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 […]

Italian Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup

  (New Years day, 2013)  While watching his beloved Stanford Cardinal lose in the Rose Bowl, our friend declares, “this is the best soup I’ve ever had.” (I can’t remember the specific below zero windchill day in the month of February, 2014)  My fiance came in from the cold to find this soup cooking. He […]

Sesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken

I’m writing this at 2pm on Friday of Labor Day weekend. We’ve all mailed it in at this point, right? We’re done doing “actual’ work. So, in the spirit of Labor Day, I give you this fantastic dish. Ideal for a lazy summer weekend afternoon. Sesame-Ginger Soba Noodle Salad with Chicken.  Vibrantly flavored, full of crisp […]

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 […]

Lamb Shanks with Parmesan Polenta and Mushrooms

Time to talk lamb shanks?  Why, yes. Yes it is. From the lower section of the leg, lamb shanks are a full-flavored cut of meat.  They do, however, require a bit of love and attention to bring out their full potential.  These shanks are first browned in veg oil.  This gives them color while enhancing […]

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 […]

How to Freeze Homemade Basil Pesto

  Are you reluctantly saying goodbye to summer?  Here’s my perception. Whip up a large batch of homemade pesto.  Then freeze it.  IN ICE CUBE TRAYS!! (yes, that deserved the double exclamation point).  We all love the smell and taste of fresh basil pesto.  We need it during the non summer months.  That said, here’s […]

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 […]

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 […]