Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Fresh Tomato Cream Pasta Sauce

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Fresh Tomato Pasta Cream Sauce

Tis the season of fresh tomatoes, vine-ripened in the garden.  Summer isn’t complete until we’ve had pasta with fresh tomato sauce, and also until the heat and humidity give us a break.  But more importantly, homemade pasta, with fresh from the garden tomatoes.

To make this sauce, I went to my trusted America’s Test Kitchen and read up on their idea of the best recipe.  Unlike the old rule of letting the sauce simmer for hours on end, they claimed that fresh tomato sauce really should only cook for 10 minutes, to keep that fresh garden flavor. What? A great dinner in 10 minutes (except the time prepping the tomatoes)–they were right about that, though I added some more herbs and garlic.  This really does taste garden fresh, so heed the 10 minute recipe.

Fresh Tomato Cream Pasta Sauce Recipe Makes 3 servings

Adapted from The Best Italian Classics

2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
pinch salt
cracked black pepper
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

  1. Melt butter in large nonstick skillet on medium-low heat.
  2. Add  onions and garlic and sauté until onions become translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until any liquid given off by the tomatoes evaporates and the tomato pieces lose their shape to form a chunky sauce, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add heavy whipping cream to sauce and simmer until cream thickens, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Serve over pasta and sprinkle with parmigiano reggiano.

Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce

Friday, March 12th, 2010

“Blue prize winning recipe,” that is if you consider my mom’s culinary critiques to serve as contests.  She raves over this recipe and has threatened me within an inch of my life to give it to her, reminding me that I know the real secret to her famous tea cake cookies.  While you won’t ever get that secret out of my lips, I’ll happily share the one for this pasta sauce.  (Yes, I’m pretty sure that until that last sentence, my mom was shivering with fear that I was about to disclose the one recipe of hers that I’m forbidden ever to share.)

Back to this creamy tomato sauce, the one that just sort of happened one night when I was feeling a little creative and lusting for a tomato pasta sauce that was  creamy, one that I could later adapt into something for that lobster ravioli that I had been musing on for several months.  And well, sometimes, the first time is the charm.  As it was with this.  I make it the same way every time, and served atop some homemade pasta it is simply irresistible.  While it may not photograph particularly well, correction, while I may not photograph it very well, this pasta has me screaming, “Mmm, mmm, get in my belly!”

Creamy Tomato Sauce Recipe  Makes about 4 servings.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
pinch salt
cracked black pepper
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

  1. Put olive oil and shallots in pan over medium low heat.
  2. When shallots begin to soften, add garlic, bay leaves, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper.  Stir together.
  3. Add mushrooms.
  4. Once mushrooms begin to soften, add tomato sauce.  Stir together and allow to simmer.
  5. After allowing to simmer for a few minutes, taste and add more herbs if necessary.
  6. Stir in heavy whipping cream.
  7. Once the sauce is hot (it will cool from adding cold heavy whipping cream), serve over pasta of choice.
  8. Garnish with parmigiano-reggiano on top.

Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Saturday, February 27th, 2010

Not all red sauces are tomato-based, and they shouldn’t be.  Puréed roasted red peppers make a delightful sauce with a smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with chicken and pasta.  If you really must, you could use the peppers in a jar, but I recommend roasting your own peppers, which you can even do in advance and have them ready on the night you want to make this pasta.  So, if you’re looking for a great sauce that is a break from the tomato, then give this one a try.  You’ll be glad you did.

Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta Recipe  Makes 3 servings.

2 roasted red peppers
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
cracked black pepper
pinch salt
2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
1/2 pound chicken, chunked
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

  1. Put extra virgin olive oil in large skillet on stove on medium low heat. Add roasted red peppers, garlic, basil, oregano, red pepper, black pepper, and salt.
  2. After red peppers are warm, remove from heat.  Purée in food processor.
  3. Meanwhile, cook chicken in the same skillet to absorb flavors left behind by the red peppers.  When chicken is almost done, add mushrooms.  Allow mushrooms to cook down until tender.
  4. Once chicken and mushrooms are cooked, pour the red pepper purée back into the skillet.  Add the heavy whipping cream.  Stir together and allow the sauce to heat through.
  5. Serve over pasta.  Sprinkle freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano on top.

Salmon in Creamy Dill Sauce

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I just might be gushing about this one for weeks.  This salmon and creamy dill sauce were out of this world, definitely worth writing home, err blog, about.  The salmon–amazing. The sauce–divine.

We still had some salmon in the refrigerator, and I was jonesing for something creamy with dill and pasta. So that is what I created. I looked up a few recipes for a creamy dill sauce, and they were all based on mayonnaise and sour cream. That sounded less than appealing to me and outright disgusting to Russell, so I went to the drawing board with a marker, read stove-top with a skillet, and started making something creamy and then dill-y, and then threw it on top of some angel hair pasta.

Salmon in Creamy Dill Sauce Recipe  Makes 3 servings.


12 ounce salmon fillet
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons dill
2 tablespoons lime juice
cracked black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Drizzle olive oil in pan, then add the salmon fillet.
  3. Sprinkle dill on salmon.
  4. Crack black pepper on salmon.
  5. Pour lime juice on salmon.
  6. Bake until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees, about 20 minutes.
  7. While salmon is in the oven, make the creamy dill sauce.

Creamy Dill Sauce

2 tablespoons butter
4 ounces cream cheese
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons dill
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
cracked black pepper
pinch salt
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano

  1. Melt butter and cream cheese  in saucepan on medium low heat.
  2. Add dill, oregano, nutmeg, red pepper, black pepper, and salt.
  3. Add heavy whipping cream.  Stir until smooth.
  4. Add parmigiano-reggiano.  Stir until cheese melts.

Once the salmon is baked, chunk it up and add it to the creamy dill sauce and serve over pasta.

Spinach Feta Pasta

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Remember that old Rice Krispies Treats commercial where the mom is in the kitchen reading while the family waits on the treats, thinking she is slaving away. (If not, watch it right now!) I loved this commercial when I was a kid and still make jokes about making Rice Krispies Treats when I’m covered in flour. So, what in the world, you are wondering, does that have to do with Spinach Feta Pasta? Well, this pasta is just as easy to make as Rice Krispies Treats. The difference is that not everyone knows it, so you can fool your spouse, or whomever, into thinking you slaved away in the hot kitchen, when really you barely did anything more than boil water.

So, pick up a book, head to the kitchen, and make this for dinner if you really want to impress someone (even if just yourself) but can’t be bothered to make homemade lobster ravioli. (recipe coming soon)

Spinach Feta Pasta Recipe  Makes 3-4 servings

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cups chopped fresh baby bella mushrooms
9 ounces fresh spinach
6 ounces feta, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

  1. Sauté shallot in extra virgin olive oil on medium low heat.
  2. Add garlic, mushrooms, red pepper, black pepper, and salt.
  3. When mushrooms are cooked, add spinach and feta.  Stir together and allow feta to melt.
  4. Serve over pasta of choice.