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 head of garlic
4 tbsp unsalted butter
½ head of cauliflower (cut into florets)
½ – 1C parmesan
1-2 C shredded Italian cheese
Nutmeg (small dash)
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.
This is the truth.
© 2019 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved
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.
1 lb of angel hair pasta
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
Pinot Grigio (or any dry white)
2+ lbs of jumbo shrimp
Crushed red pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- Bring water to a boil
- Boil one lb angel hair pasta, reserve a cup of starchy pasta water
- Chop the end off of a bulb of garlic (yes, the whole bulb) and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
- Wrap in foil, place on cookie sheet.
- Halve a pint of cherry tomatoes, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
- Spread tomatoes on the cherry sheet
- 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
- Peel and devein your shrimp
- Slice or finely chop your mushrooms
- Chop 4-5 cloves of garlic and one shallot
- In a pan, over medium heat melt one whole stick of butter (yum!)
- Sautee the shallot and garlic, then add the mushrooms and season
- Nestle in your shrimp in a single layer, do this in batches if you need to, season.
- Add in your spinach and toss until it begins to wilt
- Add in your white wine (I honestly used about 75% of the bottle. Sue me.)
- Toss to incorporate, season with salt and pepper, I added granulated garlic and crushed red peppers
- Add the roasted tomatoes
- Toss your drained pasta in with everything, add in a generous amount of parmesan, I added a handful of mozzarella too
- Drizzle in a couple of tbsp of olive oil
- If this mixture is getting to dry, add some of that reserved pasta water
- 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
Tonight my kiddo said he wanted spicy, saucy noodles so Mason’s Dragon Noodles became a thing and I will absolutely be duplicating this in the future.
A super easy recipe. Bold flavors make it difficult to mess this up. It’s also easily adjustable to suit your tastes. My family likes food spicy (hello “dragon” noodles), so feel free to tinker with the spice level.
I was gifted a wok for Christmas. Mommy’s first wok. Seasoning it was an adventure but it was successful! So, this was my first time breaking it in.
If you don’t have a wok, use a cast iron skillet because they hold heat really well and they get super hot. If you don’t have either of those, use a pan large enough to hold what you’re working with. High heat is important, so be mindful of that.
- 1 large chicken breast, or a few boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced
- 3 carrots, sliced
- ¼-1/2 bell pepper, sliced
- 2-3 scallions, whites and greens (reserve some greens)
- Handful of chopped cilantro, (reserve some)
- ½ red onion, sliced
- ½-1 tbsp ginger, grated
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 habanero pepper, chopped
- 1 lb angel hair or spaghetti (you can use your preferred Asian noodles but we usually have these in the house and they work just fine)
- Canola or vegetable oil
- 1/3-1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine
- 2 tbsp Huy Fong sriracha (the REAL kind with the green cap and rooster)
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek
- 1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
- ~1/4 c light brown sugar
- 1/3-1/2 cup water
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- Boil and drain your noodles.
- Prep your veg
- In a bowl, mix up the garlic, ginger, habanero, sugar, and liquid ingredients and whisk together.
- With your wok or pan on high heat, add some oil and cook your chicken breast. Remove and set to the side.
- Working quickly, cook your veggies. You want them to keep some texture so don’t cook them to death. Remove and set to the side.
- Still on high heat, add the liquid to the pan. Bring to a boil and add your chicken and simmer for a bit then add your veggies. Shortly after, add your drained noodles.
- Using tongs, toss your noodles, cilantro and other ingredients. You want to incorporate them all together as well as you can. This can be annoying but toss in different directions to incorporate. Turn off your heat, your noodles will sop up any extra liquid.
- Top with reserved cilantro and scallion.
This can be served hot, warm or cold.
© 2018 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved
I’ve been watching cooking shows and competitions five-ever. There are three things that I have simply never attempted because I imagined Gordon Ramsay looming over my kitchen and judging every step. Beef Wellington. Risotto. Gnocchi.
Today, I bit the bullet and decided to attempt gnocchi. I, however, do not own a food mill or potato ricer. I love kitchen gadgets but I have to rationalize its use. I can’t convince myself to buy gadgets that I’ll use once a year, hence, no ricer or mill. I hit the Googles to find out if it was possible to achieve this without those tools. Apparently, there is. I was skeptical but I figured I’d give it a shot.
2 lbs potatoes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pierce your potatoes with a fork and spread on a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until fork tender.
- Allow to cool
- Peel the potatoes
- Using a ricer, food mill or grater (large holes) break down your potatoes
- Add salt and egg
- Add flour a little bit at a time; you do not want to over flour.
- Using a wooden spoon, your hands or a silicon spatula combine the dough. It should not stick to your hands.
- Flour your surface and knead your dough for 2-3 minutes.
- Cover with a towel as you work
- Cut a portion of the dough ball and roll into a snake, about 1/2” in diameter
- Cut little pillows
- I am no expert. I used YouTube to find out how to roll the dough on fork tines. You can try this or just leave them as pillows
- If you’re going to cook them right away, one option is to cook them as you would pasta. Much like fresh pasta, these will float to the top. Once they float, allow them to cook for about a minute before draining.
- If you’re going to freeze them, flour a cookie sheet and spread the gnocchi there. Allow them to freeze then store them in a ziplock bag.
Who knew gnocchi wasn’t that scary after all?
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.
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
- Cook pasta according to box directions, drain.
- 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.
- Roughly chop the artichoke
- In a large bowl, combine the basil mixture, the pasta, the artichoke and the cheese.
- Top with parm and julienned basil.
Super yummy warm, room temperature or cold.
© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved
Lasagna is one of those meals that you whip up and you know you won’t have to worry about dinner for a couple of nights. It’s also one of those meals that allow you to load up on veggies! If you punch up the flavor, even the most anti-veg person will devour a serving or few.
Yields 15 lasagna rolls
Box of lasagna noodles
5 Spicy Italian sausage
small yellow onion
half of a green bell pepper
1 large zucchini
3 large carrots
1 pack of frozen chopped spinach
pint of reduced fat ricotta
4 cloves of garlic
Your favorite tomato sauce
Your preferred shredded cheese
- Preheat your oven to 375
- Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil.
- Boil the lasagna noodles.
- Using a mandolin slicer, create zucchini ribbons and carrot ribbons
- Defrost spinach
- Brown your sausage or other ground meat (this could be a omitted for a completely vegetarian recipe)
- Add chopped garlic, onion and pepper, cook until just softened, season with salt and pepper.
- Drain your noodles, should be al dente
- Remove the meat and veg from the pan and drain in a strainer or a paper towel
- Drain spinach, season with salt, pepper and about 1 tsp garlic powder.
- Season ricotta with 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp kosher salt and a pinch of crushed pepper, mix to combine
- Take one noodle and “paint” ricotta mixture using a spoon or a spatula
- Lay carrot ribbons, sprinkle spinach, sprinkle meat mixture and top with cheese
- Tightly roll the noodles up
- Nestle a zucchini ribbon overtop, repeat until your pan is full. My pan was 13×9 and that fit 15 rolls. Lightly sprinkle kosher salt over your ribbon-wrapped rolls.
- Top with your favorite tomato sauce (I used 2 parts canned diced tomato and 1 part canned crushed tomato that I seasoned it up using my go-to’s: kosher salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, Italian seasoning, pinch of sugar and a dash of fish sauce).
- Generously top with your preferred shredded cheese
- Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes then uncovered until bubbling and the edges start to brown.
© 2016 by Alexa Mason. All Rights Reserved