Wacky Mac Antipasto Pasta Salad

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Who can’t love a pasta called Wacky Mac.

It is a wheat pasta combined with dried vegetables.  Tomato, spinach, carrots,  and even beets.

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Wacky Mac Antipasto  Pasta Salad

Servings: 12

Ingredients:
1 pkg (12 oz.) WACKY MAC Veggie pasta uncooked
1/2 cup diced green peppers
1/4 cup pepperoncini peppers minced
1 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes diced
1/3 cup vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 ounce sliced pepperoni
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:
Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water to cool quickly; drain well. Toss all together lightly until well blended. Season to taste. Cover; refrigerate to blend flavors. 10 to 12 servings.
Serves: 10-12

Let’s party at Let’s Get Real Party #88
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Fettucini Carbonara

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Q: What do Italians eat on halloween?
A: Fetuccini A-fraid-o
source: Jokes 4 Us

Ha, that is sooo corny and I love it.

There is nothing easier than spaghetti carbonara. Carbonara is normally 4 great ingredients with black pepper. Pasta, pancetta, egg and parmesan cheese.

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I kicked this  one up a bit with some garlic, basil, white wine and chives to garnish.

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Bacon has also come to be “the ingredient” since it is usually what I have on hand. I also love fettucini. I think originally this dish used penne pasta, but I’m not Italian so what do I know.

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SERVINGS 4

1 garlic clove, minced
10 slices bacon chopped
3/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
3 eggs
1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste
10 ounces fettuccine pasta cooked al dente

Chives to garnish

In a large pot fry chopped bacon to crisp. Drain the grease and then add the wine to deglaze the pan. Add your garlic and basil, salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl beat your eggs and add your parmesan cheese.

Combine your cooked pasta in the pan with the bacon and while still hot begin pouring the egg and cheese over the pasta and bacon, stirring well as you pour. The egg mixture will thicken into a sauce as you stir the hot mixture.

Garnish with chives.
Serve immediately.

Pasta e Fagioli

I love soup when the weather begins to cool. Here is my version of Pasta e Fagioli, using dried pinto and lima beans.


Pasta e Fagioli – my version

1 cup dried pinto beans
1/2 cup dried lima beans
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound sweet italian turkey sausage
1 yellow onion — chopped
2 carrots — peeled, chopped
2 celery stalks — chopped
4 large garlic cloves — minced
8 cups beef stock — or as needed
1 pint diced canned plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons salt — plus more to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper — to taste
1/2 pound favorite dried pasta
Extra-virgin olive oil — for serving
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese — for serving

Pick over the beans, rinse, drain and place in a saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 1/2 hour. Drain.

In a Dutch oven or saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the italian sausage and sauté, stirring about 5 minutes. Add the onion, carrots, celery and garlic and sauté, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes more. Add the stock, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, dried herbs, vinegar, salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer until the beans are very tender, about 1 hour.

When the soup is almost ready, bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, stir well and cook until barely al dente (tender but firm to the bite), about 8 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and add it to the soup.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls. Top each serving with a swirl of extra-virgin olive oil, some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and a liberal grinding of pepper.

Experiment – PPN

Link to Roundup
I decided since I have zucchini beginning to come in that I wanted to try and bake some stuffed blossoms, which I had never done before, with some sort of pasta and zucchini.

Experiment follows –
6 zucchini blossoms
2 ounces montery jack cheese
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
pinch salt


I started out by getting my blossoms and washing and removing the stems inside the blossom. If a blossom had a small zucchini attached I kind of fanned it by making thin cuts through it.

I stuffed each blossom with a small chunk of Montery Jack Cheese and then piped in a filling of of cottage cheese mixture on top of that.

For piping the filling mix together the above garlic powder, basil, salt and cottage cheese. I had cottage cheese mixture left over for the sauce.

I then placed them on a sprayed baking stone and baked in a 400 degree oven until collapsed and browned around the edges.

I had to allow them to cool a bit to get up with a spatula, I wanted to push together all that cheese that had melted out.

