Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

So I ended up buying four pie pumpkins this year! Come on, they were 50 cents each! I’m surprised I didn’t get more, but maybe I held back because I had other squash filling my wagon too.  Oh how I love going to the pumpkin patch and getting all kinds of fall favorites!

Since my trip to the patch, I’ve been thinking about how I’m going to use all that yummy squash.  The other night, I had the opportunity to look through some old magazines and found this Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce recipe.  I was immediately intrigued and went out to get the ingredients I didn’t have.

This tortellini dish has a really nice flavor – the pumpkin is mild, but if you use canned pumpkin, it might be stronger.  Both Matt and I really enjoyed it and I think the leftovers the next day were even better!

Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce
from the October 2012 issue of Food Network Magazine

Ingredients
kosher salt
2 9-oz packages of cheese tortellini
1 T unsalted butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 c canned pure pumpkin
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 c heavy cream
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
freshly ground pepper
chopped fresh parsley, for topping (optional)

What To Do
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the tortellini and cook as the label directs.  Reserve 1/2 c cooking water, then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until slightly soft, about 2 minutes.  Add the pumpkin and nutmeg and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Stir in the cream and bring to a low boil.

Reduce the heat to medium-low; simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cheese and cook until thick, about 1 more minute.  Season with salt and pepper.

Add the tortellini to the skillet and toss with the sauce, adding some of the reserved cooking water to loosen, if needed.

Serve and top with more cheese and parsley, if desired.

My Comments
I made a few substitutions:  onion instead of shallot, homemade pumpkin instead of canned, dried nutmeg instead of fresh, fresh thyme (it’s still going strong in my garden) instead of parsley.

Some Photos Along the Way
Cooking the tortellini – mine only took 3 minutes
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Cooking the onion in butter
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Butter and onion plus pumpkin and nutmeg
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

Now with the heavy cream added
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

The sauce has thickened and the cheese has been added
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

I added the sauce to the tortellini because my skillet wasn’t big enough to add the tortellini to the sauce.
Tortellini with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce

 

Pumpkin pasta is a great way to celebrate some fall flavors.  Pumpkin is pretty good for you too, so bonus! This recipe was fairly quick to put together and I will definitely be making it again.   I hope you can try it out soon and I hope you all are enjoying this fall season.  Have a great weekend!

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Tuna Cakes

Good morning! It’s definitely SPRING and I hope you all are enjoying warmer weather and beauty all around.  This past week I found I’m kinda ready for some lighter meals.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some winter comfort food but I think it’s time to lighten it up a bit.

These Tuna Cakes are perfect for a lighter spring and/or summer meal.  They’re pretty quick to prep and cook and they taste great! Pair with a salad and you’re good to go.

 

Tuna Cakes

 

Tuna Cakes
from the Spring 2008 issue of Food & Family Magazine

makes about 12 cakes

Ingredients
2 cans (6 oz each) light tuna, in water, drained and flaked
1 pkg (6 oz) stuffing mix for chicken
1 c shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/2 c shredded carrots
1/3 c mayonnaise
2 T pickle relish
3/4 c water

What To Do
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  Cover and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat.  Scoop the tuna mixture, using about 1/3 cup for each cake, into skillet in batches.

Gently flatten cakes using a spatula.

Cook 3 minutes on each side or until they’re golden brown on both sides, turning cakes over carefully.

My Comments
I recommend scooping all the tuna mixture so it’s ready to go when you start cooking.  If you have an ice cream scoop, that would be helpful.  I don’t have one so stuffed the mixture into my 1/3 measuring cup.

So….as you’ll see in my photos below…and I JUST realized this as I was typing out the ingredient list…I totally forgot to add the mayo when I made these yesterday! What was I thinking??? Oh well, they still turned out great.  I did have to add a little more water after it sat in the fridge because it wasn’t holding together very well – now I know why! Yeesh! But if you don’t like mayo or can’t eat it for whatever reason or if you realize you’re out of mayo, please know that you can just leave it out and add a bit more water and it’ll be just fine.

This batch made 11 tuna cakes.

Some Photos Along the Way
Tuna Cakes

Tuna Cakes

 

These tuna cakes are great! Hooray for spring and summer coming! I hope you try these out and oh, you can make up the mixture ahead of time and then just cook some up as needed.  I bet it’d be good with some tarter sauce too but I just squeezed some lemon on mine and was happy.

Have a great week!

Lemon Teriyaki Chicken

Looking for a delicious dinner idea? I tried this recipe for Lemon Teriyaki Chicken earlier this week and really liked it.  I ate the last piece just a little bit ago and I have to admit, I’m a little sad that there’s no more.  Oh well, I will just have to make it again…soon!

