Category Archives: Pasta

lemon orzo salad

1 1/2 cups orzo 

1 small bunch fresh spinach

1/2 cup purple onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup crumbled feta

grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tbsp.)

2 Tbsp. rice vinegar

2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the orzo, drain well and run under cool water. Thinly slice spinach, add the onion, feta and lemon zest. Drizzle with the lemon juice, rice vinegar and oil. Toss to coat well. Taste and adjust the seasonings IF needed.  Serve right away or refrigerate until serving.


mushroom ravioli with truffle oil

Adapted from The 4th Spot in Calgary.  Makes 4 first course servings or small plate portions.

500 g cheese ravioli  (I use Costco Kirkland brand)
200 g small brown mushrooms (crimini), sliced
1 shallot, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil + 1 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup whipping cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp of fresh or 1/4 tsp dried  rosemary (optional)
truffle oil, shaved parmesan or asiago cheese, fresh black pepper

Cook ravioli.  Meanwhile, saute mushrooms with shallot in oil and butter until dry and slightly browned.  Add cream and rosemary and heat through.  Add drained ravioli and stir carefully to coat adding more cream if necessary.  Plate ravioli, top with mushrooms and sauce.  Drizzle each with 1/4 – 1/2  tsp  truffle oil,  add grated  cheese and  pepper.

Optional:  Saute 1″ pieces of asparagus with the  mushrooms , or top with a spoonful of toasted or sauteed sliced almonds.

pasta with butternut squash

  • 1 butternut squash about 2 1/2 pounds
  • 8 ounces of bow-tie pasta
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of chopped shallots
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1 Preheat the oven to 350F. Cut the butternut squash lengthwise in half* and scoop out the centre. Pour 1/4 cup of water into a pyrex or ceramic baking dish and place the butternut squash halves cut side down. Bake for 40 minutes until soft.  Cool for 10 minutes. Scoop the flesh out of the skins and purée or mash.
2 Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.
3 While the pasta is cooking, saute the shallots until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash purée and cook for about a minute. Add the cream, a tablespoon at a time, slowly stirring it in to incorporate and to avoid lumps. Stir in the Parmesan, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice. Cover the pan to keep warm.
4 Plate the pasta and pour the sauce over.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4.

spaghetti squash with sausage

1 spaghetti squash

3-4 Italian sausages, preferrably spicy

1 medium zucchini

28 oz can diced tomatoes

hot chili flakes, thyme and sage to taste

Slice squash in half, remove seeds, cover with plastic wrap and microwave 10 – 15 minutes until soft.  Cool slightly, then scrape into ‘spaghetti’ strands with a fork.

Slice sausages and saute with a little olive oil in a skillet until brown.  Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice about 1/4 inch thick.  Add to sausage along with tomatoes and seasonings.  Simmer uncovered about 5 minutes until thickened and blended.  Serve over squash.

creamy italian sausage fettuccine

This is my version of a pasta dish served at La Viena Restaurant.  It looks like a long list, but have everything ready before starting and it’s a quick, complete and delicious meal.  Add bread and wine.  Pass the pepper and the parmesan.
  • olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 6  hot Italian sausage, sliced
  • 2 chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 green pepper sliced
  • 1 orange or red pepper sliced
  • 1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes, drained, or fresh equivalent
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili flakes
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, shelled
  • 3/4 – 1  pound fettuccine
  • 1 cup whipping cream, or more
  • Parmesan cheese, fresh cilantro, black pepper  (optional)
1.  Cook sausages and chicken in 1-2 T.  oil until no longer pink.  Add shallots and garlic and sauté until soft.  Add the peppers and cook 5 minutes. 
2.  Add the tomatoes, chicken broth and chili flakes.  Simmer until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.  Stir in the green beans.
3.  Add the whipping  cream and bring to a simmer.  Add shrimp and cook  just until the shrimp turn pink.
4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot , drain and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.   Return pasta to pot and add the sauce. Toss until pasta is generously coated with sauce, adding reserved cooking liquid or more cream if needed.
5. Top each serving with fresh cilantro sprigs.
Serves 6-8.