Tag Archives: parmesan

Prosciutto and Asparagus Alfredo Pasta

29 Apr


This dish made me feel like I was in Rome again! Oh how I wish I was, especially with all of the exciting events happening there this past weekend. But alas, I’m at home nesting like crazy and waiting for our baby to arrive any day now (can’t wait!) so I’ll take a little taste of Italy however I can manage. Also, due to the midwife’s orders, I’m supposed to currently limit my carb intake to one serving a day, so have to make it good!

This is a filling but not super heavy dish that’s perfect for spring. I’ve been on an asparagus kick lately and thought it would be a good match with the prosciutto. I’m not a big fan of salty foods, but the slight saltiness of the prosciutto paired beautifully with the creamy richness of the alfredo sauce. Of course you can make your own sauce, but this time around I decided to use a jar of store bought sauce to save some time and energy.


Prosciutto and Asparagus Alfredo Pasta

3 oz sliced prosciutto, roughly chopped
1 lb fresh asparagus, ends trimmed off, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb pasta (I used whole wheat rotini)
2 cups alfredo sauce (I used a 15 oz jar of store bought)
Black pepper
Grated parmesan

Yield: 6-8 servings

Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan and add the asparagus. Cook for about 7 minutes or until tender. Add the garlic and prosciutto and cook for another 2 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Cook the pasta according to the package. Drain and return the pasta to the pan you cooked it in. Add the alfredo sauce and the asparagus/prosciutto mixture and stir everything together until fully incorporated. Season with a little salt and pepper before serving and sprinkle some grated parmesan on top for garnish. Eat while hot and enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Tide and Thyme


Garlic Bread Pizza Crust

10 Apr


I’m certain I’ve said it before, but Friday pizza night is a huge staple in our home. Our family did it growing up, I’ve continued it in my marriage, and now I can’t wait to share the tradition with our little one who will be here in THREE WEEKS! Pardon me while this blows my mind…still can’t believe we’ll be meeting our baby so soon!


I’ve used the same homemade pizza crust recipe for the past 3+ years and have been totally happy with it, so you know it’d take an awesome new recipe to make me change my ways. I saw this recipe for garlic bread pizza crust and my eyes were sold by the delicious photos alone. It’s a pretty straightforward recipe, but is smothered in extra butter, garlic, and parmesan at the end. Ya know, if that’s your thing. I followed the full garlic extreme recipe the first time I made it and was in heaven, and then tried it again without the extra additions. (photo at the top is the toned down version, photo below is the full blown garlic bread type) The simple version was of course a bit healthier but still full of flavor and has a perfect texture. And as you can see below, the full recipe has the extra buttery, cheesy, garlic blasted goodness around the edges which is decadent and a nice indulgence once in a while. The recipe is meant to make one pizza – we don’t like crazy thick crust so I actually divide it in two get double the pizza out of one batch of dough. And as you can see, it’s still not super thin!


In fact, this two for one has been a big time saver! On one of my days off, when I have the time to make a full batch of dough, I’ll divide it in two and then freeze them for the next two Fridays. SO easy! To do this, after letting the dough rise for the 1 1/2 hours, take two plastic zipper bags (quart size works for me) and spray the inside of the bag with olive oil or non-stick spray. Divide the dough into two, put one half into each bag, and pop them in the freezer. Then, just put the dough into the fridge for about a day before you’re going to use (I transfer mine on Thursday nights) to defrost. Then while you’re prepping your pizza ingredients on the day of, take the defrosted dough out of the fridge to come to room temp, roll, top, bake, and enjoy!

Garlic Bread Pizza Crust

1 1/8 cups warm water (100-105 degrees)
3 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/2 Tbso honey
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
Whatever pizza sauce and toppings you want!

