Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pasta Amore

You guys.

This pasta from Baroli is ahhhhmazing. It is one of the hands-down, most fresh-tasting pre-packaged pasta I have ever tried.

Forget the typical mashed-up mushroom "filling" you might find in other pastas. These little half-moons are chock full of huge bite-sized pieces of portobello and crimini mushrooms. Add to that the slightest flavorings of garlic and Italian cheeses, and goodness gracious, you could (and should) eat them with very little sauce or competing flavors, they are that richly delicious.

I have enjoyed this pasta in two different dishes so far, which I am going to share with you today. I am not even going to call them "recipes" because that would be cheating the very meaning of the word. Consider them flexible suggestions for weeknight meals :) They are also very budget-friendly recipes, so you can feel better about dropping $4 for a vacuum pack of pasta.

Pasta Y Broth (see how Italian I can be?)
Boil up a container of flavorful chicken broth (I like the new Progresso ones) and add in a few tablespoons of your favorite herbs. I used rosemary, Italian parsley and thyme, all of which I had in my freezer. Once boiling, add one or two containers (depending on how hungry your group is!) of the pasta, and 2 cups of frozen sweet peas. Bring back to a boil, and cook 3-4 minutes until pasta is heated through. Ladle into bowls and serve with shredded fresh parmesan and crusty bread.

Brown-Butter Pasta with Shellfish
Boil water for pasta. Prep your favorite shellfish -- scallops or shrimp are my favorite, and they are super quick to cook. Sear in pan with a tablespoon of oil, cooking on both sides until no longer translucent. Add pasta to the salted water. Meanwhile, melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. When it begins to foam up, keep an eye on it, because it will brown quickly. Remove from heat as it does and add a generous squeeze of lemon juice (about one half of a lemon). Drizzle sauce over pasta and fish. Serve immediately.