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Old 08-07-2004, 08:05 AM   #1
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Talking Pasta 101

Cooking pasta

Bring 4-6 quarts of water for 1 pound of dry pasta (adjust quantity of water if you are cooking less pasta) to a rolling boil.

Add past to the pot while stirring and then let the water return to a boil and occasionally stir the pasta while it is cooking.

Follow the pasta package directions for cooking times.

If the past is going into a dish that will require further cooking (i.e Lasagna, casserole, etc.) then undercook the pasta by 1/3 of the recommend cooking time indicated on the package.

Taste the pasta to determine if it is done. Properly cooked pasta should be “al dente”, or firm to the bite, yet cooked through.

When pasta is done drain in colander and serve topped with sauce of your choice or if part of a recipe follow the rest of your recipe’s directions.

Tips:

The only times you should rinse pasta after draining it is if you are making a cold dish, such as macaroni salad, or if you are not going to put sauce on it right away. If this is the case then rinse your pasta under cold water and drain well. This will stop the cooking process.

To prevent past from sticking use plenty of water and don’t overcook it.

Storage:

Uncooked pasta can be store in a cupboard for up to 1 year if kept in a cool, dry place.

Cooked pasta can be stored the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days and you can keep the pasta from sticking together by adding a bit of oil (1-2 tsp per lb of cooked pasta) to the container.

Sauces should be stored in a separate container as cooked pasta continues to absorb flavours and oils from the sauces.

Pastas used in baked recipes (lasagne, large shells, ziti, manicotti) can be frozen. Best results will be obtained by preparing the recipe and freezing instead of baking it first. To bake the dish thaw it out at room temperature first and then bake.

Types of pasta:

Alphabet - usually used in soups

Angel Hair or Capellini - (“Fine Hairs”) thin strands, best with thinner sauces, can be used in soups and stir fries.

Conchiglie (medium shells)- great when added to soups or used for pasta salad.

Ditalini- (“Little Thimbles”) looks like little tubes, versatile and can be used in soups, salads and baked dishes.

Egg noodles - medium size ones can be baked, used in soups and salads and tipped with a variety of sauces. Large egg noodles are great in stroganoff, soups and casseroles.

Farfalle - (“Butterflies”) Bow tie shaped pasta great in soups and salads, thick shape holds sauce well.

Fettuccine - (“Small Ribbons”) great for heavy or creamy sauces.

Fusilli - (Twisted Spaghetti) - long spiraled shape good for any type of sauce, bakes well in casseroles.

Jumbo shells - Usually stuffed with meat, cheese and vegetables and then baked and topped with tomato or cream sauce.

Lasagne - used in baked dishes, usually in layers with meat, cheese, vegetables, cheese and sauce - great made ahead and frozen for later use.

Linguine - “(Little Tongues”) long and wider than spaghetti, great with all types of sauces.

Macaroni - (“Dumplings”) a versatile pasta that can be topped with any sauce, baked, used in soups, salads and the perennial favorite “Mac ‘n’ Cheese”!

Manicotti - (“Small Muffs”) long, tube-like - usually stuffed with a mixture of meat, cheese and vegetables and topped with tomato or cream sauce and then baked. Can be made ahead and frozen for later use.

Orzo - (“Barley”) small, grain shaped - can be used in soups or casseroles and can be topped with any sauce.

Penne (“Quills”) or Mostaccioli (“Small Mustaches”) - tubular shaped pasta goes well with sauce, in salads or baked dishes.

Radiatore- (“Radiators”) ridged shaped pasta holds sauces well, works great in baked casseroles, pasta salads and soups.

Rigatoni- (“Large Grooved”)- has ridges and holes which makes any type of sauce especially chunky style.

Rotini - (spirals or twists) - this shape works well with any sauce as the twists hold them well. They can be used in salads and baked dishes.

Ruote - (“Wagon Wheels”) - fun in salads, casseroles and soups or simple pasta dishes.

Spaghetti - (“Long Cord”) long strands - good with any type of sauce.