Optional – for extra garlic bread flavor:
5 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, pressed or very finely minced
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese

Yield: 2 pizza crusts

In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey, and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, garlic powder, and dried basil, stirring with a spoon or mixing with a dough hook until the dough comes together but it still sticky. Work the additional 1/2 cup flour (you don’t need to use all if it is not needed) in to the dough, kneading it with the dough hook or using your hands on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover bowl with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape on a pizza/baking pan. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.

Continue to make your pizza with your desired toppings. Bake the pizza for 23-25 minutes (or longer if needed, depending on your toppings), or until crust and cheese are both golden. Let the pizza set for a minute, then slice and serve!

If going all out with the garlic bread flavors:
While the dough is rising again, melt 3 Tbsp of butter. Mix it with the garlic and 1 Tbsp of parmesan cheese. Before adding your pizza toppings, using a spoon or pastry brush, douse the outside edges with the butter and garlic mixture. You can spread the butter all over, just make sure to focus on the edges. Use it all up! While the pizza is baking, melt remaining butter and combine with the last Tbsp of parmesan. Remove the pizza from the oven and immediately brush the outside edges with parmesan butter, using it all up. Sprinkle a bit of parmesan over the top and serve!

Source: How Sweet Eats

Creamy Italian Tomato Soup

13 Jan


I’ve had a hankering for a new soup lately and found this yummy recipe that totally fit the bill. The base is a simple creamy tomato soup but then some Italian twists are thrown in. The cheese tortellini makes this soup extra hearty and filling and the sun dried tomatoes add some great color and flavor. The addition of Italian sausage really beefs the whole thing up but is optional – I used a mild sausage, but a spicy or sweet sausage would be delicious too!

Sprinkle on a little parmesan when you serve and this will keep you extra warm and full on a cold winter day!

Creamy Italian Tomato Soup

2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cans of condensed tomato soup (10 3/4 oz cans)
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried parsley
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 lb ground mild Italian sausage
9 oz package of frozen or fresh cheese tortellini
Shredded parmesan, for garnish

Yield: 4-6 servings

Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and sauté the garlic in olive oil until golden brown. Add the tomato soup, sun dried tomatoes, half and half, chicken stock, and spices. Bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, cook the Italian sausage, drain the grease, and add the sausage to the soup.

Once simmering, add the tortellini to the soup and cook then according to the package directions. (or you can cook them separately and add them when done) When tortellini is cooked, ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle a little parmesan on top. Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Mrs. Schwartz Kitchen

Chicken Pot Pies with Cheesy Herb Crust

24 Apr


This simple meal has become a staple in our house. I originally made a biscuit topped pie years ago, but then decided to adapt it into cute individual servings. The creamy sauce combined with the hearty chicken and vegetables makes for a stick-to-your-guts comfort food that we enjoy year round. The addition of some cheese and herbs to the crust makes the dish extra savory and delicious. Enjoy!

For the sauce:
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup milk or heavy cream
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
Dash of salt and pepper
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Dash of white pepper (optional)

2 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
1/2 bag of frozen mixed vegetables (12 oz bag)

For the crust:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried parsley

Yield: 4 pies

Cook the chicken breasts and cut into small pieces. Set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

For the sauce: Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk it until combined. Add the chicken broth and whisk until smooth. Add the milk/cream, garlic powder, onion powder, a dash of salt and pepper, and any other spices you’d like.

Add the frozen vegetables and chicken to the sauce and stir to combine. Pour the mixture evenly into four ramekins and set aside.

For the crust: Beat the cream cheese and butter in a mixer until smooth. Add the flour, cheese, basil, and parsley and beat until fully combined. Divide the dough into four equal pieces. Flatten each piece and score it in the middle, to make sure some air can escape during cooking. Drape a piece of the dough over each ramekin and lightly push the edges to seal.

Put the ramekins on a baking sheet (in case anything boils over) and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is fully cooked. Put the ramekin on a small plate or saucer since it will be very hot, and serve immediately.

