pastas

Recipe: Pasta é Fagioli

Today’s plans include serving up a bowl of this Pasta é Fagioli. I haven’t made this in years and to be honest I’m disappointed that I waited so long. I almost forgot how much this dish reminded me of my Dad - or did I? My Dad passed 9 years ago and up until this past year I haven’t been able to think of him without my eyes welling up. Maybe that’s why I haven’t made this dish, hmmm, was I avoiding feeling all the feels that come with losing him? Have I truly accepted the loss? Ugh! Maybe I’m over analyzing this. Whatever the reasons are I’m glad I finally made this dish. It was like a giant hug from my dad, warm and comforting.

The pot simmered as the aromas filled my kitchen and memories folding my thoughts. He was a man of very few words with a sense of humour that would make even the darkest of days brighter. It’s funny how a simple meal can trigger a rush of emotions and even help put unresolved feelings to rest. I guess it’s okay to feel the feels, mourn the loss of a loved one, friend, pet, illness whatever your struggling with at your own pace and don’t avoid feeling it because you may just miss out on the simplest joys of what life has to offer.

I know it’s a pretty deep post for Pasta é Fagioli but it’s amazing how healing food can really be. I hope you read this and find solace in knowing you are not alone and find strength in any struggle you my be facing today. It’s okay to feel all the feels, and take it easy on yourself. Life has a sweet way of surprising you. SMILE and Tag, call or text someone today and let them know you care. I’M TAGGING ALL OF YOU! ❤️

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 Pasta é Fagioli

PREP TIME: 20 min
COOK TIME: 30 min
TOTAL TIME: 50 min
SERVES: 6 - 8
AUTHOR: Mary Mammoliti / Kitchen Confession

INGREDIENTS

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup pancetta, diced
1 medium onion, diced (approximately 1 cup)
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 large potatoes, diced
4 cups tomato purée, preferably San Marzano tomatoes if you can get them)
1 cup Ditalini or elbow pasta
1/2 teaspoon dry thyme
1 teaspoon dry rosemary
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) cans 1 can red kidney beans and 1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup elbow macaroni
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
Freshly grated parmigiano reggiano to sprinkle on top just before serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, pancetta, and garlic and saute until the onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add diced carrots, potatoes and continue cooking for an additional 2-3 minutes.

  2. Add the broth, tomato purée, beans, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then decrease the heat to medium and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

  3. Scoop out 1 cup of the bean mixture from the pot and 1/2 cup of the liquid and pour into a blender until smooth and set aside.

  4. Add the pasta to the pot and boil with the already cooked veggie mixture for 8 minutes until tender. Return the puree to the pot of soup and stir well. Season the soup with red pepper flakes for an added kick of heat.

  5. Serve warm with a sprinkle of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

 

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Recipe: The Only Mac and Cheese Recipe You Need

This one pot recipe is so quick and easy you won’t know what to do with yourself with all the extra time you saved on dinner! On this weeks Kelly and Company I talked about Fall comfort food and shared my top picks along with a few surprising ingredients to take your dish downtown to flavour town! Topping that list is Mac and Cheese.

It’s cheese, pasta, milk, and butter which in my language means Love BUT just when you thought it couldn’t get any better try adding powered mustard. Add in a teaspoon to the cheesy sauce while it’s hot stir and add macaroni. Be prepared for a party in your mouth!

NOTE: Don’t expect to get an overwhelming mustard taste. The acidity cuts some of the creaminess of the mac and cheese and rounds out the flavour. It also adds a slight tang that I think adds a little character to the dish.

 Photo Description: whitebowl filled with creamy, cheesy, Mac and Cheese

Photo Description: whitebowl filled with creamy, cheesy, Mac and Cheese

 Stovetop Mac and Cheese

PREP TIME: 5 MINS
COOK TIME:
15 MINS
TOTAL TIME:
20 MINS
Serves:
6-8
Author:
Mary Mammoliti | Kitchen Confession


INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups water
4 cups milk
1 pound uncooked pasta (cavatappi)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
4-5 cups freshly-grated sharp white cheddar cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese (optional)


INSTRUCTIONS

  • Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add flour, and stir until combined. Cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Then pour in 1 cup of the water, and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth and begins to thicken. Gradually pour in the remaining water and milk, stirring until evenly combined.

  • Stir in the pasta, salt, garlic powder, and mustard until combined. Then continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to simmer.

  • Grating your cheese while the pasta cooks to save time and set aside.

  • Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 9-10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.

  • Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese until melted. Taste, and season with additional salt and black pepper, if needed.

  • Serve immediately, and enjoy hot

TIPS: Always use block cheese for this recipe, and then grate them at home.  Try not to use pre shredded bags of cheese. They have less flavour and don’t melt as nicely as grating your own.

CHEESE SWAPS: Half-cheddar, half-fontina, or gouda, or havarti if you would like a creamier mac and cheese.

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Recipe: 2 Pasta Salads You Should Make Now

It’s scorching hot in Toronto and I’m not complaining BUT the thought of spending time in front of a hot stove is making me sweat. SOOOOO, bring on the cool, bright, pasta salad! I’ve got 2 recipes for ya. Can’t decide which one to make? Try both, and leave them in the refrigerator for the week. Going to a summer potluck? Bring the Greek Pasta Salad with feta and fresh tomatoes or an Asian inspired bow tie pasta salad may be your dish of choice.

 

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Greek Pasta Salad

This recipe makes a huge batch of Greek Pasta Salad. Share this recipe with friends and bring it to your next potluck This would be great for a potluck.  I usually half the recipe when I make it. We ate this for several days with lunch and dinner. This will keep for 5 days in the refrigerator. The simple mediterranean flavours of the dressing with the creaminess of the crumbled feta and fresh cherry tomatoes is exactly what is missing on your dinner table! Have is as a side or enjoy it as the main dish. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: -
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 10 - 12
Author: Mary Mammoliti / Kitchen Confession

INGREDIENTS

1 (16-oz) box penne pasta
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 Tbsp greek seasoning
3/4 cup grape tomatoes, cut into halves
1-1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and cool.

  2. Whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, mayonnaise and greek seasoning in a large bowl. Add cooked pasta, tomatoes, feta cheese and basil. Toss to coat.

  3. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Asian Pasta Salad

This simple and light pasta salad has quickly found it's place on my summer salad list. This dish will quickly become a family favourite, and a great one to share at any potluck. It can be served as a side dish or eat on it’s own as a light lunch. This Asian Pasta Salad is completely addictive and the sesame-soy dressing will have everyone coming back for seconds!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: -
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 8
Author: Mary Mammoliti / Kitchen Confession

INGREDIENTS

SESAME-SOY DRESSING:

1/4 cup grape seed oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons low sodium soy sauce, or tamari sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

PASTA SALAD:

12 ounces bow tie pasta (about 4 cups)
2 cups chopped rotisserie chicken
1 cup shredded carrot
3/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup slivered almonds or peanuts

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix together dressing ingredients in a jar or bowl with tight fitting lid. Shake well and set aside.

  2. Boil bow tie pasta for 10 minutes or about one minute shy of the package directions. Pour cooked pasta into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process and cool down the pasta. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

  3. Mix in remaining salad ingredients. Give dressing a good shake and pour over the salad. Mix well.

RECIPE NOTES
If you'd like to get some of the prep out of the way you can boil the pasta the day before. Rinse it well with cold water, drain it, and then toss it with a teaspoon or two of grape seed oil to prevent it from sticking. Transfer the cooked pasta storage container, cover and refrigerate overnight. Assemble the salad no more than an hour or two before serving for the best result and reserve nuts to add just before serving.

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Recipe: Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Recipe: Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad because ...... why not? This dish had me at Pasta.

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Crunchy Crust Mac and Cheese

Crunchy Crust Mac and Cheese, yes please! I chose to use rotini in place of macaroni simply because the cheesy sauce wraps around each rotini and the spiral hangs onto it.This dish is also delicious as leftovers. Pack it for lunch 😊

Crunchy Crust Mac and Cheese

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients
1 box (375g) whole grain Rotini
4 tbsp olive oil, divided
6 tbsp Panko bread crumbs
4 tbsp flour
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
4 cups skim milk
1 cup shredded, reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat an 10-inch x 10-inch baking dish with grape seed oil or any high heat oil spray.
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the rotini according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Set aside. Combine the bread crumbs and 2 teaspoons oil in a small bowl. Stir with a fork to evenly coat the crumbs with oil.
3. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of oil to a large saucepan. Set over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour, paprika, salt and pepper until smooth. Add the milk, whisking constantly. Cook, whisking, for about 5 minutes, or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese until it melts. Stir in the rotini. Pour into the baking dish. Top evenly with the bread crumb mixture.
4. Bake for 15 minutes or until bubbling and golden. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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