Pasta Carbornara

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pasta 
  • 1 lb bacon – chopped
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 1 pkg mushrooms – sliced
  • 5 eggs
  • 3/4 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1 C shredded parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • fresh cut italian leaf parsley
  • fresh ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to pkg directions – drain and set aside
  2. In a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook bacon with onion for about 5 minutes
  3. Add mushrooms
  4. Continue to cook until bacon is crispy
  5. In a bowl, whisk 5 eggs and 3/4 C heavy whipping cream
  6. Add parmesan cheese and salt/pepper – to taste
  7. Add cooked pasta to bacon/onion/mushroom mixture – stir well then add egg/cream/cheese mixture – stir well and serve
  8. Garnish with freshly cut italian leaf parsley and fresh ground black pepper

Mom’s Manicotti

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz mozzarella cheese – shredded
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 egg
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 Boxes manicotti shells – do not cook
  • 32 oz spaghetti sauce & 32 oz water – boil together
  • parmesan cheese for top

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Make the filling by combining the mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, parsley, egg, salt & pepper
  3. Stuff each uncooked shell with the filling
  4. Pour a little sauce on bottom of 13″ x 9″ x 2″ pan and place uncooked stuffed shells into pan
  5. Cover all shells with sauce
  6. Cover with foil and bake for one hour
  7. Remove foil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and cook an additional 30 minutes until bubbly

Spasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/2 lbs spaghetti 
  • 2 lbs mozzarella cheese – shredded
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese – whole milk
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1-1/4 C half-n-half
  • 1-1/2 C parmesan cheese – grated – divided
  • 2 Tbsp italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 tsp garlic – minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 – 3 jars of your favorite spaghetti sauce – or use my recipe (below)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Spray a 12″ x18″ x 3″ (or 2 – 13″ x9″ x 2″) baking pan(s) with non-stick cooking
  3. Cook spaghetti al dente according to package directions – DRAIN WELL and place in a very large bowl
  4. In another bowl, stir together ricotta, sour cream, half-n-half, mozzarella, italian seasoning, pepper, garlic, salt and 3/4C parmesan
  5. Add cheese mixture to spaghetti – mix gently until well combined
  6. Place the mixture in the pan(s), pressing down slightly (compacting it)
  7. Top with remaining 3/4 C parmesan cheese
  8. Cover dish tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil
  9. Bake for 30 minutes
  10. Remove from oven, remove foil and let rest for 10 – 15 minutes
  11. Cut into squares and top with your favorite spaghetti sauce

***This recipe makes enough to feed a hungry crowd – you could cut the recipe in half and use 1 – 13″ x 9″ x 2″ pan


Homemade Pasta Dough

Ingredients:

  • 7 C flour
  • 5 eggs – room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and salt
  2. Make a well in the flour
  3. Add room temperature eggs and hand mix until dough forms
    **If dough appears a little dry, add a small amount of room temperature water to mix – NEVER exceed 2 Tbsp water
    **If dough appears very dry, add another room temperature egg instead of water
  4. Let dough rest for 30 minutes
  5. Separate dough into thirds and roll – as you roll, use flour to dust tabletop and dough

Pierogies

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 3 eggs
  • 8 oz cream cheese – softened to room temperature
  • salt – to taste
  • 5 C flour
  • 1/2 C cold milk
  • 1/2 C cool water

For the Filling:

  • 3-1/2 lbs (approx) hoop cheese (you can find this at a specialty market in the deli section, they have to order it for you)
  • 1 egg
  • 5 lbs mashed potatoes
  • salt & pepper – to taste

Directions:

Make the Dough:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, with an electric mixer, beat eggs until fluffy
  2. Add cream cheese and salt
  3. Beat for 1 minute
  4. Add flour, milk and water – beat until smooth
  5. Knead dough for approx 5 minutes
  6. Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/8” thin and cut out 3″ to 4″ circles

Make the Filling:

