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Tuscan risotto with kale, mushrooms, and walnuts

This classic dish gets upgraded to main meal status with the addition of hearty mushrooms, Tuscan kale, and crunchy walnuts. It’s so easy to prepare, and better yet, you can have this elegant vegetarian dish ready in about 35 minutes. This traditional method of making risotto involves standing at the stove and stirring for around 18 minutes. It might seems a little labor intensive compared to low-fuss pastas, but to achieve the signature creamy texture risotto is known for, it’s well worth the effort. If you’re not vegetarian, and if you want to serve this as a side dish instead, consider pairing it with your favorite chicken Marsala for a tasty Italian combo. This Tuscan risotto with kale, mushrooms, and walnuts will easily be your new favorite go-to recipe this fall and all year long. Tuscan risotto with kale, mushrooms, and walnuts Serves 4 Ingredients 5 cups vegetable or chicken…

Pumpkin and sage stuffed shells

The best thing about fall? The food, OF COURSE! While summer is the season for fresh fruit and farmers markets, fall is time for casseroles, crock pots, and delicious comfort foods. Which takes me to my latest recipe… We had two days of fall-like weather last week and already I’m inspired to break out the pumpkin! These pumpkin ricotta stuffed shells would be a perfect addition to your holiday spread, or anytime you want a savory, seasonal dish to share — this recipe makes a lot of shells! The fresh sage and nutty Romano cheese are the perfect way to accent that rich pumpkin flavor. Plus, the light pumpkin taste in the sauce makes this dish truly something different. You’re going to love this this seasonal switch-up on an old classic. Note: Get 100% pumpkin puree (I like Libby’s brand). Other pumpkin blends can sometimes come with fall spices mixed in…

Easy Chicken Parmesan Recipe is a perfect weeknight dinner

Chicken Parmesan is a family favorite. It’s a classic dish that takes pan fried chicken breasts then tops them with tomato sauce and smothers them in cheese before baking. What comes out is deliciously golden brown and bubbly — what’s not to love? This chicken parmesan recipe — with its fresh mozzarella and homemade tomato sauce — will make you look like you spent hours in the kitchen, when really, you’ll have the prep work done in about 15 minutes. Serve chicken parm with fettuccini or other pasta or even rice or mashed potatoes for an easy weeknight dinner. If you’re whipping this up in the summer, don’t miss the opportunity to sprinkle on some delicious fresh basil. Easy chicken parmesan recipe Makes 6 servings Ingredients For the chicken: 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan (plus more for garnish) 2-3 large…

6 healthy pasta alternatives you need to try

You don’t have to be a dietician to know that eating a ton of pasta isn’t the healthiest move you can make. It’s typically loaded with refined and bleached flour, and pretty low on anything resembling a vitamin, mineral, or protein. It sure is tasty, but too much of the good stuff, and you’ll probably pack on a few pounds.  (Or will it?) But what if I told you there is a way you can enjoy your favorite pasta dishes without piling on the carbs. Try these 6 delicious pasta alternatives when you’re really craving Italian — for the third time this week. 1. Pasta with added veggies If you want to start stepping away from traditional pasta, pasta with added veggies can be your first baby step. It’s typically a traditional pasta recipe, but it has dehydrated veggie paste — such as spinach, tomatoes, or mushrooms — mixed right in.…

12 tips for makings the best pesto

Pesto is a simple and delicious summer staple. Without it, think of all the basil that would go to waste! But the trouble with this sauce it doesn’t always go so well. Here are 12 tips for how you can make your most perfect pesto. 1. Clean your greens Always, always, always be sure your basil is washed really well before you begin. You don’t want any gritty dirt in your pesto. Wash your basil using cold water — never warm. Warm water wilts greens. Use a salad spinner to get your leaves really dry or gently pat them between layers of kitchen towels to remove all of the moisture. 2. Make it a mix Don’t think you have to stick to just basil. You can add other leafy greens to give your basil a distinct flavor. Replace some of your basil with parsley instead for a lighter flavor, or try arugula…