Vermicelli (“Little Worms”) thinner than spaghetti, good with any type of sauce, as a salad or in stir fries.

Ziti- (“ Bridegroom”)- medium sized tubular pasta which goes well with meat sauce on chunky vegetable sauce. Great in salads and baked dishes.


Saucy Ideas!

Toss cooked pasta with a little olive oil, min ed garlic, fresh tomato and basil (chopped). Add salt and pepper to taste and some fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

Take jarred roasted red peppers (packed in water, not oil) and puree with fresh basil leaves - put in a sauce pan and gently heat until warmed through for a nice pasta sauce.

Add chopped fresh veggies to any store bought sauce on pasta for a quick meal.
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Old 08-07-2004, 07:52 PM   #2
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Default Penne Natasha

8 cups cooked penne pasta (can use wholewheat if desired)
6oz- 8oz smoked salmon
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp vodka

Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or sauce pan over medium/high heat, add onion and garlic and saute until softened (3-5 minutes). Add the canned tomotoes and the pepper to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until mixture is thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring occasionally.

When the mixture has thickened add the milk, vodka and parsley and cook while stirring for 1 more minute.

Serve over hot penne, garnish with some fresh ground black pepper and a sprig of parsley.

Serves 8
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Old 08-16-2004, 01:17 PM   #3
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Default Magic Lasagna

PREP TIME 25 minutes
COOKING TIME 30 minutes

1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup 1% cottage cheese
2 cups (8 oz) shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
2 medium eggs
2 cups shredded carrots
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli, thawed and well drained
1 pkg (9 oz) no-boil lasagna noodles
3 cups fat-free chunky garden-style pasta sauce

1. Preheat oven to 400* F. Coat 13"x9" baking dish with cooking spray.
2. In large bowl, combine ricotta, cottage cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, eggs, carrots, and broccoli.
3. Place 3 noodles in baking dish, spread evenly with one-third of the cheese mixture, and top with 1 cup of the sauce. Repeat process two more times. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozarella.
4. Bake 30 minutes or until bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings

PER SERVING 290 cal, 23 g pro, 37 g carb, 9 g fat, 5 g sat fat, 125 mg chol, 5 g fiber, 340 mg sodium
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Old 01-18-2006, 09:51 AM   #4
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Thumbs up spaghetti sauce

1 lb ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
oregano tt
garlic
1 stalk celery
mushrooms
mix everything except beef together and start to heat. brown beef, then add to sauce. simmer 2 hours. makes 4. cook enough spaghetti for 4 people. enjoy glen
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:38 PM   #5
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Default Angel Hair pasta with Basil Cream Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients:

6 ounces angel hair pasta
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk
1 tablespoon flour
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, snipped
2 ounces prosciutto (Italian ham), chopped
1/4 cup shredded fresh parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons shredded fresh parmesan cheese (for topping)
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup tomato, chopped

Directions:

Cook pasta according to package directions.

While pasta is cooking, stir together milk and flour in a saucepan. Stir in garlic and snipped basil. Cook and stir over med and heat till mixture is bubbly and thickened. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Add peas, proscuitto and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Stir till cheese is melted, then add the
tomatoes. Cook 1 minute more.

Top cooked pasta with sauce and sprinkle each serving with some of the remaining parmesan cheese and freshly ground pepper.

Nutrition Information per serving:

Calories 314; Fat 7g; Cholesterol 55mg; Sodium 551mg; Total Carbohydrate 40g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sugars 0g; Protein 23g

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Old 07-28-2006, 03:41 PM   #6
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Default Capellini (Angel Hair) pasta with easy clam sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon olive oil
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
or 2 14 oz. cans chopped tomatoes
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 10 3/4 ounce can clam, minced
1/4 cup italian parsley, chopped
8 ounces capellini, (angel hair) pasta

Directions:

Add oil to non-stick pan. Saute onion, green pepper over medium high heat until tender. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. Stir in tomato and next 3 ingredients. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.

