No Slivers Here

July 16, 2009

Beef and Cheese Manicotti

Filed under: Beef, Italian, Main Dish, Pasta — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 10:15 pm

I made this a while back when Seattle was on it’s first heat wave.  Of course while making these delicious little gems I was asking myself why I insisted on heating up the house with the oven.  They were well worth the work, the heat and the time.  If I remember correctly this pasta was another one of my ideas that happened in the grocery store after I discovered that manicotti was on sale!

Instead of consulting my trusty friend, “the internet”, I decided to make use of the many cookbooks that I have on the bookshelf and floor.  My husband bought me Giada’s Everyday Italian cookbook for Christmas along with a fabulous Italy calendar.  Too bad a trip to Italy wasn’t part of the gift!  I have made manicotti twice and I must say I liked this recipe much better than the first time I tried it.  This was great as leftovers for lunch and dinner.  I was really craving some Garlic Knots to go with it though!

I suggest you try this for your next date night or anytime you want some great leftovers!



Beef and Cheese Manicotti

source: Giada De Laurentiis


  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 (8-ounce package) manicotti
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces


Heat a heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, onion and ground beef. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until the meat browns and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, and cool.

Brush 1 teaspoon of oil over a large baking sheet. Cook the manicotti in a large pot of boiling salted water until slightly softened, but still very firm to the bite, about 4 to 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the manicotti from the pot to the oiled baking sheet and cool.

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, 1 1/2 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and parsley. Add the garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and mix. Stir the cooled meat mixture into the cheese mixture.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Brush the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a 13 by 9 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Spoon 1 1/2 cups of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the prepared dish. Fill the manicotti with the cheese-meat mixture. Arrange the stuffed pasta in a single layer in the prepared dish and spoon the remaining sauce over.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella cheese, then the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the stuffed pasta. Dot entire dish with the butter pieces. Bake the manicotti uncovered until heated through and the sauce bubbles on the sides of the dish, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let the manicotti stand 5 minutes and serve.


March 24, 2009

Lemony Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto

Filed under: Main Dish, Pasta, Pork — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 11:35 am

When I was making this week’s menu I was thumbing through last month’s issue of Everyday Food.  I remembered that there was a recipe section about different types of pasta.  This recipe reminded me of Giada’s Lemon Spaghetti recipe.  I love that this recipe had peas in it.   It was pretty funny to see all the gadgets that I had out when I was making this recipe.  I had the lemon zester out, the garlic press, and the lemon juicer.

This recipe does go together pretty fast.  I made a few small changes to the ingredients.  I didn’t use frozen tortellini but instead I used fresh.  I also didn’t use prosciutto but used 4 slices of bacon instead.  I also ommitted the 2nd tablespoon of olive oil, because I felt that there was enough fat in the pan from the bacon.

I think this will make great leftovers for my husband’s dinner tomorrow.  He’ll love the bacon!



Lemony Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto

source: Everyday Food


Serves 4

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Lemony Tortellini with Peas and Prosciutto

source: Everyday Food, Martha Stewart


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook tortellini until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Add peas to pot; drain pasta mixture, and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat; add prosciutto and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned, 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add pasta mixture, pasta water, 1 tablespoon oil, and lemon zest and juice; toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.

February 27, 2009

Easy Meatless Manicotti

Filed under: Italian, Main Dish, Pasta — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:58 pm

I think that the commercials for Olive Garden are starting to get to me!  Well, maybe they are inspiring me!   I kept seeing commercials for manicotti or other stuffed pastas and decided that I needed to find a recipe and make my own.  I will admit that I also saw a recipe similar to this one on Everyday Food on PBS, but their manicotti had mushrooms in them so I knew that wasn’t going to fly with my husband.  My challenge was to find a recipe that didn’t contain mushrooms but still looked good.  Of course I went to my trusty stand by for recipes: Cooking Light.  I really liked this recipe but I think it needs some meat.  I could see it being good with ground turkey or some turkey sausage.

I found it quite interesting that in this recipe you don’t boil the pasta and then stuff it.  You stuff them when they are still hard and add water to the pan so they essentially cook or soften while they bake.  I was amazed at how long the recipe called for these to bake.  They did turn out well.  I think I will keep looking for another recipe.  I might have to consult one of my many cookbooks!  Hmm!  Such a novel idea!

You’ll have to pardon the browned cheese in the pictures, but it was delicious.  Enjoy!


Easy Meatless Manicotti

source: Cooking Light


  • 2  cups  (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1  (16-ounce) carton fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1  (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • 1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  dried oregano
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 1  (8-ounce) package manicotti (14 shells)
  • 1  (26-ounce) jar fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  water


Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, cottage cheese, and the next 5 ingredients (through black pepper) in a medium bowl. Spoon about 3 tablespoons cheese mixture into each uncooked manicotti. Pour half of tomato-basil pasta sauce into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange stuffed shells in a single layer over sauce, and top with the remaining sauce. Pour 1 cup water into dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over sauce. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375° for 1 hour or until shells are tender. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

February 17, 2009

Fettuccine Alfredo

Filed under: Holiday, Italian, Main Dish, Pasta — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:34 pm

When I was planning our menu for the week my husband and I decided to stay home for Valentine’s Day dinner but to go out to Seattle during the day.  My husband requested Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken.  I had to hunt a bit but I ended up finally going with my old stand by, Cooking Light.  Cooking Light has yet to fail me!

