Tag Archives: spaghetti

Creamy Pumpkin & Sage Bacon Alfredo

Call me “basic” but come Fall, I sure do love me some pumpkin!  Now I’m not fully crazy, as in pumpkin spice coffee every morning, noon and night crazy.  I do, however, like to use the orange offspring of squash in more creative ways.  Todays “way” is in the form of pasta!

To convince my family my idea was some sort of genius, I also used 2 of the tastiest key words in describing our future dinner, “alfredo” and “bacon”…Yep, that got their attention!

Now sure, this is after all Alfredo so it does contain a bit of cheese, but it’s actually not all that artery clogging and indulgent as you may think.  For one, I used less than 1 cup of parmesan cheese, mainly for the saltiness it brings.  I substituted the heavy cream for it’s lighter cousin, half & half, and if you want to lessen the saturated fat of butter, feel free to use Tresomega Nutrition cold pressed coconut oil!  Plus, lets not forget the health benefits of the sneaked in pureed pumpkin!

Now honestly, this sauce is fantastic on any pasta or fluffy gnocchi of your choice, it would be good on a shoe for that matter.  Though for my gluten free friends, I highly recommend the new GF pasta made by my buddies at Tresomega Nutrition!  It contains no wheat nor corn and is made with organic rice, quinoa and amaranth which keeps that same bite and color of your traditional pasta noodles.  It also doesn’t fall apart when cooked like most of its counterparts!  I’m fully a fan!

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You can also purchase the Tresomega Nutrition brand at:

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The Starting Lineup

  • 1lb of your preferred pasta or gnocchi (Tresomega Gluten Free recommended)
  • 8 strips bacon, grease reserved, divided
  • 2 Tbsp butter or Tresomega cold pressed coconut oil
  • 12 sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 cups half & half (16oz)
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tsp each kosher salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup pasta cooking water (optional to thin sauce)
PP1

I tried this recipe with both pasta noodles and gnocchi and BOTH are delish!

Begin this Fall-inspired pasta by chopping, grating and mincing your bacon, onion, garlic and parmesan cheese.

In a large skillet on medium heat, crisp up your bacon.  Once done, transfer with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined dish and set aside while keeping the bacon grease in the skillet.  *There should be about 2 Tbsp of grease.

To that same pre-greased skillet, add to it either the butter or cold pressed coconut oil along with the chopped onions and sauté, about 7-8 minutes.  Turn down to medium-low and then add in the garlic and sage and cook for another 1-2 minutes.  Careful not to burn the garlic, but to slightly crisp up the sage.

**Here you can boil a large stockpot of salted water to a boil and add in your pasta of choice and cook to package directions.

Once the veggie medley is finished (smells gooooood huh?!), you will add in the pumpkin puree while whisking in the half & half to form a creamy consistency.  Next, whisk in the grated parmesan cheese, crisped sage leaves, 1/2 of the cooked bacon, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Cook over low heat till combined and then add in your perfectly cooked pasta.  ***You can also add in the 1/4 cup of pasta water if you’d like a thinner consistency.

Serve warm, with the other 1/2 of cooked, chopped bacon sprinkled overtop, a bit more parmesan and sage leaves if desired.  Enjoy!

PP5

Baked Spaghetti Pie

Back when we lived in hot and sunny Arizona, we would frequent a certain Italian food joint that was close to our home.  However, it wasn’t the close proximity that made us end up there, it was my husband’s love for their Baked Spaghetti that brought us.

Fast forward years and years and he still spoke of it…so I began to give it a whirl!  With much success, I give you my version which in using a spring form pan, gives many ooh’s & ah’s at dinnertime!  Looks quite impressive for such an easy recipe!

*If you do not have a spring-form, this recipe works just as well in a casserole dish or deep dish pie pan! 🙂

**Feel free to add in/change ingredients to suit your tastes and what you may have in your pantry and fridge!  I.e. Italian sausage, mushrooms, bell peppers, different cheeses, maybe no meat at all!