Then for the roasted vegetables I placed in my cast iron chicken fryer

1/2 head cauliflower broken up
1 small zucchini diced
2 each spring onions sliced along with tops
3 tablespoons jarred roasted red pepper
2 cloves garlic minced
pinch salt and pepper

I sprayed the top with cooking spray and covered with my lid. Baked about 40 minutes at 400 degrees.
With the leftover cottage cheese mixture I added about another tablespoon of chopped basil. 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 1/2 quart canned tomatoes and processed it in a food processor.

I tossed the hot linguine with this processed sauce, the roasted vegetables, and served the blossoms on the side topped off with grated montery jack cheese.

Turned out very good. Only served two but..

I deem the experiment a success and this is my entry to Presto Pasta Nights hosted this week by Hillary at Chew on That. Check for the roundup around June 27th and remember that next week the founder of PPN will be the host, Ruth at Once Upon A Feast.

Bacon Ranch and Blue Cheese Pasta _ PPN

Presto Pasta Nights is back at Ruth’s Once Upon A Feast this week.
Link to Roundup

If you want to see some great looking pasta dishes check out the PPN archives and remember to check the new roundup on Friday. Next week the host will be Hillary of Chew On That.

The pasta I am submitting, Bacon Ranch and Blue Cheese Pasta,
has two parts,.

The first part is a ranch dressing mix that you will end up with way too much mix for this recipe, but it is always nice to have a ranch mix to be able to whip ranch dressing up whenever you wish. THis recipe I found on the web somewhere years ago.

I store my ranch dressing mix in a baggie along with the recipe so I don’t have to search for it when I need to make more.

Ranch Dressing Mix

Place all this in a food processor and grind fine.
8 saltine crackers
1 cup dried parsley
1/4 cup dried onion
2 tablespoon dried dill weed
1/8 cup garlic salt
Keep stored dry and mix with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon of mix, and enough buttermilk to desired consistency.

Now for the second part, the pasta, which is my own creation. You will need

Bacon Ranch and Blue Cheese Pasta

1 1/4 cup of the above mix fixed as directed,( which would be about 2 tablespoons of the mix, 1 cup mayo ( I use light), enough buttermilk to get your desired consistency.)
6 ounces cooked egg noodles ( I used yolk free)
2 spring onions chopped fine
2 ribs celery chopped fine
6 pieces turkey bacon cooked crisp and crumbled ( or regular bacon if you prefer)
1/2 carrot grated
1/4 cup chopped fresh spinach, chopped fine
2 heaping tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
hot sauce (several dashes or to taste)

Just mix it all together and enjoy your Presto Pasta Night! Eat immediately if you don’t want soggy turkey bacon.

Campanelle Salad – PPN

Link to roundup.

I am tickled to show pictures of our little dog Panda trying to emulate her new found idol “Kung Fu Panda”. Funny how cartoons can have such an influence on children.


AAAH YA

I am so glad I am no longer hindered with slow dial up connection. One reason I am tickled pink is I can now participate in Presto Pasta Nights the pasta loving event started by Ruth of Once Upon A Feast.

I got my post together and then realized it was the first time PPN would be hosted by a guest. Kevin of Closet Cooking is doing the roundup honors this week.

This recipe was simple and a great outlet to use up some of my homemade pesto. Link to Pesto Recipe.

I adapted this recipe from , Sheila Lukins, Farfalle Salad, but used Campanelle, roasted red peppers, and kalamata olives.

An even greater hit was the following night with the leftovers I added some browned smoked sausage and served it warmed. Sorry but I didn’t get pictures of it with the smoked sausage, but here it is in it’s original state.


Campanelle Salad

1/4 cup roasted red pepper — chopped
1 each red onion — chopped
1 cup cooked peas
3 each scallions — sliced thin
1/4 cup kalamata olive — chopped
1 cup pesto sauce — homemade or your favorite
1 pound pasta — Campanelle
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Combine the peppers,onion,peas,scallion and olives in a large bowl.

Cook your pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain well but reserve 1/2 cup pasta water.

Toss the hot pasta with the pesto adding enough water to combine. Add this to the vegetables and toss well. Sprinkle with the parmesan.

Refridgerate and bring to room temperature to serve.