Category Archives: Pasta

Beef Stroganoff

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff by A Year of Slow Cooking


  • 2-3 pounds beef stew meat (my meat was fresh)
  • 1 (10-ounce) container PHILADELPHIA Cooking Creme — savory garlic flavor
  • 2 sliced yellow onions
  • 1 pound mushrooms (sliced, or whole button)
  • 1 large sliced bell pepper
  • Cooked egg noodles


  1. Place the meat into the bottom of a 4 qt slow cooker. Add the cream and vegetables.
  2. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours, or until meat shreds easily with a fork. Stir well and serve over hot cooked pasta
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Crock Pot, Meat, Pasta


Pesto Spinach Lasagna

Pesto Spinach Lasagna by A Year of Slow Cooking
(with some healthy modifications) 


  • 1 (26-ounce) jar prepared pasta sauce
  • 6 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 1 (11-ounce) container pesto
  • 1 (12-ounce) package of soft tofu, crumbled up
  • 1 (12-ounce) bag baby spinach
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup water

The Directions

  1. Each layer will use 1/4 of the ingredients for a total of 4 layers.
  2. Use a 4 quart slow cooker. Add 1/2 cup of pasta sauce into the bottom of your cooker and swirl it around. Add a layer of uncooked, broken lasagna noodles. Add 1/4 of the tofu and pesto. Add a handful or two of baby spinach, and top with a layer of Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
  3. Repeat 3 more times until you’ve run out of ingredients. The spinach is fluffy, so you’re going to have to squish it down to make it all fit.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of water into the empty pasta sauce jar and close and shake. Pour this saucy water over the top of everything.
  5. Cover up and cook on low for 4-6 hours. You’ll know it’s done when the top layer begins to brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly. It will also pull a bit away from the sides. Taste-test a noodle to check texture.
  6. Uncover, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Spinach & Butternut Squash Lasagna

Spinach & Butternut Squash Lasagna
Cooking Light (found on with slight modifications)
Serves 6 to 8


  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup vidalia onion, diced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups (3/4-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 18 ounces of fresh spinach
  • 9 cooked lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup part-skim mozerella cheese


  1. Cook onion in 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt for 2 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat.
  2. Create a white sauce by mixing  1/4 cup of milk with the 1/4 of flour in a glass measuring cup and whisk well with a wire whisk. Add the reamining milk and whisk well. Slowly add the mixture to the pan until the mixture is smooth, stirring constantly with a whisk.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and cook until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat. Cover surface of milk mixture with plastic wrap; set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°.
  4. Place squash in a large bowl. Add vinegar; toss to coat. Add 1 tablespoon oil; toss to coat. Arrange squash in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper,  and sage. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
  5. While cooking, combine remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, red pepper, and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium heat; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add spinach, 1 bag at a time; cook until wilted, stirring frequently. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently.
  6. Mix the cheese together in a bowl. Spoon 1/3 cup milk mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over milk mixture; top with spinach mixture, 2/3 cup milk mixture, 1/2 cup cheese. Arrange 3 noodles over cheese; top with squash mixture, 2/3 cup milk mixture, remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Arrange remaining 3 noodles on top of cheese; spread remaining 1/2 cup milk mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
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Posted by on November 28, 2010 in Favorites, Italian, Pasta


Savory Pumpkin Pasta

It’s that time of year when chili, soup, pumpkin, apples, cranberries, and chocolate are in season. I have wanted to try pumpkin pasta recipes for the past few years but have been a little scared to. In my mind, pumpkin is a dessert food and I couldn’t fathom how it would taste. After seeing many recipes with 5-star reviews that sounded delicious, I decided it was time to step outside my comfort zone. I stumbled across GreenLiteBite’s Pasta with Pumpkin, Sausage, and Spinach recipe that sounded simple enough and decided to give it a try. I was also making soup and muffins at the same time, while trying to keep an eye on two cats who having been taunting each other all day, so I accidentally forgot to add the spinach…whoops! The dish is delicious and I only  made one minor change to the recipe to make the sauce creamier. Enjoy!

Pumpkin-Sage Pasta with Sweet Italian Sausage
by GreenLiteBites

  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 package of sweet Italian turkey sausage (I used Jennie-O)
  • 15oz chicken broth
  • 15oz can of pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup of non-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 TBSP fresh sage, shredded
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp  salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 8 oz pasta
  • About 1/3 of a bag of fresh baby spinach leaves (I left this out on accident but will keep it in the recipe in case you’d like to add it in)
  1. Cut the sausage into 1″ discs. The original author recommends freezing these a bit to make the easier to cut. Mine were fresh and were a little messy to cut but still worked.
  2. Prepare pasta per package instructions.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage with the onion and garlic in 1 tsp olive oil.
  4. Once brown, drain off the liquid fat – there will be quite a bit so I strongly recommend doing this (if your turkey sausages don’t have much fat this might not be necessary.
  5. *If you would like to add spinach, I would recommend adding it now. Cook until just wilted.
  6. Place sausage mixture in a very large dish. Add pasta to dish once finished.
  7. Return the pan to the stove and add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil.
  8. Lower to medium heat and add the pumpkin, yogurt, sage, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir to combine everything. Keep on medium until the sauce begins to boil again then lower to a simmer.
  9. Place hot mixture in a food processor and puree until smooth. Food processors can only handle so much liquid at once, so I did the sauce in three parts. After each part is finished, pour over pasta and sausage.
  10. The original author suggests serving with a sprinkle of parmesan!
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Posted by on November 14, 2010 in Favorites, Meat, Pasta, Pumpkin


