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Monthly Archives: July 2014

Pasta with a Creamy Low-Fat Sauce

This unusual recipe might appeal if you want a creamy pasta dish but you do not want to have too much fat or too many calories. There are various types of Greek yogurt on the market you can use in this dish, including 0% fat varieties, so take your pick from those, stir in some horseradish for a spicy kick, and use that as your sauce. Add peas and ham, and you will have the most delicious meal.

You can make this from scratch in about 10 minutes, making it a winning dish in every way. You can either toss all the sauce ingredients with the pasta or else serve the pasta with the sauce ladled on top for perhaps a prettier presentation. Greek yogurt does not have the exact same flavor or texture as you would get from cream, but it is a perfectly acceptable substitute, offering a creamy texture, a pleasant savory tang, and very low fat, which means a much lower calorie count in the finished dish.

Perhaps you are looking for healthy pasta recipes, or it could be you have some yogurt to use up, or you are just in the mood for a creamy dish which is not too sinful. Whichever is the case, this recipe is ideal, and it is the kind of dish you can adapt, perhaps next time swapping the ham for chicken or even shrimp. Swap the peas for cooked leeks, corn or mushrooms, or consider adding a pinch of mixed dried herbs to the meal for a fragrant touch. You will be pleasantly surprised at the result of this dish.

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10-Minute Chicken Pasta with a Chinese Twist

Although a lot of pasta recipes are 100% Italian this one features Italian ingredients and Chinese flavorings to make a fusion dish which offers a change of pace from your usual Italian pasta recipes. Fettuccine pasta is used here but feel free to swap it for linguine or spaghetti, or even pasta shapes such as penne or bowties. You will also need some cooked chicken breast for this dish. If you do not have any you can cook some up beforehand of course, or else just make use of leftover chicken.

We are also adding carrot, both to add a bright color to the dish and also a nice sweetness. The seasonings are sesame oil, ginger and soy sauce, and then you can add red and/or black pepper for a touch of spice. Fresh cilantro makes a nice garnish and the vivid green color contrasts well with the yellow and orange in the dish. Pasta is similar to Asian noodles in a way, which is why this dish works so well.

Chicken features in a lot of Italian recipes but the seasonings in this recipe are more Eastern than Western, so it really is a fusion meal. This is a very easy dish to make. Just cook the pasta and carrots, then stir the remaining ingredients into the dish and cook it for a couple of minutes. Remember the chicken is already cooked so it only needs to be warmed through by tossing it with the other ingredients. Make this as mild or as spicy as you wish, adding red pepper flakes for a nice kick, or a pinch of chili powder instead if that is what you have. Continue reading

Tasty Tuna Macaroni Casserole

This is a wonderful weeknight dinner and you can throw it together surprisingly quickly. Just grab a package of macaroni cheese and add some creamy soup, tuna, cheese, milk, and parsley. This creamy, tasty mixture is then baked in the oven and you will be able to smell the mouthwatering aroma while this dish is cooking. We suggest sprinkling some extra cheese and parsley on top, but you can swap the parsley for dried basil if you prefer.

This tasty dish is sure to appeal to everyone in the family, from the youngest to the most senior, because the flavor is so good and there is really nothing not to like in here. If you wish to make tweaks, that is fine, and you could consider swapping the cream of celery soup for cream of chicken soup, or even mushroom soup. Use a condensed soup and do not dilute it before adding it to the dish.

This is a cheap and cheerful meal which you can even make in advance, then just pop it in the oven in the evening when you are ready to cook it. A salad or some vegetables will be nice on the side, or you could serve corn on the cob or garlic bread if you wish, or even some green asparagus tips. Take your pick from any of these, or serve another favorite side dish. Keep the Italian theme going by serving a tasty dessert such as tiramisu or a homemade apricot or vanilla mousse perhaps. Continue reading

Triple Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shells with Tomato Sauce

This lovely stuffed pasta shell recipe is perfect for vegetarians because it is meat-free, but it also makes a nice dish for carnivores who fancy a change from beef, chicken or pork-based pasta dishes. Feel free to add some ground beef to the sauce if you do want meat in there though. These pasta shells are loaded with tomato sauce and 3 kinds of cheeses, and it is simple to make and a real crowd-pleaser. Nobody can resist the allure of stuffed pasta, especially when the flavor is as good as it is here.

You can double the recipe if you are feeding a crowd, or even double it anyway and then simply freeze one batch for a future meal. Mozzarella, Italian-blend and ricotta cheeses combine with parsley and basil to make the filling for the pasta shells, and then you can arrange the stuffed shells in a baking dish and pour your favorite tomato sauce over the top, either a plain tomato sauce, a herbed kind, or a homemade one if you want.

The pasta shells will be cooked just shy of al dente when you stuff them because they will become more tender in the oven during baking. The cheese filling will melt too, to make the dish so creamy and indulgent. Add some extra cheese on top and keep baking until the dish is piping hot. Serve it with a green salad or your favorite vegetables, and perhaps some garlic bread too. Continue reading

Salmon and Spinach Conchiglie

Quick and easy does not have to mean plain and boring. Quite the reverse is true with regard to this recipe, because pasta shells are combined with salmon and spinach, as well as a touch of cream, and the result is something special, not lacking in anything, and something that looks as attractive as it tastes. A lot of similar recipes call for garlic, chilies, capers, mushrooms, and other ingredients, but this one is a lot more basic, relying on simply the salmon, spinach and cream for the flavor.

Making it is simple, and this is a dish where you can have the pasta simmering away in one pot while you are stirring the sauce in another. The sauce is made with salmon, spinach and cream. Fresh salmon is best, and you just need to chop a salmon filet into cubes, but use canned salmon if that is all you have. Fresh salmon and fresh spinach are much better than their canned or frozen equivalents, so adhere to the saying ‘fresh is best’ if you want the best flavor!

A touch of parmesan is all you need to finish the dish off. Again, it is best to use fresh parmesan instead of the pre-grated kind, and you can either grate it or slice off some parmesan curls, as you prefer. If you also want to add mushroom slices, you can sauté those in the oil for a few minutes before adding the spinach and fish, but that is your choice. If you usually throw a lot of ingredients into your pasta recipes it might be nice to make this one just as it is, and enjoy the more basic ingredient combination as a change of pace. Continue reading

Double Cheese Mafalda Bake

The first question you might have about this dish is ‘what is mafalda’ because not everyone knows that word. Mafalda is actually a type of pasta but it is special because it has frilled edges. Also known as mafaldine or reginette, this ribbon pasta is flat and about ½ inch wide, and the edges are wavy on both sides. You cook it the same as you would cook fettuccine or linguine, although sauces for mafalda tend to be more delicate.

This pasta was named after Princess Mafalda of Savoy, which is also why it is known as reginette (or ‘little queens’) in some recipes. In this recipe it is combined with 2 kinds of cheese, as well as fire-roasted tomatoes, cream, garlic, and vegetables, for a well-rounded dish which is a great example of ‘elegant comfort food’ at its finest. Feel free to use other vegetables if you prefer, or swap the Asiago for parmesan cheese.

This is a well-balanced meal because you have everything in there from the pasta to the vegetables, creamy sauce and more. You do not need to serve a side dish with this if you prefer not to, although if you do want to, consider some garlic bread. Something else you can do is serve an appetizer before this instead of having a side dish. Caesar salad would be nice, or even a simple tomato, basil and mozzarella salad. If you have your heart set on dessert instead, consider homemade chocolate mousse, which of course you can make ahead, or even some strawberries with vanilla ice cream. Continue reading

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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.

Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.

When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole


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