Category Archives: Pasta

Sunday Sauce

Meatballs

Tomato sauce
1 to 2 pounds sweet or hot Italian sausage links (I try to find a brand with the fewest and most recognizable ingredients, i.e. no preservatives.)
3 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (28-ounce) cans tomatoes, dump them into a bowl in the sink and crush with your hands.
2 medium onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup white wine
3 bay leaves, dried or fresh
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 cup basil leaves, sliced into a fine chiffonade
Salt and pepper
1 pinch sugar
Spaghetti, or whatever pasta shape you’d like with this sauce, for serving

Once the meatballs are done, in the same pan, lightly brown the sausages on all sides and set aside.
Make the tomato sauce: Lower heat to medium and add the onions and garlic. Once the onions start to become translucent, add 1 cup of dry white wine to deglaze (Mom would use red). At this point, remove the garlic cloves or leave them in, minced, if no one objects.
Nudge the onions and garlic to the side and add the tomato paste. Sauté it over medium-high heat for 2 minutes to caramelize it slightly until it deepens in color and flavor. Add the tomatoes. Stir to make certain nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the bay leaves, oregano, basil, pinch of sugar, and salt and pepper. Gently, add back in the cooked meatballs and sausages.
Bring to a boil, stir gently to make sure no meat is sticking to the bottom, and set to the lowest possible simmer. Leave it bubbling, occasionally giving it a gentle stir, for 2 to 3 or even 4 hours (longer is better).
You need to pull the pasta before it is fully cooked. It will continue cooking and will absorb the sauce later. Put the pasta back in the pot. Add two or three ladles of the cooked tomato sauce and gently stir. You want all of the pasta to be coated, but not swimming in sauce.
Serve each portion with extra sauce (but not too much) on top with a meatball or two and sausage. Pass extra grated Parmesan or Romano cheese at the table.

Source: Sunday Sauce Recipe Recipe on Food52

Pasta Aglio e Olio

1/2 head garlic, separated and peeled
1 bunch parsley, rinsed
1/2 cup good quality olive oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 lb dry linguine
1/2 lemon

Heavily salt a large pot of water, and bring to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente while completing the steps below.

Slice the garlic cloves thinly, and set aside. Pick the parsley leaves from their stems, and finely chop. Add olive oil to a large sauté pan, and heat over medium flame until shimmering. Add sliced garlic, stirring constantly, until garlic is barely toasted. Add the red pepper flake and remove from heat.

Add the pasta, drained, with about 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water. Add lemon juice and parsley, and toss to combine. Season for salt and pepper, and serve.

Easy Chicken Mac and Cheese

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

8 ounces dry macaroni
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole or 2% milk
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon dried mustard (optional)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken (See Recipe Note)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook the pasta: Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente, or according to package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking and keep the pasta from sticking together. Set aside.

Cook the onions and garlic: In a large pot over medium heat, add butter. Once the butter is melted, add chopped onions and cook for a few minutes until they turn translucent. Then add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir the flour into the onion and garlic mixture and cook for a minute.

Stir in the milk, mustard and cheese: Slowly add the milk while stirring. The flour and onion mixture will thicken as you add the milk.

Once all the milk is added, stir in the grated cheese and mustard. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese has melted.

Stir the chicken and pasta into the sauce: Once the cheese is melted, stir in the chicken and cooked pasta. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Source: Easy Chicken Mac and Cheese Recipe | SimplyRecipes.com

Macaroni and Cheese

Thomas Jefferson served a variation of this modern recipe at a White House dinner in 1802, making this then exotic dish popular in America. His relative, Mary Randolph, includes a recipe for macaroni and cheese in the 1845 cookbook, The Virginia Housewife.

1 pound elbow pasta

1 bay leaf
salt to taste
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 tablespoons flour

4 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups Gruyere, grated
3 cups cheddar cheese, grated
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, preferably Maille brand (Jefferson’s favorite)
pinch nutmeg
½ cup plain breadcrumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until not quite al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain, transfer to a bowl, and set aside.
3. Mix the Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl and set aside.
4. In a saucepan heat the milk with the bay leaf, but don’t boil it! Remove the bay leaf.
5. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour until smooth. Whisk in the warm milk and cook, continuing to whisk often, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
6. Stir in the cheese, one cup at a time and whisk until the cheese is melted and incorporated. Whisk in the mustard, pinch of nutmeg, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
7. Remove pan from heat and stir in the reserved pasta. Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle the top with the Parmesan and breadcrumb mixture.
8. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8

Spaghetti Pasta Carbonara

1 Tbsp olive oil or unsalted butter
1/2 pound pancetta or thick cut bacon, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced, about 1 teaspoon (optional)
3-4 whole eggs
1 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1 pound spaghetti pasta (or bucatini or fettuccine)
Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat pasta water: Put a large pot of salted water on to boil (1 Tbsp salt for every 2 quarts of water.)

Sauté pancetta/bacon and garlic: While the water is coming to a boil, heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon or pancetta and cook slowly until crispy. Add the garlic (if using) and cook another minute, then turn off the heat and put the pancetta and garlic into a large bowl.

Beat eggs and half of the cheese: In a small bowl, beat the eggs and mix in about half of the cheese.

Cook pasta: Once the water has reached a rolling boil, add the dry pasta, and cook, uncovered, at a rolling boil.

Toss pasta with pancetta/bacon: When the pasta is al dente (still a little firm, not mushy), use tongs to move it to the bowl with the bacon and garlic. Let it be dripping wet. Reserve some of the pasta water.

Move the pasta from the pot to the bowl quickly, as you want the pasta to be hot. It’s the heat of the pasta that will heat the eggs sufficiently to create a creamy sauce. Toss everything to combine, allowing the pasta to cool just enough so that it doesn’t make the eggs curdle when you mix them in. (That’s the tricky part.)

Add the beaten egg mixture: Add the beaten eggs with cheese and toss quickly to combine once more. Add salt to taste. Add some pasta water back to the pasta to keep it from drying out.

Serve at once with the rest of the parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.

Source: Spaghetti Pasta Carbonara | SimplyRecipes.com