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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 that 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…

25 mouthwatering facts you need to know about pizza

No matter how you slice it, Americans love pizza. We eat 23 pounds of the stuff every single year. We take down 350 slices every second. Calling pizza a staple of the American diet would be a huge understatement. But pizza’s powers waft beyond the borders of the US. Our cheese-laden love affair has also extended to the rest of the world. It’s cheesy, delicious, and available just about anywhere you go. In honor of National Pizza Week, here are 20 fun facts about everyone’s favorite dinner… and lunch… and breakfast (when cold). 1. Pizza didn’t gain popularity until the 1950s, but the word “pizza” actually dates back more than a thousand years. A manuscript from 997 A.D. found in the small Italian town Gaeta, is the first known documentation of the word, Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported. 2. The first documented pizzeria in the world was opened in Port’Alba, Naples. It…

Crispy Cheese Tortellini Appetizer with a kick

If I had to think of the one* recipe that I’ve been making my entire life, it would probably be these parmesan crusted tortellini bites. I’ve been making these since before I knew anything about food, and definitely before I cared even the slightest bit about cooking. So let me share this most delicious of all appetizers. These cheese tortellini are breaded and fried to crispy, golden perfection. Sprinkle them with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and dip them in warm marinara sauce. I call it an appetizer, but really, I never want to eat anything else when these are around. You can use a deep fryer, but I just stick with a deep pot. It can be a little tedious moving the little tortellini through all of the steps of breading and frying, but it’s worth it. I typically just settle in for the long haul, pop on some…

Slow cooker Italian chicken, peppers and onions

When I gave up eating sausage, I knew Italian sausage sandwiches would present a problem. I always loved coming home on a Sunday to the smell of that big simmering pot of spicy sauce and peppers. What I always knew though, was that the sausage, strangely, was my least favorite part. Sure, the meat added heartiness to the sandwich, but the flavor and the spice could be replicated in a healthier way with veggies and lean chicken as the centerpiece. If you’re trying to eat healthier, you have to try this easy slow cooker recipe. Just toss in all of the ingredients and forget about it until dinner time. The peppers and sauce are delicious, and the sprinkling of fennel seeds will trick your taste buds, just slightly, into thinking it’s the original sausage recipe. If you like foods really spicy, consider adding even more hot pepper liquid. If you like…

Eating this amount of pasta could add years on to your life

Carb lovers, rejoice! A new study suggests that eating pasta could help you live longer, while following low-carb diets such as Atkins could increase your risk of dying young. Scientists from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston analyzed data on 432,179 people and found that those who ate a “moderate” amount of carbs — about 50 to 55 percent of calories from carbohydrates like potatoes, pasta, and bread — could expect to live about four years longer. The findings were published in The Lancet Public Health journal. The study found that those who eat low-carb diets are more likely to have a lower intake of fresh fruit, vegetables, and healthy grains, and in their place, substitute more meat. This decrease in the variety of nutrients can lead to an increase in biological aging and a shortened lifespan. While low-carb diets like Atkins have fueled thinking that carbs are somehow bad…

Researchers find out how to break spaghetti in just two pieces

Unless you own an enormous pot (or you’re a true Italian), chances are you snap your spaghetti in two before tossing it into the boiling water. But unless you’re superhuman, when you break that pasta in half you’ve probably dealt with those tiny pieces of dried pasta breaking off and whizzing through the air. At some point you may have wondered why spaghetti doesn’t just simply snap in half, or if there is a better way to do so. https://youtu.be/QwCJDEt8GfE As it turns out, in 2006, a pair of scientists took to solving this kitchen dilemma. Essentially, what happens is that the dry noodle bends before it breaks. This extra power means that when it finally breaks, it does so with more power and the vibrations it sends back through the remaining pieces cause them to bend and break as well. The discovery won the scientists an Ig Nobel, but…

Royals aren’t allowed to eat garlic, Camilla confirms

If you love food, not being able to eat garlic would be tragic. But it’s one of the dietary changes self-proclaimed foodie Meghan Markle had to make when she married into the royal family. Rumors have swirled about a royal garlic restriction for years, but Prince Charles’ wife, Camilla Parker Bowles, confirmed the rule during an appearance on MasterChef Australia. “I hate to say this, but garlic. Garlic is a no-no,” she said when asked about foods banned from the family diet, reported AOL. “So garlic is a no-no?” asked one of the show’s judges. “Because you’re talking, chatting?” “Yes, exactly,” said Camila. “So you always have to lay off the garlic.” So there you have it. In case you felt like the royal life was one of too much privilege, image if you had to give up the garlic! But the good news for Markle is that this royal rule only…

Caprese Pizza recipe

This warm and crispy pizza combines two Italian favorites. You might find yourself wondering you ever want to eat anything else again. And try these other delicious, original takes on Caprese. Caprese Pizza Ingredients 1/2 cup cooked chicken, cubed 12 ounce store-bought pizza dough 1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes of varying colors, halved 2- tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided 2 cloves garlic, finely minced 1 tbsp cornmeal 3-4 ounces of fresh grated mozzarella cheese salt and pepper 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, sliced thin Directions Let pizza dough stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat broiler to high heat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes and 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss to coat. Spread tomatoes on baking sheet in a single layer. Broil about 10 minutes or until tomatoes begin to lightly brown. Place your pizza stone…

Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad

It’s finally that time of the year when you can introduce some lighter fare to your home cooked menu. Whether it’s lunch or dinner (or leftovers!), this Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad has all of the elements of a perfect summer meal. Just toss some bite-sized pasta and mini mozzarella, with fresh basil and tomatoes from the garden and add some chicken for some protein. Then drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It’s all the summer flavors you love, reconfigured as a quick and easy pasta salad. When you combine pasta and Caprese, could you ever go wrong? Caprese Chicken Pasta Salad Ingredients 2 cups pasta (any shape) 2 cups chicken, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces 2 cups mini mozzarella pearls 1 cup cherry tomatos, halved handful of fresh basil, chopped + extra for garnish 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsp white balsamic vinegar, or balsamic glaze salt pepper Directions Cook pasta until…