Penne Rosa with Shrimp

  • 12 ounces pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes (about 1/2 lb.) chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • 10 ounces medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/3 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Cook penne according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet with a lid, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes, cook for 2 minutes or until garlic begins to soften.
  3. Add in mushrooms, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, or until mushrooms begin to release their water.
  4. Turn heat up to medium-high and add in shrimp. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and opaque. Remove from heat, add in spinach and cover skillet. Let spinach wilt for 2 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and place skillet back over low heat. Add the penne, Greek yogurt and pasta sauce. Stir until sauce is mixed well and all pasta and veggies are coated. Heat until just warmed through. Divide into pasta bowls and serve topped with parmesan cheese.

It made 4 large servings.

Spinach lasagna

  • Box of dried lasagna noodles
  • olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and very well drained
  • 1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 16 oz tomato sauce

Saute onions, mushrooms and garlic in olive oil.  Set aside to cool while combining ricotta, mozzarella, herbs, eggs and spinach.  Add onion/mushroom mixture.

Spread @ 1/2 c tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.  Then, add a layer of pasta noodles.  Spread a layer of the cheese mixture.  Layer more pasta sheets.  Spread the remaining cheese mixture.  Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the entire thing.

350ºF for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle Parmesan over the top and bake for 10 minutes longer.

Allow to cool for a while before serving.

This is a work in progress.

Fig and Walnut Spaghetti

A friend sent me an invitation to an email recipe exchange.  Those are the only kind of chain letters I participate in.  This is the response I got from one of the friends I included in my link of the chain.


This is because my tree is currently producing so many figs, I’ve had fig ice cream, fig bread, fig this, fig that. I’m sick of figs. Surprisingly, this fig recipe was good. I upped the wine to two cups, drinking one while I cooked…and I know it says goat cheese, but mozzarella would work just as well, I think.
Fig & Walnut Spaghetti
Serves 2

whole wheat spaghetti, for 2 persons
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup white wine
1 small lemon, juice and zest
1 big bunch of fresh spinach
125 g goat cheese
100 g walnut halves, roasted with salt in a dry pan or in the oven
5 fresh ripe figs, cut in quarters

Boil the spaghetti al dente, according to the instructions on the package, and set aside when done. Add olive oil to a large frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and let it sweat for about 30 seconds before adding 2/3 of the wine and the lemon juice. Stir around, add spinach and goat cheese while stirring (save a small piece of the goat cheese for later). Let it simmer for three minutes before adding the spaghetti and the roasted walnuts. Stir for 30 seconds, taste it and add salt if needed, make sure that the spaghetti is covered in the goat cheese/wine/lemon cream then turn off the heat. Add the figs and gently fold them into the pasta. Serve on a big plate or in a bowl with the rest of the goat cheese and lemon peel sprinkled over it.


1 lb. pasta (half cooked)

2 chopped onions

½ lb. chopped mushrooms

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1½ lb. lean meat

1½ c. shredded mozzarella

1 c, bread crumbs

1 egg, slightly beaten

1½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. oregano

¼ tsp. pepper

3-4 c. tomato sauce

1 c. grated Parmesan


Cook onions and garlic in olive oil.  Wilt in mushrooms.

Combine with meat, bread crumbs, mozzarella, egg and seasonings.

Stuff the shells with the mixture.

Put a little tomoato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish to keep pasta from sticking.  Layer in stuffed pasta.  Pour tomato sauce on top.  Sprinkle on Parmesan

Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes.


I prefer to use large shells instead of manicotti.  I find it easier to fill and easier to adjust portion sizes.


The original recipe came from The New York Times Cookbook


Greek Mac-n-cheese

from my friend, Carolyn
4 oz crumbled feta 
1 small onion
1 bag fresh spinach 
8 oz button mushrooms
1 to 1 ½ cup chicken broth 
½ cup orzo
1 chicken breast/person
½ cup white wine
1 ½ tablespoon oregano 
½ teaspoon pepper
Toasted pine nuts 
2 tablespoons olive oil


Sauté chicken , onions, and mushrooms in olive oil. Add broth, wine, oregano, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and add orzo. When the orzo is cooked, add spinach; cook until the spinach is soft. If there is a lot of liquid left, simmer until it is mostly gone. Stir in feta. Top with a few feta crumbles and toasted pine nuts.

WSM Spicy Szechuan Noodles

This is one of my very favorite things on the salad bar at Weaver Street Market.  I’m writing the ingredients here to hold until I get around to figuring out proportions.

capellini pasta
green onion 
soy sauce
ground mustard
black pepper

I think soy sauce AND salt sounds redundant.  I expect I’ll end up leaving one of them out.

Sauce from fresh tomatoes

Our romas are coming in and I have never put up tomatoes, nor have I ever made sauce from fresh, only from canned. So, tonight was a wild experiment that worked.

Chuck brought a food processor to this kitchen when he moved in here, not a tool I have ever been comfortable with. But, he suggested getting the tomatoes started with it and I did, in spite of my reservations.

I chopped somewhere between 3-4 cups of tomatoes. Dumped them in my favorite sauce pot at medium and a half. When they started to bubble, I turned the heat down to a hair above medium.

I gave a little stir, periodically, to keep it from sticking. It didn’t seem to want to stick, but I didn’t trust it.

When I had lost about an inch and a quarter of water, I added I added a heaping cream soup spoon (probably 2 Tbsp) of chopped garlic. (Yes, I am so lazy that I buy it in a jar.)

I cooked down another half inch and started the pasta.

When the pasta was 2 minutes from done, I added @ ¼ c. of olive oil.  I lost another ¼” or so of water as the pasta cooked. It was the consistency I expect from canned/stewed tomatoes when the pasta was ready.

I poured the water off the pasta and tossed a BIG handful of slivered basil (also from our garden) into the tomatoes.  I didn’t bother with any of the dried herbs I had available because I figured the basil with overpower them.  Tossed it all together and served it with grated Parmesan.

This took about 45 minutes.