Archive of ‘Italian’ category

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine

A few days ago our oldest son popped in for a visit, and ended up staying to have dinner with us. I made this yummy, quick recipe for Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine, and we enjoyed it very much!Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The recipe is one I’ve had for years and years, but do not know the original source, since only the recipe was written down on a little 3×5 card.  I’ve made a few changes to the recipe over the years to suit my taste buds, and let me tell you… it is good!

The basic recipe is actually quite simple… cook bacon, cook pasta, cook a few simple fresh ingredients, combine and serve in about 20 minutes! It tastes wonderful, too!  Here’s how you make this dish:

In a skillet, cook bacon pieces until crisp. Transfer bacon pieces to paper towel to absorb grease.. Drain bacon drippings, BUT LEAVE 1 TABLESPOON BACON DRIPPINGS IN SKILLET (sorry for the slightly blurry photo). **Tip: While bacon is cooking, bring water for pasta to boiling, then cook in separate pot**.

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add chopped onion, tomato, basil and crispy cooked bacon pieces to reserved Tablespoon of bacon drippings in skillet. The photo below is before I added the cooked bacon. (I used a variety of colored tomatoes, but any fresh tomatoes will be perfectly fine!). Cook 3-4 minutes until onion is tender, and tomatoes have begun to break down. Add minced garlic and a couple Tablespoons of starchy water from the pasta that is cooking. Stir well, to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated completely through on medium heat.

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat lightly salted water in large pot for pasta. When boiling, add pasta, and cook according to package directions. (Note:  I did this while cooking the bacon and sauce to save time).  I made the fettucine from scratch with my little pasta machine earlier in the day just for fun!  Isn’t it beautiful?  I used it in this meal (because I find it relaxing to make homemade pasta), but absolutely recommend using store bought pasta for the easiest way to make this dish!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When pasta is finished cooking, drain and add pasta to skillet with the sauce. Gently toss with tongs, to thoroughly coat the pasta with sauce. Cook until heated through, adding an additional touch of water if necessary to thin the sauce to cover.

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place pasta and sauce onto serving dishes, then garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of dried or fresh parsley. Serve, and enjoy!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

We really enjoyed this pasta dish with a simple mixed green salad on the side.  The recipe, as written, makes 3 main course servings or 4-5 small side servings.

As I write this blog today, my heart is broken over the Hurricane Harvey destruction and horrific flooding occurring in Texas and Louisiana this week. We are continuing to pray for our fellow citizens impacted by this event, and are hopeful God will meet their needs physically, emotionally and spiritually during and after this tragedy. He is “a very present help in times of trouble”.

Have a good day, friends. May you know God’s unconditional love, no matter what you are going through!

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Original Recipe Source: unknown (recipe handwritten on a 3×5 card many years ago)

Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 3 main or 4 side
Ingredients
  • 6 ounces fettucine noodles
  • 3 slices raw bacon, cut into ½ inch slices
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil (or 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons starchy pasta water
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
  • Dried parsley (for garnish)
Directions
  1. Heat lightly salted water in large pot. When boiling, add pasta, and cook according to package directions. (I did this at same time I was cooking bacon and sauce).
  2. In a skillet, cook bacon pieces until crisp. Transfer bacon pieces to paper towel to absorb grease. Drain grease from skillet, BUT LEAVE 1 TABLESPOON BACON GREASE IN SKILLET.
  3. Add chopped onion, tomato, basil and bacon pieces to bacon drippings in skillet. Cook 3-4 minutes until onion is tender, and tomatoes have begun to break down. Add minced garlic and a couple Tablespoons of water from the pasta that is cooking. Stir well, to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until heated completely through on medium heat.
  4. When pasta is finished cooking, drain and add pasta to skillet with the sauce. Gently toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Heat until hot throughout. Place pasta and sauce onto serving plates, and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of dried parsley. Serve, and enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Fresh Tomato, Bacon and Onion Fettucine / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

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Shrimp Scampi

Large shrimp cooked with olive oil, butter, lemon juice and lots of garlic, and served with pasta… does that sound good to you? If it does, then you will LOVE this recipe for Shrimp Scampi!Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Easy and delicious... this meal is ready in under 30 minutes!
Did you know that in the United States we have “National Shrimp Scampi Day”? It is celebrated each year on April 29th. Who knew?  I recently found this recipe from celebrity chef Ina Garten and decided to try it with some shrimp I had pulled out of our freezer. I’d made shrimp scampi many times before, using a different recipe, but decided this one was the winning ticket, so I wanted to share on my blog! It is light… and DELICIOUS!!!! Did I mention that it’s really easy to make?  Here’s how:

Place a little bit of vegetable oil into a large pot of boiling water.  Add the pasta and 1 Tablespoon salt. Cook per package instructions. While pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp.

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To prepare the shrimp, melt butter and olive oil in large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often to prevent the garlic from burning.

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add shrimp, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ground black pepper to the skillet.

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cook, stirring often (and cooking both sides), for a total of about 5 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink in color.

