Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Goulash with a Pan Roasted Tomato Sauce

An easy lazy rainy day comfort meal.... what more needs to be said?

3 or so cups of prepared pasta (I was using up leftovers)
1/2 pound of ground beef sauteed with some peppers, onion and garlic
1 cup or so of cherry tomatoes whole
8 oz can of tomato sauce (unflavored. I used Muir Glenn Organic)
5-6 leaves of fresh basil chopped finely
1 tsp of sugar
1 tsp garlic paste (found in produce section with fresh herbs)
Cheese to sprinkle on top (I used fresh Parmigiano Reggiano)

In a stainless steel pot, heat up the cherry tomatoes, on medium to high heat, until they char and begin to burst open. Heat for 10 minutes or so. Stir once in a while around the bottom of the pot. Once they are crackling and popping add in the the already cooked beef and mash down the tomatoes with any wooden spoon or spatula. Be careful, they really burst open and they could burn you. Stir in the tomato sauce, salt, pepper,garlic paste and sugar. Stir in cooked pasta and basil leaves. Continuously stir on low heat and allow flavors to blend for a minute or so on the heat. Top with cheese and enjoy!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo Casserole

An afternoon with some other mommies and their kids was the plan for the day and making a one dish kid friendly meal was essential. It allowed for us women to get the kids fed and move on to the important things in life.... coffee and chatting! And during this, what seems to be, neverending wintery weather, a warm gooey meal filled our tummies with comfort. This casserole was simple, healthy and fulfilled its purpose. Lots of coffee and conversation was had!

3 small chicken breasts cooked and diced (I had boiled mine in broth)
1 box of whole grain pasta
1 crown of broccoli diced very small
1/2 of a small onion diced very small
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp flour
3 cups of milk
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
garlic paste (I found this in the produce section in a tube)

Boil Pasta until just starting to soften. Drain and set aside.

Sautee the onion and broccoli in a bit of olive oil. Add in cooked chicken to blend and flavor. Set aside.

Now onto the alfredo sauce. Heat the 3 Tbsp in the same pot used for the pasta. Sprinkle in the flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in milk and heat on medium high whisking frequently. While heating sprinkle in desired amount of salt and pepper, I used 1 tsp of each, and dash of nutmeg. Also whisk in garlic paste. Once the white sauce begins to boil and thicken whisk in the parmesan cheese and continue to heat. Once boiled and thickened add in the noodles and broccoli mixture. At this point it can be served OR....

I finished mine with bread crumbs, freshly grated parmigianno reggioano and cheddar cheese. Baked it at 450 degrees until the topping was browned nicely. You could simply skip the bread crumb crusty topping, but who really doesn't love a crunchy yummy crust!