Friday, November 27, 2009

Presto Pasta Nights #141 Round-Up

I hope everyone had a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving yesterday. Did anyone give thanks for pasta?! ;-) How can we not? It is easy, versatile and the perfect comfort food. Of course with Presto Pasta Nights, founded by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast, we can give thanks for pasta every week and also get a bunch of new pasta recipes and ideas. This week I was lucky enough to be able to host PPN #141 and I'll be honest, I thought I was going to be a bit lonely with it being Thanksgiving week and all. I even went so far as to beg a few blogger friends to make pasta dishes and join me. Of course I needn't have worried--the power of pasta means that even during a holiday week, there is still time for a quick and easy pasta meal, and what I thought would be a short round-up turned into 19 delicious pasta creations!

We better get started--hopefully you have a tissue or napkin handy as there will be lots of drooling involved!

Ching from Little Corner of Mine turned a noodle find at her Asian grocery store into these savory Stir Fried Vietnamese Noodles. Ching says you can substitute any meat or seafood for the chicken she used along with veggies, eggs, sauces and spices in this hearty stir-fry. Maybe a fun way to use up some of that leftover turkey?!

"Sometimes our most surprising recipes originate from the question: what I can do with this (something) leftover in my fridge? Boiled or roasted fish leftovers can be easily re-thought in a new recipe," says the lovely Graziana from Erbe in Cucina. She turned her leftover tuna steak into this hearty Tuna Pasta with Coriander. I'm loving the beans and chili pepper in this dish!

Jeanne from Cook Sister and I share a love of comfort food that you can whip up quickly from items you have in your pantry. She has done that beautifully with this enticing Salmon Tagliatelle of canned salmon, tomatoes, wine, herbs and cream. Jeanne says "It's made with the kind of ingredients that I always have on hand, and it's both seriously delicious and perfectly comforting." Sounds pretty perfect to me!

Reeni of Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice loves her spice and put a lot of it in her Fire Breathing Dragon Pasta. She says, "A generous dose of chipotles and red pepper went into my homemade tomato sauce for a delicious depth of rich, bold, and sassy flavor. To give it a bit of balance and add a silky creaminess I mixed in milk and sour cream. The result was exactly what I was looking for. The measure of success? The lip tingling and wisps of fire in my breath that temporarily turned me into a dragon." Us wimpy folk may need a glass of milk to cool down our mouths after this one. (But it would be so worth it!) ;-)

Having spent some time in Singapore, I understand why Daphne of More Than Words gets cravings for the incredible hawker food there so I am definitely going to try her luscious looking Chicken Hor Fun. With wide flat noodles, chicken and mushrooms, it looks like the perfect quick and easy way to bring a little touch of Singapore home!

My pal Joanne from Eats Well With Others has done it again, finding a recipe that combines her two great loves and favorite cravings squash and pasta--this Butternut Baked Ziti. Joanne says, "I mean, how can you go wrong with ricotta combined with mozzarella and a beautiful herbed bechamel (the first bechamel I have ever really successfully made with almond milk, might I add!)? That is then mixed into mashed butternut squash? And infused with caramelized onions? All of which is poured over pasta, covered with more mozzarella, and then baked until it is an ooey gooey dream?" Sounds like it is pretty right to me!

A pantry clean-out led to a hearty and delicious (everything but the) Kitchen Sink Soup for the always creative Heather of girlichef. Full of ground beef, chopped, ham, vegetables, beans, tomatoes and pasta of course and then topped with cheese, sour cream, parsley, cilantro and chives, the kitchen sink really is about the only thing not in this soup--Yum!

The wonderful George of A Nod Is As Good As a Wink To a Blind Horse is making his first appearance at Presto Pasta Nights with a gorgeous Bacon, Tomato & Spinach Spaghetti. George says, "There is something about bacon, tomato and spinach that makes me think of a quick and easy meal. Add a little pasta to that and you have a delicious dinner. We all are looking for that quick comfort meal, especially at this time of year." I think this simple and crave-worthy pasta is perfect any time!

Little Inbox from Eating Pleasure is here with some heat, her Penang Hokkien Mee (Spicy Prawn Noodle). She says, "Penang Hokkien Mee is one of the unique and popular Penang street food which can be found in practically every hawker centers and street corners. The spicy soup base is rich in wonderful prawn aroma.....simply irresistible." Spicy noodles with prawns, pork ribs, hard boiled eggs--it would be hard to resist this one!

Skillet Chicken with Broccoli, Pasta and Parmesan Cheese is a easy weeknight meal for the ever-busy Donna from My Tasty Treasures. Donna says this recipe is a "Delicious meal... comforting, tasty and pretty to look at one dish meal, perfect for the busy holiday season." You have to love the fact that this bright, creamy pasta dish all cooks quickly and easily in one pan!

My best bud Natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies may have made my idea of pasta heaven with the lamb meatballs, feta, olives and capers in her Lamb Kefta on Greek-Style Pasta. She says, "This is a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern spin on spaghetti and meatballs. Pasta is so versatile and really quite willing and able to play along with whatever theme you can dream up. I have made fresh pasta here, dried is perfectly fine but it is a treat to have the fresh once in a while." I am officially in love with this one!

Sometimes you just gotta have lasagna and Jennifer of Seasonal Ontario Food has an especially crave-inducing Spinach Lasagne with with Friulano and Ricotta Cheeses. Jennifer says, "This is a dish that can be made ultra-decadent by using homemade spinach lasagne noodles, and cream instead of the milk. I didn't do that this time; there was too much else going on that was also plenty rich. One of these days I will though, and then I will post the recipe for spinach pasta. In the meantime, you can get ready-made spinach lasagne, and it's fine." It is green and gorgeous!