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add chopped parsley, lemon zest, lemon slices, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes. Stir well, to fully combine ingredients. (sorry photo is a bit blurry… must have been in a hurry to eat!)

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

By now the pasta should be done cooking. Drain cooked pasta, then place back into the pot.  Add the shrimp and sauce to the pasta.  Mix ingredients well, so that pasta is coated with sauce. Serve while hot… and enjoy the wonderful flavors of this classic Italian dish! The recipe as written makes 3 large servings or 4 slightly smaller servings.

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Easy and delicious... this meal is ready in under 30 minutes!

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Easy and delicious... this meal is ready in under 30 minutes!

The shrimp tastes wonderful, due in part to the freshly squeezed lemon juice and zest, plus the flavorful minced garlic! I have a hunch you will absolutely LOVE this meal!  My husband and I had the leftovers the next day for lunch, and they tasted just as good as the night before!  Hope you will consider giving this recipe a try… it’s quick, easy and so incredibly good!

Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/linguine-with-shrimp-scampi-recipe3-1916619

Shrimp Scampi
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 3 servings
Ingredients
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon salt + 1½ teaspoons (divided)
  • ¾ pound linguini or spaghetti
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 2½ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ Tablespoons minced garlic (approx 4 large cloves)
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Grated zest from ½ large lemon
  • ⅓ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (approx. 2-3 lemons)
  • ¼ lemon, thinly sliced into rounds
  • ⅛ teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
Directions
  1. Place a little bit of vegetable oil into a large pot of boiling water. Add the pasta and 1 Tablespoon salt. Cook per package instructions. While pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp.
  2. To prepare shrimp, melt butter and olive oil in large skillet on medium-low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often to prevent the garlic from burning.
  3. Add shrimp, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ground black pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring often (and cooking both sides), for a total of about 5 minutes, until the shrimp turn pink in color. Remove skillet from the heat. Add chopped parsley, lemon juice, lemon slices, lemon zest, and the red pepper flakes. Stir well, to fully combine ingredients.
  4. By now the pasta should be done cooking. Drain pasta, then place pasta back into the pot. Add the shrimp and sauce to the pasta right away. Toss ingredients well, so that pasta is coated with sauce. Serve hot, and enjoy!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Shrimp Scampi / The Grateful Girl Cooks! Easy and delicious... this meal is ready in under 30 minutes!

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Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells

If you like chicken and broccoli, you will LOVE these Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells! Such a “comfort food” dish… with cheesy Alfredo sauce coating the chicken and broccoli inside jumbo sized pasta shells! Yum!Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

There are so many ways to enjoy stuffed pasta shells, and this recipe caught my attention.  How can you go wrong with pasta, chicken, broccoli, AND cheesy Alfredo sauce?  We really enjoyed this fairly simple to prepare dinner.   We also enjoyed finishing off the leftovers the next day!  Here’s how to make these delicious stuffed shells:

Prepare the jumbo pasta shells by cooking according to the package directions. Cook until the pasta is al dente, then drain and place pasta shells on a large baking sheet to cool, separating them so they don’t stick together while cooling. Set aside.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
While pasta is cooking/cooling, prepare the Alfredo sauce by combining butter, garlic, heavy whipping cream and milk in a pan on medium heat. Stir together ingredients and bring them to a low simmer (do NOT boil).  Place the egg yolks in a small bowl, beat until blended, then temper the eggs (this slowly raises the temperature of the egg yolks to prevent them from scrambling when they hit the simmering hot Alfredo sauce). To temper the eggs, add a spoonful of the hot Alfredo sauce to the egg yolks, whisking the mixture as you add. Repeat the process with several more spoonfuls, one at a time, whisking each spoonful into the eggs. Once you have done this, slowly drizzle the egg yolk mixture into the Alfredo sauce, whisking as you add.  Stir mixture well to combine, then remove pan from the heat.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After pan has been removed from heat, stir in 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and the Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.  Season to taste, with salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a large mixing bowl, combine shredded/chopped chicken, chopped steamed broccoli and 1/2 cup of the Alfredo sauce. Stir to combine.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To assemble: Place a couple spoonfuls of Alfredo sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 cake pan.  Place a large spoonful of the chicken/broccoli mixture into each pasta shell.  Place filled shells on top of sauce in pan.  Divide remaining sauce over the tops of the pasta shells, then sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella cheese (1/2 cup).

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake, uncovered in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. When done, the cheese sauce will be bubbling up around the shells, and cheese will be melted on top of shells. Remove pan to a wire rack, and let pasta shells cool for a minute before serving.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place pasta shells onto individual serving plates and spoon some of the remaining Alfredo sauce over the top.  Sprinkle with dried parsley flakes, if desired… and enjoy this delicious meal!

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I hope you enjoy trying this stuffed shell recipe. My husband and I really appreciated the leftovers, as well (just as good the second time around).  Have a wonderful day, and strive to be kind. It’s so simple to do… and can really encourage or make an impact on someone who might be hurting.  May God bless you.

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: http://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/chicken-broccoli-alfredo-stuffed-shells/

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Chicken and broccoli bake inside jumbo pasta shells atop a delicious creamy Alfredo sauce.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 (12 ounce) box of jumbo pasta shells
  • 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped (rotisserie chicken works well)
  • 1¾ cups chopped/steamed broccoli
For Alfredo Sauce:
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1¼ cup whole milk
  • ⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup freshly grated Mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
Garnish:
  • ½ cup freshly grated Mozzarella Cheese
  • Dried parsley flakes
Directions
  1. Prepare pasta shells according to package directions until pasta is al dente; drain and place pasta shells on baking sheet to cool, separating them so they don't stick together.
  2. While pasta is cooling, prepare Alfredo sauce by combining butter, garlic, heavy whipping cream and milk in a pan set on medium heat. Stir ingredients and bring them to a low simmer (do NOT boil). Place egg yolks in a bowl, beat until blended, then temper the eggs (this slowly raises the temp. of the egg yolks to prevent them from scrambling when they hit the simmering Alfredo sauce). To temper eggs, add a spoonful of the hot Alfredo sauce to the egg yolks, whisking as you add. Repeat process with 3-4 more spoonfuls, one at a time, whisking while adding. Slowly drizzle egg yolk mixture into the Alfredo sauce, whisking as you add. Whisk mixture well; remove pan from heat.
  3. Add ½ cup Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Stir. Add salt and pepper; season to taste.
  4. In mixing bowl, combine chicken, cooked broccoli and ½ cup Alfredo sauce. Stir. Place a couple spoonfuls of Alfredo sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 cake pan. Place a large spoonful of the chicken/broccoli mixture into each shell. Place filled shells on top of sauce in pan.
  5. Spoon remaining sauce over the top of the shells; sprinkle with ½ cup mozzarella cheese.
  6. Bake (uncovered) at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. When done, the cheese sauce will be bubbling, and cheese will be melted on top. Remove pan to wire rack; let shells cool a minute before serving. Transfer shells to individual serving plates and spoon remaining Alfredo sauce over the top. Garnish with dried parsley flakes. Serve and enjoy!

Here’s another to pin on your Pinterest boards!Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Stuffed Shells / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake

This EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta and Spinach Bake may not be the poster child for “Good-Looking” meals, but what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in TASTE! This meatless pasta dish, with three Italian cheeses, tastes wonderful, and is incredibly easy to prepare!EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta and Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I came up with this simple recipe one day while brainstorming what to make for dinner. After taking stock of what I had in my refrigerator and pantry, I decided to make this recipe using what I already had in the house. The results? A really good, SIMPLE to prepare meal!  Since I was creating a meal off the top of my head, I didn’t document the process too well with photos.  So these photos are just to give you an idea… trust me, the meal tastes a LOT better than it looks in these pictures.

The recipe is very straightforward.  Penne pasta is cooked and drained, then spaghetti sauce (flavor/variety of your choice-homemade or store-bought), three cheeses (mozzarella, Parmesan and ricotta), garlic powder and fresh chopped spinach  are added and mixed together.  The pasta is then placed into a 9×13 pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray.

EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The pasta is then topped with additional mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pasta is baked (covered with aluminum foil) for 20 minutes, then foil is removed and continues baking for 5 more minutes (uncovered). That’s it!  Serve the pasta hot… and enjoy! It may not be the most “appetizing” looking photo I’ve ever taken, but it really is GOOD!

EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will give this recipe a try! It is filling, filled with flavor, and is a cinch to prepare!  The leftovers were good, too!

EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta And Spinach Bake
 
Prep time
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Penne Pasta is baked with spaghetti sauce, three cheeses, and fresh spinach in this easy, tasty, and filling casserole.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Casserole
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ pound penna pasta
  • Marinara sauce (homemade or use a jar of sauce-need enough for 4 servings)
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup Ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1½ cups chopped fresh spinach
  • Additional Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese for topping casserole (1/4 cup each)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain. Place pasta in large mixing bowl.
  3. Add spaghetti sauce, mozzarella, Parmesan and ricotta cheeses, fresh chopped spinach, plus garlic powder. Stir into pasta until ingredients are fully coated and combined.
  4. Pour pasta into prepared 9x13 pan. Add additional mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses to top.
  5. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove foil and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove pan from oven and serve pasta immediately.
Notes
Number of servings will depend on the size portion you serve.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!EASY CHEESY Penne Pasta and Spinach Bake / The Grateful Girl Cooks! EASY to prepare, delicious and filling, this simple casserole features 3 Italian cheeses!

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Easy Meatballs for Spaghetti

I typically use Italian sausage when I prepare spaghetti and sauce, but occasionally we really enjoy our pasta with a fire roasted garlic marinara sauce and these Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti!Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Sometimes Spaghetti and Meatballs really hits the spot! It’s completely easy to make 10-12 delicious Italian-seasoned meatballs using only one pound of hamburger meat and a few other readily available ingredients. I’ve been making meatballs for spaghetti this way for many, many years, and enjoy the minimal prep time involved!  You can even make a double batch of the meatballs and freeze them to use for another meal, which can save you precious time!  Here’s how easy it is to prepare them:

In medium sized bowl, combine ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, diced onion, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well, to combine ingredients.

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Using your (clean) hands, grab a portion of the meat mixture and form it into a ball, rolling it between your hands.  The ones I made were about 2 inches wide, so I was able to get 10 fairly good-sized meatballs out of one pound of meat. If you make ’em just a tad smaller, you should be able to make 12 or more meatballs. Set meatballs (once formed) onto a plate or wax paper.

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive) in a large non-stick skillet.  Heat on medium heat until oil and skillet are hot (but not smoking).  Add meatballs. They should sizzle as the hit the skillet.  Cook until brown on bottom, then carefully turn over. Continue to cook until all sides are brown (meatballs do NOT have to be completely cooked through – they will finish cooking in the sauce later).

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
In a separate large saucepan, heat up spaghetti sauce (whatever kind of sauce you have on hand, whether it’s homemade or a purchased jar, just make sure you have enough sauce for 4 servings)!  Heat the sauce on medium-low. Carefully add the meatballs to the sauce. Spoon sauce over the top of each meatball. Let the meatballs and sauce continue to cook (uncovered) on medium-low for about 30 minutes, occasionally spooning more sauce over the meatballs as they cook.

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When meatballs are about halfway through cooking time, cook spaghetti noodles in separate pan, according to package directions. Drain pasta.  When they are done (and pasta is finished cooking), remove meatballs from spaghetti sauce (keep warm). Mix cooked, drained noodles with the hot spaghetti sauce.  Serve the pasta onto individual plates or into bowls. Spoon any leftover sauce onto pasta.  Top each serving with 2-3 meatballs.  Garnish with some finely grated Parmesan cheese, and serve!

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

This really is an economical and delicious classic meal, in which you can end up with 4 healthy sized portions using only one pound of ground beef!  Our oldest son popped in for a visit the day after I made this meal, and he enjoyed a big plate of leftover spaghetti and meatballs for lunch!  Yay for leftovers! Hope you’ll give these easy to prepare meatballs a try!

Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Easy Meatballs for Spaghetti
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ cup diced white onion
  • ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Spaghetti noodles (enough for 4 servings)
  • Prepared Spaghetti Sauce (enough for 4 servings)
  • Additional finely grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Directions
  1. In medium sized bowl, combine ground beef, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, diced onion, and finely grated Parmesan cheese. Mix well to combine ingredients.
  2. Using your (clean) hands, grab a portion of the meat mixture and form it into a ball, rolling it between your hands. The ones I made were about 2 inches wide, so I was able to get 10 meatballs out of the pound of meat. If you make 'em just a tad smaller, you should be able to make 12 or more meatballs. Set meatballs (once formed) onto a plate or wax paper.
  3. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive) in a large non-stick skillet. Heat on medium heat until oil and skillet are hot (but not smoking). Add meatballs. They should sizzle as the hit the skillet. Cook until brown on bottom, then carefully turn over. Continue to cook until all sides are brown (meatballs do NOT have to be completely cooked through - they will finish cooking in the sauce later).
  4. In a separate large saucepan, heat up your spaghetti sauce (whatever kind of sauce you have on hand, whether it's homemade or a purchased jar, just make sure you have enough sauce for 4 servings! Heat the sauce on medium-low. Carefully add the meatballs to the sauce. Spoon sauce over the top of each meatball. Let the meatballs and sauce continue to cook on medium-low for about 30 minutes, occasionally spooning more sauce over the meatballs as they cook.
  5. When meatballs are halfway through cooking time, cook spaghetti noodles in separate pan, according to package directions. Drain. When done, remove meatballs from spaghetti sauce (keep warm). Mix cooked, drained noodles with the hot spaghetti sauce. Serve up the pasta onto individual plates or into bowls. Spoon any leftover sauce onto pasta. Top each serving with 2-3 meatballs. Garnish with some finely grated Parmesan cheese, and serve!

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!Easy Meatballs For Spaghetti / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

 

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Chicken and Asparagus Risotto

I recently made Chicken And Asparagus Risotto for our dinner. And let me tell you… it tasted GOOD. Lip-smackin’ GOOD. Creamy Arborio rice, chicken breast, Parmesan cheese, asparagus and mushrooms all come together in this flavor-filled, delicious meal! We loved it!Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I couldn’t get enough of this risotto! Even the leftovers for lunch the next day were wonderful! Did you know that risotto is made with Arborio rice, which is shorter and fatter than most grains of rice?  Arborio rice is almost exclusively used to make risotto, which is a Northern Italian classic dish of rice which has been cooked in broth or stock with other ingredients to a creamy consistency.  It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice, and let me tell you, risotto is DELICIOUS!

