Sarafina’s One-Pot Pasta

Sarafina's One-Pot Pasta|Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 16 ounces linguine
  • 12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 2 sprigs basil, chopped or chiffonade
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I used 1 T lemon olive oil with 1 T regular – yum!)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups water (or 3 cups of broth and 1 cup of white wine)
  • 2-3 small Parmesan rinds to add to the stock (for creaminess)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. Combine everything into the pot but the grated Parmesan. Make sure the pasta lays flat.
  2. Bring to boil over high heat.
  3. Boil mixture, stirring and turning pasta frequently with tongs, until pasta is al dente and water has nearly evaporated, about 9 minutes.
  4. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated Parmesan.

Sarafina's Kitchen | One-Pot Pasta

Sarafina's Kitchen | One-Pot Pasta

Greek Lamb with Orzo


Greek Lamb with Orzo | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • pound ground lamb
  • tablespoon olive oil
  • large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 28 ounces can of whole tomatoes, drained 
  • 14 ounces can of chopped/diced tomatoes
  • ounces fresh spinach, chopped
  • pound orzo pasta
  • cups chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  1. In a good sized Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pan, heat the one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. Add the lamb and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Cook, stirring to break it apart, until it is nicely browned. Remove the lamb with a slotted spoon and drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat.
  2. Return the pot to the stove top and add the onion and garlic (still over medium-high). Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are softened and golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices (cinnamon, oregano, cumin, coriander, and red pepper) and cook until they start smelling extremely toasty and fragrant (1-2 minutes). Then, stir in the smooshed tomatoes.
  3. Cook the smooshed tomatoes in the spices, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Then, add the can of diced tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked lamb back to the pot, give a good stir, then cover the pot and leave it to cook, stirring from time to time, for 20 minutes. At this point, stir in the fresh spinach and cook just a couple more minutes until the spinach is wilted. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste (keeping in mind you’ll be sprinkling just a touch of feta and olives on, which will add to the saltiness).
  5. While the lamb and tomatoes are simmering together and marrying their flavors, bring a large pot of well-salted water (it should taste like sea water, basically) to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until al dente, about 7 or 8 minutes, usually. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  6. Drain the orzo. Toss the orzo with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the lemon juice, and all of the parsley, adding a bit of pasta water at a time, if you feel it needs additional liquid.
  7. Spread the orzo out on an enormous serving platter. Spoon the lamb and sauce all over the top, then sprinkle with the feta and chopped olives.

Crab & Crawfish Alfredo

Crab & Crawfish Alfredo | Sarafina's Kitchen

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 4 T  butter (unsalted)
  • 1 t  minced garlic
  • ½ t nutmeg
  • 2 t grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1/2 c heavy cream
  •  1 c shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 c crawfish tails
  • 1 c lump crabmeat
  • 1 T freshly chopped parsley
  1. Cut cream cheese and butter into smaller pieces.
  2. Add them to the pan and melt them together.
  3. Slowly whisk in the milk, cream, and Parmesan until the cheese is melted.
  4. Toss in the crawfish and crabmeat.
  5. Stir in the garlic, nutmeg, and lemon zest.
  6. Toss with 8 oz of your favorite pasta.
  7. Sprinkle on more Parmesan and fresh parsley.

Carbonara with Spring Herb Gremolata

Pasta Carbonara with Spring Herb Gremolata | Sarafina's Kitchen

Recipe courtesy of My Year in Meals and My Year in Cocktails

  • 1/2 cup mixed fresh herbs: parsley, chives, thyme
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or guanciale, finely diced
  • salt and coarsely ground pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound egg tagliatelle or spaghetti
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  1. Finely chop the herbs and combine with the lemon zest (this is the gremolata).
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the EVOO (4 turns of the pan) over medium heat.  Add the pancetta or guanciale, season with pepper, and cook until browned, 2 to 3 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, reduce the heat a bit, and stir another 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the wine.
  4. Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta to al dente.  Ladle out 1 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water and beat into the egg yolks to warm them.
  5. Drain the pasta and toss with the garlic and pancetta and the warm egg yolks.  Sprinkle in half the cheese and continue tossing 1 minute more.  Serve in shallow bowls with the remaining cheese and the herb gremolata sprinkled over the top.

