tortellini salad

October 23, 2017

prep time: 15 minutes       cook time: 15 minutes      total: 30 minutes       yields 4 servings15-minute-spinach-pesto-tortellini-salad-1

1 10 oz. package cheese tortellini
1 14 oz. can quartered artichoke hearts
4 c baby arugula
2 c halved cherry tomatoes
2 oz. thinly sliced pepperoni
1/4 c chopped fresh basil
3 T bottled italian dressing


  1. cook the tortellini according to package directions.
  2. drain and rinse with cold water.
  3. drain the artichoke hearts and reserve half for another use.
  4. in a serving bowl, combine the cooled tortellini, artichoke hearts, baby arugula, tomatoes, pepperoni, basil, and italian dressing.

source – parents magazine, sept. 2017, pg. 142
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tomato florentine soup

January 24, 2016

prep time: 10 minutes       cook time: 40 minutes       total: 50 minutesimg_2853edit

yields 6 servings

1 T olive oil
2 c chopped onion
1 c celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c water
2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 c small shell pasta, uncooked
2 c fresh spinach
salt & pepper
grated parmesan cheese, for topping


  1. heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. add onion & celery; cook for 7 minutes until tender, stirring often.
  3. add garlic, cooking for 1 minute & stirring often.
  4. pour in water, broth, tomatoes, & sauce.
  5. bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often.
  6. stir in uncooked pasta and cook for 8 minutes.
  7. add spinach, cooking for a couple of minutes, until leaves wilt and pasta is al dente.
  8. season with pepper and salt.
  9. serve topped with parmesan cheese.

source – kroger, mymagazine, january 2016

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world’s best lasagna

August 3, 2011

prep time: 30 minutes     cook time: 2.5 hours     ready in: 3 hours 15 minuteslasagna


1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 c minced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 oz.) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 oz.) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 c water
2 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 T chopped fresh parsley
9 lasagna noodles
16 oz. ricotta or cottage cheese
1 egg
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, grated
3/4 c grated parmesan cheese


  1. cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and tomato sauce. season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, italian seasoning, sprinkle of pepper, and 2 T parsley. simmer covered for about 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. soak raw hard noodles in large bowl of very hot tap water for 20-30 minutes. drain noodles and rinse with cold water. in a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 tsp salt. preheat over to 375 degrees F.
  3. to assemble, spread 1.5 c of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. arrange 3 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. spread with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture. top with mozzarella cheese. spoon 1.5 c meat sauce over mozzarella and sprinkle with 1/4 c parmesan cheese. repeat layeres, and top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
  4. cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. remove foil and bake an additional 25 minutes. cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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1 c mayonnaise
2-3 tsp yellow mustard
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp dill
cherry tomatoes


  1. rinse tomatoes and cut in halves. put in a bowl
  2. add all ingredients  in with tomatoes.
  3. makes about 1 cup of sauce.

source – (my own photo)

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fresh tomato fusilli

February 28, 2011

makes about 4 servings

8 oz fusilli
4 c sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 c chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T olive oil or cooking oil
3/4 c chicken broth
1 tsp all-purpose flour
2 c red/yellow cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c finely chopped prosciutto or cooked ham
2 T snipped fresh basil
1 T snipped fresh oregano
1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese


  1. cook pasta according to package directions; drain. return pasta to pan.
  2. meanwhile, for sauce, in a large skillet cook mushrooms, onions, and garlic in hot oil about 5 minutes or until tender. stir chicken broth into flour; add to mushroom mixture. cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly.  cook and stir 1 minute more. stir in tomatoes, prosciutto/ham, basil, and oregano. pour over pasta; toss to coat.
  3. transfer to a warm serving dish. sprinkle with parmesan cheese.


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