Tomato Zucchini Pasta

INGREDIENTS –

1 lb pasta (penne works well) –

2 tbsp ghee (or neutral oil) –

1 medium zucchini, sliced in half moons –

1 lb cherry tomatoes, sliced in half –

1/2 tsp salt –

5 cloves garlic, minced –

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes –

!# chicken tenderloins, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces

1/2 cup cream –

1 tbsp lemon zest –

3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese –

1/2 cup chopped basil

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil.

Once boiling, add 1 tbsp kosher salt and the pasta.

Return the water and pasta to a boil and cook until al dente, according to the pasta instructions.

Once the pasta is cooked, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.

Drain the pasta and return the pasta to the stock pot until the sauce is prepared. –

While the pasta is cooking, melt the ghee (or oil) in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat.

Once the ghee is melted, add the pieces of chicken, in an even layer.

Sauté until brown, 4-6 minutes.

Flip the pieces over and brown on the other side as well, for 4-6 minutes.

When the chicken is browned, remove the pieces from the skillet and set them aside. –

In the same skillet over medium heat, add the prepared tomatoes and zucchini

Stir to make sure both sides of zucchini are browned and the tomatoes begin to burst and break down, 5-7 minutes.

Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt.

Cook until the garlic is fragrant, 1 minute. –

Pour the tomatoes and zucchini into the pasta in the stock pot.

Add the cream, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

Turn the heat to medium-low and cook the pasta with the sauce until the mixture is hot and bubbling, 3-4 minutes.

Turn off the heat. – Add the cheese, lemon zest, and basil.

Stir and add more pasta water to thin the sauce if needed. Serve immediately.

NOTE: this makes sauce just enough to lightly coat the pasta/veggies. There is not excess sauce. You may want to double this, as any leftover pasta will “soak” up the sauce.

Megan’s Favorite Cheesy Baked Tortellini

Ingredients:

Olive Oil

2 c Marinara Sauce

1/3 c Mascarpone Cheese

¼ c chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

2 tsp chopped fresh thyme

1# purchased cheese tortellini (or gnocchi)

2 oz thinly sliced, smoked Mozzarella

¼ c freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven 350 degrees

Lightly oil 8x8x2 baking dish

Whisk the marinara sauce, mascarpone cheese, parsley and thyme in a large bowl to blend

Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender.

Drain

Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.

Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish.

Top with the smoked Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake uncovered until the sauce bubbles and the cheeses on top melt, about another 10 minutes.

Serve

Baked Mostaccioli

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion 
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground Italian sausage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28- ounce) jar marinara sauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 15 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups grated low moisture mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup unseasoned Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound Mostaccioli

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
  2. Make the meat sauce: Add olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the onions until they are softened, 3 – 4 minutes. Add in the ground sausage and cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional minute. Drain any excess grease and add in the marinara sauce. Turn the heat to low and let the sauce simmer while you complete the next steps.
  3. Make the cheese mixture: In a large bowl combine the egg, ricotta, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, mozzarella, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  4. Make the breadcrumb topping: In a small skillet melt the butter on medium heat. Continue cooking and stirring the butter until it becomes a golden brown. Remove the skillet from the heat and add in the Panko, garlic powder, and remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
  5. Boil the pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain thoroughly. Add the pasta to the meat sauce and stir to combine evenly.
  6. Assemble: Add half of the pasta mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture evenly on top. Spread the remaining pasta on top. Sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs evenly on top.
  7. Bake: Cover the pan with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 – 10 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.

Notes:

Store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.