• Pesto Pasta

    Recipe adapted from Chef Vince Pianalto.


    • 1 1/2 c. (1.5 oz.) fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
    • 3/4 c. Italian parsley leaves, lightly packed
    • 1/4 c. pine nuts or toasted walnuts
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 1/2 lemon, juiced
    • 1/2 c. olive oil
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 1 c. Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
    • 2 TBSP salt for potato/green bean/pasta water
    • 3 medium (about 12 oz.) Yukon gold potatoes, cut in 1 inch cubes
    • 12 oz. green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces
    • 1 lb. dried fettuccine (can use fresh)
    • Reserved 1/2 c. pasta water, optional see below


    1. Pesto: In a food processer add the basil through the Parmesan cheese and pulse, scraping down the sides with a spatula until the herbs are tiny specks. Add pesto to a serving bowl.
    2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the 2 TBSP salt.
    3. If using fresh pasta: Add the potatoes and green beans to the boiling water and bring back to a boil. Once the water is boiling again, add the fresh pasta and stir so it does not stick together. Boil, stirring frequently until pasta is al dente.
    4. If using dried pasta: Add the potatoes, green beans, and pasta to the boiling water and stir immediately so the pasta doesn’t stick together. Boil, stirring frequently until pasta is al dente.
    5. Option 1: Reserve 1/2 c. of the pasta cooking water and then drain the potatoes, green beans, and pasta. Add the reserved pasta cooking water to the pesto and stir to combine, and then add the potatoes, green beans, and pasta and stir to combine. Top with additional Parmesan cheese.
    6. Option 2: Scoop the potatoes, green beans, and pasta out of the cooking water and add to the pesto and stir to combine (equates to adding 1/2 c. reserved pasta water). Top with additional Parmesan cheese.

    Pesto Pasta:

  • Simple Skillet Pasta


    • 3 TBSP olive oil
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 – 1 tsp. crushed red pepper, to taste
    • 1 tsp. oregano or Italian seasoning
    • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. sugar, add more to taste
    • 3 1/2 c. water
    • 16 oz. penne
    • 1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
    • Burrata
    • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese


    1. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant but not brown, about 2 minutes; then add the crushed red pepper and oregano or Italian seasoning. Stir in tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Bring to gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
    2. Stir in water and penne, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to vigorous simmer. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring often, until pasta is nearly al dente, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook, tossing gently, until pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened, 4 to 7 minutes; if sauce becomes too thick, add extra water as needed. Off heat, stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste and top with burrata.
    3. Top individual portions with Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese.

    Simple Skillet Pasta:

  • Orzo Puttanesca

    Recipe from Chef Tom Walton.


    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
    • 1/2 tsp. oregano
    • Salt, to taste
    • 10 oz. grape/cherry tomatoes
    • 2 TBSP capers in brine
    • 1/3 c. Kalamata olives, sliced
    • 1 c. dried orzo
    • 1 14 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
    • 2 1/4 c. chicken broth
    • 6 oz. roasted red peppers, sliced
    • 1/2 c. parsley, chopped
    • 3/4 c. crumbled feta


    1. Heat a large skillet with a lid over medium heat, then add the olive oil, onion, garlic, chili flakes, oregano, and salt and cook stirring for 3 minutes to soften the onion; then add the tomatoes, capers, olives, orzo, and garbanzo beans and cook stirring for 2 more minutes.
    2. Add the chicken broth, stir, and bring to a simmer; then turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring, often for 3-4 minutes.
    3. After 3-4 minutes, add the red peppers and place the lid on the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes or until creamy and the orzo has soaked up all the liquid and softened.
    4. Top with parsley and feta.

    Orzo Puttanesca:

  • Eggplant and Tomato Pasta Sauce

    Recipe adapted from The Genetic Chef.


