Posts Tagged ‘Pasta’

Sunday Dinner

"Red wine onion basil linguini."

“Red wine onion basil linguini.”

We were in the mood for pasta tonight.

"All we required was a fork."

“All we required was a fork.”

It was delicious.

Joe and I are still battling the winter season cold. We are into our third week of this mess!

Copyright © 2015 “Sleeping Kitten – Dancing Dog!” All rights reserved.


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Have you ever made a sauce and saved a portion to use the next day? Having a basic tomato basil mushroom sauce on-hand, whether in the fridge or freezer, can make for a very fast meal prep. Try using it on poultry, meat and fish prior to baking.  It’s a great way to change the look on your dinner plate. For those loving to eat their morning eggs adding hot sauce, switching to a tomato sauce gives that condiment bottle a break. By cooking a double batch and keeping it properly stored, means you can dice veggies to incorporate and use different pastas, too. A meat loaf adorned with this sauce is delicious (add in a cup of Quaker Oats to the meat) right before baking the dish, it gives it more body and adds to the overall flavor. Pork chops baked with provolone cheese and sauce is another way to enjoy its versatility . So try making a double or triple pot and keep some ready-to-use. This method will surely save you time in the kitchen.

Tomato Basil Mushroom Sauce

2 lg cans tomato sauce

2 med cans tomato paste

3 cans spicy tomatoes & peppers

1/2 cup cold water

3 bay leaves

2 tbsp oregano

1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1-2 tsp freshly ground pepper

2 medium carrots (minced)

1 green pepper (diced)

1/4 cup deep red wine

1 Tbsp raw sugar

2-4 Tbsp garlic powder

1/2 stick unsalted butter + 3 Tbsp EVOO  (**)

3 whole yellow onions (sliced )

16 oz white mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)

1 cup fresh basil (remove long stalks) **


1) Use a large pot or crock-pot and add in all of the ingredients with the exception of the onions and mushrooms and ** fresh basil

2) Stir to blend and turn stove to high heat

3) Large saute pan add butter and olive oil

4) Saute onions half-way and add in the mushrooms

5) When vegetables are cooked pour into bowl and set aside

5) Stir the sauce and bring to a boil

6) Reduce heat to medium and stir until it is boiling softly

7) Reduce heat to allow sauce to simmer for an hour or so

8) Using a clean spoon remove some sauce and add in a little veggies for a taste test

9) Add some salt pepper garlic and add in sauteed vegetables

10) Place the fresh basil on top and gently stir it in

11) Turn off the stove

12) Cook your pasta according to directions

13) Serve immediately and enjoy

Remember to divide up the remaining sauce to keep in your freezer and refrigerator. 

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Before we went out to dine tonight , I watched a new commercial for a neighborhood chain restaurant. I love their salad bar and I was eager to try their new pasta dish.

This is what the menu touts:

Lobster Carbonara

Tender lobster blended with a rich Parmesan cream sauce and tossed with peas, bacon, and served over tender linguini pasta.
What I got was pasta with tiny chewy pieces of what I hoped was lobster.

I promptly handed my dish back to my lovely server and without apology advised her that the lobster, if indeed that is what it was, was inedible. Dont’cha just hate it when they lure you in (on an empty stomach no less) to be tricked by their false advertising? Well I do. I refuse to pay $17.00 for food that I know I could prepare for $3.99 and it would taste like ambrosia.

I was told that it would be remade right away and sorry for the mix-up. I had ordered it with the express instructions please do not to over cook my seafood as I do not eat it that way. What is the point of ruining food? It’s a waste of time, effort, money and you risk the customer being unhappy, displeased and also losing their future patronage.

I returned to their wonderful salad bar, filled a freshly washed salad plate, returned to our booth and commenced eating. I knew what was yet to come. After ten minutes I remarked to Joe it was funny that the manager on duty had not been over to our table yet. This is their usual method of operation, having the manager come over to find out why food is returned to the kitchen. By the time fifteen minutes had passed and I had eaten another salad (I was just about full at this juncture), the manager appeared. We have spoken numerous times in the past and she immediately recognized me without batting an eyelash.

The manager proceeded to tell me that they were going to make the dish again but this time, they would use real lobster meat from the tail (what did they use the first time?), and did I still want the dish. I ordered it didn’t I? I replied politely that yes, if they were going to cook it properly so it would be tender (as advertised) and that it wouldn’t cost any additional money, then yes, I would love to try it. We smiled at each other and presto … three minutes later I was tasting the delicious dish that I had originally been promised, forty-five minutes previously. She stayed close-by to make certain it was right. I gave her the two-thumbs up and she breathed a sigh of relief.

Why must they lie? Why not just advertise a great salad bar and take your chances that the item on their menu might turn out right or wrong? It should not be left to me to have to send back ill-prepared food, but I do and I refuse to apologize for it.

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Pasta is fast, inexpensive, has a ton of varieties and is delicious. There have been some pasta dishes I have tasted and even eaten that I have not enjoyed. There is now a huge choice of recipes one may prepare. Once the initial dishes have been cooked they are easy to interchange. These are just three I have made lately and none of them took more than fifteen minutes to make.

For many recipes search here on my site, and also visit Half Hour Meals where you can find lots of authentic Italian and Sicilian pastas to try. You will be delighted by the recipes and by the members who created them.

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Freaky Friday Hearty Pasta


1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 LB Ground Chuck

1 med onion (chopped)

1/2 LB cherry tomatoes

1 LB mushrooms (sliced)

1 red pepper (sliced)

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1 just ripened avocado (cut up into chunks)

2 tsp Italian dried spices and herbs

1/2 tsp paprika

salt & pepper (to taste)

1/2 LB your favorite spaghetti – type pasta


1) Boil plenty of water in a large pot. Add salt just prior to boil. Add pasta and cook according to directions.

(add pasta when you have reached the half-way cooking point of the rest of your ingredients)

2) Heat  large saute pan and when heated add the ground chuck. Break up the meat as it cooks.

3) Add onion right away and cherry tomatoes, too.

4) After one minute add the red pepper and stir.

5) Add sliced mushrooms and continue to stir.

6) Add in the minced garlic and the olive oil, then the spices and herbs.

7) Just before it is finished, add in the pieces of avocado and gently toss and warm it.

8) stain the pasta, add it to the saute pan and gently toss. Salt & pepper to taste and drizzle the remaining olive oil on top.

Serve immediately. Makes 3 to 4 servings.

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