Orecchiette Pasta with English Peas & Cherry Tomatoes

Anytime I try to cook a pasta or an Italian dish, I find that simple and fresh ingredients truly make for the best plate. You don’t need to make a big fuss about making a good pasta, it doesn’t have to be over-complicated. Quality of your pasta makes a big difference, of course fresh is best. But I actually found this bag of organic Orecchiette pasta from Trader Joe’s, I thought it came out fantastic. Linking pasta here.

I find that these days I’m cooking quite a bit of pasta (because my picky- eater Child actually likes it) and of course as a mom, I’m franticly paranoid about my son getting enough vitamins/ nutrients from healthy foods, etc. etc.

EC465C1D-E13A-465C-AA7D-F8CFB5862120.jpeg

So with this orecchiette, I added beautiful fresh English peas and cherry tomatoes!! My son loved eating this! The little peas kind of sit inside the “cup” of this pasta and I was watching him get a bite of peas or tomatoes with every bite because of the shape of the pasta. That’s a Win!!

F899785F-CC9D-46BD-8292-9B645B5EC11F

Cooking shallots and bacon in the cream gave amazing flavor to the pasta, how could it not?? Even little bits of the cheese and cream sink into the cup of this pasta, giving you the perfect bite every time. I have a feeling I will be making variations of this pasta again and again!

 

9BF19A1E-B503-42BA-9EE5-D1253AFD1F23

Ingredients:

- 12 ounces orecchiette pasta
- 1 shallot
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup of good quality bacon
- 3 tbs butter
- 3 tbs fresh parsley
- 1 cup of cherry tomatoes 
  cut in half
- 1/2 cup English peas
- 1 cup cream
- 6 ounces freshly grated 
  Parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While the water gets hot, heat a medium to large skillet with butter and cook the bacon down till it browns. Add in the shallots and garlic and cook with the bacon until frgrant.

When the water is boiling add the pasta in, and cook till al dente. In the skillet with the bacon and shallots, add in the cream and peas. Cook the peas for 3-5 minutes. When the pasta is al dente, add pasta and the tomatoes into the skillet with cream. Grate the parmeasean cheese over the pasta and stir to incorporate evenly. Add in fresh parsley, salt and pepper. Let stand for a minute or two and it is ready to serve.

 

Advertisements

Spicy Pork Meatballs with Spaghetti

All the time I ask my husband what his favorite dish that I make is. He always says “everything” and then I demand that he be more specific, to which he replies “probably your spaghetti”.

Honestly, that is so weird to me because I feel like I have made some pretty darn good meals for us, so how could my spaghetti be the first to top that list??

I started thinking about it, and I realized, that it is pretty good lol. I guess I kind of had this stigma against spaghetti growing up because it was such a repeat meal in our household. Mostly because, you can throw a basic spaghetti together super quickly and kids usually like it, so I get it. But, I was burnt out from it.

I guess subconsciously I started making spaghetti to be a little more interesting and I didn’t really take the time to start disassociating the stigma against it, in my mind.

But I have now, and I’m happy to share some tips with you about it. Truth be told, I make adjustments all the time to my spaghetti, but I tried marking down my favorite things about it and told my self to start being consistent with making it the way I did tonight. Here is what I have come up with! I hope you enjoy 🙂

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This cute serving platter you can find here

Ingredients:

- 1 lb. Spicy Italian Pork Sausage- remove 
  casing. 
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1-2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion 
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 TBS tomato paste
- 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes or about a 
  dozen fresh tomatoes diced (you can do 
  a combination 1/2 fresh & 1/2 can)
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 TBS brown sugar
- 1 TBS fresh basil 
- 2 TBS fresh parsley 
- 12-14 ounces of thin spaghetti noodles 
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions:

First begin by constructing your meatballs. I ALWAYS use this sausage for my spaghetti. You could use any Italian ground pork (spicy or non spicy), but the HEB Hot Italian Link Sausage is my favorite.

Remove sausage from the casing and set into a medium sized bowl. Add in garlic powder, onion powder and only 1/2 tablespoon of fresh parsley finely chopped. Start mixing the meat with the spices and begin to form meatballs using your hands. Grab enough to form a meatball about the size of a golfball.

Heat olive oil in pan over medium- high heat. Begin browning all the meatballs in the pan, turning them over from side to side. Once the meatballs are browned, add in chopped onion and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant. Next, add in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, water and set the temperature down to a low simmering heat. Add in the brown sugar, 1 table spoon of the fresh basil, and the remaining 1 1/2 of fresh parsley. If you want additional spice in the sauce go ahead and add the red pepper flakes at this point. The longer you let the sauce cook down, the more flavorful it will be. Also, the more tender your meatballs will be.

I usually at least let it cook down for an hour. Always keep an eye on your sauce, if you let it simmer for a long period of time. You want to watch that it doesn’t dry out and start to burn, if it does begin to thicken and dry out, add another 1/2 – 1 cup of water.

Once the sauce is set to your liking, you can begin boiling a large pot of water for the pasta. Salt the water to the point that it tastes like salt water from the ocean. Once it’s up to a roaring boil, add the thin spaghetti pasta and cook till al dente. Which means to take it out of the water just before it’s fully cooked, because we want it to finish cooking in the sauce.

When your pasta is al dente, add the spaghetti noddles into the sauce dish with meatballs. Toss around and combine the pasta into the sauce. Let the pasta cook for a few minutes over the low simmer. If your sauce is needing a little more liquid at this point, use the water from large pot that you cooked your spaghetti in.

Turn heat off when pasta is completely cooked through. Let it sit for a few minutes so the flavors can sink in even more. Chop remaining fresh basil and add some parmesan cheese over and serve!

Thank you for reading!