Category Archives: pasta

Pasta And Peas


Still on with our interesting series on “leftover makeover” inspired by some dishes we lifted from the pages of FOODIE magazine. This second dish I cooked for Studio 23’s “US Girls” was such a big hit that it was gone instantly before I could finish saying “bon appetit” to everybody!

Simple, tasty to the core and very elegant, this dish should work its way on your menu soon.

The leftover food was the pasta. In this case, we used salad macaroni. Have you ever had the experience of over estimating your pasta, cooking more than you need  and ended up just stacking them away in the ref to grow those icky molds?  Ha!

Alright, let’s have some great-tasting solution to this leftover dilemma.

The dish I made called for about 5 cups of cooked salad macaroni (cooked according to package directions), 2 tbsps olive oil, 2 tbsps butter, 1 medium-sized chopped white onion, 3/4 cup chopped bacon or pancetta, 3/4 cup frozen sweet peas (thawed), 2 tbsps dry white wine, salt and pepper to taste and grated parmesan cheese.

I Sauted onion and bacon. Added wine and let alcohol evaporate before I mixed in peas which I had to saute a bit longer til I got it tender while still very bright green in color. Tossed them gently onto my pasta and sprinkled parmesan cheese on top.


Squid Ink Pasta, Chorizos And Tuna


I was marveling at the dried pasta selection over at Terry Selection at The Podium when I chanced upon a pack of squid ink pasta. Almost instantaneously, I visualized the pasta to be infused with red sauce, chorizos and tuna. Perfect for Jake’s dinner, excellent for my quest for a pasta eye candy that was to be quite unique and tasty.

Incidentally, my Sister, Tina, and Brother in law, Oliver, stopped by our place that night I made it. Timely and definitely a welcome surprise, I was so ganado tossing the whole pasta ensemble knowing that I had guests to sample the dish.

The black colored-pasta had a stellar taste that I momentarily forgot that I had burned a thousand calories that afternoon from a spinning class and would just gain it back(?) with the bande-bandehadong pasta that I devoured that night. Yikes!

Okay, the recipe:

1/2 kilo squid ink pasta

1 can chorizos, halved vertically and sliced

1 can Del Monte tomato sauce petite cut

2 cans tuna lite, drained

1 cup Del Monte tomato sauce (Original flavor)

1 head of garlic, minced

1 onion, minced

1/2 cup capers

1 cup black pitted olives, sliced

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 tbsps fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil


Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

In a skillet, saute onion and garlic. Add chorizos, tuna, capers and olives. Continue stirring for two minutes. Throw in basil and oregano.

Toss in pasta. Top with tuna and cheese. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve hot.

Classic Baked Macaroni


It was my daughter Sam’s Christmas party and parents were asked to dish out something for the buffet spread. Swamped with yuletide chores, I flexed some muscles, mustered energy to whip up a great dish of pasta. Classic baked mac was to be. Scrumptious, relatively easy to make and a universal favorite, I knew I cooked the right thing.

Baked Macaroni

Cheesy Baked Mac

1 pack elbow macaroni  noodles

1 box quickmelt cheese, grated

3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup mozzarela cheese, grated (optional)

Meat Sauce:

1/2 kilo ground beef

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium-sized onion, minced

1 tomato, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

750 grams tomato sauce, Italian blend

1 can chorizos, cut lengthwise and sliced horizontally (optional)

Bechamel Sauce:

2 boxes  all purpose cream

1 cup milk

1 box cheddar cheese, grated

1/4 cup  butter

1/4 cup curly parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cup  flour


1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. In a separate pan, saute garlic, onion and tomato. Add beef. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer until cooked. Add tomato sauce and chorizos. Continue stirring for the next ten minutes. Remove from fire then add cooked pasta in the beef mixture. Set aside.

3. In a skillet, heat  butter then add all-purpose  cream and milk. Mix well. Add cheddar cheese. Slowly add flour to thicken the sauce (the thicker the better!). Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

4. In a baking dish, assemble the pasta. Scoop up some beef mixture that would be the first layer. Smother with a generous amount of bechamel sauce on top of the beef mixture. repeat the layering twice.

5. Top the dish with the remaining cheeses.

6. Preheat the oven to 350c and bake for 15 minutes or  until cheeses are turned into golden brown. Once cooked, let stand for 15 minutes. Sprinkled with chopped parsley. Serve with you favorite toast.

Sardines And Portobello Mushrooms On Whole Wheat Pasta


It was already 30 minutes past the hour of eleven in the morning today and I was still undecided what magic to do in the kitchen. Scouring the pantry, I saw a pack of whole wheat pasta and some few pieces of portobello mushrooms in the ref.

I thought it would be lovely to pair them off and seal the flavors with a hefty serving of mackerel sardines. Ahh, Sunday special– sardines and portobello mushrooms on whole wheat pasta.

Lately, I have been fancying on light coated pasta noodles. Something in the mold of aglio olio, at the most, a good plate of arabiatta. Today’s pasta was a cross between alio oglio and herbed pasta with two major add-ons– sardines and my latest mushroom craze, portobello. The symphony of flavors courtesy of the garlic, sardines, mushrooms and the nuttiness of the whole wheat pasta just melted in my mouth like anything.