Classic 3 cheese lasagna with meat sauce recipe

Lasagna from scratch is a meal to behold, but if you’re like most people, simmering sauce and making individual strips of pasta aren’t on your nightly schedule. Boxed pastas and store-bought marinaras save a ton of time without sacrificing any flavor. Some Sunday when you have a whole day to kill, build it from the ground up, but on a busy day — in a busy life — have no shame in shortcuts. National Lasagna Day is right around the corner (July 29). You might be headed to your favorite Italian restaurant for a great big piece, but why not do as the Italians do, and make this delicious dish at home! Here are a few tips for baking your best lasagne ever: 1. Careful with your noodles. Building a good lasagna requires a bit of architecture. Lasagna needs a good structure, and the noodles give it all it needs —…

Lasagna or lasagne: Which is correct?

Lasagne or lasagna? It’s everyone’s favorite cheesy Italian casserole. Layers of al dente noodles create a deliciously starchy structure on which we pile creamy ricotta, tomato-y meat sauce, and melty mozzarella. It’s a comfort food like no other. But what’s with the spelling? Have you noticed sometimes lasagna ends in an ‘e’ rather than an ‘a’? While it might seem like they are interchangeable (and they basically are in the U.S.), there is actually a method to this pasta madness. In Italian, ‘lasagne’ is the plural name given to flat, rectangular pieces of pasta. Whereas ‘lasagna’ is actually the singular form of ‘lasagne.’ ‘Lasagna’ is also the American English spelling of the word, with ‘lasagnas’ being the American plural. English speakers outside of North America usually use ‘lasagne.’ Whether you spell it with an A or an E, the pronunciation is the same. The last syllable sounds like “ya” —…

Creamy gnocchi bake

This easy Creamy Gnocchi Bake with mozzarella and spinach is perfect for a weeknight meal. It takes about 15 minutes to prep, then 30 minutes to bake in the oven. While you’re waiting, throw together a tossed salad or sauté a vegetable for a super low stress, well-balanced meal. Plus, can we just take a moment to admire all of that cheesy, creamy goodness? Those seasoned cherry tomatoes are just bursting with flavor, and fresh basil makes everything better. It’s a dish your whole crew will go crazy for. Creamy gnocchi bake Ingredients 4 tbsp butter 4 gloves garlic, minced 1 tsp dried oregano 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved salt pepper 1/2 – 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 4 cups spinach 1 cup chicken broth 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese 1 large handful basil, chopped + more for garnish 2 (about 17-18 ounces each) packages…

10 mistakes you’re probably making when cooking pasta

Pasta is so simple, even a broke college kid can make it, right? Well, yes, if simply scarfing down calories is your goal. It doesn’t take much know-how to boil water, open a jar of sauce, and hope for the best. But if you want a delicious, authentic Italian-American plate of al dente pasta, there are many nuances to master. From leaving the noodles in the colander to not salting the water, here are 8 common mistakes we’ve all made when cooking pasta. Also see, Avocado whole wheat pasta salad. 1. Your pot is too small Size does matter. Pasta should be swimming because it will soak up water and expand. Once it expands, if there isn’t enough water left, it will get mushy and sticky. For 1 pound of pasta, fill a 4 or 5 quart pot about 3/4 of the way with water and boil. For 2 pounds of…

Easy Tomato Basil and Gnocchi soup

Need to thaw out from the winter weather? This recipe combines two of the most delicious cold weather comfort foods on the planet — pasta and soup. A big bowl of this filling soup and you’ll be toasty for hours. What’s even better? It’s ready in less than a half hour. Seriously. A food this delicious that’s also ready in about 25 minutes — you’re going to fall in love with this recipe. If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, you can usually find them in the pasta section at any well-stocked grocery store. They’re often vacuumed-packaged and sold next to the boxed pastas. They might also be in the frozen foods aisle near the ravioli and stuffed shells. So what are they? Confession, this description might be a bit biased because I LOVE gnocchi. They’re these pillowy puffs of pasta with a slightly chewy texture, never tough, always just the…