Cauliflower Chicken Alfredo with Penne

1lb Penne Rigate

1 chicken breast (your preferred cooking method or rotisserie)

2 cup fresh spinach

1 small shallot (of ½ small red onion) finely diced

1 zucchini

1 squash

1 head of garlic

4 tbsp unsalted butter

½ head of cauliflower (cut into florets)

Buttermilk

Heavy Cream*

½ – 1C parmesan

1-2 C shredded Italian cheese

 

Salt

Pepper

Paprika

Garlic powder

Onion powder

Nutmeg (small dash)

 

Olive oil

Worcestershire sauce

 

 

Prepare your chicken. I chose to sous vide mine and began working on the other components.

Cut your garlic head at the top 1/3. Place in foil and cover in olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for about a half hour. It will become very fragrant.

Steam your cauliflower, remove.

Boil and drain your pasta, set aside.

 

I used an immersion blender in a large mixing bowl. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can use your food processor or quality blender. You want this as smooth as possible.

 

Add in the butter, the buttermilk (I used both heavy cream and buttermilk because I needed to use up the cream. Feel free to use which ever you like but no lower than whole milk).

Add in the Worcestershire sauce, the spices and roasted garlic.  Blend until very smooth.

Taste and adjust your seasonings as necessary.

In a sauce pan, add olive oil and soften your onion or shallots. Add the spinach, salt and pepper. Add the zucchini and the squash. Cook until fork tender. Remove and set aside.

 

(At this point I had to sear off my chicken for some good ol’ Maillard)

I removed the chicken, add the sauce to the pan and stirred up on the brown bits. I added the cheese at this point. I added the chicken juices to this too.

 

I added the vegetables and the sliced chicken back to the sauce. Heat through.

 

Toss with pasta.

 

Listen.

This is the truth.

 

 

© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Roasted Garlic Parmesan Shrimp with a White Wine Butter Sauce

This is a rough recipe, as I’ve been tinkering with it but no one batch has been the same. This is the latest iteration to which I’ve added mushroom, spinach and loads of white wine. The other iterations are tacked on to the bottom. This came to life on Instagram and you can definitely check out our page @NibblesandNom.

Ingredients:

1 lb of angel hair pasta

7-9 mushrooms

Pint of cherry tomatoes

3-4 cups of fresh spinach (or 1 pack of frozen)

1 stick of butter

1 bulb of garlic, plus 4-5 cloves

1 shallot

Olive oil

Pinot Grigio (or any dry white)

2+ lbs of jumbo shrimp

Parmesan

Shredded mozzarella

Salt

Pepper

Crushed red pepper

Granulated garlic

Oregano

Parsley

Basil

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Bring water to a boil
  3. Boil one lb angel hair pasta, reserve a cup of starchy pasta water
  4. Chop the end off of a bulb of garlic (yes, the whole bulb) and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  5. Wrap in foil, place on cookie sheet.
  6. Halve a pint of cherry tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  7. Spread tomatoes on the cherry sheet
  8. Roast for 30-45 minutes
    • The garlic will likely be done before the tomatoes
    • Remove the tomatoes when they begin to shrivel up and are very fragrant
  9. Peel and devein your shrimp
  10. Slice or finely chop your mushrooms
  11. Chop 4-5 cloves of garlic and one shallot
  12. In a pan, over medium heat melt one whole stick of butter (yum!)
  13. Sautee the shallot and garlic, then add the mushrooms and season
  14. Nestle in your shrimp in a single layer, do this in batches if you need to, season.
  15. Add in your spinach and toss until it begins to wilt
  16. Add in your white wine (I honestly used about 75% of the bottle. Sue me.)
  17. Toss to incorporate, season with salt and pepper, I added granulated garlic and crushed red peppers
  18. Add the roasted tomatoes
  19. Toss your drained pasta in with everything, add in a generous amount of parmesan, I added a handful of mozzarella too
  20. Drizzle in a couple of tbsp of olive oil
  21. If this mixture is getting to dry, add some of that reserved pasta water
  22. Taste and adjust your seasonings as necessary, add in your Italian herbs (think basil, oregano, parsley).

This is an easily adaptable recipe. I’ve made it several times with different variations. Like I always say, use what you’ve got!

(Spinach, shallot, bell pepper, roasted garlic, chopped garlic, squash, sun-dried tomato)

(Fresh basil, sliced mushroom, artichoke, slow roasted tomato, roasted garlic, chopped garlic)

 

© 2018 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved

Basil Pesto and Artichoke Pasta Salad

One of my favorite things in the world is pasta. It’s versatile, it can stretch, you can eat it hot or cold. Give me a noodle and some cheese and I’ll be a happy girl.

 

I decided to whip up a quick pasta salad for my guests. This is a very fresh, light salad. It calls for a homemade basil pesto as the dressing. It is so easy but it seems super fancy. It’s a dump and go recipe; it does not require a lot of labor or preparation. You can make it in advance and whip it out before your guests arrive.

This can be eaten alone or as a side.

 

 

Ingredients:

One box of farfalle, rotini or cavatappi

1 can of artichoke quarter, rinsed and drained

1 bunch of basil

1-2 tsp of lemon zest

5-6 cloves of garlic

1 cup of grape tomatoes

3 tbsp olive oil

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp black pepper

½ c romano cheese

¼ c parmesan cheese

Optional: 1 cup of fresh mozzarella, cubed


  1. Cook pasta according to box directions, drain.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine basil (reserve 4-5 leaves for garnish), lemon zest, garlic and olive oil. Pulse until smooth. Add more oil if needed.pesto
  3. Roughly chop the artichokepesto2
  4. In a large bowl, combine the basil mixture, the pasta, the artichoke and the cheese.pesto3pesto4pesto5
  5. Top with parm and julienned basil.

pesto6pesto7

Super yummy warm, room temperature or cold.

 

© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved