quick and easy pasta sauce

Usually when I go to the grocery store, I buy pasta sauce in bulk, because it’s SO nice to have on hand for quick and easy dinners. But every so often I’ll go to grab a jar for dinner only to find I haven’t restocked my pantry!

Luckily, putting together a homemade pasta sauce is just as easy as grabbing a jar! (Well, kind of, but it’s definitely close!) This pasta sauce recipe has a little spin on it though, because I added a little bit of sweet potato puree. Having three little kids I’m always trying to sneak in extra nutrients, plus it gives this pasta sauce a nice sweetness as well as a rich taste!

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Quick and Easy Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled, diced, and steamed until soft
  • 2 tb. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tb. fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, with basil
  • sprinkle of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flakes to taste, optional

(To make this a ‘cream’ version you can add 1/2 cup of heavy cream after the onions are cooked)

Instructions

  1. In the Magic Bullet Blender, add your softened sweet potato. Blend until creamy. You can add a few tb. of water as needed to puree easily.
  2. In a saucepan on low medium heat, add your EVOO. Then add your onions and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes until translucent.
  3. Next add in your rosemary and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Once that is done, add in the rest of your ingredients, including the sweet potato puree. Whisk until combined, and adjust seasonings.
  5. You can puree the sauce into the Magic Bullet Blender for a non-chunky sauce, or leave as is.
  6. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

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Feel free to make this a meat sauce as well for a hearty pasta dinner for your family!

 

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Sometimes you want a dinner that brings you completely new and different flavors, and sometimes you want to rearrange familiar flavors into something delicious and straightforward. This pasta dish takes the latter approach, taking a classic Spanish tapa — shrimp with garlic and pimenton (smoked paprika) — and turning it into a tasty pasta. I came up with the idea after getting some beautiful, large raw shrimp at the supermarket. This all comes together in under twenty minutes and is quite good: the garlic butter spiked with pimenton and juices from the shrimp serves as a perfect sauce for the pasta, which absorbs lots of delicious flavor.

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Pasta with Spanish Shrimp in Garlic and Pimenton

Ingredients

  • 2/3 lb long pasta, like spaghetti
  • 2/3 lb raw shrimp, peeled, preferably large
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbl pimenton
  • 3 tbl butter

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in heavily salted water until al dente, reserving about a cup of pasta cooking water.
  2. Add garlic to the Magic Bullet and blend. Add pimenton and blend.
  3. Add the butter to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until butter melts, then add the the garlic-pimenton and cook for a few minutes, just until garlic is translucent.
  4. Add the shrimp and cook until shrimp is just cooked through (shrimp will change color).
  5. Add the pasta to the skillet with about half of the pasta cooking water. Stir everything and let the pasta absorb the sauce. If the pasta is dry, add more pasta cooking water. Serve.

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Years ago, before I had children, I went through a vegan phase. Still to this day, I love my vegan and vegetarian dishes even though I don’t fully eat that way anymore. I remember often craving creamy pasta dishes made with heavy cream and loads of parmesan cheese! This was a dish I’ve made for years to satisfy that craving. I’ve made it for many non-vegans as well, and they have all loved it! You won’t even notice there isn’t a drop of heavy cream! You can add parmesan cheese if you would like and even switch up the vegetable from sweet potato to butternut squash. Whichever way you make this, I guarantee you will love it!

Creamy Sweet Potato Pasta Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cup penne pasta
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and steamed
  • 2 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 tb. butter, or olive oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tb. fresh sage, plus more for topping
  • Lots of pepper, to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • Optional, ½ c. fresh parmesan cheese

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Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. In the larger Magic Bullet Blender, add the sweet potato and vegetable broth. Puree until creamy and fully blended. Set aside.
  2. In a pan on low/medium heat add the butter and melt. Next add in the onions and garlic. Stir and cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Next add in the sage and toss for 1 minutes.
  3. Pour in the blended sweet potato. Stir and then sprinkle in the spices. Adjust until desired taste has been reached. Top with extra chopped fresh sage and fresh parmesan.

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Feb
15
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Pasta Carbonara

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Spaghetti carbonara – it’s a classic, easy, delicious, cheap, and hearty dinner, so why haven’t you made it? If you don’t know what carbonara is, you’re in for a treat. This classic, Roman dish consists of bacon, barely-cooked creamy eggs and parmesan, to create a rich, delicious pasta sauce.

Although I’ve made carbonara many times before. This one follows a new recipe from Serious Eats, which involves more egg yolks and less bacon and cheese than other recipes. The result is particularly eggy and rich but less greasy. You can also use any type of bacon; here I use pancetta, which is porkier and less smoky.

The Magic Bullet does triple duty here, grating the parmesan, chopping the garlic, and grinding the pepper.

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Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta (I used bucatini; spaghetti is “traditional”)
  • 1/2 cup diced bacon (or guanciale or pancetta)
  • 2 tbl olive oil
  • 2 whole eggs plus 6 egg yolks
  • 1 large parmesan (enough to make ½ cup when grated)
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta until al dente in heavily salted water. Without draining the pasta water, remove the pasta.
  2. Add bacon to pan with oil over medium heat and cook until crisp. Turn off heat.
  3. Blend garlic in the Magic Bullet and remove to a large metal or glass bowl. Blend the parmesan and remove to the bowl. Blend the black pepper and remove to the bowl. Add the eggs and egg yolks and stir everything up.
  4. Add cooked pasta to the pan with the bacon and stir everything together. Add the egg mixture to the pan and stir everything some more. Add ½ cup of the pasta water and bring the pasta water to a boil.
  5. Dump everything in the pan back into the bowl over the boiling water. Let the pasta cook from the heat of the steam until you have a creamy sauce.
  6. Serve immediately.

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Hey, here’s an easy, delicious, and healthy weeknight dinner that uses some sneaky, flavor-packed ingredients to amp up the taste with very little work. And it’s all made in one pot!

If you don’t know what preserved lemons are, it’s time to work them into your repertoire. Tangy, funky, tart, they’re like the miso of citrus. Maybe not, but they take this simple dish to the next level!

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Preserved Lemon, Asparagus, and Ricotta Pasta Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 lb short pasta, any type
  • 1 lb asparagus, sliced
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ cup ricotta (low-fat if you like)
  • Olive oil

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Instructions

  1. Boil a pot of heavily salted water and add the pasta. Cook the pasta until al dente, adding the asparagus for the final minute of cooking. Drain the pasta, reserving half a cup of pasta cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, blend the garlic in the Magic Bullet.
  3. Add the asparagus to the pot with the garlic and a big glug of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook until garlic is very fragrant and asparagus is just beginning to brown, about three minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Blend the lemon, ricotta, and some of the reserved pasta cooking water in the Magic Bullet.
  5. Add the pasta and the lemon-ricotta mixture to the pot with the asparagus. Stir everything over medium-low heat until everything comes together, adding more pasta cooking water as necessary to keep everything moist.

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Oct
24
0

Avocado Pasta Sauce

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Pasta dishes are one of the quickest and easiest ways to get dinner on the table, especially when you have three hungry kids running around! I’m always looking for new ways to make pasta since it’s one of the only foods that every member of my family enjoys eating. I also love finding new ways for dinner to be healthy and filling, which is why this recipe makes me so happy! Avocado pasta, for starters, is SUPER easy to make. Simply throw everything in a blender and voila! It doesn’t get easier than that. It’s full of healthy fats, which will definitely keep those energetic kids nice and full until morning time! (You mean they won’t be begging for a snack right before bed?!) I can’t promise that, but I can promise that you will love this dish and want to make it often! ­

Avocado Pasta Sauce Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe avocados, no brown spots
  • ½ cup fresh basil
  • 2-4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2-3 small/medium garlic cloves (Start with 2 and add more if wanted)
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon, about 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional hot sauce/red pepper flakes
  • Optional parmesan cheese
  • 16 oz pasta

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Instructions

  1. Cook your pasta according to package directions.
  2. In your Magic Bullet, add avocados, basil, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon, and pumpkin seeds to a Tall Cup and blend until nice and creamy. Add more olive oil if needed to thin out.
  3. Next add in your salt and pepper to taste, and red pepper flakes if wanted.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked, fold in the sauce and top with parmesan cheese.
  5. You could also add halved tomatoes and extra basil on top.
  6. Eat immediately or store covered in the fridge for 1-2 days.

 

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A little bit of jumbo lump crabmeat is a real luxury, and you’ll probably want to use it to the max. Of course, crab cakes are great, but everyone knows that the best crab cakes involve as much crab as possible. Here’s a way for you to stretch the crab that you’ve got into a delicious meal for several people with great crab flavor, as well as a rich and satisfying sauce for pasta with a bunch of vegetables to boot. Sound good? Good.

I happened to have a bunch of leftover crab meat from a night spent picking crabs and drinking beer (and rosé, but that’s another story), but you can pick it up at the grocery store. Buy the smallest container possible and you’ll be able to make a delicious, vaguely healthy meal with the luxurious flavor of crab. Plus, it’s a one pot meal.

The recipe here uses crème fraiche, which is like the rich and delicious sour cream of your dreams, but you could always just use sour cream, I won’t tell.