Super Simple Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

This is a pasta salad that everyone who has ever eaten it has loved! Even those people who never eat vegetables.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

– 1 cup dry elbow or shell pasta (preferably whole wheat so it holds a little firmness with the salad dressing.
– Kraft Sun-dried Tomato Salad Dressing
– Feta cheese (if you buy the brick, crumble it with a fork)
– Grape or Cherry tomatoes (halved)
– Broccoli (chopped)
– Red onions (diced – you can saute them with some olive oil add some flavor while reducing the potent onion taste)
– Seedless cucumbers (sliced into 4 long pieces by cutting lengthwise and then diced)
– Red pepper (diced)
– Green pepper (diced)

*You’ll notice there are no measurements for vegetables. You can use however much your heart desires! I usually use about 1 pint of tomatoes, 1 small onion, 1 crown of broccoli, 1 large cucumber, and 1 of each type of pepper. Feel free to add any other vegetables that you enjoy.


  1. Prepare the pasta. A quick and energy-efficient way to do this is to place a pot of water on the stove with a lid and turn on high heat. Once the water is boiling, remove the lid, add the pasta, stir once, replace the lid, and turn off the heat. Let sit for 7-10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl combine the vegetables and pasta and mix well. Add about 1/4 to 1/3 of the salad dressing bottle and mix well. Add about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of feta cheese and stir well.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving for the best flavor.

Quick Whole Wheat Lasagna – is it possible??

I definitely doubted it. How could lasagna ever be quick; especially the kind made with whole wheat noodles? Normally a pan of lasagna takes me at least 45 minutes to prep. When you boil whole wheat noodles, I usually do 3 at a time and each pot takes 8 minutes or to get just soft enough. If there is meat in the lasagna, it needs to be browned. To maximize flavor, I usually saute the vegetables first as well. Needless to say it is a wonderful afternoon in the kitchen if I am in the mood to cook, but is a hassle when I’m crunched for time…until now.

I was reading my monthly Food and Family when I saw a recipe for slow cooker lasagna. I had heard of it before, but had never tried it. Life has been busier than ever lately, so I figured, why not? The results – amazing!! It tastes like something from a restaurant and took a total of 15 minutes to prep the night before! I don’t know if I will ever go back to the traditional method!

Slow Cooker Lasagna
From Kraft Food and Family


  • 20 ounces ground turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 6-8 whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken to fit the crock pot
  • 1 jar spaghetti
  • 1 cup of water
  • Garlic, per your preference
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Any vegetables you like!


  1. Brown the ground turkey with the diced onion. Remove from heat.
  2. Add the spaghetti sauce, garlic, and one cup of water to the pan (I put the water into the spaghetti jar so that I could get all of the sauce out). Mix well. 
  3. Scoop 1 cup of sauce mixture into the 4 qt crock pot. Top with a layer of noodles.
  4. Top the noodles with sauce and cheese. Add more noodles and repeat until it is as high as you’d like. Be sure to end with sauce and cheese on top.
  5. Refrigerate overnight*. Cook on low 4-6 hours.

*I refrigerated it, but it isn’t necessary. The original recipe calls for plain white noodles, so it is possible that if you don’t refrigerate it you will need to cook it for longer than you would if you had let it soak overnight.

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Posted by on October 12, 2009 in Crock Pot, Favorites, Pasta


Gyro Pasta

A few weeks ago we had a wedding reception for my brother, Joey, who got married in May down in Texas. He is in the army and is stationed in El Paso, TX. The family came up to meet our family and it was a wonderful time. My dad rediscovered gyros a few years ago when he found a gyro shop in downtown Appleton, WI called Gyro Kabob. It is a delicious little restaurant with authentic gyros, greasy fries, and cheap prices. Even my mom, who is a little picky when it comes to what she likes to eat, thinks it is amazing. Needless to say Joey’s wedding reception was the perfect excuse for my parents to introduce the rest of our family and our new Texan relatives to Gyro Kabob.

The gyros were a hit – so popular we ran out of pita bread! This left us with a few bags of gyro meat. Jason and I were lucky enough to bring some back with us. I recently defrosted some of the meat and made this pasta dish with it. Jason has devoured most all of it in the past few days. Since gyro meat is just shaved and seasoned lamb meat, you could use lamb or beef in this recipe.

– Spaghetti Noodles
– 3 cups shaved gyro meat
– 1 onion, diced
– 2 cups green beans, chunked
– 2 whole carrots, sliced
– Garlic-herb infused oil*
– Feta cheese, crumbled**

1. Cook the noodles as directed. Make at least 3 servings per package directions.
2. In a large skillet heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the carrots and green beans and cook until the carrots are bright orange.
3. Add the gyro meat and top with about 1/4 cup oil.*** Add the pasta to the skillet, and stir well. Simmer for 3-5 minutes with the lid on. Serve warm with feta cheese.

*I made this a few months ago with dried garlic, basil, and oregano. Just throw the dried herbs in a sealed container of oil and let sit for a few hours before using. If you don’t have this or want to make it, just use regular olive oil and add some garlic, basil, and oregano to the pan.

**Feta cheese usually comes in a chunk or crumbled. While the crumbled appears cheaper at first glance, it is usually twice as expensive when you look at the ounce price. Go for the chunk of feta and crumble it on your own to get more bang for your buck.

***It is not necessary to use this much oil, but I used it in place of sauce. 1/4 cup is 3 TBSP, so together this dish has 1 TBSP oil per serving

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Posted by on August 4, 2009 in left overs, Meat, Pasta