Italian Sausage Red Sauce with Zoodles or Noodles

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, not much makes me happier than a pot of red sauce simmering on the stove. I like to make a big batch of this sauce over the weekend and freeze it in 2-4 cup increments.  Then on a busy weeknight, just defrost in the refrigerator for […]

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad with Chicken

  Some of the best memories are made in flip flops … while eating this dish. Summer’s back.  Time to make Greek tortellini pasta salad.  Here’s my update on the classic Greek salad. I mixed it up by adding cheese tortellini, shredded chicken, and a couple other tid bits.  I’ve always got cheese tortellini on […]

Lazy Ravioli Lasagna

  So, you’re in a precarious “situation” with the mafia?  (It happens … I guess)  Cooking up a tasty lasagna would really ease some tensions, right?  Problem is, you’ve got neither the time nor the fresh ingredients for a proper dish. Lasagna noodles, ricotta cheese filling, the timely/messy process of layering of everything together?  Here’s […]

Stove-top Gnocchi (not mac) and Cheese with Peas

Fun enough for the kids.  Just grown up enough for the adult palate as well.  So simple to make.  Ready for it?  Sure you are.   This is a fun twist on macaroni and cheese.  I like creating an opportunity to introduce children to new foods and expand their palates, while simultaneously eating something with a sense […]

Roasted Tomato and Arugula Pasta Salad

  I’ve got roasted garlic and tomatoes, and I’ve got feta cheese, and I’ve got arugula, and I’ve got artichokes, and I’ve got a deliciously lemony dressing.  And, you may partake with me on one condition; that you listen to (read) my short rant about Spring weather in Chicago.  Those of you not dealing with […]

Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti with Pesto, Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Shrimp

  I’m a pesto loving fool.  I’m also a tomato loving fool.  Thankfully, this dish has ’em both (plus super cool spiraled zucchini noodles).  I’m a fool in love, and in this particular instance I’m referring to my dinner. What do I love about this dish (other than the pesto and tomatoes?): The harmonious balance […]

Roasted Butternut Squash and Parmesan Sauce

  Another vegetarian dish for y’all! (I know I’m a Midwesterner, but I just felt like typing “y’all”… ever get that urge?) Not to worry, carnivores.  This recipe will not disappoint.  A really cool substitute for the marinara/pesto sauces typically used in pasta dishes.   The natural smoothness of the pureed butternut squash gives this […]

One Skillet Baked Ziti

  Full disclosure: I did not use ziti to make this baked ziti.  I used rigatoni.  It’s what I had on hand and “baked rigatoni” just doesn’t have the same ring. This recipe has “feel good food” written all over it.  Italian sausage, tomato sauce, pasta, ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses, fresh basil and loads […]

Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce

  This is easy. This is delicious. This feeds everyone. This is Italian, and I love it. Bolognese is a meat based sauce (“ragu”) originating from Bologna, Italy.  It’s a complex and slow cooking sauce.  My variation is made up of pancetta, a mixture of ground beef/veal/pork, onion, celery, carrots, dry red wine, crushed tomatoes, […]