Pumpkin goes great with espresso and milk, but we’ve found an even better combination: pumpkin and gooey, melted cheese. Put down the pumpkin spice latte and try making a savory squash dish this fall, like Pumpkin Lovers’ Lasagna (pictured above) and other easy, comforting pasta dishes that will warm you from the inside out.
Continue Reading Combine Squash and Pasta for the Ultimate Fall Comfort Food
There’s no sense in even trying to deny the allure of rigatoni. You love it, you know you love it and there’s no shame in admitting it. Those thick tubes of perfectly cooked pasta, harboring secret pockets of saucy delight. Don’t even try to wipe the drool off your keyboard. Resistance is futile.
Seriously, though, if you’re hankering for quick and easy weeknight comfort, this is the ticket. A lean blend of flavorful meats and just a touch of cream make for a sauce so delicious and silky it’ll leave that pantry can of vowel-shaped spaghetti shaking on its shelf. And don’t worry about all that healthy talk — there’s totally peas in here, so you’re getting your green for the day. Plus everyone deserves a little carb comfort now and again, right?
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Rigatoni with Meat Sauce and Peas
Isn’t it great when months of booking hotels, drafting itineraries, hoarding suntan lotion and dusting off beach chairs finally culminates in that magical week of seasonal bliss? Summer vacation is almost here for me, and boy do I need it!
Before skipping town for a week in Cape Cod, I had to do what any upstanding food fan would: clean out the fridge. A little something you might not know about me — I LOVE a good “yeah throw that in” bowl of pasta. Putting an assortment of deliciousness into a bowl with some pasta, sauce and cheese can only, by law of deductive reasoning, end up even more synergistically delicious than at the start. It’s a no-brainer and always a crowd-pleaser.
Speaking of crowd-pleasing, the other beautiful thing about this pasta is how perfect it is for a backyard BBQ. Take advantage of an already active grill by bringing prepped vegetables, cooked pasta and prepared pesto to your next cookout. Throw the vegetables on the grill when you arrive and then toss everything together and serve — instant pasta salad!
Safe travels (and good eats) to everyone traveling on vacation this summer!
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Backyard Pasta with Mint Pea Pesto
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?
You don’t need copious amounts of butter or oil to make vegetables tasty. You can sneak good-for-you ingredients into the dishes you love without adding a bunch of fat. Spinach is packed with vitamins and is a good source of calcium and fiber, but its not exactly my favorite food to eat totally raw. With garlicky pasta and a bit of cheese, however, it becomes a lot more enticing.
You can count on Cooking Channel’s recipe for Spinach and Tortellini for a simple, satisfying Meatless Monday dinner. Who doesn’t love pasta after all? With no fancy ingredients or complicated steps, the meal comes together in just about a half an hour. The sauteed garlic and tomatoes bring the familiar Italian aromatics we all crave, while mushrooms, peas and spinach add new flavor and texture to each bite. With so many healthy ingredients in one bowl, a sprinkle of pine nuts and Parmesan is the little extra indulgence you deserve.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Spinach and Tortellini
A short while ago my friend Joe called me with a seemingly simple request: he wanted to surprise his girlfriend by making dinner for her. Being that they’re two of my besties, that his culinary abilities are self-admittedly so-so and that she’s a phenomenal cook herself, the guy needed a simple meal with a big “wow” factor.
Enter carbonara! Sure, it takes a little bit of coordination to pull off, but it’s made with only a handful of ingredients that were likely already in their refrigerator and pantry. Plus, it’s one of her favorites. No pressure.
The secret to carbonara is timing and heat – the latter of which you need very little. To be successful, have all your ingredients ready at the same time that the pasta is ready. Once you drain it, toss everything together off the heat (emphasis on off the heat) and the hot pasta will provide just enough warmth to cook the eggs through and make a beautiful silky sauce. It’s when you try to mix everything together over the heat that you end up with scrambled egg spaghetti – a sure-fire date-night ruiner.
So how, you may be wondering, did Joe’s version turn out? He and Charissa are getting married this August. Nailed it.
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! “Date Night” Spaghetti Carbonara
It’s now week two of the “Resolution Stretch.” How you holding up? I know, I’d rather we call them long term goals, too. How about a quick and healthy dinner plan to get “two birds with one stone” ahead of the game?
The combo of cooked beans and hearty greens is a pretty classic one in Italian home cooking. The beauty of it, really, is that you can easily make a super hearty dinner for four (or even a few more) that is nutritionally balanced, ready in no time and light on the wallet.
Reach for whatever cooking greens your grocery store has around – mine happened to have some beautiful escarole and rainbow chard so I went with a combination of the two. Anything will work. Although you’d never know it from the depth of flavor, this recipe is also vegetarian. If you prefer a bit of meat with your dinner, go ahead and crisp up some pancetta, bacon, or their leaner Canadian cousin and add that to the mix too.
You’re saving money, time and calories all in one dish. Go on, you Resolution Rockstar.
Continue Reading Dinner Rush! Beans & Greens Spaghetti
Going meatless on Mondays (or any other day) isn’t an excuse for a full-on carb and cheese fest. But it’s easy to do so: macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese, pizza, quesadillas — these are all completely meatless and completely amazing foods. But if you eat pizza all day every Monday, you’ll be missing out on the point, and the health benefits of Meatless Monday. An easy fix? Add some vegetables to your favorite cheesy, carby comfort foods and you’re all set. Comfort with a side of vitamins and fiber.
Continue Reading Meatless Monday: Macaroni and Cheese With Mushrooms and Kale
Don’t be intimidated: Giada’s recipe starts with store-bought ravioli and focuses on creating a sauce that makes the dish divine.
Watch her make the recipe now:
More Halloween on Cooking Channel:
We’ve all experienced a drab salad made with limp lettuce that looks like it’s drowning in globs of thick dressing. But there are so many more possibilities for this humble leaf. We’ve collected five hold-the-salad recipes that will challenge your misgivings about lettuce:
Continue Reading Fall Fest: Lettuce (Hold the Salad)
“Dinner Rush” is a delicious and time-savvy source for meal ideas and recipes that get you from the express lane to the dinner table without breaking a sweat. Dinner just got simpler with inspiration that combines some everyday pantry items with only five (or six) ingredients.
Hit up a local farm stand this time of year and try – just try – to avoid walking out with your body weight in corn and tomatoes. I dare you. What to do with such a bottomless supply of the season’s best bounty? A next-to-no-cook dinner works for me.
Continue Reading Dinner Rush: Summer Farmer’s Market Pasta