Summertime Italian Pasta Salad

Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef One of the most common lunches we had growing up was pasta salad. There was no set recipe. It simply consisted of whatever veggies we had on hand, dressing, maybe some cheese and/or meat, always a bit of lettuce (which I hated at the time), and pasta (obviously). Because this is how I still make my pasta salads, I’ve never felt the need to write out an actual recipe (also, because the recipe would read something like “Take everything you have in your fridge and toss it in a bowl with some pasta.”). I lie. I did write down one pasta recipe, for this healthy deli-style pasta salad. It was so good that I knew it needed to be replicated and that was only possible with a recipe. But all other 27,895 pasta salads I’ve made in my lifetime are pretty much a one time deal. Until I made this salad. It’s kind of like the pasta salads I’m used to making where everything gets thrown into a bowl, except the things I threw into the bowl this time were so good, that like my deli pasta salad, it just had to be written down.

Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef Summertime Italian Pasta Salad || Runway Chef

Summertime Italian Pasta Salad
A light & healthy pasta salad loaded with the fresh flavors of Italy
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. Pasta, cooked al dente (I used half a box)
  2. Proscuitto (I used 4 slices)
  3. Cherry Tomatoes (about 1/2 cup)
  4. Olives (about 1/2 cup)
  5. Radishes (about 3-4, sliced)
  6. Basil (a handful, shredded)
  7. Arugula (a large handful)
  8. Parmesan (about 1/4 cup, grated)
  9. Truffle cheese (optional; I used about 1/3 cup of mini cubes)
  10. Olive oil (a generous drizzle)
  11. Salt & pepper (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Toss all ingredients together in a large serving bowl. Drizzle generously with olive oil and toss with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or store in the fridge for up to 2 days in a tightly sealed container.
Notes
  1. I put the amounts I used in parentheses, but please keep in mind all of these ingredients are completely adjustable, based on taste preference as well as what you have on hand. Feel free to leave anything out and/or add anything else in. I think this would taste great with some roasted corn or cauliflower as well as goat cheese.
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One-Pot Spaghetti

One-pot spaghetti

When I came across this recipe, it had my name written all over it (pasta, Italian, basil, easy) and I instantly knew I needed to make it. Silly me decided to start throwing it together before realizing I was missing half the ingredients. But they say everything happens for a reason (probably not a phrase meant for a pasta dish, but we’ll just go with it). Turns out, Mr. RC and I actually liked my highly edited version of the recipe so much better than the original (which we had made a few weeks after the above mentioned mishap). This just goes to show, that contrary to popular belief, mistakes can be a good thing….unless that mistake is drinking too much tequila, then you might have a problem.

One-pot spaghetti recipe

This pasta has quickly moved to the top of my favorites list (not an easy feat for an Italian girl with a secret, out-of-this world spaghetti and meatballs recipe that has been passed down through my family). It’s almost as easy to make as it is to turn on a microwave, it tastes delicious hot or cold, and that one whole pot thing, what a lifesaver (this also makes the perfect dish for having friends over for dinner).

easy recipe for one-pot pasta

One-Pot Spaghetti
Serves 8

1 box of Linguine or Fettucine noodles (I like whole wheat; please note you must use a thick noodle spaghetti noodle for this dish to work)
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (mine have basil added)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 teaspoon of garlic or regular salt
1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
2 large sprigs of basil, torn
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 a medium-sized onion, thinly sliced (optional; I’ve made it both with and without and each way tastes equally as good)
A small chunk of parmesan rind (completely optional, but the secret to great sauce)
Grated parmesan, for serving

 

In a large pot add all the ingredients, except for the grated parmesan. Fill up the empty tomato can with water and add that to the pot as well.

ingredients for one-pot spaghetti

how to make one-pot spaghetti

Start to cook the pasta on medium high. As the noodles begin to soften, use tongs to push them down into the liquid. Once the noodles are all in the sauce, turn the burner down to medium heat. Continue cooking for 10-15 more minutes, stirring every so often, until the noodles are al dente.

easy one-pot spaghetti Serve topped with grated parmesan and torn basil leaves, as well as a fresh green salad on the side.

