Quick and Easy Recipe: Orecchiette with Bread Crumbs

I’ve been on a Giada kick. Lately, perhaps subconsciously, a majority of my recipes have come from her first cookbook based on the popular show, Everyday Italian. Yes, her recipes take longer than thirty minutes & sometimes are a bit of a challenge but it keeps me on my toes. One of my favorite things about this cookbook is she uses a lot of things you may already have on hand & uses them in a recipe so easy that you wonder, “Why didn’t I think of this?”

One of those recipes came in the form of pasta & breadcrumbs. Yes, breadcrumbs! Like everyone else, I associate breadcrumbs with frying or baking but mixing with pasta? That’s definitely a first for me! The dish turned out delicious. Crunchy pasta with prosciutto was a wonderful combination. Also just as wonderful is that it doesn’t break the bank. If you don’t care for prosciutto, you could always use ham, bacon, or salami. It’s a pretty versatile recipe & it’s very adaptable as well.

You can find the recipe that I used here.

Recipe: Cheese & Pasta in a Pot

This dish is pretty much lasagna without the noodles. It’s super simple and very cheesy!

You start off with a layer of pasta sauce, pasta shells, meat, and cheese but wait it gets better…


You keep repeating this until you’ve got several layers of what will be a gooey cheesy dish.


The bubbly hot cheese will just form huge strings as you fix yourself a plate.

This dish is a great way to stretch a dollar. Serves 8 so share it with your friends or freeze some for later!

Cheese & Pasta in a Pot

Cheese & Pasta in a Pot

Are we hungry yet?


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Cheese & Pasta in a Pot
A great way to stretch a dollar.
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef or turkey
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 14 oz jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb canned stewed tomatoes
  • 8oz shell pasta
  • 1/2 lb sliced provolone
  • 1/2 lb sliced mozzarella
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
Preheat oven at 350 degrees.Cook the ground meat in a little oil in a large pan stirring often. Drain fat.Add onions, garlic, spaghetti sauce, stewed tomatoes, & mushrooms. Mix well.Simmer 20 mins or until onions are soft.Cook pasta according to package directons. Drain & rinse with cold water.Pour 1/2 of the shells in deep casserole.Cover with 1/2 meat sauce mixture. Top with provolone.Repeat pattern & end with mozzarella.Cover casserole & bake at 350 for 35-40 min.Remove cover & continue baking until mozzarella melts & browns slightly, about 5 mins more.Serve.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 servings

Recipe: Spaghetti & Clams

Here’s another quick and easy recipe that brings me back to college. This time, instead of taking the shortcut & using pasta roni (C’mon, you did it too!) I’m doing this all from scratch. Spaghetti & meatballs gets old really fast, so try something different like this. It doesn’t take much time either.


8oz spaghetti

2 6oz cans drained clams

1/4 c olive oil

4 TBSP butter

1 TBSP Italian seasoning

1/4 C Grated Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta to package directions. Drain.

Mix olive oil & butter together sprinkle Italian seasoning. Add clams & stir until heated through. Add clams to spaghetti & stir. Season with Parmesan cheese.

Spaghetti & Clams

Spaghetti & Clams

Recipe: Mexican Inspired Shrimp Pasta

This recipe came to me while I was organizing my pantry. I saw a bottle of Lawry’s Chipotle Marinade that we hadn’t used yet. Knowing myself, I would have normally just said “I’ll use that later” and then forget about it until it was too late. This time I decided to be proactive & I thought of tossing shrimp in the marinade & making it a part of a mexican inspired pasta dish. This was a feat I hadn’t heard of. Sure there’s Italian pasta & Asian noodle dishes but Mexican? Rarely unless it’s a Mexican inspired salad. So I gave this one a go.

Mexican Inspired Shrimp Pasta

Mexican Inspired Shrimp Pasta


1 lb cooked shrimp

1 cup Lawry’s Chipotle Marinade

1 TSP cooking oil (we used PAM cooking spray)

1 15 oz can black beans

1 15 oz can diced tomatoes

1 15 oz can corn

1 cup diced onion

1 bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup salsa

8 oz spaghetti (we used wheat spaghetti)


Combine shrimp and 1 cup marinade in a medium size bowl. Mix well so that all the shrimp is coated. Place in refrigerator for at least an hour.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook spaghetti to package directions & drain.

Meanwhile, saute onion in a large skillet over high heat for a minute.

Add bell pepper and saute for another minute.

Lower heat to medium.

Add corn, black beans, and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine. Heat thoroughly (3 mins)

Add salsa & shrimp and mix thoroughly. (about 6 mins)

Add pasta and mix thoroughly.

Serve immediately.

Mexican Inspired Shrimp Pasta

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