Chaya from Chaya's Comfy Cook Blog is using lasagna noodles for a different purpose in this Baked Manicotti recipe. She says, "Each time I visit Amanda’s blog, Amanda’s Cookin’. I find a few recipes to make. This afternoon, I was fortunate enough to find tonight’s dinner, Baked Manicotti. I have never seen gluten-free manicotti but this recipes uses lasagne noodles, rolled up and voila, we have manicotti." Very creative and fun!

"Sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to food. This dish would definitely fall under this category!" says Sarah from Taste My Plate about her Tuna and Vegetable Fusilli. A combination of "commonly in the cupboard ingredients" like tuna with leek, pepper, tomatoes and a kick of chili oil, as Sarah says, "Look at the colours!! Who wouldn't want to dig in??" My fork is at the ready!

Another first-timer to PPN is Rosabela of Cooking with Rosie and she is going it up big with a sunny-hued Homemade Butternut Squash Gnocchi. She says, "For more flavour, I added grana padana, garlic powder, and dried sage to the squash mixture. After I boiled them, I tossed them with a little EVOO, a generous helping of grana padana, and seasoned with salt, pepper and sage to taste. This made creamy, decadent sauce for the gnocchi." Her gnocci are perfectly formed and Rosabela has a wonderful step by step tutorial of how to make them on her post.

Kim from Stirring the Pot tried a Nigella Lawson recipe for a tangy sauce for broccoli and combined it with noodles in this Broccoli and Pasta with Mustard-Caper Sauce. Kim says, "A wonderful, super quick, fresh, zesty and zippy pasta dish! I loved the zesty flavor from the mustard, lemon juice and capers. I topped off the pasta with some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and it was a lunch to remember! This is a must make for all mustard lovers out there, it was delicious and a real "keeper" of a recipe." Of course she had me at capers!

Our fabulous Presto Pasta Nights founder Ruth of Once Upon a Feast is bringing out a past favorite Donna Hay's Winter Greens, Pancetta and Mushroom Pasta for this busy holiday week. Ruth says "I thought I'd take a walk down memory lane and see what pasta dishes I wrote about when I started blogging back in 2005. It's still my favorite- easy-to-put-together, comfort food. And, believe it or not, that's still my favorite pasta bowl." Mmm...I think this dish could easily become a favorite of mine too!

Kevin of Closet Cooking is here with a Pumpkin and Mushroom Pasta with Gorgonzola. He says, "The squash, caramelized onion, sage and gorgonzola flavour combo has been on my mine a lot ever since I tried it in the roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion pizza with gorgonzola and crispy fried sage. I was trying to think of new ways to enjoy this particular flavour combination when I realized that I had not had pasta in far too long. The flavour combo was amazing and it worked really well as a pasta sauce!" A perfect seasonal pasta dish!

Finally here at Kahakai Kitchen, I love me some soup and some pasta so my dish this week was this Curry Noodle Soup from the Eat Clean Cookbook. A traditional Indonesian soup recipe with chicken, cashews, curry and rice noodles, it was filling and delicious with lots of great curry flavor. I left it on the "noodley" side and ate it on top of some wilted spinach the next day and loved it even more!

Wow! That was quite a round-up with so many different and wonderful pasta dishes. Thanks to everyone who participated in Presto Pasta Nights this week, I really had fun seeing all of your wonderful recipes and getting to know some new friends. Next week our amazing Ruth will be back hosting again so get your pasta creations to her at If you need the guidelines for participating in PPN, you can find them here.

Happy Aloha Friday!


  1. Look at all of these fabulous pasta dishes. I wouldn't know which one to try first. Happy Thanksgiving Deb

  2. What a wonderful round-up! You have a gift for it, Deb!
    Lots of perfectly tasty and comforting pasta. I'll pour the wine, let's dig in!

  3. Deb... reading through this one post and I could have dinner planned for a month. Each of the recipes are uniquely different and filled with some many different flavors & ingredients.

    I am so glad you introduced me to this incredible weekly series, that Ruth started.

    Thanks for the kind words about my entry. You are a terrific host and friend.

  4. What yummy pasta/noodle dishes this week! Amazing. Great round up!!!

  5. What an incredible round-up, Deb. You have some wonderful dishes here.
    You get my hero of the week award. I don't know how you did this with Thanksgiving to tend to. Kudos.

  6. What a great roundup! Thanks everyone for such interesting dishes and a very special thanks to a fabulous host. Job well done, Deb!

  7. This round-up was seriously epic! You did a great job Deb. I want to eat all of them.

  8. Definitely no shortage of pasta here! Great round-up Deb...everything sounds fabulous. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving :D

  9. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! What a tremendous round-up of delicious pasta dishes. So much variety yet I love them all!

  10. Hi Deb, good job! I can see lots of new recipe for my reference. :)

  11. Great selection and what a great roundup, Deb!

  12. Great roundup Deb! Reading through it is like a pasta lovers dream. Thanks so much for including me! With all my black friday excitement I think I forgot to send you the email. Thanks a bunch!

  13. What a round up! They all look so good.

  14. It may be my imagination but this seems to be a special round-up or Deb made it that way. Each recipe is calling my name. I will never catch up with all the recipes that I want to make. Thanks Deb for hosing and thanks Ruth for making this possible.

  15. great round-up, and so many pasta recipes to try!


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