  1. Mix all filling ingredients together
  2. Fill dough circles with prepared filling and fold over into 1/2 circles – pressing edges with a fork to seal
  3. Drop into boiling water (5 at a time) and soft boil for approx 5 minutes until pierogie floats to the top
  4. Drain well & fry both sides in butter until brown & crisp
  5. Serve with sour cream

Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large portabello mushrooms – diced (or you can use 1 pkg pre-sliced portabello mushrooms)
  • 1 onion – chopped
  • 4 Tbsp (or more) italian seasoning
  • 3 Tbsp (or more) garlic – mined
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 20 italian sausage links – slice each into 5 pieces (yes, that’s 100 slices)
  • 106 oz can tomato sauce (#10 can from Costco)
  • Aunt Janet’s Meatballs – recipe below

Directions:

**USE ONLY ONE BIG HEAVY DUTY POT FOR EVERYTHING!!!

  1. Make meatballs (recipe below) – set aside
  2. Over medium high heat, brown Italian Sausage in 2 Tbsp olive oil until fully cooked
  3. Remove cooked sausage from pot – leaving the grease
  4. Add onions and mushrooms until onions are transparent
  5. Stir in garlic and then add hamburger – brown until crumbly like taco meat
  6. Add salt, pepper, italian seasoning and sausage
  7. Stir until everything is well combined
  8. Add tomato sauce plus a swish of water in can
  9. Taste sauce – you may need more italian season and/or garlic
  10. Bring to a boil
  11. Add raw meatballs (recipe below)
  12. Cover (crack the lid) and simmer for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally

Aunt Janet’s Meatballs for Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 C italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 C romano cheese – grated

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together and roll into balls
  2. Place in spaghetti sauce RAW
  3. Allow to cook in sauce for 4-5 hours

***Helpful Hint:  The meatballs will not stick to your hands if you rub a little bit of milk on your hands before rolling


Fettuccine Alfredo

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb fettuccine
  • 2 pints heavy whipping cream
  • 1 C romano cheese – grated
  • 1 C parmesan cheese – grated
  • 8 Tbsp butter (1 stick) – divided
  • 1 Tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg
  • ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta al dente according to directions on package
  2. Drain and toss with one tablespoon of butter, cover and set aside
  3. In a medium sauce pan over low heat, heat cream, garlic and 7 Tbsp of butter
  4. Stir constantly until cream begins to simmer
  5. Mix in (small amounts at a time) both cheeses
  6. Continue stirring constantly, until all of the cheese is added and sauce has reduced (this will take awhile) – it should be thick and easily cover the back of a spoon
  7. Stir in nutmeg and black pepper
  8. Toss with warm fettuccini and serve with grilled chicken, shrimp or italian sausage

Christine’s World Greatest Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/4 C fontinella cheese – cubed
  • 5 oz parmesan Cheese – finely shredded
  • 4 oz Rpromano Cheese – finely shredded
  • 26 oz jar of Classico Brand Tomato & Basil Spaghetti Sauce

Directions:

  1. In a 6 quart pot, over low-medium heat, melt butter and crushed garlic just until fragrant
  2. Add heavy whipping cream and cook on low-medium heat until it just starts to boil/bubble (make sure your pot and flame are not too hot or the cream will burn)
  3. Add cheeses into bubbling cream
  4. Lower the heat to low, stirring occasionally, until the cheeses are melted
  5. Pour in the tomato sauce and simmer on low for 1 hour – stir occasionally
  6. Serve over your favorite pasta

Ricotta Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pasta – use a shape, not a long noodle
  • 15 oz container of ricotta cheese (Polly-O Brand is the best, if you can find it)
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) butter
  • 1 C milk (whole milk works best)
  • 1/4 C parmesan cheese – freshly grated
  • 1/4C fresh basil – snipped

Directions:

  1. Prepare the pasta according to package directions – drain well
  2. Return pasta to pot and add the ricotta cheese, butter and milk
  3. Cook over low heat, stirring until the butter melts
  4. Remove from heat
  5. Stir in the parmesan cheese
  6. Garnish with fresh basil

*If desired, serve with grilled chicken on the side – do not mix the chicken into the pasta or it will taste funny!


