Bacon Mac and Cheese is the best mac and cheese I have ever made.  The cheese sauce turned out just right and was super creamy and delicious.  The apples and bacon added a nice flavor and crunch to the dish.  You have to give this recipe a try!

 

Ingredients:
3/4 lb Elbow Macaroni
2 Leeks, white and light green parts thinly sliced and rinsed well
6 Slices Bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
2 Tart Apples, peeled, cored and diced into 1/2 inch chunks
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
3 Cups Milk
8 oz Cheddar Cheese, shredded – about 2 cups
Salt and Pepper, to taste

 

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt water and cook pasta until al dente, about 4-5 minutes.  Place sliced leeks in a colander in the sink.  Drain the pasta over the leeks to soften them.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy.  Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate.  Pour off all but 1 Tablespoon bacon fat from pan.

Add the apples to the skillet with the bacon fat and cook over medium heat until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Reserve in a large bowl.

Melt butter over medium heat in a medium sized saucepan.  Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in the milk until smooth and thickened.  Remove from heat and whisk in 1 1/2 Cups shredded cheese and season with salt and pepper.  Whisk until smooth.

To the bowl with the apples, add the pasta and leeks, cheese sauce and bacon.  Fold together until combined.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Bake until hot and bubbly, about 30 minutes.

 

 

Yield: 6-8 Servings

-Slightly adapted from a recipe found in Rachael Ray Magazine-