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Category Archives: Pasta

White Lasagna with Chicken & Spinach

Hello, hello! I am thrilled to be back on the blog-scene once again. It has been such a long time since I have had a single spare moment to devote to Rachel’s Vittles. Change is in the air (or kitchen) though. As difficult as it is for me, I will be delegating some of my responsibilities to others 🙂 so that I can spend a bit more time doing what I love, which is cooking and sharing about it here.

I truly hope that each and every one of you had a remarkable and memorable Christmas and start to this New Year! I am very much looking forward to the many new adventures and memories 2012 will bring my way. I thought it might be fun to reflect back and share with you what has been going on in my crazy-busy life.

My youngest child and only son, Richard (aka Bubba) is quite the busy body these days. He has not only mastered walking, but running as well and is quickly moving on to climbing. His appetite is tremendous, I still haven’t figured out how the little guy eats so much but, I am fairly certain he has inherited my love of food. He is the happiest little baby I know, and he seems to have his Daddy’s patience. The good Lord must have known he would need it in this home full of girls!

Gracie… where do I even begin. I have come to the conclusion that this little girl must be solar-powered. She doesn’t eat very much at all and sleep is something she rarely does for any decent amount of time. So, being that we live here in the Sunshine State she must run on the sun! lol. Our little girl has become quite a character at the ripe young age of 2. She is loving, hilarious, theatrical, silly, sarcastic, very particular, determined and so abundantly full of energy. We never have a shortage of entertainment around here. She is so much fun to be around and brings a constant smile to my face. She loves, Loves, LOVES her brother & sisters, and during this past year she has added horses to the list of who she loves. It is amazing to me that my tiny 24 pound girl doesn’t hesitate for a second before climbing on the back of a horse and riding off. In December she rode all by herself, not even with a lead rope, for the first time! She is the cutest little cowgirl.

Emily is doing phenomenal in school this year. I am so impressed with her accomplishments during her sixth grade year. She is playing the violin, and doing an amazing job at it. I love to hear her play! I look forward to listening to her make music with those strings for many, many years to come! Her 4-H project this year is a hog, which she named Pigsie (like Pixie) and she also has two miniature goats. Emily has taken her love for horses to a new level this past year. She is now a member of the NBHA (National Barrel Horse Assoc.) and is barrel racing every chance she gets. It is hard to believe that she will be 12 years old this month…time flies! I am so blessed to have her as a daughter!

Bailey, my oldest baby 🙂 will be 15 years old this upcoming Tuesday! I just cannot believe that so many years have passed since I became a Mommy for the first time! She has become a remarkable young lady who has so much going for her. She jumped on the 4-H wagon this year, and cannot wait to jump back off! Nepolian is the name of her swine, and fair time can’t get here quickly enough. Bailey is also a new member of the NBHA this year and is spending as much time on the horses as she can. She loves the horses and with her hardcore competitive spirit I know she will go far. New and exciting times are in store for her this year as she will be driving and getting her first job!

As you might can see my children keep me a bit busy, but I love every single moment of it and I wouldn’t change it for anything! I have days that I feel like I am going crazy (my husband thinks I am crazy), which I think is normal with two babies and two teenage girls!

Again, I am happy to be returning to my blog and I am looking forward to a year full of delicious vittles!

White Lasagna with Chicken & Spinach

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of cooked chicken, chopped
  • 1 – 14 oz. can baby artichokes hearts quartered drained
  • 1 – box frozen chopped spinach thawed and drained
  • 1 – box frozen chopped broccoli thawed and drained
  • 1 box of lasagna noodles, boiled according to directions on box
  • 3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 large egg well beaten
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic
  • 1 teaspoon each sea salt and black pepper (I usually add more, to tatse)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 to 3 cups of water
  • 3-4 medium-sized tomatoes chopped

Directions:

  • Beat egg well, add in the ricotta and parsley until combined and set aside
  • In a skillet over medium heat melt butter, whisk in the flour to make a roux, do not allow the butter to burn. Continue cooking and whisking about 2 minutes, add the water, cream and milk, whisk until all of the flour/butter mixture has dissolved into the cream cook over low heat (don’t boil) until it has thickened.  Add the parmesan or romano cheese, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Place the artichokes, broccoli and spinach in a bowl and toss to combine.
  • To begin building lasagna. Spray your pan with non-stick cooking spray. Start with a layer of noodles first, top with 1/3 of the cooked chicken, 1/3 of the vegetable mixture, 1/4 of the mozzarella, and then ladle on 1/4 of the sauce. Repeat this process two more times ending with noodles. Top with remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove foil and return to oven for an additional 10 minutes or so.
  • Allow the lasagna to sit on the counter, uncovered for 5-10 minutes. This lets the dish set so that you can cut and serve it, with minimal sliding 🙂
  • Garnish with chopped tomatoes just before serving.
 