    • 1/2 c. olive oil
    • 1 eggplant about 1 – 1 ½ lbs. unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
    • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
    • Crushed red pepper, optional to taste
    • 2 lbs. plum tomatoes chopped about 8-10 (or 28 oz. crushed tomatoes or whole tomatoes)
    • 2 tsp. dried oregano
    • Salt, to taste
    • Pepper, to taste
    • Sugar, to taste
    • Fresh basil, chiffonade
    • Serve over pasta with parmesan cheese, Kalamata olives, capers, and/or burrata


    1. In a large skillet, over medium high heat, heat the olive oil and add the eggplant. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
    2. Sauté until the eggplant gets a little color and softens just a bit. This should take at least 5 minutes. Give them a stir here and there, then cover and let them stew for about 5 minutes.
    3. Uncover and stir. You’ll notice the eggplant released some of the oil it had absorbed. Add the garlic (and crushed red pepper if using) and stir until fragrant. Then add the tomatoes, oregano, and some salt and pepper to your taste.
    4. Stir and let cook uncovered for about 5 minutes or so to allow the tomatoes to break down a bit. The tomatoes should have “melted” and created a sauce.
    5. Taste and adjust seasoning and add fresh basil.
    6. Serve sauce over pasta with parmesan cheese, Kalamata olives, capers, and/or burrata.

    Eggplant and Tomato Pasta Sauce:

  • Flame Roasted Tomato Pasta

    Our creation.


    • 24 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
    • 1 lb. of pasta (reserve 1/2 c. pasta water)
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper or to taste
    • 2 TBSP – 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese to taste
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 – 1 c. basil, chopped
    • 8 oz. burrata


    1. Add your cast iron pan to the Ooni and heat your Ooni until hot. If you don’t have an Ooni you can roast the tomatoes in the oven at 425F for 15-20 minutes, or until desired doneness.
    2. Add the tomatoes to a bowl and toss liberally with olive oil and salt. Once the cast iron pan has reached 500F, remove the pan and add the tomatoes; cook the tomatoes until charred, or until desired doneness. You can do them in batches.
    3. Meanwhile, cook your pasta in salted water until al dente, reserving 1/2 c. of pasta water.
    4. While the pasta cooks, heat a small skillet with 1-2 TBSP of olive oil and saute garlic for 2 minutes; then add the crushed red pepper and toss to combine, and then remove from the heat.
    5. When the pasta is done, add pasta to a large serving bowl; then add the sauted garlic and toss to combine; then add the parmesan cheese and 1/4 c. of pasta water (reserve the remaining pasta water if you want to add more); then add the flame roasted tomatoes and lemon zest and toss to combine. Top with the basil and burrata (break up the burrata into large chunks.

    Flame Roasted Tomato Pasta:

  • Asparagus Lemon Basil Pasta Salad

    Recipe from Muchin with Maddie.



    • 8 oz. pasta cooked according to package
    • 2 ears of corn, kernels removed (about 1 c. corn)
    • 12 oz. asparagus, cut in 2 inch pieces
    • 8 oz. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1/2 c. fresh basil, chiffonade


    • 3 TBSP lemon juice
    • 3 TBSP olive oil
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
    • Salt and pepper to taste


    1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet, add asparagus and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and then toss to coat. Roast for 12 – 15 minutes. Then set aside to cool.
    2. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package. Once done, drain and then set aside to cool.
    3. Add dressing ingredients to jar or bowl and shake or whisk until combined.
    4. Add pasta, corn, asparagus, and tomatoes to a large bowl and then add the dressing and toss to coat. Top with the basil.

    Asparagus Lemon Basil Pasta Salad:

  • Calabrian Chili Pasta

    Recipe adapted from Dash of Savory.


    • 1 lb. thin spaghetti, cooked al dente
    • 2 TBSP olive oil
    • 2 TBSP butter
    • 1/4 c. Calabrian chili peppers, about 10 peppers, stems removed and sliced
    • 1 sweet onion, chopped
    • 10.5 oz. cherry tomatoes
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced
    • 2/3 white wine, chicken broth, or water
    • 8 oz. tomato sauce
    • 2 c. baby spinach
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • Fresh basil, chopped
    • Parmesan cheese


    1. Cook pasta al dente according to package; drain and set aside.
    2. Meanwhile, in a skillet heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add chilis, onion, and tomatoes to the skillet and then season with salt and pepper and saute over medium high heat until tomatoes are bursting, about 5 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
    3. Turn heat down and deglaze pan with wine, broth, or water and simmer for 3 minutes until liquid is reduced by half. Then stir in tomato sauce; then turn off heat and add spinach and toss until wilted and then add cooked pasta and toss to coat the pasta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
    4. Add basil and parmesan cheese and serve.

