Pasta Primavera

Vegetables

It’s Friday folks so that means no meat for us so I wanted to share another quick meatless meal. We make Pasta Primavera several times a year. I add different vegetables every time. This time I used vegetables that I had in the refrigerator. I was missing a frozen bag of peas but I highly recommend using peas in your Primavera. The beautiful thing about Primavera is you can make it so many different ways: butter/olive oil sauce, red sauce, Alfredo sauce, and so on. Our favorite is a light butter/olive oil base.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Bag of Spaghetti or any choice of pasta noodle (17.6 ounces)
  • 3-4 Cups of Mixed Vegetables (cut carrots in match sticks, zucchini and squash in match sticks or quartered, and cut cauliflower)
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 4-5 Tablespoons of Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Italian Seasonings
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper to taste
  • Dash of Cayenne or Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
  • Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Prepare pasta according to directions.  Meanwhile, cut and prepare all vegetables.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large wok or saucepan over medium to high heat. Add the onions and fresh garlic along with the cauliflower and carrots. Cook for 4-5 minutes.  Add the butter and the zucchini and squash. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Next, add the Italian seasonings, sea salt, pepper, and red pepper.  Add pasta to pan and toss lightly.
  4. Heat on low heat for 3-6 minutes or until heated through.
  5. Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Cooked VegetablesPasta Primavera

 

 

 

 

Italian Sausage Soup

Italian Sausage Soup 2

Soup is one of my very favorite foods.  I’m a big fan of broth soups as opposed to cream, but I like them all. Considering this is my first soup recipe included on The St. Louis Cooks, I decided to start with this hearty family favorite.  It is not a hand me down.  This recipe is compliments of yours truly.

It combines some of my all time favorite things to eat…zucchini, tomatoes, and sausage.  Plus my kids enjoy it.  Serve it with salad, sandwiches or solo.

Italian Sausage Soup

  • Servings: 4-5
  • Difficulty: Super Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound of bulk Italian SausageIngredients for Sausage Soup
  • 1 Medium Onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 Cups of Water
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh Basil or 1 teaspoon of dried Basil
  • 2 Medium Zucchini or yellow Summer Squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices (4 cups)
  • 1 Can of Diced or Stewed Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Can of Garbanzo Beans, drained
  • 1 Can of Condensed Beef Broth

Directions:

  1. Cook sausage and onion in a large pot over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes, breaking up sausage, and until no longer pink; drain.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients, breaking up tomatoes.  Heat to a boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until zucchini is tender.
  3. Sprinkle each serving with fresh Parmesan cheese and oyster crackers if desired.

Enjoy!

Stuffed Zucchini on the Grill

Zucchini Boats

Zucchini is one of my favorite vegetables especially in the summer. I grew up eating zucchini all the time, but I have never eaten them stuffed.

On this particular night, we had one of those great meals…marinated, grilled flank steaks, pasta salami salad, and stuffed zucchini on the grill or zucchini boats.  It was our first time making them.  I must admit they were so easy.  Plus, we love it when the majority of our meal can be grilled.

Last year I could have used this recipe, because I had an abundance  of zucchini from the garden.  However, this year the moles took over and decided they liked my zucchini 😦  I had to buy this batch from our local grocery store, Dierbergs, but they always have wonderful produce.

Stuffed Zucchini on the Grill

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Ingredients

  • 4 medium Zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped Bacon (we prefer real bacon as opposed to bits)
  • 1/4 cup chopped Black Olives
  • 1/2 cup diced Green Chiles
  • 1/2 cup minced Red Onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped Tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Tablespoon of fresh Basil from the garden

Directions

  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Scoop out the pulp to about 1/4 inch from the skin.  Chop the pulp.
  2. In a bowl, mix the zucchini pulp, bacon, black olives, green chiles, onions, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese.  Season with fresh basil and salt and pepper.
  3. Stuff the zucchini halves with the mixture. Seal each half with aluminum foil.
  4. Prepare the grill. Place packets on the grill over indirect heat. Cook approximately 15-20 minutes or until tender.

With stuffed zucchini, you can get creative with the mixture but I don’t think we will deviate from this recipe.  It was so delicious – stuffed zucchini or zucchini boats whatever you prefer to call them!

Enjoy!

Zucchini Squash Parmesan

 

A family favorite from my Mom

A family favorite from my Mom

When I’m in the mood for a different vegetable, zucchini and yellow squash is always my “go to” vegetable, especially in the summer time.  You can do so many fun things with squash.  Of course, we love to marinate squash and grill it. You can put them on kabobs or eat them raw as a snack with your favorite dip.  My kids are fans of ranch and zucchini, although my kids will eat almost anything dipped in ranch.

This recipe is a long time family favorite from my Mom, Carol DeFrancesco.  With many recipes, I may tweak it a bit for personal preference.  For this particular recipe, I use olive oil to brown and sauté my squash.  My Mom used butter for the most part.   The olive oil seems to be an easier and healthier alternative.  This side dish is great with any meat of your choice.  It’s easy to make, but it does take a little time to sauté the squash so be sure to plan accordingly.

Zucchini Squash Parmesan

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan on medium heat. Meanwhile, chop both the zucchini squash and yellow squash in large 1 inch pieces.  (If you cut them too thin, they get mushy.)
  2. Brown and sauté the squash approximately 2-3 minutes on each side.  Once finished, remove squash and add more until all finished.
  3. Next, put all the cooked squash back into the pan over low heat.  Spread the Rotel tomatoes or diced tomatoes evenly on top of the squash.
  4. Season the squash with fresh basil and/or Italian seasonings and salt and pepper.
  5. Last, sprinkle the fresh parmesan cheese all over the squash.  Cover the pan to melt the cheese.  Serve and enjoy!

Like with any recipe, you can alter this to your preference or what you might have at home.  In the past, I always used Italian seasoned diced tomatoes, but then I tried a can of Rotel tomatoes with chiles.  We love the extra kick from the Rotel.

Stay tuned for some more recipes using squash!