Category Archives: Pasta

How my obsession with smitten kitchen began

The first recipe that I ever saw from smitten kitchen blog was this one for Baked Rigatoni with Tiny Meatballs. Ever since then I have not only wanted to try this recipe but I have also discovered smitten kitchen to become my absolute favorite savory cooking blog. I love the recipes and the beautiful photos that the author takes. I can’t believe this recipe took me 9 months to try!


Meatballs:1/4 cup milk, 1 slice good white bread trimmed of its crust, 1 pound ground pork, 1 teaspoon chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1 egg, 1 cup flour spread on a plate, salt and pepper to season, vegetable oil for frying

For the bèchamel:4 1/2 cups milk, 6 tablespoons butter, 5 tablespoons flour, 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

To finish:1 pound rigatoni, 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup milk

Begin by making the meatballs. Heat the milk and drop pieces of bread into it. Allow to soak for 5 minutes before squeezing the excess milk and adding the bread to the meat.

Add garlic, parsley, grated cheese, egg, salt, and pepper to the meat and bread.

Mix together and form mini meatballs

Roll the meatballs (15 to 20 at a time) in the plate with flour

Get rid of excess flour by placing the floured meatballs in a strainer. Heat the oil in the skillet and fry the meatballs making sure to brown on all sides.  Once the batch is done, transfer to a paper towel and allow the meatballs to drain. Set aside when all are done.

Heat the milk over low heat until tiny bubbles appear. Do not let the milk come to a boil.In a different saucepan, melt the butter over low heat, add the flour and whisk constantly  until combined. Add 2 tablespoons of milk at a time to the flour and butter mixture, stirring thoroughly. Repeat 8 more times.

At this point, add the milk in 1/2 cup additions, stirring constantly to keep it smooth. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir the sauce until it thickens. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 and cook the rigatoni according to the instructions on the box. Drain the cooked pasta and add to a bowl. Add meatballs, two-thirds of the bechamel sauce and half the grated cheese. Mix together.

In a buttered baking dish, spread the pasta mixture and pour the milk over the dish. I did not add the milk but just because my mixture was already kind of wet. Top with the rest of the béchamel sauce and grated cheese.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until a golden brown crust forms on top

Serve hot


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Filed under Main Course, Meat, Pasta

Linguini with Roasted Tomato Pesto

So Spring Break is happening and as of Friday, I will be in (drums rolling) Las Vegas. I cannot promise to be posting anything for the next week as I will be to busy being a Show Girl but I will really try. I am hoping though to visit some of the celebrity chef restaurants in the area and maybe get inspired by one dish or another. But for now, enjoy this delicious Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pesto Linguini with Mozzarella dish.

Ingredients: 2 plum tomatoes roughly chopped (or 1 lb cherry tomatoes), 1/2 cup pesto, 10 garlic cloves, 1 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup grated parmesan, 1/2 cup chopped mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper to season

Begin by preheating the oven to 375. To a pot of boiling water add the linguini and cook according to instructions. In a ramekin immerse the garlic cloves in olive oil. Add to the oven and roast for 30 minutes.

Add the tomatoes to a baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes.

Add the garlic, tomatoes and the oil that the garlic was cooked in into the blender

Add pesto and parmesan

Blend together until smooth and pour sauce over cooked linguini.

Mix together and serve with mozzarella on top



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Filed under Main Course, Pasta, Vegetarian


I don’t let anything go to waste. In my last post I used sausage. Since I had some leftover, I froze it for a day when I didn’t feel like making anything complicated. Not that I ever make anything complicated and not that the day came too much later.  This is a somewhat simplified version of sausage Alfredo pasta.

Ingredients: 1/2 lb penne pasta, 3 spicy sausages casings removed and diced(the sausage not the casings), 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 cup cream, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to season

Begin by cooking the pasta to al dente. To a pan, on medium heat with olive oil, add sausage.

Cook until the sausage browns and add garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes before pouring in the cream.

Cook for 5 minutes and add 1/2 cup of cheese (leave the other 1/2 cup aside). Let the sauce thicken for another 5 minutes. Add sauce and butter to the pasta.

Mix together and top with the remaining cheese

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Filed under Meat, Pasta

Mushroom and Herb Mac and Cheese

Some people are very particular about their herbs. I know a lot of people who cannot stand cilantro, others who absolutely despise thyme and others who think that lavender is only good in shower gels. I honestly think that in appropriate amounts and mixed with the right ingredients, fresh herbs can change an entire dish for better. Having said that, I will admit that I can’t stand basil when it is just added as an afterthought or put in a dish where it doesn’t belong. Tastes like licorice. No good. This mac and cheese really gets an upgrade with the use of thyme and rosemary. I would use a mix of different mushrooms next time just because I love mushrooms and again leave out the white wine vinegar  since I never have it at home anyway.

Ingredients:1 lb elbow pasta, 1 lb mushrooms of your choice (I used baby bella) sliced, 1 shallot diced, 2 garlic cloves minced, 8 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons flour, 1/2 tablespoon each chopped rosemary and thyme (you can use any herbs you like and decrease the amount of herbs added), 3 cups milk, 6 oz shredded Gruyere, 6 oz shredded cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs, salt and pepper to season

Preheat the oven to 400. Begin cooking the pasta according to the instructions on the box. It should be al dente. Meanwhile in a small pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat. Add the shallots.

Next add the mushrooms and saute until the mushrooms and shallots become tender and the liquid reduces by half. Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for another minute and take off heat.

In another pot, start making the sauce. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter.

Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk together until smooth and golden. Stir in the fresh herbs and cook for about a minute.

Pour in the milk and whisk until the sauce thickens. Add the shredded cheeses.

Continue stirring until they melt and the sauce is smooth. Add the mushroom mixture to the cooked pasta and top with the sauce. Mix together and transfer to an oven proof pot or baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs and the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes and then serve. Enjoy



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Filed under Main Course, Pasta, Vegetarian

Giada’s Baked Rigatone

I have recently developed a taste for Giada De Laurentiis’ recipes. After I got over her weird habit of adapting an accent when pronouncing Italian food names, she grew on me. Giada’s recipes are real simple and easy to make. With the rain and cloudy weather over Boston, I have been craving a pasta dinner and this recipe seemed like the perfect fit. With most of the ingredients already in my pantry, I only needed to buy prosciutto and grated fontina cheese.

Ingredients: 1 stick unsalted butter and 3 tablespoons diced unsalted butter, 1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 quart milk, 1 cup grated fontina cheese, 1/2 pound prosciutto, 1 pound rigatoni, pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper to season

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Next boil a pot of salted water for the pasta. Drop the rigatoni in for 5 minutes.

Julienne the prosciutto into thin strips.

Melt the stick of butter on medium heat.

Add the flour and whisk in until smooth. Add the milk and whisk it in.

Simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Take off heat and add 1/2 cup of cheese and nutmeg.

Add the prosciutto and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the pasta and mix together.

To a buttered baking pan, add the pasta with the sauce and top with the other 1/2 cup of cheese.

Top with diced butter and bake in oven for 25 minutes or until the crust becomes golden brown.

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Filed under Main Course, Pasta

Honey Chicken Pasta

Do you have one of these days when there is absolutely nothing in the fridge and yet you cannot force yourself to go to the grocery store? The story of my life! What makes things even sadder is that I have a giant grocery store down my building. So last Sunday I found myself scouting the last remains of food in the fridge. Ketchup? Ummm no.Moldy Cheese? Probably not? My Moleskine notebook that I misplaced a week ago? What?! Oh god this semester needs to end like right about now. Along with the expired and inedible I found frozen chicken, pasta and cream. With honey and soy sauce an always yes at our house, I turned to an old recipe that my mum sent me a while ago. I know that honey, soy sauce and cream might sound like a weird combination but really give it a try.

Ingredients: 4 Chicken legs (if you don’t want to use the legs, use any dark chicken meat), 2 tablespoon honey, 2 tablespoon soy sauce, 1/2 cup light cream, 1/2 lb pasta elbows, 1/2 tablespoon butter, 1 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 teaspoon flour, salt and pepper to season

Begin by boiling a large pot of water. Add the elbows and cook according to instructions on the box.

Add olive oil to a Dutch pan on medium heat. Next add the butter to the olive oil. Sounds weird? You are on the right track.

Next cut the chicken legs, careful to cut most of the meat of the bones. Discard the bones or throw back in the freezer to make chicken stock at a later time.

Add the chicken to the pan with butter and olive oil and sautee for 5 to 7 minutes. After the chicken cooks through, add the honey and the soy sauce. Sounds weird? Keep going.

Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes. Add the cooked pasta.

Next pour the cream and add the flour

Mix together and cook for the last 5 minutes.

Serve right away cus this is not the leftover pasta. It tastes delicious hot and straight from the pan. Wait does it mean I have to go to the grocery store tomorrow?

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Filed under Chicken, Main Course, Pasta

Chipotle Mac and Cheese

This Rachel Ray recipe is absolutely genius. While I usually like to recreate and change recipes around to work for me, this smoky chipotle mac and cheese has the perfect amount of flavor and I wouldn’t remove or add anything. The only thing that I wouldn’t do again is use the amount of ingredients that I did. I made enough food for at least 6-7 people when there is only 2 of us in the house. Half the amount of ingredients below if you are not looking to have 5 day long leftover feast.

Ingredients: 1 lb macaroni elbows (this should have gave away the amount of food that I was about to make), 3 cups grated cheddar cheese, 1 package chorizo (I used Chouriço which is almost the same thing), 1 small onion, 3-4 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce(if you don’t like too spicy use 2), 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 1 (15-ounce) can diced fire roasted tomatoes, 1 cup chicken stock, 3 cups milk, 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Begin by boiling a pot of water for the pasta. Drop the pasta in the pot and cook according to the instructions on the box.

Next take the casing off the chorizo and dice the chorizo into cubes. Add to a pot (I had to use a pan as it was one of those days where I decided to load the dishwasher with all the pots. Not smart) on medium heat with one tablespoon of oil. Let the chorizo become brown and crispy.

Take the chorizo out with tongs leaving the liquid in the pan. Next chop the onion and add to the pan with the chorizo grease.  Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Chop the chipotle peppers with the sauce and add to the onions.

Cook for 5 minutes before adding the flour.

Whisk together. Cook for another minute before whisking in the chicken stock and the milk.Raise the heat a tiny bit bringing the sauce to a boil.

Add the cooked chorizo and the fire roasted tomatoes.

Add grated cheddar cheese and stir until the sauce becomes nice and smooth. Add sauce to the drained pasta and mix together. Serve straight away.

This dish, without a doubt, is a calorie fest which is ironic because I learned of this recipe while watching 3o minute meals in the gym. But we all need comfort food once in a while. My excuse? The rainpocalypse that Boston bestowed upon us these last 4 days gives me the blues.

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Filed under Main Course, Pasta