Drain clams, reserving juice. Add juice to tomato mixture and simmer an additional 5 minutes. Stir in clams and parsley. Cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm. Cook pasta, drain and place in a large bowl. Add sauce and toss gently. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information per serving:

Calories 394, Fat 4g, Saturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 51mg, Sodium
598mg, Total Carbohydrate 60g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Sugars 0g, Protein 29g.

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Old 07-28-2006, 03:44 PM   #7
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Default Pasta with Tomato, Basil and Ricotta Cheese

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon red onion, minced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound pasta, rotelle, ziti or penne, cooked al dente


Cook past according to package directions.

Combine the tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic in a bowl. Stir in the ricotta, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Toss hot pasta with the sauce and serve at once.

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories 259, Fat 8g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 51mg, Sodium
60mg, Total Carbohydrate 36g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 0g, Protein 11g

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Old 07-28-2006, 03:48 PM   #8
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Default Spaghetti With Fresh Tomato Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients:

4 room-temperature tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
8 ounces spaghetti or angel hair pasta

Directions:

Combine chopped tomatoes, basil, and garlic in a large bowl. Whisk oil and vinegar together and drizzle over tomato mixture. Season with a pinch of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Toss well and leave to stand.


Cook pasta according to instructions on package.

Drain pasta. Toss with tomato mixture, and serve.


Nutritional InformationPer serving: Calories 275, Total Fat 4.9g (sat0.6g), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 10mg, Carbohydrate 49.8g, Fiber 3.4g, Protein 8.1g

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Old 08-01-2006, 01:16 PM   #9
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Default Tuna Broccoli Casserole

 Ingredients:

1/2 cup divided margarine
1 medium chopped onion
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 chicken flavor bouillon cubes
2 cans (6.5-oz each) drained and flaked tuna
1 package (10-oz) frozen chopped thawed broccoli
8 ounces elbow macaroni cooked 6 minutes and drained
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese divided
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Directions:

Spray a 1 quart casserole with cooking spray.

In 2 quart saucepan melt 1/4 cup of the margarine over medium heat. Add onion; saute 3 minutes. In small bowl stir corn starch, milk and hot pepper sauce until smooth; add to onions in saucepan. Add bouillon cubes.

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and boil 1 minute.

In a large bowl combine sauce, tuna, broccoli, elbow macaroni and 1 cup of the cheese. Turn into prepared casserole.

In small bowl combine bread crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup cheese and remaining 1/4 cup margarine, melted; sprinkle over casserole.

Bake in 350 degree oven 25 minutes or until topping is lightly browned.
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:44 PM   #10
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Made a great Easy Chicken Alfredo of sorts tonight. I followed the sauce recipe below with the exception of adding minced garlic. I had "real" parm cheese, and didn't grate it into the blender, but added it to the sauce afterward. Fairly low in calories compared to the original version. Whole family loved it. I steamed broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and topped it with thin slices of red bell peppers at the end. Everyone loved it. Definitely not the rich, buttery, creamy stuff you'll get at Olive Garden, but we thought it was great!.

INGREDIENTS:
8 ounces dry fettuccine pasta
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 3 teaspoons minced onion
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups diced, cooked chicken breast meat

DIRECTIONS:
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain, and set aside. (I boiled my veggies with the pasta at the same time.)
2. In a food processor, place the milk, flour, cottage cheese, garlic powder, onion, salt and pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Blend until smooth.
3. Transfer the blended mixture to a saucepan over medium heat. Mix in the chicken, and cook until heated through. Serve hot over pasta.

This was the posted information - I didn't double check it and of course I added lots of veggies: Calories 498 (26% from fat) | Protein 41.3g | Fat 14.9g (sat 7g) | Carbohydrate 49.1g | Fiber 2.1g | Cholesterol 79mg | Iron 3mg | Sodium 634mg | Calcium 301mg
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:23 PM   #11
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You could make this lighter by using Fiber Gourmet Light Pasta - it's great and also has between 18-21 grams of fiber/serving and only 130 calories!
Yum!
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