Chicken & Broccoli Linguine

 

This is the perfect meal for those evenings when you are pressed
for time but still want to serve a healthy and tasty dinner.                                                                            This dish comes together quickly and easily, not to mention it makes a great next day, left-over lunch!

You could easily swap out the chicken for beef, pork, tofu or shrimp, or make a combination with
what is appeals to you. Snap peas, squash, zucchini, bell pepper, mushrooms,
etc… could take place or add to the broccoli. You get the idea, make this dish
yours. You know what your family will eat.
This is also a great way to use up left over meats & vegetables from previous meals. I attempt to use up everything I buy. When I toss out food that should have been eaten I feel like I am throwing away money, which is never good.

This recipe makes an enormous amount of food. It would easily feed 6 adults. I am guessing that if you cut it in half you could serve 2 adults and 2 children. But, then you wouldn’t have enough for lunch the next day!

I would love to hear what you make of this easy dinner idea!
Leave it in the comments for this recipe so everyone can enjoy your creation 🙂

Chicken Broccoli Linguine

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. linguine (whole wheat is best) cooked according to directions
  • 3 to 4 cups of cooked chicken, cut into bite-size pieces (boneless & skinless)
  • 2) 12 oz. bags of frozen broccoli
  • ¾ cup diced sweet or yellow onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2) 14.5 cans Italian style tomatoes (do not drain)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

Boil pasta.

While pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over med high
heat, add butter, onions, and garlic sauté about 7 minutes. Reduce heat to
medium.

Add chicken, broccoli, tomatoes, salt and pepper, and red
pepper flakes. Cover and cook until the broccoli is heated through, stirring
often.  Add the milk and cheese, stir and
allow to just come to a boil. Remove from heat.

In a large serving bowl add the drained pasta, and then the
chicken and veggies. Toss so that everything is evenly combined.  Walla. Done!

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2011 in Chicken, Pasta, Veggies

 

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Butternut Squash & Bacon Pasta

I hear all this talk on the news about Fall, which I have yet to see a sign of it here is SW Florida! I have many friends from up North, who are bragging about the temperatures in their home towns on Facebook! The weather here in South Florida has remained in the mid to high 90’s, with the heat index much higher! I must admit I am somewhat jealous and more than ready to welcome the cooler temps! Even with the warm weather, chances are if you are out and about shopping you will see pumpkins, cornucopia’s, gourds, scarecrows & endless other signs of Autumn. So, I am jumping on the wagon, because I LOVE all of the flavours of Fall! Pumpkin and butternut squash are by far my two favorites, so expect to see many recipes that include these fabulous ingredients!

I put this dish together with what I had on hand. I was quite surprised with the outcome, to say the least! It was seriously delicious!!

Ingredients & Directions:

2 medium size butternut squash ( scoop out the seeds and stringy center,peel and dice into 1″ cubes)

1 sweet onion (diced)

2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground sage

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Toss above ingredients and bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile boil 16 oz. bowtie (or pasta of your choice) & drain.

In a large bowl, mix pasta, squash mixture, 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/4 to 1/2 cup parmasean cheese, 1/2 cup bacon bits or pieces, 1 Tablespoon dried parsley, salt & pepper to taste.

That’s it! This dish goes together quickly and is great as a meal within itself! Enjoy.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2011 in Pasta, Salads, Veggies

 

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Chicken Parmesan

My lovely sister-in-law, Kelly, shared this recipe last week. As soon as I read the ingredients I knew it was a must cook! I have made ‘Chicken Parmesan’ many times. Not once, has it ever turned out as delicious as this recipe did. I think that the garden fresh tomatoes play a big role in the final product, however, I tried it tonight with the canned alternative and it was still fabulous! This dish has layers of flavors and textures. The pasta, al dente; chunky tomatoes and herbs create a sauce leaving nothing to be desired; crispy on the outside, juicy in the middle chicken breasts are the focal point of this dish, finish it off with melted mozzarella and parmesan! Whalla! You now have Chicken Parm Deliciousousness 🙂 Yes, that should be a Webster addition!

Thank you Kelly for sharing such a great dish!

This is the greatest
Chicken Parmesan ever!!

For the sauce:

7-8 garden tomatoes (if you don’t have garden tomatoes, I would suggest using 1
large can of crushed tomatoes and 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes)

1/2 tsp salt

dash pepper

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 yellow onion, diced

2 Tbsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes

1/2 tsp. sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1 small can tomato sauce

For the Chicken:

3 chicken breasts (pounded flat)

2 eggs, beaten

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 c. Panko bread crumbs

1 Tbsp. italian seasoning

1/4 c. parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

6 slices provolone or mozzarella cheese

1 lb. spaghetti

If you are using fresh tomatoes, peel them and mash them with a potato masher
in a medium-sized bowl. Add salt and pepper, set aside. Heat a little vegetable
oil in a large skillet and saute onion and garlic. When onions are clear, add
the smashed tomatoes. Add basil, oregano, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper and
bring to a good rolling simmer. Add tomato sauce (to thicken it up a little
bit). It still may seem a little watery, but trust me, it thickens up quite a
bit after it simmers. Reduce heat a little and simmer uncovered for at least an
hour, stirring occasionally.

