Kathy Maister's Start Cooking

Pasta Round-up

posted in Pasta, Rice and Grains by Kathy Maister

This is a quick summary of all the PASTA posts I have done so far, including both videos and static blogposts.

Pasta is on just about everyone’s list of favorite foods! There are endless recipes to choose from. It can be served as a simple supper or part of a grand meal. The best part is that you can buy dried pasta in advance and just reach in the cupboard and dinner is ready…almost!

I am going to be reviewing the following posts:

  1. Picking Pasta
  2. Cooking Pasta (video)
  3. Pasta Marinara Sauce
  4. Pasta Sauce with Italian Turkey Sausage
  5. Lasagna with Spinach (video)
  6. Lasagna with Italian Turkey Sausage
  7. Pasta Salad
  8. Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese
  9. Pasta with Lemon and Garlic

1. Picking Pasta

The reason pasta comes in different shapes is to catch more or less of the sauce thereby changing the taste and texture of each dish.

The thicker and heavier the pasta, the heavier sauce it can hold. Pasta with lots of curls and ridges holds more sauce than flat shaped pasta. Small shaped pastas are fun to eat and are great in soups and salads.

2. Cooking Pasta (video)

Cooking Pasta is as easy as boiling water. Just be sure to actually bring the water to a boil!

Adding salt to the boiling water is essential for taste.

Adding oil to the water is definitely a no-no. The pasta will not stick together when cooking it BUT the sauce won’t stick to it either.

3. Pasta Marinara Sauce

Having a jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce on hand means dinner can be ready in less than 15 minutes. Making your own sauce does require some pre-planning, but the good thing is that most home-made sauces can be frozen and just pulled out of the freezer, and defrosted in no time!

Pasta Marinara Sauce is a really tasty sauce made with canned tomatoes and fresh basil. You will need a blender for this recipe!


4. Pasta Sauce with Italian Turkey Sausage

Italian Turkey Sausage is full of great flavors, and when using it instead of regular Italian sausage, it makes for a much healthier dinner. Browning sausage meat is just like Browning Ground Beef (video). Be sure to drain off the excess fat!

Home-made, tomato based pasta sauces freeze really well. Be sure to label and date the package before it goes into the freezer!

5. Lasagna with Spinach

In this video, I used a large jar of spaghetti sauce to make the spinach lasagna. Home-made Pasta Marina Sauce works beautifully in this recipe. You could always make the sauce the day before and refrigerate it until you are ready to start making the Lasagna. Cooking is not quite as daunting if you spread out the “to-do” list.

6. Lasagna with Italian Turkey Sausage Sauce

This recipe is a variation on the Lasagna with Spinach. I substituted the spinach and ricotta cheese layers with the Turkey Sausage Sauce. The finished lasagna is really tasty!


7. Pasta Salad

Cork screw, bow ties, and ziti are just a few types of pasta that are great for cold pasta salads. These pasta shapes tends to grab and hold a lot of the dressing/sauce in all the squiggles. The great thing about pasta salads is that they generally can be made in advance and feed a TON of people.


8. Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese

There are basically three ways to cook Macaroni and Cheese:

At some point almost everyone has done the box version. Personally I think the box mix tastes like fake food! Stove-top Macaroni and Cheese can be made in less than 15 minutes, using real food.

Stove-top Mac and Cheese is good but there is nothing that compares to oven-baked macaroni and cheese. Oven-baked macaroni and cheese usually starts with a basic white sauce. Cheese is then added and once all the ingredients are combined, it gets baked for about an hour in the oven.


9. Pasta with Lemon and Garlic

Pasta with Lemon and Garlic involves several preparation steps but it is so delicious! Be sure to use fresh ingredients for this recipe. Bottled lemon juice will just not do!

While your pasta is cooking you will need to: chop parsley, juice a lemon, peel and crush garlic, and shred parmesan cheese. Each individual step is not a challenge but they can be time consuming.

We will be doing lots more pasta dishes so…keep in touch!

Cheers!

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3 Comments

Rone Macaroglu said:

FRESH TOMATO SAUCE:

  1. Prickle fresh tomatoes with a fork and cook them uncovered in the microwave for 10 mn (depending on the quantity) (The microwave cooking will prevent the tomato from loosing it’s color)
  2. Take the skins out with a sharp knife and fork and puree lightly with a blender adding a bit of tomato paste for extra color and consistency.
  3. Use it as a base for a more sofisticated tomato sauce….

Kathy Maister said:

Thanks Rone, Your technique is a new one for me! I’ll have to give it a try!

aani said:

These recipes are mind blowing!

Love your cooking!