Pink Italian

Pink Italian

Say Goodbye to Spaghetti by Patrick Carpen

Are you finding that spaghetti night seems to be a getting a little dull? There are plenty of ways that you can still have "Italian" night without resorting to the same old spaghetti recipe. Italians are famous for their pasta recipes, and boy do they have a variety of them! 'So why limit yourself to one dish when there are hundreds to choose from? This article features a few easy pasta recipes that will bring a little flair to your former spaghetti night.


12 lasagna noodles
1 lb Italian sausage
3/4 lb lean ground beef
16 oz ricotta cheese
3/4 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6.5 oz) cans tomato puree sauce
2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
1/2 cup minced onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white sugar

1. In a Dutch oven, brown the beef, sausage, garlic, and onion over medium heat. Add tomato products (crushed tomatoes, sauce, paste) and water. Add the sugar, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, basil, 1 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp parsley, and pepper. Cover the pot and simmer for about an hour and a half, stirring as needed.

2. To cook the lasagna noodles, bring a large pot of water to boil. Place the noodles in and cook for about 10 minutes. When they're done, drain and rinse with cool water. In a bowl, combine the egg, ricotta, 1/2 tsp salt, and the remaining parsley.

3. In a casserole dish (preferably 9 x 13), spread about 1 1/2 cups of the meat sauce over the bottom. Place 6 lasagna noodles on top of the sauce. Spread with one half of the cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Repeat. Top off with remaining cheeses. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Make a tent of foil over the dish (spray the inside of the foil with cooking spray if there's any chance of the lasagna sticking).

4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 25 minutes. Cool for about 20 minutes before serving.

Sausage Soup (with Tortellini)

1 pound sweet Italian sausage meat
8 ounces fresh tortellini pasta
5 cups beef broth
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
4 large peeled and chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tablespoon packed fresh basil leaves

1. Brown sausage in a large Dutch oven. Remove sausage and drain, but keep about 1 tbsp of the drippings.

2. In the Dutch oven, sauté onions and garlic in drippings. Add in the wine, beef broth, water, tomatoes, tomato sauce, carrots, basil, oregano, and sausage. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer without lid for about half an hour.

3. With a large spoon, skim the fat from the soup. Add in the zucchini and parsley. Simmer covered for another half hour. Add the tortellini during the last 10 minutes of simmering. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

Shrimp Alfredo

8 oz penne pasta
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 (16 oz) jar Alfredo sauce
1/2 cup cream
1/4 cup butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
1/2 pound Portobello mushrooms, diced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook the pasta: bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for about 10 minutes. Drain.

2. In a saucepan, melt the butter and olive oil together over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic, mushroom, and red pepper. Cook this over a medium-high heat for about 2 minutes.

3. Add the shrimp and cook thoroughly (should turn firm and pink in color). Add the Alfredo, Romano cheese, and the cream. Simmer while stirring continuously for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Add cayenne, salt, and pepper to taste. Add the penne pasta to the sauce, stir well, and serve with sprinkled parsley.

With these three great Italian recipes, you can forget about spaghetti night and welcome "Italian night" with open arms (or an open belly!).

If you're looking for recipes, take a look at the Platinum Recipes Collection.
The Platinum Recipes Collection is the Internet's Most Comprehensive Recipes Collection.

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