Tag Archives: penne pasta

Pasta and Goodness

This was such a delightful weekend – we had absolutely nothing to do!  After the craziness of the holiday season we look forward to a time when schedules are much more relaxed and the most pressing decision is what’s for supper?  This was another go to the pantry and fridge and see what’s available suppers!  Sometimes those are the best kind!  Penne pasta, walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes, croutons, red onion and  red pepper flakes from the pantry; an orange pepper, pepperoni and mozzarella cheese from the fridge.  Ritchey declared this one of my best pasta dishes ever!

  • 3/4 pound penne pasta
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 30 pepperoni
  • 1 cup of walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, or more
  • parsley
  • 1/4 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup croutons, crushed

Bring a large pan of water to boil.  Add a handful of salt and the pasta – cook according to package directions.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil.  Add onions and saute about five minutes.  Add pepper and garlic and saute for an additional two minutes.  Add the pepperoni, walnuts, sun-dried tomatoes and red pepper flakes and cook an additional two or three minutes.  Mix well.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the pasta and parsley.  Top with mozzarella cheese and croutons.  Put under the broiler for just a few minutes – until cheese melts.  Enjoy!


A Simple Pasta Dish

Most of my dinners are not the product of deep reflection and long, thought-through ideas for recipes!  Generally after walking in the door from work I have a cup of hot tea.  Just one of those truly relaxing and enjoyable pleasures I allow myself.  Perhaps a muffin or cookie if I have one.  After that I begin to formulate a plan for dinner and while cleaning or doing laundry the decision is made.  Not all that exciting, is it?  I love to surprise Ritchey with something new!  After a long day at work, coming home to share dinner is what’s on his mind, and I always try to make it special – even if it’s leftovers!  We do have to eat them sometimes!  Can’t let good food go to waste!  This was last night’s supper – along with the remainder of the Apple-Cranberry Crisp!

A Simple Pasta Dish

  • olive oil
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel
  • 1 teaspoon ground rosemary
  • 8 ounces penne pasta, cooked to package directions
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Saute the sausage in a little olive oil until almost brown.  Add onion, garlic and red pepper.  Add spices and stir well.  Continue cooking until sausage is brown and onion is soft.  Cook pasta while preparing sausage mixture.  Add cooked pasted to skillet along with mozzarella cheese.  Stir well.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley.  Enjoy!

The Friday Night Special

A one-dish meal is always a good choice for Friday night.  I love to put a big dish in the oven, let the flavors marry, and create a special dinner – while giving me time to do a couple of chores – or write a blog!  Comfort was on the agenda again tonight.  Ritchey has worked especially hard this week – last night it was 10:30 when he walked through the door!  He needs to be pampered tonight.  Today has not been the rainy day of yesterday, but it was still damp and chilly – so I wanted to serve something with warmth and depth!  Sausage, pasta, beans, tomatoes and spices – oh, and cheese!  I can definitely build on that!

The green tomatoes give this dish a unique flavor – quite unlike a ripe tomato!

For Mother’s Day Linton, my son, gave me two journals – The Gourmet – one for each of us for our recipes, cooking notes, etc.  And when we are finished we will exchange them.  He is an excellent cook and I look forward to the day when he brings me his journal!

Friday Night Special

  • 1/2 pound sausage
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 pound penne pasta, cooked to package directions
  • 1 – 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup black pitted olives
  • 2 handfuls chili powder
  • 1 handful cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 2 light green or beginning to turn tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • sour cream
  • guacamole

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small skillet brown sausage, breaking up into small pieces.  When brown add onion and saute five minutes.  Add garlic and saute another minute.  Remove from heat.

In a large bowl combine the sausage mixture, cooked pasta, canned tomatoes, kidney beans, black olives and spices.  Stir well to combine.  Add the green tomatoes and 2/3 of the mozzarella.  Mix well.

Pour into a large dish.  Top with remaining mozzarella.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  After 15 minutes lay a sheet of foil over your dish.  Remove foil for the last five minutes.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and homemade guacamole.  Enjoy!


Buca di Beppo

Buca di Beppo

For a truly wonderful birthday celebration – or any celebration at all! – you should visit Buca di Beppo.  Saturday night we ate at the one located on Hurstbourne Parkway in Louisville, Kentucky.  They have a nifty reservations button on their website – no calls – just mark the time you’d like to be there and presto, your reservations are made.

Our son and his girlfriend drove down from Indianapolis, our daughter and her husband from Lexington and Ritchey and I from Harrodsburg – meeting there at 7:00.  It may have been ten minutes before we were seated, but we enjoyed the time sitting outside and chatting.

Since I had already been on the website to check out the menu, I had a good idea of what we wanted to order.  We started with their fried calamari.  I am not a calamari fan, myself, but everyone else ate with gusto!  They loved it!

Fried Calamari

Unfortunately, we were so hungry and the food was so good we forgot to take pictures ourselves – until they brought dessert!  We also had their Caprese Salad.

Caprese Salad

This is my idea of an appetizer!  Big, thick slices of red tomatoes, mozzarella, and whole basil leaves drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with cracked pepper!  I was in heaven!  Not only was the salad gorgeous, it was delicious!  Ritchey told the waiter he appreciated the fresh basil and was asked if he would like more to add to his dinner.  The waiter brought a bowl of freshly chopped basil for our entrees!


The bruschetta was crunchy, brushed with an olive oil infused with garlic.  Topped with fresh tomatoes, basil  and Parmesan cheese.  It was so very, very good!

Prosciutto Chicken

Our entree of prosciutto and mozzarella stuffed chicken breasts was exquisite!  It was served topped with marinara and on a pesto cream sauce.  Of all the lovely dishes we had, I do believe this was my favorite – I can’t say that!  They were all so good it would be hard to choose!

Penne San Remo

Our second entree was a penne pasta in a white cream sauce with artichokes, chicken breast, sun-dried tomatoes and peas.  The flavors of each dish were so unique and original – and this was a very good combination!

Our waiter was fantastic!  He was there any time we needed a drink refill, to clear away plates, to explain how a dish was made.  He brought a candelabra with three lit candles for the birthday girl to blow out and led everyone in a birthday song.


Dessert – and I’m sure by this time you are asking how could we possibly have eaten more! – was a lovely tiramisu – homemade ladyfingers soaked in dark rum and espresso, layered with sweetened mascarpone cheese and topped with cocoa and crumbled hazelnut biscotti.  I can honestly say this is the VERY BEST tiramisu I’ve ever had.  It melted in your mouth – and the rum and espresso gave it such a great taste!  I can still just sigh when I think of it!

My Family at Buca di Beppo

Our waiter took this photo for us!  Notice the smiles on everyone’s faces!  Of course, not only was it the great food we had just ingested, but the great fun of being together.  I cherish those times!