Archive | Pasta Recipes

Creamy Feta Mac and Cheese

feta mac and cheese

We took a cruise at the end of February thinking we could come back to maybe a warm March. Boy was I wrong! Oh well, at least I ate like an absolute queen on this cruise. We had a beef tenderloin one night that was to die for and then on the last night of the cruise we had a lasagna that was SO rich and SO decadent I could barely eat half of it. I wish I could have brought it home with me!

It was a much needed weekend away with great friends and great weather and as much as I wish I was still in the sun with a cocktail in my hand, I am happy to be home and to have some snuggles from my pups. I’ve been binge eating vegetables (I know, who am I?) since I got back, but I have to tell you lately I am in the mood for pasta. I made this feta cheese sauce to pour over some grilled chicken last week and couldn’t stop thinking about how good it would be with some pasta. I made this feta mac and cheese with some ingredients I had in my pantry and I have to say it may end up being one of my new favorites! The feta cheese sauce is also great on meat and you can store it in the fridge and reheat it with a little extra milk or broth to get the creamy consistency even on day two.

Feta Mac and Cheese Recipe

8 oz. cavatappi pasta (half a box)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons flour
1-1/2 cup whole milk
6 oz. feta cheese
Zest from one lemon
Juice from half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
2 pinches of salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Kalamata olives (about 10)
Sun dried tomatoes (about 5)
Fresh basil leaves (about 3-4 big leaves)

Boil your pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain.

White your pasta is boiling you can get your olives cut in half, your tomatoes cut into small pieces, your basil chopped and your lemon zested!

feta cheese sauce ingredients

In the same pan once you drain your pasta into a colander, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook until bubbly, but not brown. About 1 minute.

roux

Pour in your whole milk and stir on medium heat until the mixture thickens into a sauce consistency. About 5 minutes.

white sauce milk

white sauce

Stir in your feta and melt until creamy. There will still be some lumps of feta and you want that! The chunks of cheese are delicious in the finished pasta. Once the sauce is creamy, add your lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

feta cheese sauce

feta mac and cheese sauce

Add your pasta back into the pan with the sauce and stir to combine. Mix in your sun dried tomatoes, olives and the chopped basil. Serve while it’s nice and hot.

feta mac and cheese ingredients

feta cheese pasta

feta mac and cheese

Tell me what you’ve been cooking to get you through these last few weeks of cold winter!

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Vodka Sauce with Prosciutto and Penne

penne with vodka sauce

I’ve made pasta with vodka sauce before. It’s something I almost always try at restaurants if they offer it and I love making it at home. Once in a while Ben and I get out to Pittsburgh for a date night to see a ballet or just to walk around and shop and we usually end up at this bar called Olive or Twist. He’d gone there on a work trip to Pittsburgh a few years ago and when we first moved to Morgantown he took me for a night out and knew I would just love the place. And I did! We’ve been there a few times since and I usually get their penne ala vodka.

The twist with theirs is that they use cream to make a richer sauce and put a crispy piece of prosciutto on top. Let me tell you, that prosciutto makes it. It adds a little salty bite to every few bites of rich pasta. I am just obsessed. So I decided to try to recreate the dish at home and it was a success!

Vodka Sauce with Prosciutto and Penne Recipe

16 oz. penne pasta – cooked
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves – minced
1/2 cup vodka
3/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup cream
1 Tablespoon fresh basil – chopped
2 slices prosciutto
Salt & black pepper to taste
Pinch red pepper flakes

Click for the step by step recipe!

Butternut Squash Lasagna

butternut-squash-lasagna-recipe

The cold weather finally made an appearance here in WV and I’m sort of okay with it. I wish it had been colder for Christmas, but we had an amazing New Years trip to Canaan Valley and stayed in a cabin with some friends and the temps dropped low enough that a few of them could do some skiing. I’m not much for skiing (aka being on my backside all day) so we visited Blackwater Falls instead. It was absolutely gorgeous in the winter. I’d been there before in the fall during our cabin weekend for my bachelorette, but it was Ben’s first time out that way and he loved it!

blackwater-falls

Annie was a bit of a hot mess all weekend, having an accident (or two), eating a green crayon and trying to snag my friends sandwich right off the table. She’s still learning her manners, I have a feeling she’ll get better with time. And if not, at least she gives us some laughs!

Now, on to the food portion of this post. I received a Ninja Blender as a wedding gift (thank you, Casey!!) and I am just in love with it. I’ve started making more sauces and will soon start trying some soups. So far, I’ve made this butternut squash sauce twice and I am addicted. You roast the squash and then add it to the blender with some cream and chicken broth and whir it up until it’s a creamy, amazing, golden sauce. I love it in this lasagna recipe!

Butternut Squash Lasagna Recipe

9 to 12 lasagna noodles – cooked
3 cups (or so) butternut squash sauce – recipe below
1 lb. mild Italian sausage
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
15 oz. Ricotta
1 egg
1 cup Parmesan cheese – divided
Salt
Pepper

Butternut Squash Sauce Ingredients

1 butternut squash – peeled and cubed
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion – roughly chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup cream
2 garlic cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt – taste and add more as needed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper – taste and add more as needed
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Click for the step by step recipe!