This recipe came together quite quickly and I love that I had almost all of the ingredients on hand.  The sauce turned out a bit thick when I added the Parmesan cheese, so I thinned it down with a little more milk.  My husband and I loved this recipe and were surprised at how much it tasted like something you would get in a recipe. My husband loved the consistency of the sauce too. We paired this with a fabulous bottle of Barefoot Pinot Grigio.



Fettuccine Alfredo



  • 1  tablespoon  margarine
  • 2  small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1  tablespoon  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/3  cups  skim milk
  • 2  tablespoons  light process cream cheese
  • 1 1/4  cups  freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4  cups  hot cooked fettuccine (cooked without salt or fat)
  • 2  teaspoons  chopped fresh parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper


Melt margarine in a saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic, and saut 1 minute. Stir in flour. Gradually add skim milk, stirring with a wire whisk until mixture is blended. Cook, stirring constantly, 8 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Stir in cream cheese; cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly until Parmesan cheese melts.

Pour sauce over hot cooked fettuccine, and toss well to coat. Top fettuccine with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, and pepper.

January 13, 2009

Baked Ziti with Prosciutto and Peas

Filed under: Italian, Main Dish, Pasta, Pork, Uncategorized — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 12:12 pm

This is yet another successful recipe from one of my new cookbooks.  I’ll be honest, the picture sold me!  I’ll make another confession, since I’m on a roll!  When I was little I would order off of menus based on the pictures.  I would read the menu but I would choose my meal by looking at the pictures.  As you can tell these menu’s were from Denny’s and the like!  I remember my Grandpa making fun of me for it later in life.  I guess at one point in my childhood I was a bit disappointed when my food did not look like it did in the picture! Hmm!  It also took a long time for me to figure out that the food you see in commercials is usually not real!  Well, shoot!  But, don’t you eat with your eyes first?  I still love looking through cookbooks, hence the blog, but I’m even more apt to make the recipe if there is a picture and it looks good!

This recipe reminds me of a kicked up version of Macaroni and Cheese.  The white sauce is very similar but instead of adding cheddar cheese you add Parmesan cheese.  I will definitely be making this again!  Be warned this makes enough for a crowd!  We are still eating this! Enjoy!


Baked Ziti with Prosciutto and Peas

source: Williams Sonoma Food Made Fast One Pot



ziti, penne or other tubular pasta ( 1 lb)

1/2 cup unsatled butter

1/2 cup flour

4 cups milk

1/8 tsp nutmeg

2 cups Parmesan cheese

1 cup frozen baby peas

1/4 lb Prosciutto or ham, chopped

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and butter a 2 qt baking dish.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add 2 teaspoons salt and the pasta to the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until not quite al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions.  Drain, rinse under cold running water, and set aside

In the same pot over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.  Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming, and cook unitl the sauce is thick and creamy, 5-10 minutes.  Stir in the nutmeg, cheese, peas, and prosciutto.  Return the pasta to the sauce and toss to combine.

Transfer the pasta  and sauce to the prepared dish.  Sprinkle with the bread crumbs.  Bake until the bread crumbs and golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

October 7, 2008

Dinner Divas: Grilled Chicken Pesto Farfalle

Filed under: Chicken, Dinner Divas, Main Dish, Pasta — Tags: — bettylou79 @ 12:39 pm

I really am enjoying being a member of the Dinner Divas. This recipe was chosen by Carrie at Carrie in the Kitchen.  The four chosen recipes for the month definitely help make menu planning for the week easier! This month Grilled Chicken Pesto Farfalle was chosen from Cooking Light. Cooking Light has still yet to fail me! I will make this recipe again but next time I will use different pasta, like penne. One of the few things that I did differently was the pesto. I had previously frozen pesto into ice cubes so instead of using store bought pesto I used 3 cubes of pesto. For some reason my bow tie pasta totally fell apart when it was boiling. I suppose that could be because I cooked it for 14 minutes, 2 less might be a better idea for the future. Good choice on this recipe! My changes are below in red. The original recipe says that it makes enough for 10 servings but that was going to be too much for just my husband and I so I halved the pasta and a few other ingredients. Enjoy!

Grilled Chicken and Pesto Farfalle

source: Cooking Light


  • 1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves ( I used 2 chicken breasts)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • Cooking spray
  • 20 ounces uncooked farfalle (bow tie pasta) (I used 10 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (3.5-ounce) jar commercial pesto (about 1/3 cup)
  • 3/4 cup half-and-half (I used 1% milk)
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 4 cups halved grape tomatoes (about 2 pints)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (I omitted)


1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes or until done, turning after 6 minutes. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into 1/2-inch pieces; keep warm. I grilled in a frying pan

3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Place pasta in large bowl.

4. Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Combine 1/2 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add milk mixture to pan, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in pesto. Gradually add remaining 1 cup milk and half-and-half, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cook 8 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring frequently. Add 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and 1 cup cheese; stir until cheese melts.

