Tag Archives: pasta

Meals Made Easy: Sun-Dried Tomato & Walnut Pesto with Herb Chicken Tortellini

Written by : Chris

Sun-Dried Tomato & Walnut Pesto with Herb Chicken Tortellini

I will be the first to admit that I take shortcuts when it comes to meal preparation. And by shortcuts, I don’t mean I don’t cook. It’s quite the contrary. I cook dinner for my family nearly every night. A shortcut to me means that I take a prepared food, like BUITONI® pasta, and add fresh ingredients like seasonal vegetables and fruits to make it a complete meal that my entire family will enjoy. Lately I have been obsessed with making fresh pesto sauces.

“Pesto” literally means to pound or crush, a reference to how the original pesto was prepared. I’ve found that a mortar and pestle produces the best pesto, but it also takes little more time. Therefore, I prefer to use a food processor so that the pesto is ready in a matter of minutes.

Pesto is typically made with fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, cheese, and high-quality olive oil. But it’s fun to mix it up!

Kale Toasted Nut Pesto

Kale can be used in place of basil, and walnuts in place of pine nuts, as in this Kale & Toasted Nut Pesto (pictured above).

Pistachio Pesto

If you like pistachio nuts, I highly recommend this Pistachio Pesto (pictured above). Tossed with BUITONI® Spinach & Ricotta Tortelloni and tomatoes, it’s just heavenly!

Sun-Dried Tomato & Walnut Pesto with Herb Chicken Tortellini

I happen to love sun-dried tomato pesto and make this Sun-Dried Tomato & Walnut Pesto all the time (pictured above).  It’s rich and flavorful and oh-so easy! When added to BUITONI® Tortellini, it’s perfect for a weeknight meal!  It’s also great for entertaining. Just double or triple the recipe as needed.

Here’s the recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato & Walnut Pesto with Herb Chicken Tortellini (to print, just click the link):

Ingredients for six 1-cup servings:

1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (about 8 sun-dried tomato halves)

1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1/4 teaspoon sea or kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Pinch ground black pepper

1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Fresh basil leaves for garnish

1 package (20 oz.) BUITONI Refrigerated Herb Chicken Tortellini 

Directions:

ADD sun-dried tomatoes, walnuts, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper to food processor; process until finely chopped. Gradually add oil; process until combined. Add cheese; pulse to combine.

PREPARE pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ cup cooking water. Toss pasta with pesto and ¼ cup reserved cooking water. Thin with additional water, if desired. Garnish with basil.

Cook’s Tips: Made in advance and stored tightly covered in the refrigerator, this pesto should last for up to 1 week. If you want to freeze the pesto, omit the cheese since it doesn’t freeze too well. Line an ice cube tray with plastic wrap, and fill each pocket with the pesto. Freeze and them remove the ice tray and store in a freezer bag. When ready to use, defrost, then stir in cheese.

So what are your latest cooking obsessions?

All trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.

Related Recipes:

Spinach and Ricotta Tortelloni Arugula Pesto
Spinach & Ricotta Tortelloni Salad with Cherry Tomatoes, Arugula & Pine Nuts Arugula Pesto with Cheese & Roasted Garlic Tortelloni Over Sliced Heirloom Tomatoes

A Family Favorite: Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese

Written by Chris – 

SlowCookerFettucineBolognese

Bolognese sauce is a slow cooked, meat-based sauce for pasta originating in Bologna, Italy. It’s one of my absolute favorite Italian sauces! It’s perfect for a large family or can be easily frozen and kept on-hand for a quick and easy weeknight meal. Serve with a healthy side salad, and you will have one happy family!

Because Bolognese sauce needs to cook over low heat for several hours to develop the deep flavors it’s known for, a slow cooker/crock pot is ideal for this. You can make this with ground beef, or use a combination of meats like beef, veal and pork. That’s what I like to do.

This sauce starts out on the stovetop, and then it gets transferred to a slow cooker. If you have a slow cooker that allows you to sauté, you can skip the stovetop part. And if you want, you can prepare the meat mixture the night before, refrigerate, and then add to the slow cooker along with all the other ingredients the next day.

As you read through the recipe below, you may wonder why I am using NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk. Simply put, it tenderizes the meat. This hearty sauce is best served over a wide cut pasta, so BUITONI Refrigerated Fettuccine will be a perfect match.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese

Ingredients for 14 servings (1/2 cup sauce plus 1 cup fettuccine):

Directions:

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese2

MELT butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic, chopped thyme, pinch of salt and pepper; cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 10 minutes or until tender but not browned.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese3

INCREASE heat to medium-high; add the pancetta. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until pancetta is golden.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese4

ADD the meat a third at a time, stirring and breaking lumps with a spoon between each addition. Cook for about 15 minutes total (this is where this recipe develops so much flavor, so let it cook the full 15 minutes).