    Calabrian Chili Pasta:

  • Sausage and Spinach Macaroni and Cheese


    • 2 boxes Annie’s shells & white cheddar
    • Olive oil
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
    • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • Crushed red pepper, to taste
    • 8 oz. baby spinach
    • 1/2 c. milk
    • 1/4 – 1/2 c. pasta water
    • 2 TBSP butter
    • 2-4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese


    1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta for 7 minutes; drain and reserve 1/2 c. pasta water
    2. Meanwhile, in a skillet heat olive oil over medium high heat and add the onion, and saute until tender; then add the sausage, Italian seasoning, and crushed red pepper, crumble and cook until cooked through.
    3. Once the sausage is cooked through add the spinach and cook until the spinach wilts; then remove the sausage and spinach mixture from the skillet and set aside.
    4. In the skillet add milk, butter, 1/4 c. pasta water, and cheese packets and whisk on low and bring to a gentle simmer; then add the cooked pasta and stir to coat; then add 1/2 the mozzarella cheese, and toss to coat; then add the sausage mixture and toss to coat. Add additional pasta water, if needed, additional cheese, if desired, and taste and adjust seasoning.

    Sausage and Spinach Macaroni and Cheese:

  • Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

    Sub a can or two of white beans for the chicken if you want a vegetarian soup.

    Recipe adapted from Salt and Lavender.

    Amounts in parentheses are for hearty 4-6 portions. Leftovers are delicious despite the orzo absorbing the broth and becoming like a stew.


    • 2 sticks celery, chopped finely
    • 2 medium carrots, chopped finely
    • 1/2 (1) medium onion, chopped
    • 1 TBSP butter
    • 1 TBSP olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic minced
    • 2 TBSP (2 1/2 TBSP) flour
    • 6 c. (8 c.) chicken broth
    • 1/2 tsp. (3/4 tsp.) Italian seasoning
    • 1.5 lbs. uncooked chicken breasts, or cooked chicken, or 1-2 cans of white beans, drained and rinsed
    • 1 c. (1 1/4-1 1/2 c.) uncooked orzo
    • 1 TBSP (1/2 – 1 lemon) lemon juice and zest, or to taste
    • 1 TBSP chopped parsley 
    • Salt & pepper, to taste


    1. Sauté the celery, carrots, and onions in a large soup pot with the butter and oil over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes.
    2. Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the flour and cook for another minute or so.
    3. Pour in chicken broth and stir until the flour has dissolved, then add the Italian seasoning and chicken (if using). Bring the soup to a boil.
    4. Cover the soup (lid slightly ajar), and reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
    5. Stir in the orzo and cook for another 10 minutes or until the orzo is cooked through. I keep the lid off and stir it fairly often because it tends to stick to the bottom of the pot.
    6. Take the chicken out of the pot and cut it up (if using pre cooked chicken or beans, add now), then add it back in.
    7. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, and season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. 

    Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup:

  • Portillos Chopped Salad

    Recipe adapted from Le Creme de la Crumb.

    Salad Ingredients:

    • 1-2 c. cooked ditalini pasta (or however much you like)
    • 3 c. chopped romaine lettuce
    • 2 green onions chopped
    • 1/2 c. gorgonzola crumbles or feta cheese
    • 1 c. cherry tomatoes chopped
    • 1 c. cucumbers, chopped, optional
    • 2 c. diced cooked chicken, optional

    Dressing Ingredients:

    • 1/3 c. olive oil
    • 1/4 c. white wine vinegar
    • 1/2 c. mayo
    • 1 TBSP lemon juice
    • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
    • 2 tsp. minced garlic
    • 1/4 c. finely grated parmesan cheese
    • 2 tsp. sugar
    • Salt, to taste


    1. Combine dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
    2. Combine pasta, lettuce, gorgonzola or feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, and chicken (if using). Toss with dressing and serve immediately.

    Portillos Chopped Salad: