Posts Tagged ‘pasta’
Somewhere down the road, pasta became a comfort food in our house. It’s quick, easy, and a delicious treat. Pasta was the first “real food” my kids had when they were itty bitty, because of the texture and taste. Like most moms, I have pictures of my kids absolutely covered head to toe in strings of pasta with bowls on top their heads. Yeah. We love pasta.
Angel hair pasta is one of our absolute favorites, and this recipe really can’t get much simpler. In my college days I was obsessed with Rice-o-Roni boxed meals. Garlic and butter angel hair was the one I bought the most. When I started my family, those boxes weren’t nearly enough to feed everyone, even as a side. It didn’t take me long to figure out a homemade solution that DOES feed everyone with plenty to spare.
This pasta recipe makes use of staples you probably have on hand. It also only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.
Last week on a grocery trip, I was all kinds of tickled when I saw the free sample people hanging out around the store. It’s always fun finding new foods. Plus I was seriously starving.
Our local food store chain has been putting a huge emphasis on cooking classes and giving away recipes, most likely in attempts to save people from the McDonalds and Burger Kings. I’m loving this new “marketing tactic”, since it’s giving me new ideas for supper. One of the tables had samples of this recipe, which I totally had to try at home…
Beef, Pasta, and Artichoke Toss with Balsamic Vinaigrette
1 1/2 lbs sirloin steak, cut 1-inch thick
4 cups uncooked tri-colored rotini (spiral-shaped) pasta
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
1 large red bell pepper, cut into Julienne strips
1 cup small pitted ripe olives, optional
1 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1. Grill steak over medium-high heat until desired doneness is reached. Let stand for 10 minutes.
2. Trim fat from steak. Cut steak lengthwise in half and then crosswise into thin slices.
3. Cook pasta.
4. In large bowl, combine beef, pasta, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, olives, and fresh basil. Mix lightly.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients. Pour over beef and pasta, tossing lightly to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight if desired before serving.
Unfortunately, my family is picky. Peppers and artichokes are a big no-no if I’m making supper for everyone. I could have just added them to my bowl, but that would have required a special trip to the store since all I had was the pasta, steak, and balsamic vinegar. Sadly it just wasn’t the same as the delicious pasta I had the other day.
I do encourage others to try it out, but ONLY if you can get away with the very visible veggies. I’ll have to waite until a family gathering to make this dish again.
This might not be the “official” recipe, but it’s how we did it. 😉
What you’ll need:
– Spaghetti Sauce (we used Ragu, hurray for cheating!)
– Thin Spaghetti pasta
– Hard Taco Shells
– 1lb Hamburger
– 6-7 Saltine Crackers
– 1 Egg
– Onion Powder
– Minced Garlic
– Salt & Pepper
To make the meatballs, mix ingredients together (about a tablespoon of each of your spices, we never measure these things, it makes it more fun!). Roll into walnut-sized balls, and drop into a pan of grease at medium high heat. Stay close! The outside will cook very fast, and you’ll want to move the meatballs around to cook them all over. Literally a few seconds for each meatball. Then pop them in the oven for 15minutes at 350*.
After you cook your pasta and add sauce, you can pile the spaghetti directly into the taco shells, and add the meatballs on top or on the side. Yummy? Eh…the kids liked it at least!
Maybe it’s because of my upbringing, but I never could understand the concept of a meal in a box.
Once in a great while, I’ll wander down the “box dinner” section of the store, and pick up something that’s “super easy to make and ready in 30 mins or less”. However, I still have failed to see the real purpose of them, other than cleaver marketing.
We made a hamburger helper beef stroganoff only once. After having to cook the hamburger and add a few other ingredients, I stood scratching my head as to WHY I bought basically the pasta and seasoning in a pretty box when I could have spent the same amount of money (or less) and time doing it from scratch. (Which we have ever since – see our Hamburger Beef Stroganoff recipe here)
Just a month or two ago, I got curious again about the boxes. As you may already know, we have a bread machine that is used on a very regular basis. A box for a wheat bread mix jumped out at me in the store, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Again, I was quite disappointed as I had to add a few of my own ingredients and it was nothing really special (we’ve had better bread from our own recipe collection).
So what about you? Do you use box dinners at all, or are you like me and questioned their purposes?