5. Add chicken and sauce to pasta, tossing well to coat. Add tomatoes and basil; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Serve immediately.

September 26, 2008

Dinner Divas: Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

Filed under: Chicken, Dinner Divas, Main Dish, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 11:10 am

This is my second recipe this month from Dinner Divas. This recipe comes from Rachel Ray, who personally annoys me as well as my husband. He makes fun of the way she talks with her hands all the times. I really have not had good luck with her recipes. A few years ago I made another one of her recipes that was similar to Mac n Cheese and I had the same problem that I had with this recipe. It came out super duper soupy! When I make Mac’n’Cheese I bake mine, so I think that could be part of the problem. I also found this recipe to be on the super spicy side. I like spice but I think that it over powered the other ingredients. I have heard a lot of people say that they find RR’s recipes to be blah. This one wasn’t blah but super spicy. I also don’t recommend using the full amount of whole milk that it calls for. I think that I will be sticking to my traditional Macaroni and Cheese. It was fun to try a new recipe though! I didn’t make any changes to the recipe. Enjoy!

Mac and Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

source: Rachel Ray


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 1 pound chicken breast tenders, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 pound macaroni elbows or cavatapi corkscrew shaped pasta twists
  • 2 1/2 cups raw broccoli florets, available packaged in produce department
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups yellow sharp Cheddar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard


Place a pot of water on to boil for macaroni.

Heat a medium pan over medium to medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil and chicken and season with salt and pepper. Saute a couple of minutes then add onion and cook another 5 to 7 minutes until onions are tender and chicken is cooked through. Turn off heat and reserve.

To boiling pasta water, add pasta and salt to season the cooking water. Cook 5 minutes, then add broccoli and cook 3 minutes more or until pasta is cooked to al dente and florets are just tender.

While pasta cooks, heat a medium sauce pot over medium heat. Add butter and melt, then add flour, cayenne and paprika and whisk together over heat until roux bubbles then cook a minute more. Whisk in milk and stock and raise heat a little to bring sauce to a quick boil. Simmer sauce to thicken about 5 minutes.

Drain macaroni or pasta and broccoli florets. Add back to pot and add chicken to the pasta and broccoli.

Add cheese to milk sauce and stir to melt it in, about a minute or so. Stir in mustard and season sauce with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken and broccoli and cooked pasta and stir to combine. Adjust seasonings, transfer to a large serving platter and serve.

September 11, 2008

Spicy Orecchiette with Broccoli

Filed under: Main Dish, Pasta, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 10:57 am

Okay, this dinner turned out better than the last one I posted. This came from Everyday Food magazine again. We really enjoyed it but felt it needed some thing more, like chicken or some sliced turkey sausage or Nate suggested bacon! I noticed that on the website where the recipe is listed someone noted that they added mushrooms. That sounds good! I will make it again but I will make some modifications, like more broccoli and a protein. I really think that I needed the protein, especially after running today.


Spicy Orecchiette with Brocoli

source: Everyday Food


Serves 4

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 12 ounces orecchiette or other short pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 head broccoli (about 1 pound), cut into bite-size florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add garlic and red-pepper flakes; cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add broccoli and 1/2 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until broccoli begins to soften, about 8 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until water has evaporated and broccoli is crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  3. To pasta in pot, add broccoli mixture, Parmesan (reserving some for later), and enough pasta water to create a thin sauce that coats pasta. Serve sprinkled with remaining Parmesan.

August 21, 2008

Pesto Pasta

Filed under: Main Dish, Pasta, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 10:51 am

I wish I could tell you that the pesto in this recipe is homemade but it is not. If you could see my basil plant on my deck, you would understand. It’s really not doing that well. It never was for that matter. I will share a pesto recipe that I found last summer when my basil plant from Trader Joe’s was doing great! There are so many recipes out there, please feel free to find another that suits you! The pesto you see in the picture is from a mix I found in the Natural Food section a few months ago.




  • 3 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (I used pine nuts)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a food processor, blend together basil leaves, nuts, garlic, and cheese. Pour in oil slowly while still mixing. Stir in salt and pepper.

July 24, 2008

Spinach with Angel Hair Pasta

Filed under: Chicken, Main Dish, Pasta, Vegetables — Tags: , — bettylou79 @ 10:21 am

My mom brought home this recipe years ago and it has been one of my stand by easy meals. This is something I like to make up on the nights that we go to the gym. We didn’t go tonight, but I did go running. We actually have plans to go see at movie at a local park. Back to the recipe! From what I understand this was also a Weight Watcher recipe but I was having trouble finding it on their site. After a quick google search I found it on Recipezaar. As you can see I make a few modifications to the recipe. Enjoy!

Spinach with Angle Hair Pasta





  1. Cut marinated chicken into bite size pieces and brown on medium heat in small skillet.
  2. In 10-inch non stick skillet heat oil. add garlic; cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add spinach; cook, tossing gently until wilted, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle spinach with lemon juice, then add pasta and cooked chicken. Cook, tossing mixture, until heated through, 1-2 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
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