Creamy Four Cheese Garlic Pasta

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 5 garlic cloves – minced
  • 8 oz pasta – any kind
  • 1 C pasta water – cooked
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1-1/2 C  italian four cheese blend cheese
  • 1/4 C parsley  or green onions – finely chopped

Directions:

  1. In large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil and butter
  2. Add minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute without burning
  3. Remove from heat – set aside
  4. In a large pot, boil pasta until its cooked al dente
  5. Drain – reserving 1 C of hot pasta water
  6. Dissolve 1 cube of chicken bouillon in 1 C of hot pasta water
  7. Add pasta water (with the dissolved chicken bouillon cube in it), heavy whipping cream and cooked pasta to the large skillet with cooked butter and garlic
  8. Over high heat, bring to a boil – stirring constantly 
  9. Once the liquids are boiling, immediately add cheese
  10. While boiling, keep stirring everything together – until cheese melts and coats pasta – about 1 minute
  11. Reduce to simmer and continue to cook, constantly stirring, to thicken the sauce – for another minute or two

*To serve, top each serving with finely chopped parsley or green onions


Easy Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cooked and diced
  • 12 oz spaghetti – cooked and drained well
  • 2 cans (10.75 oz each) cream of chicken soup
  • 1/4 C chicken broth
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 1/2 C (1 stick) butter – melted
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 C parmesan cheese – grated or shredded
  • 1 C cheddar cheese – shredded
  • 1 C italian bread crumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking pan
  3. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, spaghetti, soup, chicken broth, sour cream, butter, cayenne pepper, italian seasoning, salt and pepper
  4. Spread mixture into prepared pan
  5. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and cheddar cheese evenly on top
  6. Top with bread crumbs
  7. Bake for about 45 – 50 minutes

Mushroom Florentine

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz linguine pasta
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 C chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 1 C whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 C mushrooms – sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1/3 C gruyere or gouda cheese – shredded
  • 2 C fresh baby spinach leaves

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions – drain and set aside
  2. Whisk together flour, broth, milk, salt and pepper – set aside
  3. While pasta cooks, in a large skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat
  4. When oil begins to ripple add sliced mushrooms, sauté for 6 minutes
  5. Add minced garlic, sauté for 2 more minutes until garlic just begins to brown – be careful not to burn the garlic
  6. Whisk flour, chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper mixture into mushrooms and garlic
  7. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally until thickened – about 3 – 4 minutes
  8. Add shredded cheese
  9. Stir until cheese has melted
  10. Mix in spinach, allow to wilt
  11. Add drained pasta to skillet
  12. Toss to coat

Bacon Ranch Chicken Alfredo

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb rotini pasta
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – diced
  • 1 pkg (or 3 Tbsp bulk) dry ranch dressing/seasoning mix
  • 2 C alfredo sauce (jar or homemade)
  • 6 slices bacon – diced
  • 1/2 C mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 C cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp parsley
  • salt & pepper – to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Lightly grease a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente – according to the package directions
  4. Using a Ziploc bag, place the dry ranch seasoning, salt & pepper and chicken pieces into the bag  
  5. Shake until all pieces are coated with the seasoning
  6. In a small pan over medium heat, heat olive oil and cook chicken until lightly brown on each side 
  7. Remove from heat and drain
  8. In a medium bowl, mix together chicken, alfredo sauce, cheese and bacon
  9. Pour into prepared baking dish
  10. Bake for 20 minutes
  11. Top with parsley 

Pierogi Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 large onion – sliced
  • 2 boxes or bags frozen pierogies (approx 14 count per pkg) – any flavor you like – I use Mrs. T’s brand
  • 1 can (10.75 oz) cream of mushroom soup – or any flavored cream soup
  • 3/4 C milk
  • 1-1/2 C cooked ham (or cooked bacon or cooked sausage) – diced 
  • 2 C cheddar cheese – shredded

