Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Giving Thanks" Pasta

Giving Thanks Pasta

     Ok so this dish was inspired by the chef at the restaurant I work at. He had one evening during a wine tasting dinner created this wonderful creamed corn sauce  that he served  under a chicken drumette. The sauce was so great we thought why not  make it into a sauce over pasta? So when I was hosting a "Thanksgiving" kind of night for some coworkers we thought why not take that sauce, add some turkey, and serve it over the pasta as our entrée for the evening? And that is exactly what I did. The sauce and pasta were very light but packed for of flavor. Now what  I mean about light in flavor was that it was overpowering or had too much of one flavor. It was soft on the pallet and very delicious. Hope you enjoy this "Giving Thanks" Pasta.


  • 1 large boneless turkey breast diced into bite size pieces
  • 6 slices of bacon diced
  • 1/2 small white onion diced
  • 1 1/2 cups cream
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 tbs thyme
  • 1 diced garlic clove
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/3 cup shredded Romano cheese
  • Salt/pepper
  • Pasta of choice

1. In a large skillet brown the diced bacon until begins to brown.

2. Toss in onion and saute.

3. Toss in garlic and saute until fragrant.

4. Pour in white wine and reduce.

5. Toss in diced turkey and brown.

6. Pour in cream and thyme and bring to a slow simmer.

7. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes on low.

8. Toss in corn kernels and shredded Romano cheese, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.

9. Salt and pepper to taste.

10. Serve over favorite pasta. (We used fresh homemade as that is what my coworkers requested).

     This dish was so good that everyone was "Giving Thanks" for the soon to be holiday season as well as a night off from work. (wink wink).

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook  Time: 20-25 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Friday, November 13, 2015

Pork And Cream Cheese Wontons

Pork Cream Cheese Wontons

     It is nearing the holiday seasons and I was having a sort of “blog block” with coming up with some ideas for posts. My coworker and friend gave me the idea to come up with some appetizer ideas that could be perfect for holiday entertaining. So here goes. I attempted my first ever wonton recipe. I thought why not do a pork and cream cheese stuffed wonton and add a couple of easy  dipping sauces. This was really easy and had so many flavors that I am sure if you give it a try your holiday party will be a blast with such good appetizers. Pork and Cream Cheese Wontons


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • Small bundle green onion
  • 2 packages of cream cheese softened
  • 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
  • ½ tbs garlic powder
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Dipping sauce of choice, (I chose a combination of soy and sweet and sour sauce as well as soy and mango chutney).


1.       Brown pork in large sauté pan until cooked through.

2.       Combine chopped green onion, cream cheese, and drained ground pork in a large mixing bowl.

3.       Sprinkle in the Chinese 5 spice powder, garlic powder, and lemon juice. Mix well until smooth and combined.

4.       Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

5.       Spray a baking pan with cooking spray.

6.       Place a small dollop of filling into center of each wonton wrapper.

7.       Fold over either into little pockets or diamond shapes.

8.       Lay on baking dish and spray the tops with some cooking spray.

9.       Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.

     I combined in one dish some soy and sweet and sour sauce. I also combined in another dipping dish some soy and mango chutney. I preferred the mango chutney, but whatever works for you. The flavors in the wontons were fantastic. The pork, the cheese, the hint of 5 spice powder and the onion went so well together along with dipping them into the two sauces. The flavors were fantastic and will definitely be a hit at your next holiday party.

Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: Makes about 40 won tons.




Friday, November 6, 2015

Mamma's Minestra

Mamma's Minestra

    Minestra, is literally one of two translations for an Italian soup, the other being zuppa. The difference is just between which one contains pasta or beans and which contains mainly a broth. Either way the difference is mostly lost here in the USA. Any soup that is Italian based that contains beans and or pasta can be called a Minestra. If the soup contains mostly broth and possibly bread it can be called Zuppa. I am sure you have heard of Minestrone, which is another Italian soup that is mostly vegetables but has its roots in the Latin word Minestra. Growing up in an Italian home we always called this dish "Minest", (Pronounced Ma-nast), "Minestra", etc. I have a few friends who also come from the same type of family and they have their own version of a "Minest". I have seen it with pasta, beans, pork, potatoes, pepperoni, and greens. A good friend of mine gave me some of her mother's leftover and told me it was "Minash", I had no clue what she was talking about, but that just shows the difference in dialects even among American Italian families. Ours was always just a beef, pasta, and bean dish. Very much different than our Pasta e Fagioli which was a tomato base or left over marinara base with beans and pasta and usually had just a little pork in it. Our Minest was beef base and does have a distinctive and different taste.

    This dish is one of those that takes only a few minutes and is so flavorful that it always reminds me of my mother. Since it is becoming colder here in WV, it is one of those soups that I will be making at least a couple times of month. So quick and easy but full of flavor that it will definitely warm you up on those cold evenings. Mama's Minestra, (Ma-nast).


  • 1 lb stew beef
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 32oz beef stock
  • 1 32oz water
  • 1 15oz can kidney or pinto beans
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked ditalini pasta
  • Salt/pepper
  • Olive Oil

1. Dice up the stew beef into bite size pieces. Salt and pepper. In a Dutch Oven over medium high heat brown the beef in a little olive oil.

2. Chop up the onion and toss in and saute.

3. Pour in the beef stock and water.

4. Bring to simmer and toss in the drained diced tomatoes.

5. Simmer on medium low for about 20 minutes

6. Drain and toss in the beans.

7. Cook for another 10 minutes.

8. Stir in the pasta and cook until done.

9. Salt and pepper to taste and serve.

     So quick and easy you will definitely be making this easy Italian Minest right away. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 5 +