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Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Butter Garlic Parmesan Shrimps with Penne Pasta

There was this butter garlic Parmesan shrimp clip showed up on my Facebook feed. It looked pretty easy so I decided to give it a try, and I also added pasta. The clip didn’t show ingredient measurement so I just came out with my own version (the fun part of cooking is you don’t have to follow recipe to the T!). The pasta turned out quite delicious and got family’s approval. Now we have one more choices for pasta dinner!

Butter Garlic Parmesan Shrimps with Penne Pasta (serves 6-8)

Ingredients:

1 lb shrimps (31-40ct, headless, shell-less, tail-on)
1 box penne pasta
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3-4 cloves garlic– minced
1/2 onion– diced
1 cup julienne sun dried tomatoes
2 handful baby spinach
1 cup whipping cream
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat. Add butter to melt.
  3. Sauté garlic and onion until aromatic. Add in sun dried tomatoes. Stir a few times.
  4. Add in shrimps. Stir until shrimps are partially cooked. Add in whipping cream and spinach. Cook until spinach are wilted.
  5. Add in drain pasta. Stir to coat sauce well. Add salt and pepper to taste. When the sauce thickens slightly, sprinkle in grated Parmesan cheese. Toss a few times then dish out. Serve immediately.

Regina’s Note:

  • Boiling pasta: I like to keep my cooked pasta in boiled pasta water to keep warm while I prepare the pasta sauce. But to avoid soggy pasta caused by soaking in boiled pasta water, I turn off the heat when pasta is half way cooked– this way the pasta will remain al dente when I add them to the sauce later.
  • Cheese: You can use combination of Parmesan cheese and Asiago cheese.
  • Want more garlicky? Feel free to add more garlic or granulated garlic
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My son Alexander loves pasta. He requested meatball spaghetti recently. Just when I was searching for a meatball recipe, my sister-in-law Rachel coincidentally posted a meatball recipe on her food blog. Needless to say, I tried her recipe but made some adjustment on the ingredients. If it’s not for the kids, I would have added some chili flakes in the meatballs. I always like to spice things up hehe… :).

Meatball Spaghetti

Meatball Spaghetti. This is not a good picture. I will take better photos next time :).

Meatball Spaghetti

Ingredients:
20-25 meatballs (recipe follows)
1 jar pasta sauce
1 can chicken broth
cooked spaghetti

Method:

Add meatballs(form 1 layer in the pot), pasta sauce and chicken broth in a pot, stir to combine. Bring to a boil then simmer over medium low heat for 45 minutes, or until meatballs are tender. Stir occasionally so meatballs won’t stick to the bottom. Cover the pot during cooking so the sauce will not splash everywhere. If the sauce thickens too soon, add more water. Serve with cooked spaghetti.

Meatball Ingredients (makes about 50 meatballs, 1.5 inch diameter each):
1.25 lb ground pork
1.25 lb ground beef (80/20)
1 cup Italian bread crumbs— should increase to 1 1/2 cup
1 cup grated Italian cheeses
6-8 cloves garlic– finely chopped— should increase to 10 cloves
2 tsp salt— should increase to 3 tsp
2 tsp ground black pepper–should increase to 3 tsp
1 egg

Method:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with your hands until well combined. Roll into size of 1.5 inch diameter balls.
  2. Pan fry meatballs on high heat until all sides are brown (I just stir them a few times so all sides are evenly browned). It’s okay if the meatballs are partially cooked, as they will continue cooking in the pasta sauce. Do not fry too long or the meatballs will be dry and  harder for the pasta sauce to penetrate. Drain on paper towel and they are ready to put into the pasta sauce. Got extras? Cool them completely then freeze for future use.

Regina’s Note:

  • Richard said the meatballs need more flavor… so will increase seasoning next time (see note in blue ink above).
  • I simmer the meatballs in the pasta sauce on the stove and tomato sauce splashed everywhere. Even I covered with lid, but whenever I open the lid to quick stirred the sauce managed to splash onto me too. It’s a very GOOD idea to wear an apron when you’re making this dish 😉
  • I didn’t simmer the meatballs long enough this time, and the meatballs were not quite tender  enough in the center. Next time I should try simmer them in a slow cooker over long period of time.
  • For a little kick on taste, feel free to add some chili flakes into the meatballs.

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I was thinking to make poh-piah for dinner, but then I suddenly thought of those homemade giant meatballs sitting in the freezer. So, why not save myself whole bunch of mad prepping and go for much easier food option. Plus, Alexander has been wanting to have spaghetti with meatballs for dinner for some time now. I didn’t have spaghetti so I used linguine instead.