About 20 minutes prior to serving. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and add beaten
egg and garlic. Smash all the air out of the bag, seal tightly, then work the
the chicken around a little bit so it is covered in egg. On a plate or pie pan,
combine bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Heat some oil
on medium heat in another large skillet. Remove chicken from egg mixture and
press into the bread crumbs. When covered in bread crumbs, add the chicken to
the oil brown on each side.

Place chicken on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375-degrees for
about 12 minutes or until no longer pink. In the meantime, cook spaghetti to al
dente. Remove chicken from oven, add 2 slices of cheese per chicken breast,
then return to the oven for about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Layer on
individual plates: spaghetti, sauce, then chicken.

The homemade tomato sauce is the key with fresh
tomatoes!! Enjoy!!

For the sauce:

7-8 garden tomatoes (if you don’t have garden tomatoes, I would suggest using 1
large can of crushed tomatoes and 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes)

1/2 tsp salt

dash pepper

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 yellow onion, diced

2 Tbsp. dried basil

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 Tbsp. dried parsley flakes

1/2 tsp. sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1 small can tomato sauce

For the Chicken:

3 chicken breasts (pounded flat)

2 eggs, beaten

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 c. Panko bread crumbs

1 Tbsp. italian seasoning

1/4 c. parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

6 slices provolone or mozzarella cheese

1 lb. spaghetti

Garnish with fresh basil sliced basil

If you are using fresh tomatoes, peel them and mash them with a potato masher
in a medium-sized bowl. Add salt and pepper, set aside. Heat a little vegetable
oil in a large skillet and saute onion and garlic. When onions are clear, add
the smashed tomatoes. Add basil, oregano, parsley, sugar, salt and pepper and
bring to a good rolling simmer. Add tomato sauce (to thicken it up a little
bit). It still may seem a little watery, but trust me, it thickens up quite a
bit after it simmers. Reduce heat a little and simmer uncovered for at least an
hour, stirring occasionally.

About 20 minutes prior to serving. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and add beaten
egg and garlic. Smash all the air out of the bag, seal tightly, then work the
the chicken around a little bit so it is covered in egg. On a plate or pie pan,
combine bread crumbs, parsley, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Heat some oil
on medium heat in another large skillet. Remove chicken from egg mixture and
press into the bread crumbs. When covered in bread crumbs, add the chicken to
the oil brown on each side.

Place chicken on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375-degrees for
about 12 minutes or until no longer pink. In the meantime, cook spaghetti to al
dente. Remove chicken from oven, add 2 slices of cheese per chicken breast,
then return to the oven for about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Layer on
individual plates: spaghetti, sauce, then chicken. Garnish with fresh basil.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on September 11, 2011 in Chicken, Pasta

 

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Caprese Pasta & Chicken Salad

Caprese Pasta & Chicken Salad

This dish must have been created for the summertime! I find it is the perfect meal when it’s scalding outside, and it’s ridiculously easy to throw together! The last thing I want to do at the end of a sweltering and busy day is to come home and eat a hot meal. This wholesome and delicious, meal in a bowl may be prepared ahead of time and can be served right out of the refrigerator. I do however recommend leaving the tomatoes whole if you make more than 24 hours in advance. Also, allow the dish to sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes or so before serving. The flavor of  cheese becomes more enhanced as it comes to room temperature. This recipe is easily doubled for larger crowds. This makes it a quick and easy go-to dish serve at your next party or to contribute at a Pot Luck!

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. box of Farfalle (bow-tie shaped) pasta
  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or pick up a fully cooked chicken from the deli, to save time)
  • 3 Tablespoons of Basil Pesto (already prepared in the jar)
  • 8 oz. of Fresh Mozzarella cut into cubes or fresh mozzarella pearls if your grocer carries them, again a time saver
  • 7-8 Fresh Basil leaves chopped up for garnish
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Poach the chicken by boiling in salted water 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the pot and allow to cool. When it is cool enough to handle cut into bite size piece.  Time saver – buy an already cooked chicken.
  •  Cook pasta al dente’ according to directions on the box, careful not to over cook this makes the pasta mushy.
  • Slice tomatoes in half, and cut up the cheese into small cubes.  If you can find the pearls go with them, less preparation time and makes for a better presentation of the dish.
  • Drain pasta well and transfer to a large serving bowl.
  • While the pasta is still warm add the pesto, toss so that all of the pasta is coated, and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Once to room temp. add the chicken, cheese and tomatoes & gently toss.
  • Season with salt and pepper if desired, the pesto usually adds enough salt.
  • Slice the basil and garnish just before serving to prevents wilting and discoloration.
  • Red pepper flakes are a great way to spice it up a bit.
 
3 Comments

Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Chicken, Pasta, Salads, Uncategorized

 
 
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