Tag Archives: tomato sauce

Bacon Shrimp Linguine

pasta 1

 

In the past months, I finished illustrating two books, some magazine pieces, a promo piece, and some pieces for two gallery shows.  Oh, and I took two online courses.  Now that I finally have a moment to breathe, I have enjoyed cooking and experimenting again!  It’s so nice to spend time in the kitchen and try different things outside of our usual rotation of dinners of late…

I made this delicious shrimp and bacon dish last night and wanted to share it.  Also, I want to remember how I made it as I will definitely have to make it again!  My inspiration came from part of a package of bacon and frozen shrimp in our freezer that I had to use up.  The base of the recipe is similar to a All’Amatriciana dish I used to make often.  I omitted the red pepper flakes because my son and husband don’t like them, but it would be a great addition to my version.  I used smoked bacon instead of pancetta and added shrimp.  It is easy to make and perfect for a week night dinner.

Prep involves deveining and cleaning shrimp, so make sure you’ve done this beforehand:

shrimp

After sauteing bacon pieces until crunchy, drain and set aside for a nice garnish!

bacon

 

When it all comes together, the smokiness of the bacon, the acidity of the tomatoes, and the creaminess of the cheese goes so well with the shrimp!

pasta 3

Shrimp Bacon Pasta

4 slices of bacon

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, diced finely

3 gloves of garlic, crushed and minced

1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes

kosher salt to taste

2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons dried basil

About 1 pound of shrimp, cleaned and deveined, chopped

1/2 pound of linguine

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1.  Boil 4 quarts of water in a large pot.

2.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add oil and fry bacon until crispy.  Remove bacon to drain on paper toweled lined plates.  When it is cooled and crispy, break into little bits.

3.  Saute onion and garlic in remaining oil and bacon fat until soft.  Add crushed tomatoes, salt, sugar, oregano, and basil.  Let simmer, stirring occasionally for about 20 minutes.

4.  Add salt to boiling water in large pot and cook linguine according to package instructions after sauce has been simmering for about 10 minutes.

5.  Drain pasta and return to large pot.  Add shrimp to tomato sauce.  Cook another minute or so until it becomes opaque.  Be careful not to overcook the shrimp.

6.  Pour shrimp sauce on top of pasta in pot, add cheese and stir.

7.  Serve pasta with crispy bacon and more grated cheese on top.

Makes about 4 servings

Enjoy!

pasta 2 bacon

 

12 Comments

Filed under Dinner, Pork, Shrimp

Enchilada Remix

close up enchilada

Oh my gosh, people, I do believe, I am back!  Thank you all so much for your words of support and encouragement!  It’s been a long haul…

In my last post, I mentioned a wonderful way to cook chicken and make delicious broth at the same time.  This is one of the meals I made with the fruits of those labors:  Chicken Enchiladas.  So easy and yummy.  I did a post a couple of years back on Chicken Enchiladas that I made with my mom (I grew up with this dish), and I think I’ve improved it (sorry, mom!)!  My friend, Judy, of Bebe Loves Okazu (check out her beautiful, beautiful blog!) had mentioned she had made it but sauteed the onions.  Also, she wanted a thicker sauce.  I was keeping this in mind when I redid this recipe.  I also streamlined it a bit and instead of spraying and softening the tortillas in the oven, I just covered 6 at a time with a damp paper towel and heated in the microwave.

Sauteing the onions gave the dish a sweeter, milder flavor, and made the sauce tastier.  I reduced the amount of broth and increased the tomato sauce, which made the resulting sauce thicker — perfect for serving at the table.

Hope all of you have a wonderful Saint Patrick’s Day this Sunday!  I plan to relax with my family and just enjoy being. 🙂  Here is an image I did for the occasion with the same kids from Valentine’s Day.

May good luck flow your way!

May good luck flow your way!

Chicken Enchiladas (revised)

1 medium onion, diced

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 15 oz. can tomato sauce

3 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon (or to taste) chili powder

kosher salt to taste

12 corn tortillas

About 4 cups shredded cooked chicken

About 8 oz. or more (to taste) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Saute diced onion in oil on stove in a large pot.

3.  When onions are softened and translucent, transfer about 80% of them to a bowl and set aside.  To the remaining cooked onions in pot add tomato sauce, chicken broth, chili powder, and salt to taste.  Bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until thickened.

4.  Heat 6 tortillas at a time, covering with a damp paper towel, in the microwave for 45- 50 seconds, until warm and pliable.