I washed some tomatoes, trying to make the tomato sauce, but realized that it takes lots of tomatoes and a very long time to cook down the sauce. So I cheated by using store bought pasta sauce– roasted red pepper and garlic flavor– and it was a breeze. Although I have to tell you that the sauce SPLASHED pretty good. The inside of the pot lid was all covered with the sauce, imagine cooking it without cover. When I stir the meatballs every now and then, I had to be quick because when the sauce splashed on my hand it hurt…

Linguine with Meatballs

Linguine with Meatballs

Linguine with Meatballs Recipe

Ingredients:
12 giant meatballs
1 can chicken broth
1 jar of red pasta sauce, flavor of your choice
2 cloves garlic– finely chopped
dashes of red pepper flakes (optional)
cooked linguine

Method:

  1. Saute garlic briefly in a deep pot. Place in meatball to form one layer loosely. Add chicken broth and pasta sauce (pepper flakes too if desired), stir to combine. Be sure the sauce covers the meatballs. Cover and boil on high heat for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally so meatballs won’t stick to the bottom.
  2. Turn heat down to medium low to simmer (the sauce will still be bubbling) for 2-3 hours, until meatballs are tender and sauce is thicken. Be sure to stir every 15 minutes or so to prevent meatballs from sticking to the bottom.  Add salt to taste. Serve with linguine or French bread.

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This is Alexander’s favorite pasta dish and also an easy meal to prepare. I used tri-color rotini because the boys like colorful pasta.

Sausage & Mushroom Rotini

Sausage & Mushroom Rotini

Sausage & Mushroom Rotini Recipe (serves 4 people)

Ingredients:
10-15 fresh button/crimini mushrooms– cut into big chunks
1 lb raw sausage (mild or spicy)– break into same size as mushrooms
1 small container Parmesan & Basil pasta sauce
3 cloves garlic– finely chopped
dash of chili flakes– optional
6 oz dry rotini pasta

Methods:

  1. In a big pot with enough boiling water, add in some salt and cook rotini until al dente. Drained.
  2. Saute sausage with olive oil in a deep pan until about cooked. Add in garlic, mushrooms, chili flakes and cook until the aroma comes out. Salt and pepper to taste. Add in drained rotini and pasta sauce. Turn heat to medium low and stir quickly. Dish out and serve immediately.

Note:

  1. Sausage: remove the sausage casing before breaking up the meat, or you can buy sausage in a bulk. Use real sausage and not some processed types that taste like hot links or hot dogs.
  2. Use any kind of pasta sauce to suit your taste ie: alfredo, marinara, tomato basil, pesto etc…

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This is a very hearty dish and you can put in any kind of seafood that you like– as long as they are fresh. I usually use combination of some big prawns, fish, scallops and some fresh shellfish like mussels, clams or oysters (packed in jar)– a little of each kind and you’ll have a big pot. Although this dish is best cooked before serving but it is quite easy to make. With this economic downturn we’re in  now, why spend money ordering it from restaurant when you can make it at home? Serve it with some focaccia bread and you’ll have an Italian dinner. Give it a try… I guarantee you’ll be pleased with the results.

Seafood Linguine

Seafood Linguine

Seafood Linguine Recipe (serve 4-6)

Ingredients:
8-10 jumbo prawns
6 u-12 sea scallops
1 lb salmon fillet or any white fish- skin and bone off
15 mussels/clams (or 6 fresh oysters- packed in jar)
1 can diced tomatoes (stewed with garlic, oregano)
1 container of marinara sauce
2-3 cloves garlic- finely chopped
chili flakes (optional)

Method:

  1. Prepare the seafood: take off shells and veins of the prawns. Cut scallops in 1/2 or 1/3. Cut the fish in bib chunks (about 1-inch cubes). Wash the shellfish and remove any beards (if you’re using mussels). If you’re using oysters, rinse through and remove any small pieces of shells.
  2. Heat up a pot or deep frying pan and pour some olive oil. Add in chopped garlic and chili flakes (optional) saute until aroma comes out. Take care not to burn the garlic. Add in canned tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add in shellfish and arrange them on a single layer, covered and cook until the shells open. Do not overcook or they will get tough. Once the shellfish are cooked, take them out and put on a plate but keep the sauce in the pot/pan.
  3. Next cook the prawns and arrange in single layers, covered and cook until prawns just cooked. Take the prawns out and repeat the step with scallops.
  4. Lastly, add in fish and cover with lid until just cooked. Add in marinara sauce and bring all the cooked seafood back to the pan. Toss gently to coat the sauce and dish out. Scoop the seafood over cooked linguine and serve immediately.

Note:

  • Use good quality fresh seafood as it is the soul of this dish. You can choose any kind of seafood but use at least 1 kind of shellfish as it will bring out the flavor of the sea. Also take care not to overcook all seafood– they are expensive you know! 🙂
  • Each type of seafood has different cooking time. This is why they are cooked separately on single layer to ensure they are evenly cooked and not overcooked.
  • Don’t cut the fish into small chunks as the flesh is easily breaking apart after cooking. Same reason being why the fish is the very last seafood to cook and gently toss when all other seafood are added in later.
  • I usually don’t have any herbs in stock so I used canned stewed tomatoes with herbs in it, but if you have any then you can use original flavor. Also, since the canned tomatoes and marinara sauce has salt in it so I skip all seasoning– the sauce is very flavorful already after cooking all kinds of seafood.

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