The recipe is pretty straightforward. If you do the prep work right at the beginning, then it is a breeze to put together.  I used some baked chicken leftovers, which also saved me some prep time!  Here’s how to make this delicious meal:

Do prep work first.  1)  Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Cut stalks into 2 inch pieces.  Place asparagus pieces into 1 inch of simmering water in skillet, and cook on medium high heat until asparagus is fork-tender, adding more water, if needed (about 10 minutes). Drain.  2) While cooking asparagus, in separate pan lightly sauté sliced mushrooms in 2 teaspoons butter until tender.  3) Cut and cook chicken into small bite sized pieces (boil, broil, grill OR use rotisserie chicken or  leftovers – I used leftover chicken from my recipe for Homemade Shake And Bake Chicken). See NOTES section of printable recipe for a quick way to cook chicken for this recipe.  Set aside cooked asparagus, mushrooms and chicken pieces.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Melt butter and olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add Arborio rice to onions; stir frequently and cook until rice begins to turn a light golden brown color.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add white wine. Let liquid come to a boil, then cook until it has been absorbed into rice.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour 1 cup of chicken stock (or broth) into pan. Stir frequently, and keep heat at a medium simmer.  Continue cooking until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, then add 1/4 cup more of the broth, stirring well.  Continue this process (rice absorbs liquid, add 1/4 cup more liquid) until all the broth is gone.  This will take between 20 and 25 minutes. (By adding the broth a little bit at a time then cooking until it has been absorbed, it allows the rice to get really creamy. Don’t rush this step!)

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After you’ve added the last portion of broth, but just before it is fully absorbed, add the cooked asparagus and mushrooms to the pan.  Continue cooking, letting liquid finish being absorbed into rice. When finished, rice should be creamy and tender.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Remove pan from the heat.  Add cooked chicken to rice.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese to rice. Stir to combine all ingredients.  Taste, and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Make sure everything is warm, then dish up and serve onto individual plates or bowls.  Garnish with finely grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh chives (or parsley), if desired.

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Enjoy the flavors of creamy rice, chunks of chicken, Parmesan cheese, and the wonderful fresh asparagus in this dish. It truly tastes wonderful!  Sure hope you will consider trying this recipe. Have a great day!

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Adapted From: http://www.thegratefulgirlcooks.com/mushroom-risotto-with-pan-seared-shrimp/

Chicken and Asparagus Risotto
 
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Creamy risotto with chicken, asparagus, Parmesan cheese and mushrooms is a delicious and filling "all in one" main dish!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 3-4 servings
Ingredients
For Add-ins:
  • 6-8 asparagus stalks (woody ends discarded, cut into 2 inch pieces), cooked until crisp-tender.
  • 2 pre-cooked lightly seasoned chicken breasts (baked, boiled, grilled,rotisserie), cut in 1-2" cubes.
  • 8 oz. package sliced mushrooms, (sautéed in 2 teaspoons butter)
For risotto:
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced white onion
  • 1 cup Arborio rice (no substitutes)
  • ⅓ cup dry white wine
  • 2½ cups chicken stock (or broth)
  • ¾ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
For garnish:
  • Additional Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh chives, sliced thin (may substitute chopped parsley, if desired)
Directions
Do prep work first:
  1. Remove woody ends of the asparagus and discard. Cut remaining stalks into 2 inch pieces. Place asparagus pieces into 1 inch of simmering water in skillet, and cook on medium high heat until asparagus is fork-tender (about 10 minutes). Drain.
  2. While cooking asparagus, in separate pan lightly sauté sliced mushrooms in 2 teaspoons butter until tender.
  3. Cut and cook chicken into small bite sized pieces (boil, broil, grill OR use rotisserie chicken or leftovers. Set aside asparagus, mushrooms and cooked chicken.
To Prepare Risotto:
  1. Melt olive oil and butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add Arborio rice to onions; stir constantly and cook until rice turns a light golden brown color. Add white wine. Let the liquid come to a boil, then cook until it has been absorbed into rice.
  2. Pour 1 cup of chicken stock (or broth) into pan. Stir frequently, and keep heat at a medium simmer. Continue cooking until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, then add ¼ cup more broth, stirring well. Continue this process (rice absorbs liquid, add ¼ cup more liquid) until all broth is gone. This will take between 20 and 25 minutes. (By adding the broth a little bit at a time then cooking until it has been absorbed, it allows the rice to get really creamy. Don't rush this step!)
  3. After you've added the last portion of broth, but just before it's fully absorbed, add cooked asparagus and mushrooms and stir. Continue cooking, letting liquid finish being absorbed into rice. When finished, rice should be tender.
  4. Remove pan from the heat. Add cooked chicken to rice. Add freshly grated Parmesan cheese to rice. Stir to combine all ingredients. Taste, and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  5. Make sure everything is warm, then serve onto individual plates or bowls. Garnish with additional finely grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh chives (or parsley), if desired. Enjoy!
Notes
If you do not have pre-cooked or leftover chicken, a quick way to get this done is to cut chicken breast into cubes, lightly season with salt and pepper, then quickly cook in a hot skillet (with a Tablespoon of olive oil) on medium-high heat. Will only take a few minutes.