My notes: I tempered the egg yolks as I added them to the pasta water.  I was afraid they’d end up cooking.  Either that, or you can let the pasta water cool enough so that they don’t.

Last-Minute Lasagna

From Real Simple


  • 1 26-ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 2 30-ounce bags frozen large cheese ravioli, unthawed
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess water
  • 1 8-ounce bag shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Coat a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray and spoon in a third of the sauce.
  2. Arrange 12 ravioli on top and scatter the spinach over them. Top with half of each cheese. Cover with another layer of ravioli and the remaining sauce and cheese.
  3. Cover with foil and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 to 10 minutes more or until bubbly.
Info from

Info from

Italian Pasta Salad


  • 12 oz rotini pasta
  • 1/2 c Italian dressing
  • 1/2 cup green or black olives
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • 1 jar hearts of palm, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. In the meantime, toss the olives, peppers, capers, and hearts of palm with the dressing and refrigerate.
  3. Once the pasta is al dente, drain and run under cold water.
  4. Toss the pasta with the dressing and veggies and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  5. Top with Parmesan and serve.

Fettuccine Alfredo

I love pasta. I love Alfredo. I really love this recipe for it.  It’s super easy to make and is decadent and the ultimate in comfort food.

photo courtesy

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis


  • 18 ounces fresh fettuccine
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Drain.
  2. Stir 2 cups of the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend. Add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.


Kitchen Geekery :: Food :: Fifteen facts about pasta

Kitchen Geekery :: Food :: Fifteen facts about pasta.

  1. The word ‘Pasta’ came from the word paste which means a combination of wheat and flour.
  2. The Chinese are on record as having eaten pasta as early as 5,000 B.C.
  3. Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing macaroni to the United States; he fell in love with a dish he sampled in Naples.
  4. Cooked al dente (al-DEN-tay) literally means “to the tooth,” which is how to test pasta to see if it is properly cooked. The pasta should be a bit firm, offering some resistance to the tooth, but tender.
  5. There are over 600 varieties of Pasta in Italy; each designed for a specific kind of sauce.
  6. Sophia Loren once said “Everything you see, I owe to spaghetti”.
  7. A 230g serving of spaghetti is 345 calories, adding 2 tablespoons of olive oil adds another 200 calories to it.
  8. The Spanish explorer Cortez brought tomatoes back to Europe from Mexico in 1519. Almost 200 years passed before spaghetti with tomato sauce made its way into Italian kitchens.
  9. In Italian vermicelli and linguine translates to “Little worms” and “little tongues” respectively.
  10. Pasta contains six of major eight amino acids required by our body to make a healthy diet.
  11. Colored pasta: (Pastas are coloured using tomatoes and red beet for red; spinach and basil for green; brown mushrooms for brown; saffron for yellow; squid ink for black.
  12. Flat pastas are for cream sauces, whereas tomato based sauces cling better to round pastas.
  13. The first documented recipe for pasta is from around the year 1000, in the book “De arte Coquinaria per vermicelli e macaroni siciliani”, (The Art of Cooking Sicilian Macaroni and Vermicelli) written by Martino Corno, chef to the powerful Patriarch of Aquileia.
  14. It is believed that the Sicilian word “maccaruni” which translates as “made into a dough by force” is the origin of the word macaroni. In the ancient methods of making pasta, force meant kneading the dough with the feet – a process which could take up to a day.
  15. In 1740, the city of Venice issued Paolo Adami a license to open the first pasta factory. The machinery was simple enough. It consisted of an iron press, powered by several young boys.

Noodle Caboodle!

Whenever I throw a casserole together with pasta and whatever else I have in the house, I call it Noddle Caboodle. I got the name from Family Guy, and it’s stuck. Today for lunch, I made a Caboodle with shell pasta, white cheddar sauce, chicken, collard greens, onion, and garlic.

Brian: Lois, this pasta, better than Italy.
Lois: It’s just my Noodle Caboodle. I did use a different brand of potato chips for the crust, though.
Brian: Your culinary prowess is surpassed only by your unfailing grace and the uncommon, sometimes haunting glow of sensuality that surrounds you.
Lois: It’s just Noodle Caboodle.
Peter: Hey, what are these hard things?
Lois: M&Ms. I ran out of paprika.
Brian: [blows kiss] Magnificent.


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