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grease a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ pan with non-stick cooking spray
  3. Saute onion slices with butter until soft 
  4. Combine the soup and milk until smooth – set aside
  5. Cover the bottom of pan with frozen pierogies
  6. Top with cooked onion and ham (or bacon or sausage)
  7. Pour the soup mixture over the entire pan – covering evenly
  8. Sprinkle with shredded cheese
  9. Bake for 1 hour

Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 medium onion – chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves – minced
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
  • 1/2 C water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp salt – divided
  • 3 tsp italian seasoning – divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves – divided
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 C fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley – minced – divided
  • 2 C mozzarella cheese – shredded – divided
  • 1 (15 oz.) container whole milk Ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 C freshly grated parmesan cheese – divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 12 lasagna noodles

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Make the meat sauce:  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add beef and sausage (breaking it apart with a wooden spoon)
  3. Add the onion and garlic
  4. Cook until meat is browned, about 6-8 minutes
  5. Drain the fat from the meat. Return the meat to the skillet
  6. Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp basil and pepper
  7. Stir until well combined
  8. Cover and reduce the heat to low
  9. Simmer the sauce for 30 minutes
  10. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the minced parsley
  11. As the sauce cooks, make the ricotta mixture:  In a large bowl, add 1 C mozzarella, ricotta, 1/4 C parmesan, 2 Tbsp parsley, egg, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, and 1/2 tsp basil
  12. Stir until well incorporated
  13. Cook the lasagna noodles al dente, according to its package directions
  14. Assemble the lasagna:  In a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking dish – add a thin layer of meat sauce
  15. Layer 3 lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta mixture, and 1-1/2 C of meat sauce
  16. Repeat the layers twice
  17. Add a final layer of the remaining noodles, meat sauce, 1 C mozzarella and 1/4 C parmesan
  18. Cover with foil that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray – very important or your cheese will stick and nobody wants that
  19. Bake for 45 minutes
  20. Remove the foil
  21. Bake 15 minutes longer – or until the cheese is browned
  22. Let the lasagna cool for 15 – 20 minutes before cutting

Cacio e Pepe (Parmesan & Pepper Pasta)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb thin spaghetti – or your favorite pasta
  • lots of salt
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper + more for topping
  • 2 C fresh, high quality parmesan cheese – finely grated – divided

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot, boil water that tastes of the sea (heavily salted)
  2. Add the pasta and cook al dente according to package directions
  3. While the pasta cooks, in a very large skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter and pepper 
  4. Let the pepper infuse for 1 minute and then turn off the heat
  5. When the pasta is al dente, before draining, remove 1/2 C pasta water and add water to the peppered butter
  6. Over low heat, simmer for 2 minutes 
  7. Drain the pasta and add to the skillet, along with 3/4 C parmesan
  8. Toss the pasta in the sauce with tongs until the cheese has melted and created a creamy sauce that coats the pasta
  9. If the sauce is still wet, continue to simmer until the water has reduced and clings to the pasta
  10. Divide in four pasta bowls
  11. Top with the remaining parmesan and more freshly ground black pepper

Baked Ziti

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb box of ziti
  • 24 oz (3 C) marinara sauce – divided
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 C (4 oz) parmesan cheese – shredded or grated
  • 4 C (16 oz) mozzarella cheese – shredded – divided
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Boil/cook ziti according to package instructions
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, eggs, parmesan cheese, 2 C mozzarella cheese, pepper and italian seasoning – set aside
  4. Lightly grease a 10.5″ x 15.5″ x 2″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray (or you can use 2 – 8″ square baking pans – just divide equally, when layering, between the 2 pans)
  5. Spoon 1/4 C sauce in baking pan – it should slightly cover the bottom
  6. Start layering in the following order:  1/2 of the ziti, all of the ricotta cheese mixture, 1-3/4 C sauce, 1/2 of the ziti, 1C sauce, 2 C mozzarella cheese
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned

*If desired, add 1 lb cooked & well drained (squeeze with a paper towel) bulk italian sausage chunks on top of the ricotta cheese mixture