Category Archives: Pasta

Homemade Pasta

Ever since we got our Kitchenaid mixer, one of the first attachments we *really* wanted was the pasta roller/cutter attachment. And ever since we’ve had the attachment, we have had lots of fun making pasta at home. And John has become the pasta-making expert in the household as a result!

This is the base recipe to make any shape of pasta. We started off making whole wheat pasta, but we’ve also had success making white pasta using the same recipe (just with all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat). Both types can be made into spaghetti, fettuccine, ravioli, lasagna, and on and on… Serve it with your favorite sauce, and enjoy!

Homemade Pasta (whole wheat)
Recipe from Kitchenaid
Yield: 1 1/4 pounds dough
Number of Servings: 10 (2 oz each)

4 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
3 1/2 cups sifted whole wheat pastry flour (**Note** – to make white pasta, just sub all-purpose flour – we use Ultragrain)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place eggs, water, whole wheat flour, and salt in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 30 seconds.

Exchange flat beater for dough hook. Turn to Speed 2 and knead 2 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 2 minutes. Divide dough into eight pieces before processing with Pasta Sheet Roller attachment. Wrap pasta dough in plastic wrap. Let rest at least 30 min (or for a few hours in the fridge).

To Roll Pasta:
1. Cut dough into about 8-10 pieces about 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick. Flatten each piece slightly.

2. Set adjustment knob on Pasta Sheet. Roller at 1 by pulling the knob straight out and turning to setting 1. Release knob, making certain pin on roller housing engages opening on the back of the knob, allowing the knob to fit flush to the roller housing.

3. Turn mixer to Speed 2 or 4. Feed flattened piece of dough into rollers to knead. Fold dough in half and roll again. Repeat folding and kneading process several times, or until dough is smooth and pliable. Lightly dust pasta with flour while rolling and cutting to aid in drying and separation. Knead and fold each piece of dough in the same manner.

4. Move adjustment knob to setting 2. Feed dough through rollers to further flatten. Change to setting 3 and feed dough through rollers again. Continue to increase roller setting until desired dough thickness is reached. Cut or press into desired shape (with cutter or by hand).

To Cook Pasta:
Add 2 teaspoons salt to 6 quarts boiling water. Gradually add pasta and continue to cook at a boil until pasta is “al dente” or slightly firm to the bite, about 6 minutes. Pasta floats to the top of the water while cooking, so stir occasionally to keep it cooking evenly. Drain in a colander. Serve with your favorite sauce.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 170.1
Total Fat: 2.8 g
Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.9 g
Cholesterol: 74.0 mg
Sodium: 144.3 mg
Potassium: 28.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 30.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.1 g
Sugars: 0.0 g
Protein: 8.1 g

For white pasta (sub Ultragrain all-purpose flour for whole wheat):
Calories: 182.8
Total Fat: 2.6 g
Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.7 g
Cholesterol: 74.4 mg
Sodium: 144.7 mg
Potassium: 27.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 31.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
Sugars: 1.5 g
Protein: 8.1 g


Whole Wheat Macaroni & Cheese

In keeping with my comfort food craving, we decided to make some macaroni & cheese to go alongside with our meatloaf. I found a couple of recipes to use, and melded them together to make my own mac & cheese. The result – it was fantastic! We will definitely make this again! 🙂

Whole Wheat mac and cheese

Whole Wheat Macaroni & Cheese
A Karen original recipe
Serves 4

8 oz whole wheat elbow noodles (about 2 cups dry)

1 cup skim milk
1 1/2 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 1/2 Tbsp ultragrain flour
1 1/3 oz smoked cheddar cheese, grated
dash of white pepper
1 clove crushed garlic
salt, to taste
dash of freshly ground nutmeg
dash of cayenne pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in saucepan on stove top on medium heat. Gradually whisk in flour. This will create a yellow paste. Gradually add milk, whisking until incorporated and no lumps are present. Add crushed garlic, and continue whisking until hot, about 3 to 5 minutes. The longer you cook the base (without the cheese) the thicker the sauce will be.

2. Remove from heat, and add cheese slowly, again whisking until incorporated. Add white pepper, cayenne, and nutmeg. Taste, and add salt if needed.

3. Add in cooked pasta, and stir to coat evenly.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 314.6
Total Fat: 9.2 g
Cholesterol: 9.6 mg
Sodium: 121.2 mg
Total Carbs: 47.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.3 g
Protein: 11.8 g

Whole Wheat Israeli Couscous with Feta and Vinaigrette

So, I was in need of a side dish to go alongside some cedar-planked drum I was planning to cook. I wanted to do something with my whole wheat Israeli couscous, but what?

Thinking back to recipes I’ve made in the past, I decided to make up a recipe and see if it would work. Well, I’m happy to report that it was TASTY!! It worked really well with the fish, but would work as a side to almost anything. Enjoy!

whole wheat israeli couscous with feta & vinaigrette - done

Whole wheat Israeli couscous with feta & vinaigrette
A Karen original recipe
Serves 4

1 cup whole wheat Israeli (or pearl) couscous
1 1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp freshly chopped thyme
dash salt
dash pepper
1 oz fat free feta

In a medium saucepan, bring couscous and water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 8-10 min, or until water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, mix olive oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, salt, & pepper. Set aside.

