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pasta

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Summer Pasta Salad

pasta salad

To me, a delicious pasta salad is the perfect accompaniment to any BBQ meal during the summer. I’ve experimented with so many different version of pasta salads – changing up the type of pasta, the dressing, the vegetables….but I’ve settled on this one as my all time favourite.

The dressing is simple – just mayonnaise and lemon juice – and the pasta shells just reinforce the summer, beachy theme. Also, the shell shape is the perfect receptacle to absorb and catch all the other ingredients. The carrots add the right amount of crunch, and the red onion add the much needed zip. The thick cut bacon and cheddar cheese add in the perfect saltiness and decadence.

This pasta salad paired perfectly with some BBQ chicken skewers and a crisp glass (or two, or three…) of pinot grigio!

Summer Pasta Salad

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of small pasta shells
  • 6 strips of thick cut bacon, cooked and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped,
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1 cup of frozen peas, cooked, drained and cooled
  • 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese, cubed (medium or old cheddar will add the most flavour!)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt

Instructions

1

Boil the pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain under cold water and set aside to cool.

2

In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta with the remaining ingredients and toss until everything is nicely coated with the dressing.

3

Cover and let the pasta salad chill for about an hour. Enjoy with some BBQ chicken and a crisp cold white wine!

Canadian Recipes/ Featured/ Meal Planning

Ground Beef Stroganoff

I don’t know about everyone else, but ever since this pandemic hit, I’ve been ordering take-out way too much. I’ve justified it a few different ways: 1) I’m supporting local restaurants; 2) I’m too stressed with work to cook; 3) I’m trying to survive a pandemic – I deserve this! Also, it seems like my social media is just flooded with really great takeout deals from local restaurants so the temptation is much higher too.

Anyways, I’ve decided I needed to slow down on the takeout a bit, because both clothes and money are getting a little tight. The husband and I have both been working out of the home this entire time, so I still need to find recipes that I can easily make in under half an hour, with a toddler and a baby demanding attention, and can be easily reheated for the husband when he gets home later. This ground beef stroganoff checks all the boxes. It takes 30-40 minutes in total (including prep time), the only prep is washing and prepping the mushrooms, garlic, and onion (and that can all be done the night before if needed), it is easily reheated, and makes for great leftover lunches. Oh! And it is also a one-pot meal, so less dishes to do afterwards!

This will be a regular rotation in my meal prep for sure!

Ground Beef Stroganoff

Print Recipe
Serves: 4-6 Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 package of cremini mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 1 small onion, or 1/2 a large onion, diced
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 package egg noodles, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • fresh parsley, for garnish
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

1

Melt butter in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender and browned. Season with salt and pepper.

2

Add ground beef and cooked until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook for 1 more minute.

3

Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute.

4

Stir in the white wine.

5

Stir in the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

6

Add in the egg noodles and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

7

Stir in sour cream, and let it heat through for another 2 minutes.

8

Serve and garnish with the parsley, if desired.

Canadian Recipes/ Featured

Carrot and Bacon Carbonara

Well hello there! It has been so long since I posted that it took me three tries to remember my password for my website! Between having my second baby, going back to work, and then this COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve just forgotten about this poor blog. I’m still cooking and I often share my cooking on my Instagram stories, but I just haven’t had time to perfect and post any recipes.

However…..I made this recipe and shared it on my Instagram stories the other day and received so many comments on it. Further, my husband declared that “this was the best pasta ever, better than in any restaurant”, so of course I have to document the recipe so that I can add it into my repertoire.

Another reason why I love this recipe is that I usually have all of these ingredients on hand! I mean, in today’s pandemic, I do not like going to the grocery store unless I absolutely have to.

Tip #1 : For the bacon, buy a maple smoked bacon or maple glazed bacon. That maple flavour is key to pairing with the carrots. Any type of bacon will do, but the maple will take it to the next level.

Tip #2: As always, buy a brick of Parmesan and grate it yourself!

Tip #3: Don’t skip out on the arugula garnish. The peppery taste of the arugula, paired with the maple smokiness of the bacon, and the creamy sauce is what makes each mouthful of this pasta so decadent.

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think!

Carrot and Bacon Carbonara

Print Recipe
Serves: 4 Cooking Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 6 slices of bacon, diced
  • 1 small (or 1/2 large) yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs whipping cream
  • 1 package of dried spaghetti
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
  • Handful of arugula leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

1

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and bacon. Cook, stirring frequently until almost crisp, about 5 mins. Add onions, carrots and garlic, and sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the 2 tbsp of cream and remove from heat.

2

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook your spaghetti according to the package instructions. When it is done, using tongs, remove pasta from the water and add it to the carrot/bacon mixture in the pan.

3

Take 1/3 cup of the pasta water and set aside for it to cool a bit.

4

In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1/2 cup parm and 1/2 tsp of black pepper. Whisk in the 1/3 cup of pasta water. Add the sauce into the pasta mixture and toss it over low heat for a minute or two, until the sauce is creamy and coats the pasta. Remove from heat and season with more salt and pepper.

5

Garnish with a handful of arugula and some more parmesan and enjoy immediately!