Tag Archives: pasta

Remember that one time we forgot to blog for almost a year?

So, it turns out that grad school, part-time employment and composition for J and full-time employment, tutoring, and applying for grad school for myself means that we forget to blog. Oops. So, rather than say “let’s make a goal to blog once a week” as a New Year’s Resolution, let’s start now!

This week is a big week full of concerts, work, and cleaning the house for weekend guests. Sundays have traditionally been cooking days for me, where I try and get lunches prepared for the week (portioned out for J and I to reheat at work/grad school), as well as make ahead breakfasts and maybe even dinner for Sunday night. Today is no different. Today I spent time making a “lasagna” soup. It includes sweet sausage, tomatoes, bow tie pasta, and heaps of ricotta and parmesan at the end. It transports well in lunches, warms you up in the cool of early December, and is souper delicious. Yep, I went there.

We made this soup back in 2012, but never posted the full recipe for it. I also changed the recipe a bit because the first time I made it we made buckets full since I wasn’t paying too close attention to how much we were putting in the pot… so here it goes:


  • 12 oz. pasta (I like to use bowtie pasta because they are cute)
  • olive oil (I never measure this…not gonna lie)
  • about a pound of sweet Italian sausage ( I usually buy bulk, but I accidentally bought links, so I had to take the casings off. Ew.)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • some oregano (again, I never measure)
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 big spoonfuls of tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes
  • Salz und Pfeffer
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (divided into 1 cup amounts)
  • dried basil
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta (indulge a little)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parm
  • frozen peas (optional)

What to do:

  1. Cook the pasta to al dente, as it may cook a little more once it hits the soup and you don’t want mush. While this is cooking, brown the sausage in a big soup pot.


2. Once the sausage is browned, add the onions, garlic, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Sauté for a couple of minutes until onions are soft. Stir  in tomato paste and combine everything together.


3. Stir in the chicken stock and tomatoes. I like to use a whisk to stir this in to make sure all of the tomato paste gets evenly distributed- no one wants chunks of tomato paste in their soup.


4. Add a little s and p, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to simmer without lid for about 30 minutes (stir every once and a while to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom).

5. While the soup is simmering, I like to mix together the ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, the Parm, salt and pepper, and a little more basil.

6. Right at the end I like to put in some frozen peas for a little veg, but it is up to you. I also add the other cup of mozzarella directly to the soup at this point.


  1. To serve (or in our case, to prep for lunches), I put a scoop of pasta (you decide how much), a ladle or two of the soup, and a healthy dollop of the ricotta stuff.








*Note: You can also make this in the crockpot, as we have done as well. All you do is brown the sausage, dump everything else into the crockpot (cheese stuff not included) and cook on high for 2-3 hours. The pasta I usually put in after an hour, and the peas typically go in with about 30 minutes to go).



I hope you enjoy this reconstructed lasagna soup as much as we do- I probably make it a couple of times each winter.


-L (and Bingley who stayed nearby throughout the cooking process)

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We Planted a Garden.


We have been wishing and hoping for a garden since we moved in together (remember our first attempt at plants? Poor parsley…)

We have successfully planted a garden! Now that we have some outdoor space, and the approval of our leasing office staff, we have planted flowers and herbs.






Hydrangeas- always remind us of our honeymoon to Nantucket, as well as our favorite vacation spot of Chautauqua, NY 🙂


Purple petunia and some fuzzy purple martian plant. We don’t remember what they are called. So we have renamed it “fuzzy purple martian plant.”


Pink begonias!


Our herb box (minus the cilantro awaiting its own herb receptacle). Planted in alphabetical order, due to my crazy organizational needs: basil, Greek; basil, sweet; dill; mint; and parsley, flat. This photo upgraded to hipster status by J’s bike.

We have been making so many great food dishes with all of our herbs the past two weeks! Omelets with fresh parsley, dill and Greek basil, and looking forward to fresh mint in our sun tea.

One of our favorite dishes from the week? Coq au Vin. I can never pronounce this correctly, so we call it “Fancy French Chicken and Wine Stew.”



