The Art Of Great Pasta Recipes

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These recipes include a Tuna Salad & Pasta variation, Spicy Peanut Spaghetti, and Spinach Lasagna Rolls.

Favorite Recipes Are Often Simple

This is one of my favorite recipes for Tuna Salad with ziti pasta and green peas. The corkscrew, bowtie, or ridged-pipe styles of pasta are fun to look at as well as to eat. I do not often see ziti in the grocery stores - it forms as a long rod of pasta that has a hole running down the long center, so a package of it looks like soda straws. The corkscrew is my favorite variety of pasta, so I often use that.

You can substitute about any style pasta you like. Even spaghetti can be broken into smaller pieces. As for the tuna, you could substitute cooked chicken, if you like. I have used Kielbasa in place of tuna or chicken as well and that's also pretty good; But I really like a combination of both white-meat chicken and Kielbasa.

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5 stars from 1 rating of Tuna Salad with Pasta and Peas

Easy Shells and Tuna Pasta Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 Cups uncooked pasta shells, corkscrews, or ziti, cooked, drained and rinsed in cold water.
  • 1.5 Cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 Rib celery, sliced thin
  • 1/2 Red or white onion, chopped - I like to use half of each if I have it on hand
  • 1/2 Cup flat-leaf parsley, coarse-chopped
  • Two 5.5-oz cans tuna, drained (look closely; can size decreased 1/2 oz in 2009)
  • 1/3 Cup exta Virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Dijon or spicy mustard
  • 1/1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a mixing bowl place the cooked pasta, thawed peas, celery, onion, parsley, and tuna.
  2. In a smaller bowl, blend EVOO, vinegar, salt, mustard, and pepper for dressing.
  3. Pour the freshly made dressing over the salad.
  4. Toss salad and chill before serving.

PLATING

it is often nice to mound up this dish in the center of a shallow bowl and sprinkle something around the edges - thinly sliced celery, chopped hard cooked egg, and sesame seeds come to mind, with a drizzle of the mustard.

Eliminate the vinegar and heat through for a nice hot dish.
Eliminate the vinegar and heat through for a nice hot dish.

Pastas To Use With Great Recipes

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The farfalla or bowtie pasta is very popular in place of shells or macaroni.Gemelli, slightly larger than a US quarter is also a good substitution.
The farfalla or bowtie pasta is very popular in place of shells or macaroni.
The farfalla or bowtie pasta is very popular in place of shells or macaroni. | Source
Gemelli, slightly larger than a US quarter is also a good substitution.
Gemelli, slightly larger than a US quarter is also a good substitution.

Some Types of Pasta

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Spicy Peanut Spaghetti

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Pound of spaghetti, cooked, drained and placed into a large bowl
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (this adds a great Asian flavor)
  • 1/3 Cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp lite soy sauce
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or red ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp water (I use spring water or filtered water.)
  • 3 Tbsp peanuts, chopped and 2 whole green onions, trimmed and sliced thin – Save a bit for the garnish on top of the entrée.

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Pour the sesame oil into the bowl of warm noodles and toss gently to flavor the pasta.
  • In your blender, puree the soy sauce, vinegar, honey, pepper, and water. Pour into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds or so/
  • Pour the warm sauce over the noodles.
  • Garnish the top of the entrée with additional peanuts and sliced green onions.

PLATING

For individual plating, try the peanuts on top and a whole trimmed green onion or scallion on one side, perhaps with a slice of fresh fruit. 

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Lasagna Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 5 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • One large (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Green onions, trimmed and sliced thin
  • 3 Tbsp fresh basil, torn or chopped
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1/4 Cup red wine

Roll Filling

  • 1 While large egg
  • 15 oz (1 container) Ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 Cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 15-oz Pack frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and patted somewhat dry
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Pound of lasagna noodles, cooked al dente, drained, rinsed in cold water , and cooled in a large bowl
  • One rectangular baking dish

INSTRUCTIONS

  • In a large pot on the stove top over medium heat, sauté the garlic in the oil until fragrant.
  • Add all remaining SAUCE ingredients, stir, raise heat to high, and bring to the boil.
  • Immediately reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low in order to keep warm.
  • In a large bowl, beat the egg well and add in all the rest of the ingredients, except the noodles.
  • Blend this mixture well.
  • PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove bay leaves form SAUCE. Spread 1/4 Cup SAUCE over the bottom of the baking dish to be picked up by the rolls as you work.
  • Carefully place ONE noodle in the dish. Spread some FILLING over the length of the noodle (leave both ends empty for about 1 inch), roll it up, and place at one end of the dish.
  • Keep making rolls until the noodles are gone.
  • Pour SAUCE over the rolls and sprinkle a bit more grated cheese over the top.
  • Bake 30 minutes and serve.

PLATING

Place a few rolls on an individual plate, if you wish, and garnish with fresh chopped parsley over the top and around the edges. Add a drizzle fo sauce to one side and top that sauce with some whole peanuts. 

Just for Fun: Food Quotations

  • Bad food is made without pride, by cooks who have no pride, and no love. - Anthony Bourdain
  • I went into a McDonald's yesterday and said, 'I'd like some fries.' The girl at the counter said, 'Would you like some fries with that?' - Jay Leno

From Desperate Housewives:

  • Susan: "Oh, I wouldn't eat that if I were you."
  • Mike: "Why?"
  • Susan: "I made it, trust me. Hey, hey, do you have a death wish?"
  • Mike: "No, I just refuse to believe that anybody can screw up macaroni and cheese." (Takes a taste)
  • Mike: "Oh my God. How did you...it tastes like it's burnt and undercooked."
  • Susan: "Yeah, I get that a lot."
  • Well, folks, it looks like we're up chocolate creek without a popsicle stick. - Gingerbread Man in Shrek 2
  • I could put this on a flip-flop and it would taste good. - Guy Fieri
  • You can't build a peaceful world on empty stomachs and human misery. - Norman Borlaug, Father of the Green Revolution
  • Humans bring the food, take the food, ship the food, they drive food, they wear the food! - RJ in Over the Hedge

© 2009 Patty Inglish

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Comments and Additional Suggestions 11 comments

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I really like your recipes here, Patty, especially the Easy Shells and Tuna recipe where you add a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. I'd never thought of that! Thank you.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Spicy German mustard is also a favorite! Intead of the peas, some canned diced tomatoes with chilies work well, too. Thanks for comments!


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 6 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Patty, thanks for sharing your recipes. Spinach Lasagna Rolls sound great and different. I get so tired of making the same old thing the same old way. I'm always looking for new favorites.

My gang should be coming home in a couple of weeks I will try this out on them.

Great hub as always

regards Zsuzsy


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

I think they will like the rollups, Zsuszy! A little different and fun. Have a great time with them. :)


DragonOZ profile image

DragonOZ 6 years ago from Australia

Thanks for the "Pasta Types" image, always trying to remember the correct names. Hub bookmarked.


anycollection profile image

anycollection 6 years ago

Awesome recipies... Thanks a lot :)


IntimatEvolution profile image

IntimatEvolution 6 years ago from Columbia, MO USA

I love the pasta chart. Thanks for posting it Patty.


crystolite profile image

crystolite 5 years ago from Houston TX

Nice information which is well shared.


vinsanity 5 years ago

This is a great hub. I personally love pasta and would love to eat all of these! Voted up, useful, and awesome!


powerofknowledge1 profile image

powerofknowledge1 5 years ago

Great recipe! I love pasta. Thanks for sharing


akhilnotout 4 years ago

very interesting and i love pasta!

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