Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna
Mexitalian Lasagna
Four Pepper Pasta - GREAT!

Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

Asparagus with Pasta
Roasted Vegetable Pasta and Chicken Salad
Pesto Pasta Salad
Baked Risotto Primavera

Penne with Zucca

Easy Italian Macaroni Dish


Kosher salt
12 ounces gemelli, cavatappi or other spiral-shaped pasta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
cup whole milk
3/4 cup shredded yellow sharp jack cheese
3/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
cup grated parmesan cheese
cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, chives and/or scallions
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour, mustard and cayenne and stir with a wooden spoon to make a paste. Cook, stirring, until the paste puffs slightly, about 1 minute. Whish in both milks and teaspoon salt and simmer, whisking occasionally, until slightly thickened and creamy, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the cheddar and jack cheeses and all but 2 tablespoons of the parmesan and whisk until melted; keep warm.

3. Combine the panko, herbs and/or scallions, 1 tablespoon butter and the remaining parmesan in a microwave-safe bowl and micowave until the butter melts, about 1 minute; toss.

4. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup cooking water, and return to the pot. Toss wi th the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, then stir in the cheese sauce, adding the reserved cooking water if needed. Season with salt and top with the breadcrumb mixture.

35 minutes serves 4.


Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna

Non-stick cooking spray
2 cups red pasta sauce, such as portobello mushroom or garden vegetable.
6 no-boil lasagna noodles.
1/2 of a 15-oz. container of ricotta cheese
6 oz. goat cheese or shredded mozarella cheese (1 1/2 cups).
1 Tbsp. Chianti or other red wine (optional)
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese.
1 cup roasted red sweet peppers, drained well and cut into strips.

1. Preheat oven to 350F,
   Lightly coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray.
   Spoon 1/3 cup of the sauce into the dish.
   Top with 2 lasagna noodles.
   In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the goat cheese, and, if desired, the Chianti.
   Spoon half the mixture over the noodles in the dish.
   Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
   Top with half the red pepper strips.  
   Spoon half the remaining sauce on the pepper layer.

2. Top with 2 more noodles, the remaining ricotta mixture, and remaining peppers.
   Add 2 more noodles and the remaining sauce.
   Dot top with remaining goat cheese and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.

3. Cover with foil.  Bake for 50 minutes.
   Let stand, covered, on a wire rack for 20 minutes before serving.
   Makes 4-6 servings.

Mexitalian Lasagna

1 15 oz can hormel chili no beans
1 16 oz jar mexican salsa, drained
1 4 ox can sliced mushrooms, drained (optional)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1-1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 16 oz ricotta cheese
1 1/2 tsp dried parsley flakes
9 lasagna noodles, cooked
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
vegetable cooking spray.

Heat oven to 350 In large bowl, combine chili, drained salsa, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasonings. In small bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and parsley.

Spray 9 by 9 baking dish with vegetable cooking spray. Layer 3 noodles, ricotta, chili mixture and mozzarella. Repeat two more times.

Bake for 25 to 30 min or until lasagna is thoroughly heated. Let stand 10 min. before serving.


1/2 16 oz. package mostaccioli or penne macaroni
1 large red pepper
1 large yellow pepper
1 large green pepper
1 large onion
3 tablespoons olive or salad
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

about 30 minutes before serving:

1. In saucepot, prepare pasta as label directs, using 2 teaspoons salt in water; drain. Return pasta to saucepot.

2. Meanwhile, cut peppers and onion into 1/2 inch wide strips. In 12-inch skillet over medium heat, in hot olive oil or salad oil, cook peppers, onion and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt until vegetables are tender and browned, about 15 minutes. Stir in sugar, vinegar, basil, and cracked black pepper; heat through.

3. Toss pepper-mixture with pasta. Makes 4 main dish servings.

Each serving about 350 calories, 11 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 940 mg. sodium.

Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

2-3 gloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped

Saute the above in olive oil for a few minutes.

Then Add.
1 large can tomato puree
1 large can crushed tomatoes or diced tomatoes
1 medium can tomato paste.

Stir until blended.

Then add some oregano, basil, and parsley about 1 tsp of each, or buy a bottle of Italian Seasoning and use a Tablespoon of that, dash pepper, some salt and a little sugar. Simmer for two hours until it cooks down a little.

Add meatballs or sausage after all the spices if you want more flavor.