In a Crockpot, layer:

1. Diced onion (I think I used 2)

2. Pint of button mushrooms, sliced

3. Diced crispy bacon (I used about 6 slices…totally used turkey bacon, no judgment)

4. 3 boneless chicken breasts, whole

5. About a box of chicken stock (low sodium)

6. Some red wine. Don’t even know how much I put in…just kinda poured it all over. And drank some. Also not sure of the quantity I consumed there.

7. A little S&P.

*Cook on low for about 8 hours. It will make your house/apartment/yurt smell amazing. We served it over egg noodles. I added some fresh parsley at the end, but forgot to take a picture of that…just know that it was delicious.

Now that summer has begun for me, hoping to get back into this blogging thing more often. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post: chicken arugula hummus tarts.

-L (& J and Bingley)

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In case there aren’t enough posts with the word “noodly” in them, here’s another one.

Asian Noodly-Type Stuff



L made this tasty dish from a leftover veggie tray from a party. It feeds several hundred.

Or two people for a few days.




  • Veggie tray stuff (we used 1 handful each of diced green, red, and yellow peppers, carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes.)
  • 1 onion, also diced.
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic (in fact, just dump in a spoonful or so of the jarred stuff.)
  • Whatever leftover spaghetti you have. If you have a new box, guess, or use one of these amazing things.
  • Chicken breast(s) (2 works fine, we only had one.)
  • olive oil or veg. oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ginger powder
  • bottled teriyaki sauce


  1. Boil a big ol’ pot of water, then boil the pasta.
  2. Sauté onion, garlic, and oil in a large skillet until soft.
  3. Toss in the rest of the veggies, then let them get soft. WHILE THAT’S HAPPENING:
  4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and a bit of oil, and pan-sear. (Cook until brown on the outside and cooked through. Basically until it looks like chicken.)
  5. Slice chicken into bite-size pieces.
  6. Pour the teriyaki sauce (1/2 to 3/4 cup) in with the vegetables, mix it on up.
  7. Add the drained spaghetti and mix.





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Ridiculously Easy Beef Stuff

Hi, YPHers!

J here, to tell you how to make beef stroganoff, but more importantly:






Ok. That’s done.

Now on to stroganoff!


  • a crock pot
  • 3 cans of condensed cream-of-mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • a packet of dry onion soup mix (1 ounce)
  • 1 package of stew meat (2 lbs.) (bleh. bleh. bleh.)
  • 1 package of egg noodles


  1. Mix together everything except the meat and noodles in the crock pot.
  2. Take on the inevitable task of opening the meat package and dumping it into the crock pot. (L managed to find some that came pre-cut into cubes, saving me from having to touch the stuff too much. Is this an irrational dislike? Maybe.)
  3. Mix all o’ that together with a wooden spoon.

Put ’em together and whaddya got?



Tasty, right?




Cook it on HIGH for 3 hours, put it over some cooked egg noodles, and you get:



See? It was all worth it.


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Fall foods!

We decided to spend what turned into a rather rainy day as a fall feast day. As our first full weekend home in about 2 months, we had missed cooking together, and decided it was time to break out the fall foods.

First thing made? Pumpkin Nutella poke cake.

Recipe found at Something Swanky, a great blog to find tasty desserts. This morning we had decided to go ahead and make the pumpkin poke cake, but happened across her pumpkin Nutella poke cake and fell in love.


*yellow boxed cake mix

*pumpkin puree

*sweetened condensed milk

*whipped topping

*Nutella spread

*heath bits (hers called for chocolate hazelnut candies, but we decided to go with the toffee bits-yum!)

*chocolate syrup

1. Mix pumpkin and cake mix (we added some cinnamon and ginger, because we never follow the instructions anyway…)

2. Bake the cake at 375 for 35 minutes.

3. After cooling, poke it a whole lot with the end of a wooden spoon.

4.  Pour the milk over the cake, letting it soak in.

5. Mix whipped topping and Nutella, and spread on top.

6. Top with chocolate syrup and heath bits.

7. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or, if you are like us and are in a time crunch for someone’s birthday tonight, freeze for two!)

