Beef Cavatappi

This one I made for my man and he absolutely loves it! Even though it makes a massive batch there’s always just enough left over for lunches the next day. I make it almost every week not only because he loves it but also because it’s cheap, fast and it’s a one pot meal so that means almost no dishes! What else can you ask for when you don’t feel like doing a whole heck of a lot? 

  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 4 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbs chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmesan 
  • 1 1/2 tbs dried oregano
  • 2 tsps dried basil
  • 1 tbs flour + 2 tbs water
  • 1 tbs butter 
  • 7 cups cooked Cavatappi pasta  (Appx 4 cups dry pasta)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Grated cheese to taste (optional)
  1. In a large pot melt butter and cook the ground beef, onions, garlic, oregano and basil together until the ground beef is fully cooked. 
  2. Add the tomato sauce and parmesan and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat and mix in the cooked pasta.
  4. Mix your flour and water together and slowly pour and mix in until your desired consistency is achieved.
  5. If you wish, add some grated cheese and broil on high for extra goodness 👌

Creamy Cajun Chicken & Pasta

Okay, tonight supper was great! Spicy, creamy, rich and full of flavor, I made this dish when I first started dating my main village man 4 years ago. I made it around the same time I started making Chicken Lazone, only I some how forgot about it and haven’t made it since….until today!! I was pondering what meals I should make over the next 2 weeks and I was drawing blanks. Normally the hard part of making my 2 week meal plan is deciding what dishes to axe. But perhaps if it wasn’t such a struggle today I wouldn’t have come across the memory of the first time I made this. I decided it had to happen to night and yeah, it was truly as good as we remembered. The only thing I will be changing down the road is the Cajun Seasoning…I used to have a wicked recipe and alas I cannot find it anymore…so I used Hy’s Cajun Seasoning. This will get updated when I make a batch actually worth sharing 😊

  • 1/2 cup yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, chopped 
  • 1/2 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1 tbs garlic, chopped
  • 3 chicken breasts, cut into bit sized pieces
  • 2 cup coffee cream 
  • 2 tbs parmesan 
  • 2 1/2 tbs oil
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 4-5 tbs Cajun Seasoning 
  • 1 500g package linguine or fettuccine, cooked

**Note** Using a large sauce pan with a wide surface area is best for this recipe. The more narrow your pot, the deeper the cream will, be which will make the cream take longer to thicken

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix 1 1/2 tbs of oil with 1 1/2 tbs of Cajun Seasoning.
  2. Mix in the chicken breast chunks, bell pepper, onions and garlic. Mix until evenly coated.
  3. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter with oil. Add chicken and veggie mix and cook for 10 minutes, chicken should be almost cooked.
  4. Add cream and stir. 
  5. Once cream begins to simmer you will want to start stirring occasionally. 
  6. After 10 minutes the sauce should be a bit thicker, add the parmesan and then start adding cajun seasoning a tablespoon at a time, having a taste here and there (using a clean spoon because double dipping isn’t cool!) until you reached the amount of Cajun-y goodness you enjoy. Continue stirring. 
  7. The sauce will need to simmer for about 20-30 minutes. You want it to have the same consistency as an Alfredo sauce, thick enough to coat and stick to a spoon. It will get thicker as it cools. 
  8. Once your sauce is thick and flavorful you will want to add the fresh chopped tomatoes and mix.
  9. Begin adding and mixing pasta in small portions. You should have enough sauce to coat all the noodles in the pack unless you like a little more sauce add less noodles. Adding the pasta in portion allows you to ensure you don’t have more pasta then sauce. That always sucks.

Enjoy!!

Spinach & Cheese Stuffed Rigatoni 

Spinach  & Ricotta Cheese Filling

  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/4 cup grated asiago  (or more parmesan)
  • 1 tsp ground fennel seed
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 cups spinach, finely  chopped
  • 2 tbs fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/2 cup onion, minced
  •  2 tbs garlic, minced
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 batch Fire Roasted Marinara or 6 cups of your preferred marinara
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups grated Italian or mozzarella cheese
  • 1 500 gram box of uncooked rigatoni

Quick Note All uncooked noodles are “oven ready” whether they say it on the box or not. Just grab whatever kind of Rigatoni brand you use. The extra chicken broth added to the marinara will cook the pasta in the oven saving you the extra step of boiling the noodles. Stuffing and nixing is also easier with hard pasta then cooked.

  1. In a medium sized pan heat oil and butter over medium heat. Cook the spinach, onions and garlic for 3-5 minutes or until onions are tender and spinach is wilted. Allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl combine the cooled spinach mix with the remaining cheese filling ingredients and mix until combined.
  3. Stuff the cheese mix into an icing bag with no tip.
  4. One at a time begin piping the cheese filling into each  uncooked rigatoni noodle and place into your casserole dish. There should be enough cheese for pretty much all the noodles, give or take a few. This can take 45 minutes so I watched a show while stuffing 😊
  5. Preheat oven to °350
  6. Once the noodles and filling are done, mix the marinara and chicken broth together and pour over the noodles.
  7. Gently stir the pasta to even everything out and ensure even coating.
  8. Cover with tin foil and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  9. Remove tin foil and cover evenly with cheese.
  10. Broil until cheese is melted and just starts to brown.

Chicken Lazone

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Cream sauces. The Dude and I LOVE  cream sauces. It’s hard not to eat them more often then we should. This one really takes the cake for a quick and easy weeknight dinner that will have you going back for more.

 

  • 4 tbs Lazone Seasoning
  • 2 pounds chicken breast, cubed into bit sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter + 1 tbs oil
  • 2 cups heavy cream ( I prefer coffee cream )
  • 250 grams cooked pasta ( if your frugal like me and you have left over pasta you just can’t bare to toss, throw it in a ziploc bag, push all the air out and freeze it. When you need it again all you have to do is soak it in hot water for a couple minutes and it’s done! )

 

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix the cubed chicken and 2 tbs of Lazone Seasoning at least an hour before cooking. If your in a rush it’s not mandatory and it will still be lip smacking good!
  2. In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat melt the butter & the oil. Cook the chicken until no pink is left in the middle, about 8 minutes. Don’t worry about the seasoning sticking to the pan. That will release when the cream gets added and will become a big part of flavoring the sauce.
  3. Once cooked lower the heat and add the cream into the pan and simmer stirring often for about 5-7 minutes or until your sauce thickens up. If it’s taking longer than you think it should don’t be afraid to turn the heat up and don’t worry it will become thick. And keep in mind  that cream sauces always appear runnier then they will be once they begin to cool off.
  4. Once the sauce has thickened add thr remaining 2 1/2 tbs of seasoning and salt to taste and stir till well combined. Remove the pan from the heat. From here I like to toss it with the pasta in a large bowl before it cools off too much and becomes thicker. Allow it to sit for about 5 minutes before dishing up.