 

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Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi

What do you get when you combine chicken, fluffy Italian potato dumplings, Parmesan cheese sauce and spinach into an easy meal? This recipe for Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi, that’s what… a simple, yet absolutely delicious entree!  If you’re a Vegetarian, you can simply leave the chicken out and still enjoy this wonderful dish!Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I found the original recipe on Pinterest (where else?), and decided to fix it for dinner recently.  It was sooooo good!  The recipe serves 4, and only takes about 30 minutes to prepare, from start to finish!  Talk about Italian comfort food! Whoa… the potato gnocchi are a classic Italian pasta, the chicken breast chunks provide protein, the creamy Parmesan sauce is amazing, and the fresh spinach used in the recipe would make even Popeye proud!

Here’s how simple this recipe is to prepare:  Cut 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Lightly season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Heat olive oil in skillet on medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally until cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Basically, you add them to boiling water, cook, and when they float to the surface they are done.  This typically takes only a few minutes.  Drain the gnocchi. Set aside. Place the empty pan back on the stove.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add butter to pan and heat on medium until melted. Add minced garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring well.  Add flour; stir well to remove lumps and form a roux (thick paste). Cook and stir for 30 seconds, just to “cook out” the raw flour taste. Add milk slowly to roux; stir or whisk it well to remove any remaining lumps. Cook this for 2-3 minutes only until the sauce has begun to thicken.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This is what the sauce will look like as it begins to thicken.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Add chopped fresh spinach; stir well.  Cook for 3-4 minutes until the sauce has thickened and spinach has wilted.  Add Parmesan cheese, then cooked chicken into sauce. Stir well to combine.  Add a bit more milk if the sauce is too thick. (I added about 1/4 cup additional milk).  Taste sauce, then season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Remove the pan from the heat, and add cooked, drained gnocchi. Gently stir until all ingredients are combined.  If necessary, reheat through on low. Serve this dish immediately upon reaching desired heat.

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I dished up the gnocchi onto individual serving plates, then garnished with grated Parmesan cheese (can never have too much Parmesan, right?). Serve, and enjoy this wonderful chicken dish! It’s creamy, has great flavor, and is delicious and filling!

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I really hope you will consider making this chicken recipe. I think you will be surprised at just how simple it is to make in such a short time.  Have a wonderful day… and be KIND as you journey through this 24 hours you’ve been given!

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  http://www.lifeasastrawberry.com/parmesan-spinach-gnocchi/

Chicken, Parmesan & Spinach Gnocchi
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder (to lightly season chicken)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 ounces potato gnocchi (found in pasta section)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • Additional salt/pepper and milk, if necessary
  • 1 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese (plus more for garnish, if desired)
Directions
  1. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. Lightly season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Heat olive oil in skillet on medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes, turning occasionally until cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and keep warm.
  2. Prepare gnocchi according to pkg. directions (add to boiling water, cook, and when they float to surface they're done - 3-4 minutes). Drain gnocchi. Set aside. Place empty pan back on stove.
  3. Add butter to pan; heat on medium until melted. Add minced garlic; cook for 1 minute, stirring well. Add flour; whisk well to remove lumps and form a roux (thick paste). Cook and stir for 30-60 seconds to "cook out" flour taste. Add milk slowly to roux; stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes only until sauce has begun to thicken.
  4. Add chopped spinach; stir well. Cook for 3-4 minutes until sauce has thickened and spinach has wilted. Add Parmesan cheese, then add cooked chicken to sauce. Stir well. Add a bit more milk if sauce is too thick. Taste sauce; season with additional salt and pepper, if necessary.
  5. Remove pan from heat; add cooked and drained gnocchi. Gently stir until all ingredients are combined. If necessary, reheat through on low. Serve immediately upon reaching desired heat.
  6. Serve, garnishing each portion with grated Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

 

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Veggie Lasagna Rollups

I am occasionally on the lookout for ideas for “meatless” meals, since one of our sons is a vegetarian.  I like finding new recipes we can enjoy together when he comes for dinner. Recently I came up with this simple recipe for Veggie Lasagna Rollups, after raiding my pantry and refrigerator for ingredients.Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here’s what I came up with:  Use lots of veggies and cheeses inside a rolled up lasagna noodle, then top with an Italian flavored pasta sauce, and bake. Sounded simple enough, and the recipe I ended up with had lots of flavor and tasted great!  Here’s how I made them:

Melt butter in large skillet. Add chopped veggies (yellow and green bell peppers, onion, spinach, and mushrooms). Saute until crisp-tender. Set skillet aside.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. When done cooking, remove noodles carefully and drain, then lay pasta flat on work surface and blot dry with a paper towel.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a bowl, stir together cream cheese, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder until fairly smooth. Reserve and set aside 1/4 of the cheese mixture to add to the top of the lasagna noodles prior to bakingSpoon a layer of remaining cheese mixture down the middle of each noodle, lengthwise. Try to leave about a half inch on either side of noodle clear.

