Tag Archives: red pepper flakes

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!


Homemade Pasta Dough

Now isn’t this the most scrumptious skillet of homemade pasta you’ve ever seen?  Well, it was to us!  My first attempt at homemade pasta – I believe I would consider a success!  Nothing like the pasta from those who have done this for years, but for a first try I was pleased!  I used John’s recipe at from the Bartolini kitchens.  It was so easy!  Ritchey bought a pasta attachment for my KitchenAid mixer – it was a birthday present a year and a half ago!  Daunting is not even the word to use when I thought about making pasta!  But after last night’s homemade pizza I thought why not give it a try?

The dough came together beautifully – making it in the food processor was so easy!  The hardest part was kneading for 5 minutes!

The first time I put the dough through the rollers I danced!  I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread!  You’ll have to forgive me, but I do get excited about the simplest things!  Ritchey was snapping pictures and I was making pasta!

Look at these beautiful thin pieces of pasta!

Then it was time to turn those beautiful pieces of pasta into spaghetti!  What can I say?  It was so much fun!

Now, what sauce or dressing for the lovely spaghetti?  I turned to another of John’s recipes – a simple but lovely Spaghetti Aglio e Olio – spaghetti with garlic and oil – with a touch of red pepper flakes, topped with a bit of parsley and pecorino romano cheese.

With the spaghetti boiling away in a large pot it wasn’t long before we sat down to a lovely bowl of fresh spaghetti and a good chianti.  Thank you, John!  I raise my glass to you!  Salute!

Spicy Turkey Chili

What to do with leftover turkey?  If it’s a damp, chilly evening like it is here in Kentucky tonight, turkey chili is the perfect solution.  Northern beans are cooked to perfection.  Then add cubes of cooked turkey, sauteed onions and garlic, sun dried tomatoes, fire roasted red and yellow peppers – red pepper flakes, cumin and a drizzle of olive oil!  A chunk of good bread and a bottle of wine are all that’s needed to make this meal complete!

Spicy Turkey Chili

  • 1 pound northern beans
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 12 ounces fire roasted red and yellow peppers, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups cubed turkey
  • two pinches of red pepper flakes – more or less!
  • 1 tablespoon cumin

Rinse beans in a large pan.  Drain.  Add twice the amount of water as beans in the pan.  Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for a couple of hours.  Check beans every 20 minutes – stir and add additional water if needed.  When beans are soft and the soup is thick add salt and pepper to taste.  In a small skillet saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil.  When the onions have softened add to beans.  Add remaining ingredients and stir.  Cover and let beans cook on low for 10 to 15 minutes or until all ingredients are hot and flavors incorporate.  Enjoy!

Lentil Soup

It was another cool day in Kentucky – a soft, quiet rain fell for most of the day.  Perfect weather for a hot bowl of soup!  Lentils were my choice of venue – along with smoked sausage and carrots – seasoned with red onions, green pepper and garlic.  Who wouldn’t like such a combination?  Ritchey was late getting home and the first words out of his mouth were, “Something smells good!”  He had two bowls of hearty goodness!  They do say the way to a man’s heart . . .

Lentil Soup

  • 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 6 ounces carrots, sliced
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 – 14 ounce cans chicken broth
  • 3 cups lentils – I used red and French
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes
  • thyme

In a large pan over medium high heat cook the smoked sausage until browned, stirring occasionally.  Add the onion and cook for an additional five minutes.  Add the carrots, green pepper and garlic and cook for another five minutes.

Add chicken broth and lentils, stir well to incorporate.  Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium low.  Add black pepper, about a handful of red pepper flakes – or more! – and a good sprinkle of thyme.  Cover and let cook for about thirty minutes.  Taste test for seasonings and if soup is thick and lentils are done.  Enjoy!