Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Picnic Pasta Salad

This was my daughter's request for our picnic with her friend from school.  It's fresh and pretty!  It can be eaten as a side dish, or as a main dish, as we did today.  Feel free to add chopped grilled chicken.  It's also good with well-rinsed black beans tossed in!

Picnic Pasta Salad

1 lb. pasta (any shape will do)
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 c frozen sweet corn
1 handful black olives, halved
Salad dressing  (I like Italian, my daughter prefers Ranch.)

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, and rinse under cold water.  Drain well.
Mix vegetables and pasta together, then drizzle dressing over top.  Stir to combine.  Chill at least two hours.

*Before serving, stir the pasta salad.  If the pasta isn't wet enough, add more dressing.
*I like to add a handful or two of raisins or dried cranberries as well.  Trust me, it's yummy!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo

Straight from my Italian friend.  This Alfredo is rich, creamy, and delicious!  Do not skimp on the cheese.  You want really good quality cheese for this dish, as it's the star of the show!  Add grilled chicken or shrimp, if desired.  I usually serve steamed broccoli and garlic bread on the side.

Authentic Fettuccine Alfredo

Serves 6-8

1/2 c butter
2/3 c light cream (I use half and half)
1 1/2 c freshly grated Locatelli Pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 c chopped fresh parsley
1 lb. fettuccine
Salt and pepper
Pasta water

Cook pasta according to package directions.  Meanwhile, melt butter over low heat.  Gradually add in cream, stirring well.  When pasta is nearly cooked, slowly add cheese into butter and cream, stirring continually until smooth.  Remove from heat.

Drain pasta, reserving 2/3-3/4 cup of the water.  Do not rinse pasta.

Return sauce to low heat, adding in pasta water until the sauce reaches desired consistency.  (You want it thin enough to be "saucy", but you don't want it thin and runny.)  Toss sauce and pasta together in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Menu Plan Monday

Here's what's cooking this week:

Chick-fil-a date with friends
Vegetable fried rice
"Thanksgiving" dinner  (Turkey, stuffing, etc.)
Fettuccine Alfredo with broccoli
Picnic with another child from preschool & her Mom
Dinner at my sister-in-law's house
Sandwiches and/or leftovers