Tuesday, March 24, 2009

pizza pasta

I love the idea of pizza almost as much as the reality of it. It's easy. It's healthy {well, it can be}. And it feels like a party. I wanted to make something along these lines for dinner tonight, but I didn't have time to defrost the pizza dough (yes, we buy it in a frozen ball) nor the desire to make something so festive when Derek wouldn't be home with us to enjoy it. Instead, then, I made pizza pasta. It's easy, versatile and delicious! Just cook some pasta, drain it, then throw in some sauce and toppings of your choice. {Pizza toppings on a salad is also pretty yummy... but I'd skip the sauce and add some Ranch.} No need to follow my recipe to the T. It really is a super flexible dish. So roll up your sleeves, improvise and enjoy!

RECIPE: Pizza Pasta


2 c. pasta {I used mostaccioli.}
1/2 c. pepperoni slices, quartered
1/2 c. green bell pepper, diced
1 c. mushrooms, diced
1/4 c. olives (black, pitted & sliced)
1/4 c. diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. garlic powder (or to taste)
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper (or to taste)
2 tsp. pizza seasoning (or to taste)
1/2 tsp. oregano (or to taste)
parmesan/mozzarella cheese, shredded (optional)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Add all other ingredients, mix well. Warm on the stove (med-high heat) until all are heated through. Top with cheese if desired. Serve warm.

Monday, March 2, 2009

broccoli cheese risotto

I'm not sure if this qualifies as a risotto, but it's what I'm going to call it- for lack of a better name. It would also make a good casserole... just sprinkle some cheese on top and pop the whole thing in the oven for a bit, until the cheese is browned and bubbly. It's a great meal (or side dish) to make when you don't have much time and want to use up your leftover cooked rice from a previous dish. It's also great if you have a scrawny kid that you need to fatten up. ;)

RECIPE: Broccoli Cheese Risotto

2 c. broccoli
1/2 med. onion
3/4 c. water
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 c. rice, cooked
1 can cream of chicken/mushroom soup
1-2 c. chicken stock/broth
1/2-1/3 lb. sharp cheddar cheese
salt/pepper to taste

Dice broccoli and onion, toss into a saucepan with water and a bit of oil, over high heat*. Bring to a boil and reduce heat slightly. Cover and boil until soft. Add more water (or chicken stock) if needed. *{You could also roast the veggies, but I was short on time.}

Once veggies are soft, add in cooked rice, cream of chicken/mushroom soup, chicken stock and cheese. Stir frequently, mixing and melting over medium heat. Add salt/pepper to taste {I like lots of pepper... freshly ground, of course}. Serve warm and enjoy!