8-oz. Pasta, any flat kind
4 ounces bacon, chopped and excess fat removed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pounds fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned (drain well)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 ounces chicken broth or bouillon
4 ounces dry white wine
1 tablespoon dried basil
3 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, chopped
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta; drain and set aside and keep warm. In large frying pan, cook bacon until crisp; drain off drippings. In same skillet, add oil, garlic and asparagus; saute 4-5 minutes. Add rest of ingredients except cheese and pasta; simmer 8-10 minutes. Toss pasta with sauce and cheese.

4 servings.



3/4 pound linguine
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces
2 red bell peppers, seeded and julienne
teaspoon salt
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 chicken breast halves, skinned and boned

Cook linguine in a large pot of boiling water until just tender, drain well. Transfer pasta to a large bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon of the oil; set aside. Toss cut vegetables with remaining oil, salt and pepper, and roast in a single layer on two baking sheets in preheated 450 deg. Oven for about 10 minutes. Stir and continue roasting, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and well browned, about 10-15 minutes longer. While vegetables roast, brush chicken breasts with a little olive oil and grill over a hot fire, or broil until just cooked through. Add vegetables to linguine and toss to combine. Add Parmesan and vinegar and toss again. Serve pasta mix at room temperature, divided among four plates, each topped with a chicken breast. Garnish with chopped fresh red peppers and scallions.



1 pkg (0.9oz) Knorr Pesto Pasta Sauce Mix
1/3rd cup olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
8 oz twist or rotini pasta, cooked rinsed with cold water and drained
4 cups broccoli florets, cooked, rinsed with cold water and drained
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
4 oz mozzarella cheese, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

In medium bowl, combine pasta sauce mix, oil and vinegar; whisk until blended.
Add pasta, broccoli, tomatoes and cheese, toss to coat.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.

Preparation: 10 minutes; makes 8 cups.

Baked Risotto Primavera

2 cans (14 1/2 oz. each) fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup white wine
2 Tbs. butter or margarine
1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped, about 1 cup
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/8 tsp. ground tumeric
1 1/2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 cups broccoli florets, about 6 oz.
1 cup frozen peas
1 Tbs. chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400F
Butter shallow 6 cup baking dish.
In pot over medium-high heat combine broth and wine; bring to boil.
Reduce heat to low. 
In nonstick skillet melt butter over medium heat.
Add next 6 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender 3-4 minutes.
Stir in rice.
Gradually stir in hot broth mixture.
Stir in carrots, then 1/2 cup Parmesan.
Transfer to baking dish.
Bake 10 minutes, stir.
Bake until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring pot of salted water to boil; add broccoli.
Cook until tender, 3-4 minutes, adding peas after 1 minute, drain.
Remove risotto from oven; stir in broccoli, peas and parsley.
Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.

Makes 4 servings. Ready to serve in about 45 minutes.

PENNE WITH ZUCCA (Winter Squash)

4 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 salt-packed anchovy fillets, soaked in milk for 20 minutes, rinsed and drained
1 pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 pound penne rigate
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup toasted fresh bread crumbs
4 ounces ricotta salata, smoked ricotta or Asiago cheese, grated

In a large saute pan, heat 2 tbs oil over medium heat.
Add onion, garlic and anchovies.
Cook stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften.
Turn heat to high and add squash, toss for 5 minutes, or until tender and browned.
Add salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.

Cook penne according to package directions, drain.
Return squash to high heat; add penne, parsley and remaining oil, and toss for 1 minute.

Divide among 4 warmed bowls, top with bread crumbs and cheese.  Serve immediately.
Serves 4.

(A Mario Batali favorite he prepares each year for their Christmas Eve supper celebration.)


8 oz. dried bow tie pasta
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
8 oz. fresh asparagus spears
1 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2 oz)
1/4 cup finely shredded Pecorino Romano cheese (1 oz)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
Salt and ground black pepper
1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley.

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the pasta water; set aside.
Chop fennel in 1-inch pieces. 
Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus.  Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
In a large skillet cook and stir fennel and asparagus in hot butter and olive oil over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until nearly tender.
Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.

Add pasta, mascarpone cheese, and reserved pasta water to skillet.
Stir to combine.
Stir in mozzarella, Romano cheese, and peas.
Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer to serving dish; sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 servings.