When the weather is cold, I crave comfort food. Something that warms me up and usually has cheese in it! Like this Cheesy Taco Spaghetti. It has a great Tex-Mex flavor and it’s so easy to make—it’s made in one pot so there’s minimal clean up. Easy to make, Continue reading
I grew some basil in a pot this summer so I could make pesto, and it’s still doing well even though the weather has cooled some. I love having pesto spread on a slice of good sourdough bread, but pesto mixed with pasta (instead of tomato sauce) also makes a good dish. I wanted to try making a creamier basil sauce, and because I Continue reading
If you are a fan of cherry tomatoes, you’ll like this pasta salad, because it has alot of them! Some of my friends share cherry tomatoes from their gardens, so I had quite a few. I wanted to use some in a recipe and I thought a pasta salad sounded good. I also Continue reading
Cooking in a crock pot is so easy and convenient, and there are lots of great recipes you can make. I found some really good ones to try in my review copy of the new cookbook Stock the Crock by Phyllis Good. There are lots of great full-color photos in this book that has 100 slow-cooker recipes which include:
- Vegetable Pot Pie with Biscuits
- Lasagna in a Soup Bowl
- 4-Cheese Artichoke Dip
- Honey Baked Chicken
- Holiday Ham with Apricot Glaze
- Garlicky Mashed Red Potatoes
- Cider-Baked Apples
- Pumpkin Spice Créme Brûlée
Such a great variety of recipes to choose from! I decided to try the Yummy Vegetable Pasta because I was in the mood for something comfort food-like, and this sounded like just the thing to make! The recipe was easy to follow and the only thing I did differently was add a cup of chopped zucchini, since I happened to have that already. Fresh sliced green beans would be a nice addition, too, if you want to add in an extra veggie or two.
This pasta dish smells great while it’s cooking. And you do have to stir it well before serving, since the spaghetti may clump together a little. But it’s very good and cheesy and yummy, just like the recipe name says! 🙂
YUMMY VEGETABLE PASTA from Stock the Crock (with a few little changes)
Makes 6 to 7 servings
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 2 (14.5-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, with juice or 1 quart canned stewed tomatoes, with liquid (I cut the stewed tomatoes into large chunks)
- 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
- Optional: 1 cup chopped zucchini and/or 1 cup sliced green beans
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 pound spaghetti or fettuccine, divided
- 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided (if you want this dish to be extra-cheesy, use 3 cups!)
- 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can Cream of Mushroom soup
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 Tablespoons sliced fresh chives, for garnish
Grease the interior of the slow cooker crock with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
In medium bowl, stir together the chopped onion, chopped green bell pepper, stewed tomatoes with their liquid, sliced mushrooms, and oregano (also stir in the chopped zucchini and/or green beans, if using).
Place 1/4 of the vegetables in the bottom of the crock. Top vegetables with half of the pasta, breaking pasta, as needed, to fit. Sprinkle the pasta with half of the Cheddar cheese.
Spoon in half of the remaining vegetables. Top with the remaining pasta, breaking the pasta as needed; the remaining Cheddar cheese, and the remaining vegetables.
In the bowl used to mix the vegetables, whisk together the soup and milk. Pour over the ingredients in the crock.
Cover and cook on low 3 1/2 to 4 hours, or until the vegetables and pasta are tender.
Before serving, stir the sauce through the pasta and vegetables. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese.
Scatter fresh chives on top just before serving.
Another nice thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t take super-long to make–3 1/2 to 4 hours isn’t bad for a slow-cooker recipe. Have you been making any great-tasting meals in your slow-cooker?
We’ve been having some super-cold weather these past few days, along with lots of snow and ice, so it seemed like a great time to make a good hot casserole! I thought I’d try a Pizza Spaghetti Casserole recipe I found at MyRecipes, but instead of using pork sausage in this, I used extra pepperoni and cheese so it would taste more like a pepperoni cheese pizza, which is my favorite kind. You can use turkey pepperoni in this if you like. I used a little more sauce, too, and I thought it was pretty tasty–a very good comfort food dish when it’s cold and yucky outside!
PEPPERONI PIZZA PASTA CASSEROLE by NancyCreative, adapted from MyRecipes
Makes a 9 x 13″ pan
- 1 (12-ounce) package uncooked pasta (you can use spaghetti or your favorite pasta noodles)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (24-ounce) jar pasta sauce, plus another 1/2 jar (12-ounces) of sauce (a total of 36 ounces)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 (8-ounce) package shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1 (4 or 5-ounce) package pepperoni slices
- 1 (8-ounce) package shredded Italian cheese blend
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13″ baking pan or dish.
Cook pasta with 1/2 teaspoon salt according to package directions. Drain pasta well and put in a large bowl. Add in the 24-ounce jar of pasta sauce (save the other half jar of sauce for later) and grated Parmesan cheese, and toss ingredients together until all the pasta is coated with sauce and Parmesan cheese. Spread pasta/sauce mixture evenly into your baking pan or dish.
Sprinkle the shredded Mozzarella cheese evenly over the pasta mixture, then spread half of the pepperoni slices over the cheese. Drizzle the half jar of sauce (12 ounces, or 1 1/2 cups) evenly over the pepperoni, then top with the shredded Italian cheese blend. Arrange remaining pepperoni slices evenly over cheese. Place a sheet of aluminum foil lightly over the pan.
Bake at 350˚F for 30 minutes; remove foil, then bake another 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and just beginning to brown.
Casseroles are great during the cold weather months! What’s your favorite casserole dish?
Sharing this recipe at Meal Plan Monday.