Source: A Beckster Original

Fresh Basil Pesto

1 Nov

My basil plant is still booming, so I took advantage and finally made some fresh basil pesto! This is perfect to use with pasta, on a sandwich or a simple piece of bread, or my favorite – as a healthy pizza sauce! We have homemade pizza every Friday in our house and a basic pesto pizza with mozzarella is one of our top choices. (I’ll have to post my fave pizza dough recipe soon) Whatever you use this pesto for, it’ll surely deliver a fresh and delicious taste. It’ll be hard ever going back to the store bought pesto again! 🙂

Fresh Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil
1/3 cup walnuts (or pine nuts)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Dash of salt and pepper

Pulse the walnuts a few times in a food processor. Add the basil and pulse a few more times to mix together. Add the garlic and pulse a few more times to combine. Slowly add the olive oil and pulse to combine. Add the cheese and pulse to combine, scrape down the sides as needed and add the salt and pepper. Pulse again until completely blended together.

Source: A Beckster Original

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

12 Jul

Does anyone else love a certain food, but only in certain ways? Tomatoes fall into that category for me. I can’t stand big chunks or slices of tomato, but cut it up into small pieces or make it into a sauce and I can handle it. Weird? Yes, I know. (I’m the same way with onions)

Besides salsa, bruschetta is my favorite way to eat tomatoes. My dad recently gave me some various items from his garden, including these tomatoes. Combine with garlic, basil, some olive oil, and parmesan, and you’ve got a tasty appetizer or hors d’oeuvre! (or lunch in my case!)

I also visited Italy last spring and remember having a traditional bruschetta as part of the antipasto course – this simple recipe tastes identical, which put a smile on my face. 🙂 Enjoy!

PS: Just a reminder that today’s the last day to enter the Shiner giveaway! Good luck!

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

1/2 cup tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
Grated parmesan cheese
Baguette, sliced and toasted

Combine the tomato, garlic, basil, and olive oil in a bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to let the flavors mingle. Slice the baguette and lightly toast the slices. Top the bread with the tomato basil mixture and sprinkle a little parmesan on top.

Source: A Beckster original

Veggie Tales: Cauliflower

30 Apr

I’ve always been lukewarm about cauliflower. It’s never my first choice on veggie platters and I’d definitely pick it’s brother broccoli first. (Now I’m sadly imagining broccoli and cauliflower, the two competitive veggie brothers, and cauliflower always gets picked last in gym class. Oh dear.)

I’m quite a fan of this recipe though – the lemon and parmesan add a nice flavorful kick to the sometimes bland taste of cauliflower. Plus the pan frying action, while cooking it and making it soft, adds a nice crispy dimension with the browned parts of the veggie. Overall, I rather enjoyed this side dish and would definitely eat it again. However, here’s my other half’s take:

“This is going to be “point/counter point” time: One word…blayucasdofinadsfo! Okay, maybe that’s not a word, but to be P.C. I did not like cauliflower. Lemon and cheese only helped mask the strong taste of cauliflower that I didn’t like. Now before people jump me and say how dare I chastise this veggie, I’m sure there is at least ONE thing out there people do not like to eat. For me it’s A LOT of things, but my perceptions are changing on some (but not all). Also, this in no way detracts from my wife’s amazing cooking! I can safely say I will not purposely try cauliflower anytime soon again.”

Well there you have it folks! Try it yourself and see where you stand 🙂

Lemon Parmesan Pan Roasted Cauliflower

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 whole Cauliflower Head, Cut Into Florets
1 Tbsp Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
1/4 cups Grated Parmesan
1 tsp Parsley Flakes (or a handful of minced fresh parsley – whatever you have!)
Salt And Pepper, to taste

Coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and arrange the cauliflower florets on top. Sprinkle in about 1 Tablespoon of water, then cover with a tightly-fitting lid. Heat skillet on medium-high heat and sear the florets, checking color occasionally and shaking the pan when bottoms become golden brown.

Once cauliflower has roasted and become fork-tender, transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkling with lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss gently to coat and serve.

Source: Apricosa on Tasty Kitchen