Maureen Fraîche

Mixing Business and Pleasure in the Kitchen

Archive for the category “Pasta”

Meaty Mac

Meaty Mac

Cooler temps are just around the bend and already I’m in the mood for some gooey comfort food.  The stick-to-yer-ribs type.

This recipe fit the bill splendidly.  Though it surely ain’t sexy, it is totally delicious.  We’re talkin’ perfectly seasoned ground beef folded into creamy, homemade macaroni and cheese and then baked until bubbly.  I kept it simple this time around, but you could easily add sauteed veggies, different spices–whatever your heart desires.  You could also swap in ground chicken or turkey for the beef and a whole grain mac, such as Barilla Plus, for the regular variety.

So next time you’re looking for something cozy–or just a new way to use that ground beef–give this recipe a whirl.  It’s sure to please anyone from your favorite football fan to those angelic children of yours.

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The Spaghetti Sub

Spaghetti Sub

Howdy folks.

So let me tell you about this beast of a sandwich.  You might be thinking to yourself, What sort of crazy person makes a spaghetti sub??  Honestly, I had never even heard of such a thing, though apparently they do exist and even have quite a little following at the restaurants that offer them.  I think the idea actually came to us one night over a spaghetti dinner.  We were sitting there happily slurping our spaghetti and wiping our plates with crusty bread when the husband had a flash of genius.  Why not stuff a loaf of garlic bread with the spaghetti? The conversation then quickly turned to a better garlic bread, great sauce, and–the crowning glory–bubbly mozzarella cheese.

So here it is.

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Lasagne al Forno

Lasagne

Lasagne al Forno.  So delicious.  Homemade ragu bolognese, fresh pasta, creamy balsamella, nutty parmigiano throughout with a sprinkling of mozzarella to top things off–this dish is so worth the effort and the leftovers are amazing.

If you’ve been following my posts leading up to this grand finale, you’ve had a sweet peek into each of the delicious ingredients in this authentic Italian lasagne.  Yes, this dish is a labor of love, but the results are nothing short of delizioso.

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Fresh Pasta

Fresh Pasta

It has been awhile, hasn’t it?  Funny how time can fly by between posts.  We’ve finally gotten into some warm weather, which makes it hard to stare at a computer screen.  Plus, we are now expecting our THIRD kiddo (due in November), and there’s nothing like a little first trimester funk to suck the motivation out of a would-be blogger.

In any case, and at long last, I’ve finally gotten around to the next installment in my series of posts on homemade, authentic Italian lasagne.  While you can certainly buy dried lasagne sheets or even fresh sheets for lasagne, for whatever reason, I had a sudden urge to make my own pasta from scratch.  Gotsta justify owning a pasta press, right?

The recipe for pasta is quite simple, though I’ll say right now that making pasta with a couple of ankle biters running around is a whoooooole lot different than the first time I made pasta back in college.  As I recall, the boyfriend and I made a date night out of it and I can still clearly picture the fettuccine he had wrapped around and around his neck in a serious effort to make the longest strand mankind has ever seen.  Now that I think on it, my future husband’s help may not have been that different than my 4-year-old’s…

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Lighter Lemon Thyme Macaroni Salad

I’ve never been a big fan of macaroni salad, truth be told.  I’m sure part of it is that growing-up, it really wasn’t a part of my family’s dining repertoire.  Aside from that, however, macaroni salad has never really done anything for me.  Excessive mayo glopped on helpless macaronis otherwise lacking in any personality?  No thanks.  But every now and then, I have a dream.  A dream about a macaroni salad that doesn’t coat my tongue and is full of bright flavor and crunchy appeal.  I’ve come close at times.  This recipe may be the closest I’ve gotten yet.  The lemon, dijon, and Tabasco definitely perk things up and all the fresh veggies make every bite a good one.  To top it off, fresh parsley and lemon thyme add an extra little dimension for your enjoyment.  Oh, and it contains just 1/3 to 1/2 the calories of most macaroni salads.  Your hips will love that.

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Teriyaki Udon with Beef or Chicken

My family loves this dish.  Stir-fried veggies, a good dose of garlic and ginger, udon noodles, sweet and savory teriyaki sauce–what’s not to love?  I’ve made this a couple times now, once with chicken and today with beef.  In both cases, I marinated the meat for a few hours in teriyaki sauce before throwing onto the grill.  Easy peasy.  For my veg friends, some crispy tofu–fried in the hot pan and then removed before adding the veggies–would most certainly be delicious as well. (Might just make that next time, come to think of it…)

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Vodka Tomato Cream Sauce with Beecher’s Flagship

There is nothing quite like homemade…and that goes for pasta sauce, too!  This recipe is quick and easy, not to mention super versatile.  Feel free to tweak the herbs, amount of cream, or the type and quantity of cheese to your heart’s content!  This sauce is even more delicious with a couple Italian sausages (spicy or sweet) sauteed with the onions and garlic.  Tonight, I kept it fairly simple and not overly indulgent with the cream and cheese.  Today is Tuesday, after all.  Leftover grilled chicken and steak were a no-brainer and put this dinner on the table in less than 40 minutes, though the sauce can certainly be made earlier in the day and then gently reheated come dinner time.  Where this sauce is slightly chunky, a shaped pasta is a great choice; though the creaminess also makes it a happy pairing with a long pasta, such as linguine.  My personal favorite?  Gnocchi!

Click for the recipe!

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