Pesto Parmesan Pasta

Ready for a super easy, super quick dinner recipe? Ok awesome because I have one for you!

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Some of my favorite dishes include the following:
Pesto
Cream sauce
Something spicy
Carbs. Lots.

Dishes with those things are the most satisfying and comforting to me. Hence why I came up with this little gem for dinner this week.

Oh and did I mention I love Cavatelli noodles? Because I really do. These curly little guys are so eye catching I think, and add a good texture. Always an important aspect in a dish, texture that is.

I added some spicy sausage to this as well. Which is easily left out depending on your preference. I made my favorite homemade, extra spicy pesto but decide to mix it with a little buttermilk, butter and pasta water to tone down the spicy of this dish. I love, love spicy but it’s easy to over do it. The cream really mellows out the spicy and lets the flavors come out and do their thing.

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For this recipe, you’ll need:
1/2 lb of Cavatelli noodles
1 lb spicy sausage (optional)
3 tablespoons of your favorite pesto!
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 cup pasta water

Begin by boiling the noodles until al dente.

Meanwhile, brown the sausage in a separate pan. Drain, set aside.

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Drain the noodles, reserving 1/8 cup of pasta water. More on why pasta water is so important in an upcoming post.

Add the pesto, butter, buttermilk, pasta water, salt and sausage to the pot with the drained noodles. Stir all together.

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Top with Parmesan!

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Time to eat up!

What’s your favorite pasta dish?

Roasted Lemon Parmesan Brussels Sprouts

Happy Valentine’s Day! According to all the posts, tweets, texts and instagrams, I think I was supposed to make you something sweet and pink and all cutesy for today. Oops.

It’s not that I don’t think love isn’t something worth celebrating, because it totally is. But I made these really delicious brussels sprouts last night and I couldn’t wait to share them with you! And that’s real life. Sometimes brussels sprouts doused with garlic sea salt, lemon and extra Parmesan cheese are perfect for celebrating. For real. Plus, if you haven’t planned what you’re making tonight, these would be a tasty and easy addition.

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For this recipe, you’ll need:

4 cups of whole, fresh brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic sea salt
Juice of one lemon (approx 2 tablespoons)
Parmesan Reggiano for sprinkling… You can get carried away here! It’s totally cool. I recommend at least 1/4 cup.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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Start by washing and chopping off the ends of the baby cabbages.

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Then slice the brussels sprouts in half. If they are big, slice in half again, quartering them.

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Toss the brussels sprouts with olive oil, garlic sea salt and lemon juice. Evenly spread the sliced brussel sprouts onto a baking sheet.

Warning: be careful not to over do it with the olive oil. Too much oil will make for soggy sprouts… Not sexy.

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Roast on the bottom rack for approximately 20 minutes. Then toss the brussels sprouts and continue roasting for an additional 15-20 minutes. Baking times will vary depending on your oven.

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Generously top the hot brussels sprouts with Parmesan. Then serve alongside your favorite dish.

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I served mine up alongside some pesto pasta and a glass of Malbec. I encourage you to do the same.

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Happy Valentine’s Day from Mimi. In case you can’t tell she was really excited about wearing her pink and red sweater this morning.

If there’s anything I can say about love, it’s that my moody, mop-headed, always ready-to-snuggle yorkie poo is the best little love bug. No else patiently waits while I hit snooze for 45 minutes every morning just to give me a face full of kisses the minute I open my eyes. No one else sleeps in my laundry basket all day waiting for me to get home. I can’t say enough about how much I love my little pup!

Who do you love most today?

Parmesan Shrimp Risotto

I spent some time this weekend cooking up a few new dishes for you. This Parmesan risotto has been on my mind for a few days and I am so excited to share it with you!

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So creamy and delicious! Not to mention filling!

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For this recipe, you’ll need:
2 cups arborio rice
2 (14 oz) cans of chicken broth
2 cups fresh spinach
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan reggiano… Get the good stuff y’all. It totally makes a difference in this recipe.
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1 lb fresh shrimp

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Start by grating the Parmesan reggiano. Set aside. Mince the garlic at this point too.

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In a large skillet, or my case a wok, put the butter, garlic and arborio rice and mix together over medium high heat for about 2 minutes stirring constantly.

Then add the chicken broth. Stirring frequently until all broth is absorbed.

Add the grated Parmesan. Stir until melted and well blended.

Add the lemon juice and give everything another whirl.

Add the fresh spinach and peeled shrimp. Cook until shrimp are nice and pink and spinach is wilted. Add salt.

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Now you are ready eat! I love this meal because:
A) it’s an entire meal in one pot!
B) it’s rich and filling without being overbearing
C) even though its simple to make, everyone will be totally impressed!

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Eat up and enjoy!