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SPEEDY PASTA TOPPINGS

TOMATO-BASED WITH FRESH VEGETABLES

To start:

1. 4 medium-large tomatoes, chopped

2. 1 medium onion

3. 1-2 cloves garlic

4. Fresh basil (or substitute dried) to taste (6 leaves or so)

5. The following may be added: 1 6-oz can sliced black or green olives,  4-8 oz. fresh mushrooms,green or red peppers, zucchini, asparagus

6. Olive oil

7. Parmesan (either ready grated like Kraft parmesan or fresh parmesan from the deli section of your local grocery) or romano cheese

Putting it together:

1. Saute chopped onions and finely chopped garlic in a littleolive oil

2. Add veggies, starting with harder to cook (peppers,asparagus), ending with tomatoes, mushrooms, basil leaves, olives. Mixeverything well together. Some like the veggies better cooked than others!

3. Add salt and pepper, a pinch of cayenne if you wish to zing itup, oregano or Italian seasoning, all to taste.

Serving suggestion:

Serve immediately over any type of pasta, and sprinkle Parmesan cheese liberally and more fresh ground black pepper.

Rotini with shrimp

CREAM-BASED WITH MEAT/SEAFOOD

May use ham or bacon or seafood as flavoring, or make itmore protein-oriented. If using less of the protein, then use more of the mushrooms or peas.

To start:

1. 4-8 oz. or any of the following: ham/shrimp/prosciutto/scallops

2. 4 oz. cooked peas (preferably baby peas)

3. 4-8 oz. fresh mushrooms

4. 3/4 cup. heavy cream or half and half

5. 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced.

6. Parmesan or romano (either ready grated or fresh – see tomato-based recipe above.

7. Cooking marsala or sherry

Putting it together:

1. Saute your protein choice with garlic in olive oil or butter over medium heat, until your protein choice is cooked (if from raw) or until flavors start to mesh and you smell it!

2. Lower heat, add sliced mushrooms, saute 2-3 minutes.

3. Add peas, 2 tbsp. sherry or marsala, then cream.

Serving suggestion:

Serve immediately over linguini or fettucine. Or mix in with freshly cooked penne or rigatoni pasta. Again, sprinkle Parmesan or romano totaste, and also freshly ground black pepper.


CLAM SAUCE (easy and cheap!)

To start:

1. 1 small can minced clams. Separate clams from juice. Save thejuice.

2. Two medium onions, finely chopped.

3. Parmesan cheese (fresh or pre-grated)

4. 2 cloves garlic, minced

5. 1 tbsp. cornstarch

Putting it together:

1. Saute garlic and onions on high, until onions are tender. Turnheat to low.

2. Add clam juice

3. Make a mixture in a separate cup/bowl: slowly add water (up toseveral tbsp.) to cornstarch and mix until you get a paste with no (or few!)lumps.

4. Pour mixture into the clam mixture, until it thickens.

5 Finally, add the clams. Simmer for a couple of minutes, addingsalt and pepper to taste.

Serving suggestion:

Best over linguini. Sprinkle cheese and freshly ground black pepper.