Monday, May 31, 2010

Quick Weeknight Meal: Pepper Pasta

I love being able to throw together a delicious meal with things that I have on with special ingredients that I don't have in the pantry drive me nuts, especially when I'm hungry.  This dish was born out of that frustration (or inspiration, if you will).  It's a flexible dish, meaning that if you don't have a green pepper on hand, then omit it.  Just use one red pepper.  Or you can use a jar of roasted red peppers instead.  Or you might want to add some more pepperoni (sometimes I do).  I think I've perfected it now, but if you try it and find something else to add that makes it even better, please let me know!

Pepper Pasta
(Courtesy of Kelly Oliver)

Olive oil
1/2 t. fennel, crushed
1 red pepper, chopped into medium pieces
1 green pepper, chopped into medium pieces
1/2 of a medium onion, chopped into small pieces
1 can diced tomatoes
20-25 thin slices of pepperoni (I use a pre-sliced brand), cut in halves
1/4 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. oregano
pepper, to taste
salt, to taste
fun-shaped pasta (fusilli, farfalle, penne, rotini, etc.), about a half a box
parmesan cheese, to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.  At the same time in a separate pot, heat 2 T. olive oil, adding crushed fennel.  Heat 1-2 minutes.  Add onion, red and green peppers, and saute 5-7 minutes or until softened.  (You may need to add more olive oil for sauteing the vegetables.)

Add diced tomatoes, pepperoni, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, basil, oregano, pepper and salt.  Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.

Stir cooked pasta into the sauce, mixing well.  (If you prefer having a saucier version, you might want to add another half of a can of diced tomatoes.)

Serve and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Eggstra Special Breakfast

One of my favorite ways to eat eggs as a child was when my mom added egg noodles to the scrambled eggs.  I'm not sure why but it was certainly always a treat!  I got to see my mom the other week when Chris and I visited Pittsburgh and somehow this dish came up in conversation.  So, of course, I went to the store this week and bought some egg noodles.  And yes, it was as good as I remembered.  Even better, Chris enjoyed this too!

Thanks, Mom, for passing along such a wonderful recipe and thanks for being such a great Mom!  I owe my love of cooking to you.

I have a lot of fun food finds from Pittsburgh that I'll share over the coming weeks.  Stay tuned.

Scrambled Eggs with Noodles
(Courtesy of Jean Walmsley, adapted by Kelly Oliver)

Serves: 2 hungry people

1 T. butter
1/4 cup diced onions
5 eggs
1/4 cup milk (I used skim.)
Garlic salt, to taste (I used roughly 1/4 t.)
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Dried parsley (I used roughly 1/2 t.)
1/4 cup shredded cheese like cheddar, monterey jack, etc.
1/4 to 1/2 cup egg noodles, cooked according to package directions

Heat frying pan to medium-low.  Melt the butter, and then add the onions, stirring occasionally and cooking about 5-7 minutes or until softened and translucent.  Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a bowl.  Add and stir in the milk, garlic salt, pepper, parsley and cheese.  Add egg mixture to the pan and stir regularly, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.  Carefully stir in noodles when the eggs are about halfway cooked.  Finish scrambling the eggs until done.  Serve and enjoy!

Note: You can always make scrambled eggs your way and just add the egg noodles.  The recipe above is completely adaptable.