Once noodles have cheese layer, evenly divide the cooked veggies down each noodle.  Top with a bit of grated Mozzarella cheese.  Repeat process for each lasagna noodle.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread Italian pasta sauce on the bottom of a large baking dish (enough to lightly cover bottom of dish).  Roll each one of the lasagna noodles up, beginning at the short end.  Place lasagna rollups seam side down in the baking dish. Spoon reserved cheese mixture over tops of lasagna rollups.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour pasta sauce over tops and sides of rollups until covered (I used a can of Italian spaghetti sauce for simplicity).  Top the sauce with additional grated Mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake lasagna rollups in a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until cheese and sauce are bubbly, and dish is heated through.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Remove dish from oven. Let it cool for just a minute, then carefully lift each rollup out of dish with a spatula and place onto individual serving plates.  Here’s a sideview of what it looked like once cooked and on the plate… a simple, meatless yet tasty veggie and cheese filled Italian lasagna rollup.  The recipe makes 8 rollups, so depending on how hungry you are, you can either get 4 servings (2 per person) or 8 servings (1 per person).

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will consider trying this recipe. Make it your own by adding any other veggies of your choice to the mix, as well. AND…if you want to add meat… simply brown some crumbled Italian sausage and add to the veggie mixture – whatever works best for you!  Have a great day, friends.

Veggie Lasagna Rollups / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Veggie Lasagna Rollups
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Cooked veggies, four cheeses, and Italian pasta sauce in rolled up lasagna noodles make this an easy to prepare, delicious and meatless meal.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8 rollups
Ingredients
  • 4 ounces cream cheese (at room temp)
  • 16 ounces ricotta cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 small package frozen spinach, thawed and drained really well
  • 7-8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 8 uncooked lasagna noodles
  • 1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups spaghetti sauce (prepared canned marinara)
  • Additional grated mozzarella and Parmesan (for sprinkling on top of rollups before baking)
Directions
  1. Melt butter in large skillet. Add chopped veggies (yellow and green bell peppers, onion, spinach, and mushrooms). Saute until crisp-tender. Set skillet aside.
  2. Cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. When done, remove noodles carefully and drain; lay pasta flat on work surface and blot dry with a paper towel.
  3. In a bowl, stir together cream cheese, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder until fairly smooth. Reserve and set aside ¼ of cheese mixture to add to top of lasagna noodles prior to baking. Spoon a layer of remaining cheese mixture down the middle of each noodle, lengthwise, leaving about a half inch clear around edges of noodle.
  4. Evenly distribute cooked veggies down each noodle. Top with a bit of grated Mozzarella cheese. Repeat process for each lasagna noodle.
  5. Spread Italian pasta sauce on bottom of a large baking dish (enough to lightly cover bottom of dish). Roll each of the lasagna noodles up, beginning at short end. Place seam side down in baking dish. Spoon reserved cream cheese mixture over top of each rollup.
  6. Pour marinara sauce over tops and sides of rollups until covered. Top with additional grated Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese (as much as you wish).
  7. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 20-25 minutes, or until cheese and sauce are bubbly, and dish is heated through.
  8. Remove dish from oven. Let cool for 1-2 minutes, then carefully lift each rollup out of dish with a spatula and place onto individual serving plates.
Notes
The recipe makes 8 rollups, so depending on how hungry you are, you can either get 4 servings (2 per person) or 8 servings (1 per person).
Fresh baby spinach can be substituted for frozen (I was using what I had on hand).

 

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Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo

Lightly seasoned, pan-seared shrimp served on a bed of penne pasta covered in a creamy Alfredo sauce is a delicious meal we really enjoy! Guess what? Shrimp and Penne Pasta Alfredo is not only delicious to eat, it’s EASY to prepare in UNDER 30 minutes!!Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!  Easy, delicious, and ready in under 30 minutes!
Over 30 years ago a friend told me how to make a quick alfredo sauce; the rest of the recipe is just one of the variations I have made through the years.  The shrimp in this dish, (lightly sprinkled with Cajun spices or seasoning of your choice) AND the sauce takes only minutes to prepare while the pasta is cooking, so the entire dish can be ready to go in under 30 minutes! And trust me… it is EASY to prepare… and quite yummy.

Here’s how simple it is to make:

Bring large pot of water to boil… cook penne pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, lightly sprinkle Cajun seasoning (or seasoning of your choice: garlic powder, Italian seasoning, etc.) onto peeled, deveined large shrimp (21-25 per pound). In a large skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat.  When oil is hot, add shrimp and cook about 2 minutes per side, until pink and fully cooked. Remove, and keep warm.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To make the Alfredo sauce, melt 1 cube of butter in a large skillet. I make the sauce while the pasta is cooking.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add 1½ cups heavy whipping cream, stir, then grate 1½ cups of fresh Parmesan cheese into sauce (can also add more Parmesan, if desired).  Stir well to combine ingredients and cook on medium-low heat (stirring constantly) until cheese has melted, sauce has thickened, and is hot. Taste test sauce; season with a tiny bit of garlic powder, salt and pepper, if desired. Do not let sauce come to a boil.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When pasta is finished cooking, drain well, then add to skillet with thickened hot Alfredo sauce.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Stir to fully mix pasta and sauce. Heat on low until sauce and pasta are hot and fully combined.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place a portion of the hot pasta onto each serving plate. Top each portion with pan-seared shrimp.  Sprinkle with dried parsley and additional grated Parmesan cheese (if desired), and serve hot.