Adapted from The New York Times

Spicy Pasta with Crab, Crème Fraiche & Asparagus Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 pound pasta, any type
  • 1 cup crème fraiche
  • 3 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups cooked crab meat, or as much as you can spare
  • 1 pound asparagus, sliced into thirds
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and cored
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
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Instructions

  1. Bring pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook until just soft, about four minutes. Remove the asparagus with tongs or a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the pasta to the water and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving half a cup of pasta cooking water.
  3. Meanwhile, blend the parsley in the Magic Bullet. Move the parsley to a bowl and add the jalapeno. Blend until chopped. Add the crème fraiche and the mustard and blend. Add a pinch of salt and blend.
  4. Add the crème fraiche mixture to the pot over medium heat. When warmed, add the crab and cook until sizzling, about 30 seconds. Add the pasta and the pasta cooking water and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Add the asparagus and stir.
  5. Serve, passing parsley.

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So a few months ago, I showed you how to make the world’s most delicious, easiest mac ‘n cheese on the stovetop. That was pretty good. Heck, that was great. But how often can you eat plain homemade mac ‘n cheese? OK, don’t answer that.

In any event, here’s a variation on a classic: extremely easy stovetop mac ‘n cheese that’s amped up with Spanish flavors and roasted cauliflower, which as I have noted in the past, is having a bit of a cultural moment. I call it: El Macaroni de Espana.

The cauliflower is caramelized with distinctive flavor and crunchy texture and the pimenton is smoky and earthy with smoked cheese for even more savory notes, and the mac ‘n cheese is creamy and gooey and melty. Yeah, not bad for a weeknight. Plus, it has vegetables!

El Macaroni de Espana (Spanish Mac n Cheese)

Adapted from The Food Lab by Kenji Lopez-Alt

Ingredients

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  • 1 1/2 lb elbow macaroni
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 pound smoky fancy cheese, like smoked Gouda
  • 1/4 lb American cheese
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, cut into hunks
  • Smoked paprika, to taste
  • Frozen peas, to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta in heavily salted water until barely al dente. Meanwhile, toss cauliflower with olive oil, salt, and paprika and roast in a 450 degree oven.
  1. Blend the cheeses in the Magic Bullet, then move them to a bowl with the cornstarch and stir. Add the milk, mustard, cornstarch, and egg to the Magic Bullet and blend or shake until well-mixed.
  1. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the saucepan. Over low heat, add the butter and then everything else. Stir and season to taste with salt and more paprika and serve while hot.

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Have you ever seen golden beets? They’re a rare find, but I strongly prefer golden beets over red because they have a much more subtle flavor, but are still really healthy for you!

Recently, I discovered they go incredibly well in pastas. Bake them in the oven, peel them, chop them up and toss them together with steamed kale, pine nuts, bow tie pasta and a light alfredo sauce quickly whipped up in your Magic Bullet, and you have yourself a deliciously healthy comfort dish.

Didn’t know healthy comfort dishes existed? Try this one, it’ll surely change your mind!

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Golden Beet Farfalle

Ingredients

  • 1 pound farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • 3 large golden beets
  • 2 cups chopped, cooked kale
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ½ tsp. lemon pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅔ cup Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
  • ½ cup 1% milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

  1. Add the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, milk and garlic to your small Magic Bullet cup and blend. Set aside.
  2. Wrap the beets in foil and bake them in the oven at 425 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Allow them to cool, then peel and cube them and toss into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and add to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the kale, pine nuts and alfredo sauce to the mixing bowl and toss well.
  6. Serve warm and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

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Lasagna noodles should not be used for anything other than lasagna!

Or so they say. You can also break them up and use them in a delicious pasta just like any other pasta, except with nice chewiness, softness, breadth and all the things that you love about lasagna with completely different flavors.

This is a nice, basically one-pot meal; you cook the sweet potatoes in the same pot as the noodles with delicious butter, thyme, and garlic, and add creamy ricotta to pull it all together. It’s lasagna – there should be ricotta.

As a cheffy extra step, the fresh sage is also fried in butter and dried on paper towels to make it extra crunchy and delicious. You can skip that if you don’t want crispy, fried delicious crunch and sage flavor on your pasta… But who doesn’t love a little extra crunch?

Adapted from Food52.

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Lasagna Noodles with Sweet Potato, Ricotta, and Sage

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
  • ½ pound lasagna noodles
  • 3-4 Tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch sage, leaves removed
  • leaves from a few sprigs of thyme

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until soft, about ten minutes. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  2. Break the noodles in half and add to the water. Cook until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, blend the garlic and thyme leaves in your Magic Bullet.
  4. Add butter to a pan over medium heat. Wait until butter is melted and beginning to foam, then add the sage and cook until crispy. Remove to paper towel-lined plated with a slotted spoon.
  5. Add the garlic-thyme mixture to the butter and cook until fragrant, just 30 seconds.
  6. Mix together the garlic, thyme, and butter with the sweet potatoes and noodles in a bowl. Salt to taste. Serve with the fried sage on top.

Enjoy!