Chicken Spaghetti Casserole

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1 pound linguini, broken in half

4 Tbls butter

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound button mushrooms, stemmed and sliced

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup flour (I use Wondra for this)

4 cups chicken broth

1 8oz block cream cheese, softened

3 cups cooked chicken (rotisserie from grocery store works well)

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup bread crumbs

Cook pasta until not quite done (a few minutes less than package directions call for). Drain and set aside.

In a large pot, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and saute for a few minutes, then add mushrooms and salt and saute a few minutes more.  Pour the wine in and cook several minutes,  until the liquid reduces by half.

Sprinkle the flour in and stir to incorporate.  Cook a few minutes more, then slowly add the chicken broth, being careful to stir well.  Cook a few minutes more until the mixture thickens.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add cream cheese in small blocks, stirring well.  Don’t be alarmed if the cream cheese doesn’t completely melt at this point, it will eventually.  Add the chicken and the peas and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the  cooked spaghetti and stir to combine.  Pour into a greased (or sprayed) large baking dish.  Mix breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons melted butter and spread over casserole.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until casserole bubbles.

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

Pasta Salad

 

Pasta Salad

1 pound box spiral pasta, cooked al dente (one minute less than the shortest time listed on box)

small bunch broccoli crowns, cut up and put in with pasta for the last one minute of cooking time

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 small can sliced black olives, drained

1/2 cup or more slivered almonds

1/2 pound cheddar cheese, cubed

1 bottle favorite Ceasar or Italian dressing (I use Girard’s Ceasar)

Once the pasta/broccoli, drain and allow to cool a few minutes.  Add the red and green bell pepper and black olives and a bit of the bottled dressing, and allow to cool further before adding the cheese and almonds and rest of the bottle of dressing (the pasta will absorb a lot of the dressing, so yes, use it all).   Refrigerate before serving.

Skillet Pasta and Sausage

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This dish is a good one to make when you’re short on time because it’s all done in one pan, and yet it’s still a crowd pleaser. It’s also an easy dish to add to, so feel free to go through your fridge and toss in some bell peppers, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, or anything else you find in there that sounds good at the moment. 
 
                                            Skillet Pasta and Sausage
 
2 tablespoons garlic flavored olive oil
1 14-oz link of smoke kielbasa sausage, sliced
1 small brown onion, diced
2 cups chicken broth
1 10-oz can Ro-Tel Tomatoes and Chilies
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 oz uncooked penne pasta
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
2 cups shredded cheddar and jack cheese
 
Heat olive oil in large oven-proof skillet; add onion and kielbasa and cook until onion is soft (about 5-7 minutes).  Add the broth, Ro-Tel, cream and salt and pepper; stir until blended well.  Stir in the pasta, bring to a boil and cover; reduce the heat and continue to simmer about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
When the pasta tests tender, turn heat off and stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and place pan under the broiler for just a few minutes to
melt the cheese. 
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Pasta, Peas and Pancetta

  • 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounce pancetta
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch green onion (whites and about 2 inches of greens thinly sliced)
  • 10 oz box frozen peas, thawed
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1  pound spaghetti
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Cook the pasta according to directions on the box for less than 1 less minute then the box indicates! Just as it is done, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water for cooking with.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over med heat and cook pancetta until most of the fat has rendered; add the garlic and green onion and saute until soft (about 2 mins).  Add peas and pasta water and cook another 2 minutes. Add pasta to pan, toss with salt and pepper, then plate and top with Pamesan cheese before serving.

Penne a la Vodka

1 pound penne pasta, cooked al dente and drained
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 to 1 whole brown onion, chopped fine
3 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup vodka
1 14oz  can tomato puree, sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
ground black pepper, to taste
grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
 
Saute the garlic and onion in 2 tablespoons of the butter and the olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan until soft.  Pour the vodka into the pan, being careful if you have a gas stove! Cook and reduce for 3-5 minutes, then add the tomato puree, stirring until combined well. Reduce heat to low and simmer 2 minutes more, then add  cream while stirring continually. Reduce heat to lowest setting  and sprinkle in red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Finally, add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and stir well.  Pour the drained pasta into the sauce and, using tongs, toss to coat. Plate and serve with Parmesan cheese.

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