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese5

STIR in tomato paste; cook for about 2 minutes.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese7

ADD wine; bring to a boil. With a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until wine has almost evaporated.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese6

TRANSFER mixture to slow cooker along with tomatoes with juice, evaporated milk, water and bouillon; then stir to combine.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese8

COVER; cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 6 hours.

PREPARE pasta according to package directions (just make enough for what you plan to serve). Top with sauce, then sprinkle with a little cheese, if desired.

Slow Cooker Fettuccine Bolognese9

This plate is for me, so please excuse me while I eat. If you want to check out additional slow cooker recipes, visit meals.com.

Related Recipes:

TurkeyBologneseNew PumpkinSagePastaNew
Turkey Bolognese with Vegetables Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Bachelor in the Kitchen: Simple Pasta for Two

Written by Nick – 

Spicy Beef & Sausage Ravioli with Zucchini and Peppers Recipe

I enjoy cooking, but cooking on the weekday for two people (I live with my brother) can be a challenge. There are always leftovers and you’re stuck eating taco meat 20 different ways (this example is not usually a problem with me – I love all things taco).

Lately we’ve resorted to a simple pasta dish. Just pick your favorite Buitoni pasta, add sauce, easy. I wanted to try something new and was looking for inspiration on meals.com. I found a few recipes and this Spicy Beef & Sausage Ravioli with Zucchini and Peppers caught my eye for a few reasons; I was in the mood for sausage ravioli (that helps), I love zucchini but don’t often cook with it, and we always have red peppers on hand.

So, like the genius that I am, I went to the store and picked up half the things I needed, some extra things I didn’t, and a lot of things I don’t know what I’m going to do with. When I got home, I looked at the recipe and realized… I needed to improvise. Luckily there are a few simple pasta dishes on meals.com and I just made a collection of them all.

Firstly, the zucchini I got, well I forgot it was supposed to be zucchini… oh well, eggplant it is. Then the basil I got, I didn’t get, so I used a bit of pesto instead of the olive oil and fresh basil. Finally the sausage ravioli I got, I thought that would go well with some lighter cheese tortellini too. Looks like we’ll be having some leftovers after all.

Below is the recipe as it was intended. But I’ll tell you what, my improvised recipe turned out great. So, try to experiment a little, pasta dishes can be so much more than just pasta with sauce. Adding some tasty vegetables is a nice way to mix it up and fresh crunchy red peppers gave the meal a real summery feel.

A side note, this meal looks really elegant. This “dinner for two” was me and my brother, but this would be a great “dinner for two” for you and a date. Buitoni offers some wine pairings on their website that can complete the “stay home date.”

Spicy Beef & Sausage Ravioli with Zucchini and Peppers

Ingredients for 2 servings:

Directions:

PREPARE pasta according to package directions, adding zucchini during last 2 minutes of cook time. Drain; place in large serving bowl. Add bell pepper and oil; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with basil before serving.

More Pasta Dishes:

Chicken & Four Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Basil Recipe Tortellini with Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomatoes Recipe
Chicken & Four Cheese Ravioli
with Peas and Basil
Tortellini with Pesto
and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Easy Spring Pasta Recipe: Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks & Thyme

Written by Liz -

Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks and Thyme recipe

Spring has sprung in California – as well as most of the country. To me that means spring vegetable season; asparagus, leeks, peas, artichoke, fennel and fresh herbs are bountiful in farmers markets. Much of this produce is available year-round, but spring is the best time to get the freshest spring vegetables, whether at your local market, grocery store or from your own garden!

fetpeasveg

And those fresh spring flavors really come through in this easy spring pasta recipe, Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks & Thyme. It’s a cinch to make and it’s packed with flavor and nutrients, plus spring is a great time to get hooked on the Mediterranean way of eating. Adding a bit of the pasta water instead of using sauce is a traditional way to make pasta dishes in Italy. This recipe is a sure way to eat more vegetables and wow your friends with your culinary savvy!

Wine Pairing

  • Italian wines can be hard to find, other than the super popular Pinot Grigio. If you can find a Soave wine, it’s a soft, fruity, clean wine with crisp lemon flavors and really complements this dish.
  • Grenache Blanc with its acidity and rounded flavors, or Sauvignon Blanc with its herbaceousness, would also be great wines with this pasta.