5.  Pour some sauce into a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan to coat bottom.  Lay one of the warmed tortillas in dish and coat both sides with sauce.  Then fill with  a handful of chicken, sprinkle of sauteed onions, and a bit of shredded cheese.  Roll up into a tube seam-side down.  Continue with five more warmed tortillas.  Then warm the remaining 6 tortillas and fill these in the dish, adding sauce to coat, as needed.  For the last two enchiladas, you may want to coat, fill and roll in another dish because there isn’t much space left.  I find that doing the bulk of the filling and rolling in the backing dish itself helpful though, because you don’t have to worry about the tortilla breaking and spilling mid-transfer!

6.  When all twelve enchiladas are arranged in baking dish, cover with cooked sauce, and sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Alternatively, you could also refrigerate up to this time and bake later.  We did this, and baked it for about 30 minutes.

Makes 12 enchiladas.  Serve with extra sauce.

enchilada

9 Comments

Filed under chicken, Dinner, Uncategorized

Easy Weeknight Baked Pasta with Meat and Veggies


Trying to get some vegetables into your diet?  (Sneaking in more vegetables in your kids’ diet also counts!)

Here is an easy weeknight dish that accomplishes that, and even meat eaters will approve.
I think it was in Mark Bittman’s Food Matters that I first read about the benefits of stretching meat centric dishes with vegetables and/or grains.  It’s a nice compromise, because you are not cutting out meat completely–if you are an omnivore–but just reducing the amount and bulking up on vegetables and grains.  This accomplishes a lot of great things at once:

From a health standpoint, eating less saturated fats and more healthy fats from plants is always a good thing.

From an environmental standpoint, eating less meat and more plants is also a good thing.

From your pocket book’s standpoint, it is a lot cheaper to maintain a diet heavier on plants (especially if you grow a lot of them–something I, unfortunately, haven’t had to luck of doing) rather than on meats.

My husband is a meat person — I’ve mentioned before he only used to eat brown food (think bacon, beef, chicken, potatoes, peanut butter, bread, etc.) for a lot of his life before we got together!  I’m not going to force him to become a vegetarian — it would never work anyway.  And I eat meat also — just not so much red meat.

This is a simple, fast weeknight dish that you can adapt to suit your preference.  If you like more meat, add more.  No meat, omit it.  You can swap ground turkey or chicken for the beef.  Use whatever vegetable you like.  Since zucchini is a family favorite, I use it.  But I think this dish would also be great with eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, even fall friendly vegetables like butternut or acorn squash.  The more variety of colors, the better!  Just be sure to cut the pieces into similar sizes.

Fiori pasta is so cute.

 

I used Fiori pasta because I had a package in the pantry, but any bite sized pasta would work well.

Make a meat and vegetable sauce.

Béchamel sauce cooking.

Make a Béchamel sauce if you’d like an extra layer of flavor and richness.

Pasta topped with Béchamel sauce,

Yum!

Topped with grated mozzarella.

Top with mozzarella — note:  Freeze the mozzarella about 30-60 minutes before grating, so it is easier to grate!

Spotted from some broiler action.

Throw in the broiler for a quick melt and you’re done!

Easy Weeknight Baked Pasta with Meat and Veggies (based on Rachel Ray’s Baked Ziti)

Lb. pasta of your choice (I used Fiori)

Kosher salt

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onion (one whole small onion)

½ lb. ground meat (I used lean beef)

3 cups chopped vegetable (I used one large zucchini)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 28 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes

pepper to taste

For Béchamel Sauce (optional):

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup milk

grated nutmeg to taste

nonstick spray

¼ cup grated parmesan

4 oz. grated mozzarella

  1. Bring large pot of water to boil.  Season with salt.
  2. While waiting for water to boil, put mozzarella in freezer to firm up.  Heat oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat.
  3. Sauté onions and beef until beef is no longer pink.  Add garlic and let cook until fragrant.  Add zucchini or other vegetable.  Sauté until softened slightly.  Add canned tomatoes.  Turn heat down to low, cover, and let simmer, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
  4. If using, make béchamel sauce.  Melt butter in a small saucepan.  Add flour and quickly whisk with butter to prevent from clumping.  Sauté for a minute.  Gradually add a little bit of milk while whisking.  Don’t add it too fast, or the sauce will become lumpy.  Add just enough at a time to smooth it out.  When it is the consistency of a smooth, liquid paste, add the rest of milk, while whisking.  Season with salt, pepper and grated nutmeg to taste.  Let simmer and thicken about five minutes.
  5. Meanwhile cook pasta al dente according to package instructions.  Set aside.
  6. Preheat broiler.  Coat the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish with spray or olive oil.  Set aside.
  7. Assemble baked pasta. Combine cooked pasta and cooked sauce in the large pot you used to cook the pasta in.  Add grated parmesan. Stir to combine.  Transfer to baking dish.  Top with a layer of béchamel sauce.  Cover with grated mozzarella.  Broil in oven until cheese is melted and is starting to brown, about 2-3 minutes.

13 Comments

Filed under Beef, Dinner, Pasta, Vegetables