 

Lemon Teriyaki Chicken

 

Lemon Teriyaki Chicken
from C. Coulston in Ohio (I cut this out of a magazine loooooong ago – I have no idea which magazine)

Ingredients
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz ea)
2 T all-purpose flour
3 T butter
1/4 c teriyaki sauce
2 T lemon juice
3/4 t minced garlic
1/2 t sugar

What To Do
Flatten chicken to 1/2″ thickness; coat with flour.  In a large skillet, cook chicken in butter over medium heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.  Remove and keep warm.

Add the teriyaki sauce, lemon juice, garlic and sugar to the skillet; stir to loosen browned bits.  Return the chicken to the pan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered for 2-3 minutes or until heated through.

My Comments
I used a package of boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins.  They are smaller so I didn’t have to flatten them out.

I highly recommend using a real lemon for the juice.

 

I really liked this dish.  I served the chicken with some left over stir fried vegetables and a bit of rice.  I think it made for a nice weeknight meal.

Have a great weekend!

Tuna Noodle Casserole

Oh, a new week has begun.  If you’re like most people I know, you don’t always have a ton of time to make a delicious and satisfying dinner during the week.  Enter my tasty friend, Tuna Noodle Casserole.  It’s pretty quick to throw together, it’s easy on the taste buds and you can even make it ahead of time and then pop it in the oven when you’re ready for it…which may take some planning, but it’s doable (and it makes a great gift for someone like a new mom).

 

Tuna Noodle Casserole

 

Tuna Noodle Casserole
from Crepes of Wrath
serves 4

Ingredients
1.  6-oz egg noodles (wide or extra wide), cooked
2.  1 small can of tuna, drained and flaked with a fork
3.  1 can low-sodium/low-fat cream of mushroom soup
4.  1/2 c skim milk
5.  1/2 c (or more) grated low-fat sharp cheddar cheese
6.  1 c frozen peas, cooked
7.  1/2 c bread crumbs tossed in 1 T melted butter
8.  fresh grated parmesan cheese

What To Do
Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients until well combined.

Spread into a greased 8″x8″ casserole dish then sprinkle bread crumbs and parmesan cheese evenly over the top.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes and serve warm.

My Comments
I like to save time by throwing the peas in with the noodles when there are 3 – 4 minutes left for the noodles to cook.  I usually combine the other ingredients while the water is coming to a boil or while the noodles/peas are cooking.

I’ve used 2% milk and it turns out just fine.

I’ve also used leftover turkey and chicken instead of tuna and it’s all yummy.

If you want to make this ahead, or give it to someone, put it all together and then cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

 

I hope this helps you out this week.  Or next week.  Or some day.  We really like it and hope you do too!

Mom’s Skillet Goulash

I didn’t know who Robert was and I don’t know whose Mom this dish is referring to either.  Maybe Mrs. Pillsbury? The dough boy’s mom? I don’t know but I’m grateful they both shared their recipes.  I’d never made goulash before and when I saw this recipe I knew I wanted to try it.  It looked good, didn’t seem too complicated and sounded somewhat healthy.  I’m so glad I did – it was really good, it wasn’t complicated and I’m convinced it is healthy (especially if you compare it to triple chocolate fudge ice cream with ribbons of caramel running through it).

 

Mom's Skillet Goulash

 

Mom’s Skillet Goulash
from The Pillsbury Savvy Shopper’s Cookbook
serves 6

Ingredients
8 oz uncooked rotini pasta (2 2/3 cups)
1 lb lean ground beef (at least 80% lean)
3 medium stalks celery, chopped (1.5 cups)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 cans (14.5 oz each) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (10 3/4 oz) condensed tomato soup
1 t dried basil leaves
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper

What To Do
Cook and drain pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile, in 12-inch nonstick skillet, cook beef, celery and onion over medium-high heat for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until beef is thoroughly cooked; drain.

Stir in cooked pasta and remaining ingredients.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

My Comments
I loved how I could do the chopping and cook the meat/celery/onion while the pasta was cooking.  That saved a lot of time.

The celery gave the dish some texture, as it was a tad crunchy.  I liked this but you might want to cook the celery a few minutes longer if you don’t want any crunch.

This is a great recipe to use up any tomatoes you might have in the freezer from last summer’s garden or farmer’s market.

The leftovers taste great!

Next time I might try adding some green peppers, garlic, and/or some different seasonings – I think goulash is one of those dishes you can easily experiment with and adapt to your liking.

 

This makes a great, quick, hearty, comforting dinner.  I hope you give it a try.  I’m sure glad I did and will definitely be making it again!