Pasta with Pumpkin Cream Sauce

pasta with pumpkin creme sauce diptych

This is one of those super simple dinners that started out as a vague idea and ended up as a complete masterpiece.

I went to the store knowing only that I wanted to make something with pasta and canned pumpkin. I picked up a few basic ingredients like broth and arugula and a few new-to-me items like grana padano, a hard, nutty cheese that’s a little milder than parmisiano reggiano, and perciatelli, a delightfully squishy pasta that’s like bucatini’s thinner cousin, and started playing. The result was a quick (20 minutes, most of which is spent waiting for water to boil) dinner that’s perfect as a satisfying dinner for one, a romantic dinner for two, or a crowd pleaser for an impromptu dinner party.

Turkey, Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

Turkey and Spinach Lasagna from Healthy. Delicious.

Lasagna is sacred in our house. We make it every year for Christmas Eve, using Shawn’s “secret recipe.” It’s expensive and fattening and totally the kind of thing that you only make once a year. Until last week, it was also the only lasagna Shawn will touch – you should have seen the look on his face when I tried to use slices of eggplant instead of noodles for some of the layers a few years ago. I was scared that there might be mutiny.

But I finally did it! After years of trying, I made a healthier lasagna that not only met his approval, but also had us fighting over the leftovers

Chicken and Spinach Shells with Feta Sauce

chicken spinach feta shells-2

Roasting chicken has become my latest Sunday tradition. Ever since I made one with lemon and za’atar a few weeks ago, I’ve been hooked! Unfortunatly, while I love the whole chicken/starch/vegetable meal the first night I don’t really love it as leftovers. Salads get boring, so I’ve been trying to come up with new ways to use leftover roast chicken. (Although it is tempting to just make flautas every. single. time.)

I’ve been meaning to make stuffed shells with cream sauce for a while now… I think I saw a picture when I was flipping through an issue of Everyday Food back in February, and I haven’t been able to get the idea out of my head. Well, I finally got around to making them and all I can say if oh my god these are delicious!

Greek Pasta with Feta and Shrimp

greek pasta with shrimp-3

Lipman Produce recently asked eleven bloggers to create a recipe for their new consumer web site, Lipman Kitchen. Lipman is a family-owned company that’s been around since the 1930′s but, until now, their tomatoes never had a “brand” associated with them. They’re actually North America’s largest growers of field tomatoes, so there’s a good chance that you’ve eaten their tomatoes without knowing it!

It’s funny, but other than looking to see if produce at the grocery store is local or not, I’ve never really considered where it comes from or who grew it. It never occurred to me that all of the tomatoes on the shelf might not have come from the same place (unlike say, in the meat section where I know the pork all comes from the same major producer unless the label indicates otherwise). Now, with their consumer launch, Lipman tomatoes in the Northeast and in South Florida will be identified with signs, stickers, and packaging. While I’m not sure how I feel about branding produce, I like that it made me think about where it comes from.

Oven Toasted Ravioli

toasted ravioli screen

Have you ever had toasted/fried ravioli before? I don’t see it on menus very often, but it’s sometimes offered as an appetizer at Italian restaurants or pizzerias. And it’s amazing. (Then again, it’s deep fried pasta filled with cheese. Of course it’s awesome!) When I came home to find a shipment of Monterey Gourmet Foods™ ravioli and pesto to play with, it took me about 2 seconds to decide what I wanted to do with it. This oven-toasted ravioli does away with the guilt that goes along with fried food, and it swaps out the lighter flavors of roast chicken and pesto for the more traditional garlic and marinara.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese with Stewed Tomato

stovetop mac and cheese

Last month, The Laughing Cow asked me if I would be interested in trying a lower-calorie version of a comfort food, featuring their cheese. I’ve kept Laughing Cow in my refrigerator ever since being introduced to it by my high school French teacher (back when it was called “la vache qui rit”) but I’ve never tried cooking with it so, intrigued, I agreed. They sent me the recipe and ingredients to make their creamy stovetop macaroni and cheese, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.

It’s no secret that I have a soft spot for macaroni and cheese, especially when it has a gourmet twist.