This recipe is an original, but the idea is based on this recipe.

Shrimp Scampi Meatballs

My wild streak is continuing, only today it’s in the food category.

When I saw the Shrimp Scampi Meatball soup in the latest issue of Everyday Food I knew that it was time to give my own Shrimp Scampi recipe a make-over.

And don’t be fooled, this takes only a few more minutes to make than the original dish but the results are so worth the time!

 

Shrimp Scampi Meatballs

For the meatballs-

2 c. of peeled and deveined shrimp

1/2 c. white chicken meat (I used canned)

1/2 c. breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 tsp. dried parsley flakes

1/2 tsp. salt

2 garlic cloves

2 inch wedge of lemon

1/4 c. milk

1/2 an onion, chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 c. white wine

 

For the pasta-

1/2 box of spaghetti

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. parsley flakes

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Juice of half a lemon

A large pinch of salt

Grated Parmesan for topping

 

To start, heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and saute the onions until very tender.  While the onions are sautéing, make the meatballs by placing the shrimp, chicken, garlic and the lemon in a food processor and grind until smooth. Add in all remaining meatball ingredients (except for the wine) and process a few more seconds until well mixed. Form the mixture in to meatballs and place in the skillet. Pour the wine over the meatballs, cover the pan with a lid and simmer until the liquid has been reduced to about half.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta til al dente. Drain the noodles and return to the pan. Toss with the remaining ingredients (except for the cheese), then gently (the meatballs aren’t as firm as regular meatballs) add in the meatball/wine/onion mixture. Serve topped with grated parmesan.

Adapted from Everyday Food

 

 

Sweet & Sour Spaghetti Sauce

NYFW ending means 2 things- 1) London Fashion Week is next (and I am extremely envious of  anyone that attends that!) and 2) We can start consuming carbs again (as if I ever really stop!).

Pasta will always hold a spot in my heart for favorite carbs (that would be the Italian in me), and this sauce is a favorite from childhood. Not only is it delicious and different, it’s super easy to make (meaning you can start consuming those carbs even sooner!).

 

Sweet & Sour Spaghetti Sauce

2 lbs. red onions (about 2 large or 3 medium), sliced

1/4 c. butter

2 tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. of each salt and pepper

1/2 tsp. each dried basil and rosemary

1 bay leave

1 tsp. of sugar

A dash of cinnamon

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 qt. of canned tomatoes

2 c. dry red wine

1/4 c. dried currants or raisins (can be omitted)

1/4 c. red wine (or apple cider) vinegar

 

In a large skillet heat your butter and oil. Toss in the onions and saute until very tender, at least 30 minutes. Add in the garlic and spices and saute a few more minutes.

Stir in the remaining ingredients and let simmer, at minimum 15 minutes (you can keep this simmering on very low heat for several hours if you want to make this in advance). Serve over pasta with a sprinkling of parmesan.

Recipe from my Mom

 

Spaghetti Pie

After a long week (that I’m pretty sure included more cocktails than food), I’m more than ready for a relaxing and delicious meal! One of my  favorite (and easiest) comfort foods is Spaghetti Pie. It somewhat resembles lasagna….except its 50 times easier to make!

Spaghetti Pie

4 oz. spaghetti noodles (angel hair works best)

1 tbsp. butter

1 egg

1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

1 c. cottage cheese (I use fat-free)

1 tbsp. olive oil

1/2 lb. ground beef or turkey

1/2 c. of each onions and peppers, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 c. of tomato sauce (I use left-over homemade, but you can use a jar of sauce as well)

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

Cooking Spray

Spray a 9″ pie pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Cook the pasta noodles, just until al dente. Drain the noodles, return them to the pot and mix with the butter, parmesan cheese and the egg. Press the noodle mixture in the bottom of the pie pan to form the “crust”.

Next, spread on the cottage cheese and then the tomato sauce. Set aside.

In a medium size skillet, cook the meat, onions, peppers and garlic in the olive oil, until tender, or about 12 minutes. Add in the seasoning and cook a few more minutes.

Top the pie with the meat mixture and then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.