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Chicken Spaghetti Casserole with Cheese

This easy go-to meal is sure to appeal to you, the cook, because it is so easy to prepare, and also the family who are going to be eating it, because there is nothing not to like about this flavorful entrée. Spaghetti is not often the pasta of choice in casseroles but it works just as well as pasta shapes, so if you usually use macaroni, penne or shells, switch it for spaghetti (or linguine) and enjoy the change in texture.

You can use a whole chicken in this recipe, cut into 8 pieces, or else just grab a package of 8 chicken breast halves or 8 mixed chicken pieces, and use that. A nice sharp cheddar is the best kind of cheese to use here, and you can also swap the cayenne pepper for a small can of chilies if you wish, or even a pinch of chili powder. Any of these will lend a spicy kick to the casserole. The cream of mushroom soup is delicious here although change it up by using cream of celery soup or another tasty, creamy option.

First you will be poaching the chicken and then the resulting chicken meat is combined with the cooked spaghetti, cheese, and then all the other ingredients. Finish the casserole off with cheese on top, then bake it in the oven to bring all the flavors together and melt the cheese on top. The cheese will crisp up and go nice and golden brown, but if it goes golden too soon just cover the dish with foil and keep baking. Continue reading

Quick and Simple Pasta Primavera

Taking just 20 minutes to make, from beginning to end, this is a wonderful dish for busy weeknights when you want something nutritious and appetizing but which does not require you to stand over the stove for hours. This is a smart recipe which blends pasta with frozen vegetables, some leftover chicken or ham if you have some, and your favorite pasta sauce, and the result is something that will appeal to the whole family.

This colorful pasta dish can be served by itself or with some garlic bread, salad or any other side dishes you like. It is a whole meal though because it has the pasta, vegetables, meat (if using) and sauce too, so you do not really need a side dish unless you particularly want to make one. Feel free to double the recipe and make extra if you want, because it can be reheated the following day or a couple days later, either in a pan or in the microwave. You could even serve the leftovers cold as a salad.

Feel free to make any changes to the recipe you want, such as swapping the penne pasta for another kind of pasta shape, using a creamy sauce if you want a change from tomato-based sauces, or even tossing the finished pasta in a little extra-virgin olive oil and sautéed minced garlic instead of using a jar of sauce. The kind of vegetables you use is up to you. Grab a package of mixed frozen vegetables, nice colorful ones if possible, and use that. Carrots, green beans, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, and other veggies work well. Continue reading

Spaghetti with Tomato and Shrimp

This is a great recipe. It is simple to make but boats an exquisite flavor. Spaghetti is perfect for this, although you could use another kind of ribbon pasta, like fettuccine, or even pasta shapes such as penne or rigatoni. Diced tomatoes form the basis of the sauce, and it is nice to use the ones with green chilies, but use the plain ones if that is what you have in the cupboard. Lemon juice, onion, garlic, parsley, and red pepper flakes go into the mix as well.

Use medium shrimp for this recipe, either fresh or thawed ones. If you use thawed ones ensure they are well-drained because frozen seafood holds a lot of moisture. Peel the shrimp and remove the veins. They will take about 5 minutes to cook when you have stirred them into the sauce. They will become pink on the outside but they are totally cooked through when they are not only pink on the outside but also opaque on the inside too. Five minutes is an estimate. Do not overcook them else they will become tough.

This is a lovely meal and you can serve it with a simple baby leaf salad if you like, drizzling a touch of extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the leaves. Garlic bread is also nice with such a dish, if you do not mind the extra carbs in the meal. If you want to cook spaghetti for dinner but you fancy a change from spaghetti Bolognese, consider this recipe, because it really is delicious, and it is simple to prepare too. Continue reading

3-Cheese and Spinach Fettuccine

This is such a luxurious dish and if you like your pasta recipes creamy you will love this one. Spinach combines with 3 kinds of cheese, as well as milk and cream, for a very creamy texture. A little cayenne and cinnamon, along with garlic, add an aromatic touch to the dish. You can use fresh or frozen spinach in this dish. It does not need to be fully cooked, just plunged into boiling water if it is fresh, or cooked until the leaves separate if you are using the frozen kind.

The recipe makes enough for 4 people, but it is very easy to double if you are serving a crowd. Serve this just as it is or add a simple tomato salad if you want a contrasting, tasty side dish. A lightly chilled, fruity red wine (Italian of course) would be good with this dish, or even a medium-bodied white. As for dessert, stick to fresh fruit or something quite light, since this dish is so rich and luxurious, so you get a nice contrast.

Making this is simple. You will be cooking the sauce in one pot and the pasta in another, and then combining the two. Because the sauce is quite delicate and has a lot of dairy in there, it is important not only to keep the heat gentle, but also to stir the sauce as often as needed. Feel free to use all milk instead of some milk and some cream if you want a dish that is lower in fat, or even use all cream and no milk if you want it super-luxurious. Continue reading

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

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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


Thanks for visiting.


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