The Starting Lineup

  • 16oz spaghetti noodles (boiled 8-9 minutes/drained)
  • 24-32oz jar marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 container ricotta cheese
  • 2-3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, shredded/grated
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Fresh basil, torn (optional garnish)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees.  Bring a stock pot of salted water to a boil (for the noodles) while you have a large skillet browning the ground beef with the chopped onions, minced garlic and olive oil.  *Feel free to add a pinch of salt and Italian seasonings of your choice if desired.

Once the noodles have finished (slightly under cook them at about 8-9 minutes, as they’ll finish in the oven), drain and toss in a large bowl with the beaten eggs, parmesan cheese and teaspoon of Italian seasoning.  Set aside.

As the ground beef becomes browned, pour in the marinara sauce of your choosing and stir together.

Now I used a lightly greased 10″ Spring-form pan for this (what you would typically make a cheesecake in), however, you can also use a deep dish pie tin, a 2-quart casserole dish, etc.  Just make sure to spray with a bit of non-stick.  **With the spring-form pan, I wrapped the bottom in foil just to ensure no leakage, which I didn’t have anyway.

First layer in the egg coated noodles and then top with dollops of the ricotta cheese.  Pour the meaty red sauce overtop, finally topping with the shredded mozzarella cheese.   Place your prepared spaghetti pie, covered, into the oven for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil cover and let bake another 10 minutes.

Once finished baking allow to rest for a good 5 minutes before slicing into.  If desired, top with a bit more parmesan cheese and freshly torn basil.  Enjoy!

BSP2

 

Bacon Bolognese

This is quite likely the best bolognese this side of… well, somewhere..  It has bacon in it, yes, bacon!  Which is actually quite authentic of bolognese recipes.

It’s not enough of the pork delicacy to think you’re eating breakfast or a strange BLT, but just enough to add some smokiness and an underlying flavor to the dish.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1/2 package (6-8 strips) bacon
  • 8-12oz ground beef
  • 8-12oz ground pork
  • 28oz can of quality whole tomatoes, hand crushed
  • 1 cup chicken broth/stock
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup of Marsala or Sweet Vermouth
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lb spaghetti or tagliatelle noodles
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Parmesan, grated
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper

I always like everything in order before I begin cooking…and I mean everything.  So after I get all of my ingredients ready, I’ll then ‘prep’ the veggies, etc.  It makes for a much more efficient and clean kitchen.  I like things CLEAN! ✨

In a large Dutch oven, heat 1-2Tbsp of EVOO over med-high heat.  Once oil is hot, add in your carrots, onion and bacon.  Cook till soft and onions start to look translucent.

This should take about 8-10 minutes.  Now add in your meats (pork & ground beef).   Season liberally with salt & pepper.  Cook with the bacon/veggie mixture for another 8-10 minutes,

Once meat is basically cooked through (this recipe will cook all day, meat will be done by day’s end), drain a bit of the ‘grease’ out.  You still want to maintain some of it though.  There’s a LOT of flavor there friend!  A LOT..

Next, add in your smashed up garlic cloves.  Let simmer about 1 minute and then deglaze your pan with your Marsala or Sweet Vermouth.  Pour in your wine and chicken stock here after you scraped up any brown bits while deglazing.

Next up, those glorious (San Marzano) tomatoes.  You’ll want to take your rings off here and literally hand crush these suckers straight into your meat and veggie mix.  *Take note: wear an apron and/or do your best to point these tomatoes towards the back wall and straight into your pot.  Tomato juice is no joke!

Stir together, bring to a boil and then cover this baby up while reducing heat to a simmer.  She’s going to sit, cook, marinate and smell your casa up good!!  Let cook down for a solid 4-6 hours.  It will thicken up over this time.image

Once you’re ready for dinner, cook noodles to 1-2 minutes UNDER package directions.  Do not drain the noodles, but add straight from boiling water to sauce filled pot.  *reserve some pasta water if your sauce needs thinned.  You can also add a cup of milk.  Sounds weird,  but it works and is wonderful.  Trust me.*. The noodles will continue to cook in your warm, aromatic sauce.

Garnish your Bacon Bolognese with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a glass of vino!

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