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

See how easy it is? I’ve been making Alfredo sauce this way for years and years… and it tastes GREAT with shrimp.

Hope you will consider making this great meal for yourself… and those you love!  Blessings~

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Shrimp And Penne Pasta Alfredo
 
Prep time
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Lightly seasoned shrimp on a bed of Penne Pasta in a creamy alfredo sauce. Easy and delicious!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 pound shrimp (21-25 count per pound), shelled/deveined
  • Cajun seasoning (or seasoning of your choice: garlic powder, Italian seasoning, etc.)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cube butter
  • 1½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • Approximately 1½ cups grated Parmesan cheese (add more to taste, if desired)
  • Season lightly with garlic powder, salt & black pepper, to taste
  • ¾ pound penne pasta, cooked per package instructions
  • Dried parsley and/or additional grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (if desired)
Directions
  1. Prepare penne pasta according to package instructions. While pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce and the shrimp.
To Make Alfredo Sauce:
  1. Melt butter in medium skillet. Once melted, pour in heavy whipping cream. Stir to combine. Cook on medium-low until heated through (but not boiling). Add grated Parmesan cheese to saucepan. Stir well, to combine. Continue cooking until cheese melts, and mixture thickens (but is NOT boiling). Taste and add additional Parmesan cheese (you can't get too much!) for thicker sauce and additional flavor. Season very lightly with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Keep sauce warm while you prepare the shrimp (or can cook both at the same time if multi-tasking).
To cook shrimp:
  1. Heat olive oil on medium-high heat in large skillet.
  2. Lightly sprinkle shelled/deveined shrimp with Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine. When oil in skillet is hot, add shrimp. Cook shrimp for about 2 minutes per side, until pink and cooked through. Set aside and keep warm.
To Serve:
  1. When pasta is done, drain. Add drained penne to skillet with hot Alfredo sauce , and mix well to fully coat pasta with sauce. Place a serving of hot pasta on individual plates. Top with 4-5 cooked shrimp.
  2. Garnish with dried parsley and additional Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve and enjoy!
Notes
Fresh grated Parmesan is the best choice, but if all you have available is the "Green Container" shaker can of Parmesan cheese, by all means use it!

 

 

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Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash

Ever have those nights when you need to come up with something for dinner and don’t really feel inspired? Well, I did recently, but came up with this recipe for Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash… and it was a big hit.. and oh so delicious!Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This pasta dish is not swimming in a traditional sauce, but rather is a lightly seasoned portion of pasta, topped with a quick to prepare topping of Italian sausage, fresh vegetables and sun-dried tomatoes, then topped with a generous dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese!

I used 2 Italian sausages that I scavenged out of our freezer, added summer squash from our garden, and some sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) from our garden, as well, so it certainly wasn’t a budget buster! But it WAS packed with great flavor! I made the sausage topping while the pasta was cooking, so the entire meal was quick to put together!

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While pasta was cooking, I cooked the ingredients (Italian sausage, chopped onion, green peppers, yellow squash, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh basil, minced garlic, and other spices).

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, I drained the little amount of grease (from the Italian sausage) from the skillet.

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I prepared spaghetti noodles (any pasta will do, though) according to package directions. When done, I drained pasta (don’t rinse), then put it back in the pan. I tossed the hot pasta with butter, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Divide the hot, seasoned pasta into serving dishes. Top with the Italian sausage mixture. Generously sprinkle pasta with additional Parmesan cheese, to finish.

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Grab a fork, and enjoy this tasty pasta dish!

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you enjoy this dish! I made it up as I went along (which is ALWAYS an adventure!), but was quite pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was… full of flavor!  My husband and I LOVED this simple meal.  Have a great day, friends.

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: My hungry brain.

Pasta With Italian Sausage, Sun-Dried Tomatoes And Summer Squash
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2 servings
Ingredients
For Pasta "Sauce":
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 Italian sausages, casing removed
  • ¼ cup chopped brown onion
  • ⅓ cup chopped green peppers
  • ½ cup chopped yellow squash
  • ⅓ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
For Pasta:
  • 8 ounces pasta (½ pound)- I used spaghetti noodles, cooked and drained
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Additional shredded Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Directions
  1. Bring large pot of salted water to a boil (for pasta). When fully boiling, add pasta and cook per package instructions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, prepare the "sauce", by heating olive oil on medium high in large skillet. Add crumbled Italian sausage, chopped onion, green peppers, yellow squash, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, oregano and minced garlic. Cook for approx. 7-8 minutes, until done. Drain any grease from pan. Keep warm.
  3. When pasta is done cooking, drain, then return to pan. While pasta is hot, add butter, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, oregano, garlic powder, and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss well, to combine.
  4. Place seasoned pasta in serving bowls. Top with hot sausage mixture.
  5. Garnish (liberally) with additional shredded Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy!

 

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