Tag Archives: pasta

Ricotta Pasta

I.LOVE.PASTA. If I could only eat one food for the rest of my life, it would definitely be pasta (or maybe pizza… close tie). I am especially loving pasta these days since I’m not forcing myself to restrict it anymore! (I’m planning a summation post on my Intuitive Eating challenge later this week with many more details) I used to think pasta was “bad” so when I did “let myself have it” I always completely gorged myself on it. My mind was in that deprivation place of not knowing when I would ever be allowed to have it again. So when I was confronted with pasta… I ate ALL the pasta. Now that I know I can have pasta absolutely any time I want to have pasta, I eat a single serving in a bowl and walk away from the table completely satisfied (ok, ok, maybe one or two more bites as I pack away the leftovers).

Recently, I’ve been finding myself really favoring simple meals. We’re busy during the week so I have less time to cook elaborate dinners. This recipe requires 5 simple ingredients and hits 3 macro nutrients all in one dish (protein, carbs, and vegetables). Here’s what you’ll need (recipe / instructions at the bottom): You could substitute any kind of pasta (I chose brown rice fuscilli – but please remember I am NOT gluten free. I just like this kind a lot), meat (I used ground turkey but beef or chicken would be fine), vegetables (I ❤ brussels sprouts. End of story) and tomato sauce (Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic is delicious and $1.95 – CHA CHING). The secret here is the ricotta (which in my world is pronounced with a G). Mixing it with tomato sauce gives you a slightly “creamy” sauce without a super heavy alfredo. mmmmm…mmm…. good.

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The other best part of this meal is that you can make the entire thing in the time it takes to boil the water / cook the pasta. I also was able to prep chicken noodle soup in the crock pot during this time.

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Mike is an excellent kitchen helper. I cut these brussels into quarters because they were really big.

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Fig kept a watchful eye on the whole process, but he doesn’t like vegetables (BLEH green stuff!)

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After the meat was cooked, I moved it to a bowl and drained MOST of the fat. I left some (about 1 tbsp) in the pan to sautee the brussels.

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For the sauce simply add your sauce and a dollop of ricotta cheese for a smooth and creamy finish.

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Serve with a little extra ricotta if you like (I love cheese… so yes please) and any garnish you like! I used oregano and crushed red pepper.

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For being so quick and simple, this meal was a HUGE hit. Mike loved it.

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And so did Little Mac…

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recipe

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Homemade Pasta

Today’s post is an oldie and long overdue. Mike took all the pictures on his phone and of course this became a huge obstacle to me because I’m computer illiterate. I know it’s weird, I blog and people at my job seem to think I’m really good with computers but trust me… I am not. ANYWAYS. As I mentioned in my Fall 2012 To Do List, I wanted to master a new cooking skill this fall. I decided I would finally try my hand at making homemade pasta. Pasta is really not hard to make… but you need a lot of space to dry it. Space was something I did not have in my old apartment. So with my brand new big girl kitchen, I set out to make homemade pasta a few Sundays back. I coordinated with my brother so plan a dinner at his apartment with my homemade pasta and his sauce and meatballs. A perfect Sunday indeed. Mike was kind of enough to take 1,000,000 pictures of me during this process. Here’s how it went.

There are a startling number of eggs in pasta. I had no idea. I used this step by step guide I found online, because I never do anything without instructions. I decided to make a double batch since the batch they made looked kinda small, and I was making a meal for three boys and one pasta eating phenomenon (me). Look at me… totally following the directions. Making my little flour mountain into a flour volcano so I can pour my eggs in just like the lady in the demonstration.

Aaaannnndddd then my flour volcano erupted. Literally, we were at def con 5 up in here. Egg was spilling out EVERYWHERE and I couldn’t get it together fast enough. Mike was legitimately just laughing at me and catching this all on camera because he is a terrific boyfriend (but he seriously is). I was pretty convinced I was never going to get a cohesive ball of dough out of this mess. Unless you counted all the crap that was stuck to my hands (WARNING: take off all jewelry before trying this at home… I wish I had taken my own advice. I found a dried piece of dough in one of my rings like a week and a half later). But finally after some serious sweating and cursing… I muscled my ball of dough into submission.

And it rested. And I rested! Then it was time to roll. Thank you Mike for purchasing this rolling pin at Target. Without it we would’ve had a giant ball of dough and no pasta.

After I got it as thin as I could (it was still thicker than normal pasta from the box, but I think that is normal) I rolled it around the rolling pin and was left with my little pasta stromboli (minus the gooey cheese and marinara). After this, I made Mike put the camera down and start helping because this was a lot of work. I cut the roll into the thinnest pieces possible, and then we started unrolling / laying the pieces out to dry.

I was not kidding when I said you needed a lot of space for this. It took up the entire counter and our electric stove top. I wish I had a drying rack but when it comes down kitchen supplies and my budget, you have to separate need from want (Example – I would love to have a pizza stone to cook pizzas at home. However, when it comes down to buying a pizza stone or milk, pizza stone doesn’t compete well)

After letting the pasta dry for 3 hours, we packed it all in a container and went over to my brother’s place. One big pot of water and olive oil later, dinner was served! And oh… my… God… IT WAS GOOD.

I just got a craving for pasta writing this post… thanks guys. Anyways, final summation… making pasta at home is fun! It’s messy work though. Was definitely still scraping stuff off the counter like 2 days later. Will I do it again? Probably! Now it’s time to start thinking about my next skill…

Happy Monday!