When couscous is cooked (and still hot), toss with vinaigrette. Let cool slightly, then add feta.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 183.1
Total Fat: 4.1 g
Cholesterol: 7.5 mg
Sodium: 159.7 mg
Total Carbs: 29.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
Protein: 6.8 g

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, & Chiles

We were having friends over for dinner this weekend, and we wanted a fun side dish to go with the Grilled Chicken Stuffed with Basil and Tomato that we were planning to make for dinner. This was definitely tasty, and we will be making it again!

Pasta with tomatoes, peppers and goat cheese done

Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, & Chiles
Adapted from Real Simple, Aug 2012
Serves 6

8 ounces whole wheat penne
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 small red chili pepper, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Pasta with tomatoes, peppers & goat cheese - ingredients

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.

2. In a large bowl, toss the pasta, tomatoes, goat cheese herbs, and chili with the oil, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 176.2
Total Fat: 5.1 g
Cholesterol: 4.3 mg
Sodium: 179.3 mg
Total Carbs: 30.5 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.6 g
Protein: 6.2 g

Rotini, Summer Squash, and Prosciutto Salad with Rosemary Dressing

Picnics, cookouts, BBQs… the parties of summer. And what to bring? You don’t want to intrude by bringing a main dish, but you want to bring a substantial (and at least somewhat healthy) side dish. One that travels well, can be eaten cold or at room temperature, and one that pleases almost anyone. This recipe does JUST that – I’ve been making this recipe for years, and toting it along to outdoor concerts, cookouts, etc.

So, this 4th of July, we were invited to a neighbor’s cookout, and I knew this would be just the thing… The result? EVERYONE *loved* this pasta salad – I made a double batch and came home with only a little bit at the bottom of the container! Success!!

Rotini, Summer Squash, and Prosciutto Salad with Rosemary Dressing

Here’s what we did:

Rotini, Summer Squash, and Prosciutto Salad with Rosemary Dressing
Adapted from Cooking Light, June 2005
Serves 4

3 cups uncooked whole wheat rotini, about 8 ounces (I used whole wheat gemelli)
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped yellow squash
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped zucchini
2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add squash and zucchini during the last two minutes of cooking. Drain pasta mixture, and combine with onion in a large bowl.

2. Meanwhile, Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add prosciutto; cook 5 minutes or until crisp, stirring frequently.
Rotini, Summer squash, and proscuitto salad - cooking proscuitto

3. Combine white balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and rosemary in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add vinegar mixture to pasta mixture, tossing gently to coat. Once cool, add crispy prosciutto and cubed mozzarella, toss to combine.

**Note** This salad travels well and can be eaten cold or room temperature. It is a great side to grilled chicken or steak.

**Another note** This can be made vegetarian by omitting the proscuitto – but you may need to add a little extra salt to compensate for the lack of proscuitto.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 362.0
Total Fat: 10.5 g
Cholesterol: 21.8 mg
Sodium: 676.3 mg
Total Carbs: 54.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.9 g
Protein: 14.4 g

Caprese Pasta Salad

It’s summertime, and tomatoes & basil are growing like crazy here in TX! I wanted to use some of my garden bounty in our side dish when we had the neighbors over, and this was just the thing! I was given this recipe by my friend Becky, and I slightly adjusted a few things to make it the way John and I liked it – I cut back the cheese & oil a bit, and I used whole wheat pasta. Overall, this recipe was a big hit – I think my neighbor had about 2 servings, and we are enjoying the small amount of leftovers today! Plus, this went really well as a side dish to the Baked Parmesan-Crusted Chicken that we served as a main course.

caprese pasta salad

Here’s what we did:

Caprese Pasta Salad
Adapted from Becky’s recipe
Serves 8

12 oz whole wheat farfalle (bowties), cooked according to package directions
4 large tomatoes, diced
4 oz mozzarella, diced
1 pkg fresh basil, stems removed, cut into 1/8” chiffonade (about 10 large leaves)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper, to taste

1. Combine pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, and all but 1 tbsp of basil in a large bowl.

2. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic, salt & pepper; toss to coat. Add salt & pepper to taste. Refrigerate until serving time; garnish with remaining basil.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 230.1
Total Fat: 5.8 g
Saturated Fat: 2.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.2 g
Cholesterol: 11.2 mg
Sodium: 122.6 mg
Potassium: 150.4 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 36.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.2 g
Sugars: 1.6 g
Protein: 8.9 g


Cabbage and Noodles

It doesn’t sound exciting, but this was fantastic! So, how did we end up making this? Well, I ordered a local produce basket from Greenling (, and instead of one of the items that was *supposed* to be in that particular basket, there was a head of cabbage. Although I do like cabbage, it seemed a bit out of season in June – I usually think of it in soup, for cabbage rolls, or braised. And I’d already made a couple of other summery dishes with cabbage a few weeks ago (some fabulous shrimp tostadas, for example), so I was all out of ideas. After a bit of a Google search, I came across this recipe. I made it, and it worked out great as a side to our Crispy Dijon-Glazed Tilapia Filets.

Here’s what we did:

Cabbage and Noodles
Adapted from Mr. Food website
Serves 6

2 Tbsp canola oil
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion
4 cups thickly shredded cabbage (about 1/2 of a medium-sized head)
8 ounces uncooked whole wheat pasta (bowtie, gemelli, rotini, or penne), prepared according to package directions, cooking water reserved
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; saute onions and cabbage until very soft and light brown.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

3. Add remaining ingredients (including about 1/2 cup pasta cooking water), and cover and simmer 7 to 10 minutes, or until heated through. Serve immediately.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 214.7
Total Fat: 6.0 g
Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 209.3 mg
Potassium: 185.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 34.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.3 g
Sugars: 1.4 g