Currently, we don’t have pictures of the cake, as it is cooling. However, we cannot wait until we share it tonight! Our first friend to join the quarter century life club- so exciting!

Dinner was also fall themed.

Photo on 10-5-13 at 5.48 PM

I have thoroughly impressed myself, as well as J, with my lack of instruction reading (say, for how much pasta this recipe was going to make- more on that in a minute), but also with my skill for making things after I see it done on TV multiple times.

Today, we give you: sweet potato-ricotta gnocchi with brown butter-sage sauce.


If this dinner doesn’t scream fall, I am not sure what does.

*5 sweet potatoes

*container of ricotta

*salt and pepper

*sage (needed twice)

*5 tablespoons butter

*3 cups of flour

*pinch of red pepper flakes

*some ginger

*some garlic

*lemon juice

1. Boil sweet potatoes (bringing cold water to a boil) until soft.

2. Mash together with salt, ginger, sage and ricotta.

3. Mix in flour, one cup at a time.

4. Roll out on floured surface and realize how much pasta you have just made…six pounds to be exact. We ended up freezing them in pound increments to auction off to family members later.

5. Cut into bite size pieces and roll over the tines of a fork.

6. Boil in water in batches, until they float (about 4-5 minutes).

7. While J cooked the pasta, I made the brown butter sauce: In a small saucepan, melt butter with sage, lemon juice, garlic and red pepper flakes. Whisk over medium heat until golden brown.

8. Toss gnocchi in the brown butter sauce.

9. Eat.

-L and J

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Yeah… this dish was kind of hard. I found the recipe in a certain cookbook-which-shall-remain-unnamed-out-of-due-respect-for-the-chef, but as is our custom here on YPH, I have chosen to present it the way I saw and experienced it in my mind. I got lost somewhere around step 2, and pretty much had to improvise from that point on- so here’s my version. It looks nothing like the picture in the book. But hey, it’s pretty good. Buckle up…

Creamy Pasta with Corn and Bacon and Stuff in it, Suitable to Cook for the Pope or Somebody

(most ingredients optional)


  • 1 pound of fettuccine pasta
  • 6 ears of corn
  • The Lost Ark of the Covenant
  • a couple of small peppers (I used 3 bell peppers- I think that’s what they were, anyway, I don’t know, man)
  • Garlands of fresh herbs and spices (1 handful each of fresh thyme, basil, and parsley, chopped)
  • The Nobel Peace Prize
  • Chicken stock OR beef stock OR dry white wine
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • Half and half
  • Hot sauce
  • The Crown Jewels of the British Empire
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Boil a pot of water for the pasta.
  2. Then do that. Boil that pasta.
  3. While that’s happening, remove the leafy bits and those little bleeping string thingies from the corn. Cut the kernels of corn off the ears into a large bowl. This takes several millennia.
  4. Toss in the peppers with the corn.
  5. Take about a fourth of the corn mixture and set it aside. (Got all this so far?)
  6. Drizzle the olive oil in a skillet and cook the bacon in it.
  7. Once the bacon is crispy, pour in 1/2 a cup of the stock/stock/wine and most of the corn (the bigger amount, not the smaller one. Confused yet? Me too.)
  8. Forget to put int the salt and pepper.
  9. Check on the pasta. Trust me, it’s a good idea at this point- just drain it whenever it’s done…
  10. Toss the small amount of corn with 1/2 a cup of half and half into the blender and liquify it.
  11. Pour the creamy stuff you just made into the skillet with the bacon and all that other stuff.
  12. Stir the skillet mixture together, and also stir in a dash of the hot sauce.
  13. Simmer all of that for about 5 minutes. Remember the salt and pepper sometime around minute 4.
  14. Toss the herbs together with the pasta, and flop it into the skillet.
  15. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese. Feeds several hundred.

L probably told me something important that would make this whole thing a lot easier, and I probably totally missed it. I think I’ll double check next time, and ask her for some help.


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