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PASTA RECIPES with Minimum Fuss
Fastest Cooking of Plain Pasta
You do not have to cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Try this instead:
Place your pasta in a cooking pot.
Cover the pasta with cold water. Add a dash of olive oil to reduce foaming.
Stir once, gently, and turn the heat on medium low.
Cover the pot. When the water is about to boil, the pasta will be al dente.
Do NOT stir the pasta while cooking!
Olde English Cheese Macaroni
- Boil until al dente: 8 ounces elbow macaroni.
- Drain the noodles and combine them with 2 T cheese and 1/2 pound grated or shredded Longhorn or Cheddar cheese.
- In a separate bowl, combine the following 7 ingredients:
- 1 7-ounce can light beer;
- 1 t seasoned salt;
- 1 t sugar;
- 1/2 t Worcestershire;
- 1/4 t dry mustard;
- 1/4 t seasoned pepper;
- 1/8 t garlic powder;
- Pour over macaroni and cheese and mix well.
- Pour into shallow greased 1.5 quart baking dish.
- Mix 1/4 c bread crumbs with 1/2 t seasoned salt and sprinkle on top of the casserole.
- Sprinkle a handful of grated cheese on top and bake at 350 degrees until browned and bubbly, 30 - 45 minutes.
Swiss-Cheese and Macaroni Casserole
- Boil until al dente: 8 ounces macaroni.
- In a separate pan, create a white sauce:
- 1/4 c butter, melted;
- 1/4 c ww flour OR 2T cornstarch, blended in until smooth;
- 2 cups milk, stirred in and cooked until thickened.
- Season to taste with seasoned salt and pepper.
- Coarsely chop 1 c unsalted raw cahsew or other nuts.
- Grate 8 oz of swiss cheese.
- Alternate layers of macaroni, nuts and shredded cheese in a shallow 1.5 quart baking dish.
- Pour sauce over top.
- Mix 1/2 c soft whole-wheat bread crumbs with 1 T melted butter and 1 T poppy seed. Sprinkle this crumb mixture on top of casserole.
- Bake in hot oven (400 degrees) about 20 minutes.
Baked Cheese Marcaroni
- Boil until al dente: One pound mixed dried pasta (rotini, elbows, broken spaghetti).
- In a blender:
- 1 lb cubed cheese: cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, Gruyere. Fantastic if you mix different types.
- 1 c milk
- 6 x-large eggs
- 1 t salt
- spices as desired: paprika, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic.
- In a greased casserole, layer pasta and cheese mixture, then stir.
- Cook UNCOVERED in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until cheese "custard" is firm.
Variation: half recipe :: 1 c milk, 1/2 lb cheese, 3 eggs, 1/2 lb macaroni; 1 t salt, 1 t mustard seeds, 1 t worchestshire sauce in a 1.5 qt crockpot on high for one hour, low for one hour, let sit 1/2 hour. The amount of milk IS the same as the larger recipe.
Crock Pot Lasagne
Shred/grate 1.5 lb mozzarella. Reserve handful for lasagna top.
If spinach is desired, use canned spinach and drain, press and wring dry or cook fresh spinach until completely reduced and then press and wring dry.
If onions are desired, mince and saute in olive oil.
If sausage is desired, remove the casings from 2 lbs of Italian sausage, cut into chunks and cook until brown in olive oil (10 -12 minutes). Use that pan to make the sauce.
Think 1.5 lb mozzarella, 1 lb ricotta, 1 lb box noodles, 2 eggs, 48 ounce sauce, one small can tomato paste.
Regular lasagna noodles will do fine; no need to buy special ones.
- Make the sauce, using the pan with cooked sausage in it if sausage is used.
- Stir in 48 oz tomato sauce.
- Stir in 1 small can tomato paste.
- Stir in 2 cups water.
- Bring to a simmer.
- Reserve a cup of sauce for the top.
- Make the ricotta mixture:
- Beat 2 eggs.
- Stir in the 1 lb ricotta, and any vegies (spinach, onions, parsley, etc)
- Add desired spices: black pepper, oregano, garlic. NO SALT unless using unsalted tomato sauce.
- Add 1/3 c of grated parmesan, if desired.
- Prepare the slow cooker by spreading a thin layer of sauce on the bottom.
- Layer of lasagna noodles, breaking to fit as needed.
- 1/5 of the ricotta mixture
- 2 c sauce
- 1/5 of the mozzarella
- End with reserved sauce and mozarella cheese.
- Cover and cook.
- Best: 6-8 hours on low.
- OK: Cook high for one hour, low for 3 - 4.
- Warming the pot before layering may be of assistance.
" Until Done" is going to vary pot by pot. Some folks cook it for 5 hours. Mine cooks in my smaller crock pot in 3 hours. Ravioli is best when slight al-dente instead of slightly mushy, so, the first time you cook this, I suggest you quickly steal a ravioli from the pot to taste it. starting at 2 hours and then every hour after that.. I say "quickly" because you do not want to let the precious heat out of the pot and set the cooking process backwards.
- Stir together 24 oz can of tomato or pasta sauce and 2 cups of water.
- Pour half into a slow cooker/ crock pot.
- Add 25 oz frozen ravioli.
- Add the rest of the sauce/water mix.
- Cook on low until done.
Maura Enright, Proprietor
Author: Maura Enright
©2012 - 2014 by Maura Enright
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