Fettuccine with Peas, Leeks & Thyme

fetpeaingred2

Ingredients for 3 servings:

Directions:

PREPARE pasta according to package directions, reserving ½ cup cooking water. While pasta is cooking, prepare leek mixture.

fetpeasstove

HEAT oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leek; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden. Stir in peas; cook for 1 minute or until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, as shown above.

fetpeaslast

ADD reserved pasta cooking water, thyme leaves and cheese; stir in gently. Toss pasta with leek mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Links:

More spring pasta recipes:

Vegetable Tortellini Soup Recipe Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Fresh Herb Pesto recipe
Vegetable Tortellini Soup Butternut Squash Agnolotti
with Fresh Herb Pesto

No Ham Left Behind

Written by Nick -

I bet you get just as excited as I do during the holidays when you’re tasked with preparing the biggest, juiciest and most delicious ham. But now that Easter’s over and you’ve had about all the leftover ham sandwiches you can imagine… what are you going to do with all that delicious ham?

One of the great things about a baked ham, is it can be a welcome addition to all sorts of dishes. It’s a great way to add some meat to an omelet or quiche. The flavor mixes well with all kinds of pasta. I’ve even used it in potato croquettes.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are a few of our favorite ways to make leftover ham the centerpiece of a new and exciting meal.

Ham-It-Up White Bean Soup Recipe

Ham-It-Up White Bean Soup

Soup is a classic way to eat up all your leftovers and this Ham-It-Up White Bean Soup will steal the show with all its delicious flavor. Easter is over, but for a lot of people, spring still feels a long way away, so why not warm up with a hot bowl of soup.

Hawaiian Pasta Salad Recipe

Hawaiian Pasta Salad

If you are in the tropical spirit, this Hawaiian Pasta Salad is perfect for lunch or even a light dinner. It’s also a great side with a Ham and Cheese sandwich.

Hash Brown Casserole Recipe

Hash Brown Casserole

This is a great dish to feed a few straggling family members who might have overstayed their holiday welcome. The recipe calls for bacon, but sub in your leftover ham and you’ll be more than satisfied. Casseroles are excellent for their quick and easy one-dish preparation.

Fettuccine with Portabellos, Ham and Asparagus Recipe

Fettuccine with Portabellos, Ham and Asparagus

I’ve already mentioned ham is great in pasta. Pairing it with mushrooms and asparagus is too good to pass up. This dish will give your leftovers a fresh new beginning!

Head to Meals.com for even more recipe ideas. Have your own favorite leftover ham recipe? Share it with us in the comments below.

Longing for Spring: Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Fresh Herb Pesto

Written by Chris -

Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Fresh Herb Pesto Recipe

When using Buitoni stuffed pastas, it only takes a few, simple ingredients to create an Italian masterpiece. Many of our Buitoni recipes are developed at Casa Buitoni in Italy, where Buitoni has been creating award-winning Italian foods for more than 185 years. This recipe for Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Fresh Herb Pesto originated at the Casa, and is, in my mind, a true Italian masterpiece.

Perhaps it’s the warm breezes whisking through the air, or the birds chirping a little louder, or maybe it’s the flower blossoms just starting to appear… but I am suddenly finding myself craving all things spring. And it’s still January!

Agnolotti (pronounced anneeolottee) are half-moon-shaped pastas generously filled with meat, cheese or vegetables. This recipe uses Buitoni Riserva All Natural Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti. It’s filled with oven-roasted butternut squash, aged Parmesan and Grana Padano cheeses, accented with amoretti cookie crumbs. Salad greens and herbs are finely chopped, then combined with salt, ricotta, Asiago cheese, garlic, olive oil and black pepper, and then tossed with cooked agnolotti. Simple, fresh and delicious!

Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Fresh Herb Pesto

Ingredients for 3 servings:

  • 1 bunch (about 2 packed cups) arugula
  • 2 cups spring salad mix
  • 10 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 cup lowfat or part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Asiago or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 (9 ounces) package Buitoni Riserva All Natural Roasted Butternut Squash Agnolotti

Directions:

FINELY chop arugula, salad mix, basil and parsley; add to medium bowl. Stir in salt (to prevent oxidation). Add ricotta cheese, Asiago cheese and garlic; stir well. Slowly stir in oil; season with pepper and additional salt, if needed.

Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Fresh Herb Pesto Recipe

PREPARE pasta according to package directions; drain. Place in serving bowl; add fresh herb pesto and toss gently to coat. If you prefer a thinner sauce, add a little pasta water.

The slightly sweet agnolotti filling complements the fresh herb pesto so well! It only takes a few, simple ingredients to put together this Italian masterpiece!

Links:

More simple Italian Meals:

Spicy Beef & Sausage Ravioli with Corn and Basil Recipe Chicken & Four Cheese Ravioli with Spinach and Basil Recipe
Spicy Beef & Sausage Ravioli
with Corn and Basil
Chicken & Four Cheese Ravioli
with Spinach and Basil
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