Agaricus bosporus or commonly known as portobello mushrooms are one of the most consumed mushrooms in the world. The woodsy, fresh taste it yields loads the dishes its extra oomph.

Oddly though, my kitchen help insisted that these mushrooms were something they considered “pest” in the provincial  barrios along with basil leaves (which, according to her, were their pigs’ favorite food!), tarragon leaves, scalops (which they sold for a measly fifty pesos per SACK!) and baby potatoes and corn. All certified quasi-gourmet ingredients in the metro na inapak apakan lang nila! (that they just stepped on!).

Healthy, scrumptious and extremely easy to make– I guarantee you– there will be no leftovers. Now, is that good or bad?

Sardines and portobello mushrooms on whole wheat pasta

1/2 kilo whole wheat spaghetti

5 pcs sardines in olive oil

5 pcs medium-sized portobello mushrooms, sliced

2 whole heads of garlic, finely minced

1/4 cup parsley, coarsely chopped

Parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup olive oil


Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and sprinkle with oil to avoid sticking of the noodles. Set aside.

In a skillet, saute garlic, mushrooms and sardines. Add salt, pepper and parsley. Toss in pasta. Season some more if necessary.

Top with parmesan cheese. Serve with your favorite toast.

Pasta Milano


Like a child handed with a choochoo train, I was ecstatic getting a pack of some whole wheat spaghetti pasta direct from Italia. My husband, Jake, is back from a week-long conference in Italy and he came home with spices and other kitchen stuff that totally got me excited.

Okay, what to do. I scoured our freezer for possible ingredients to go with the pasta noodles. Ohhh, I saw a pack of ribeye (sukiyaki cut) and  mentally screened other potential ingredients that could to go with it. I wanted something light, healthy and very Italian tasting. So I settled for some olive oil-coated pasta with meats, peppers, tomatoes and herbs!

In fact, if I had roasted eggplants, zucchinis and capsicum peppers available in my ref, I would’ve let them join the rest of the ingredients. That would have been the ultimate. But hey, this one was a mighty hit just the same.

Oh, just a side comment– I’ve been going to SM Hypermarket Centris Stn and can I just say, the prices of their veggies are far lower than the standard prices of veggies in most supermarkets. Our helper even quipped, “Eh Mam mas mura pa ho dito ang gulay kesa sa palengke namin eh!”.  Just a quick tip for the budget-conscious shoppers.

Anyway, I immediately donned myself in my new apron from the land of pasta and risotto and off I went to cook away the pasta and everything that went with it!

Pasta Milano

1/4 kilo ribeye sukiyaki cut meat

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 can diced tomatoes

3 tbsps fresh basil, chopped

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup black mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

3/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In a skillet, saute garlic. Add meat, bell peppers and mushrooms. Stir until meat is cooked (about 3 minutes). Pour in the mixture tomatoes and  basil.

Season with salt and pepper. Mix with drained pasta noodles.

Sprinkle with cheese on top. Serve with your favorite toast.

Pesto Cream Fussili Pasta


Inspired by Cibo’s pasta Genovese, I tried my hand in doing my version of such for today’s meryenda. I thought the fusion of pesto and cream would make a delightful duo to satiate my craving palate. Cibo uses farfale or the bow tie pasta noodles to do this. I believe, it’s one of their topsellers and I wanted that on my plate asap!

Asap it was, I scoured my pantry for the ingredients and was able to dig up some goldmine of shitake mushrooms and some few bunches of fresh basil leaves for the pesto. However, what was available in my pasta jars was a coupla cups of fussili or spiral pasta noodles. Fine, I love fussili! Why, the ridges just hold so much flavor from the sauce!

Easy to make, totally tasty and very healthy, this dish should make its way to your kitchen soon.

Pesto Cream Fussili Pasta

4 cups fussili (spiral) pasta noodles

1 medium-sized onion

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 can shiitake mushrooms, drained and sliced

1 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese for final topping

1 cup pesto (see recipe below)

olive oil

For the pesto:

4 cups fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup olive oil

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 cloves garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste


Cook pasta according to package directions

In a blender or food processor, pulse basil leaves, garlic and olive oil. Add grated parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Meantime, using a skillet, saute onion and garlic. Add shiitake mushrooms, pesto and heavy cream. Stir until all ingredients are well blended.

Toss in pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese on top.

Tuna And Chorizo Linguine



Tuna plus chorizos equals happiness. Yesterday saw me dishing out some tuna and chorizo pasta for my pasta-loving mom and aunt when they swung by my crib for some hearty meryenda.

If I had my way, I’d name this pasta, “Oh my, Mama!” pasta. Lol. Yeah,  in honor of my mom who is a die hard pasta lover. Mom must’ve been an Italiana in her past life who made cheeses and everything yummy and Italian in her lifetime!

Well, save for the chorizos (which is Spanish in origin), the dish was one helluvahn Italian treat. Easy to make, packed with big flavors, fancy-looking, this recipe should make its way to your kitchen soon!

Smothered with chunky tomatoes, chorizos, tuna  and all the Italian flavors, my house guests definitely went for seconds!

Okay, to do this you will need:

1/2 kilo linguine pasta noodles

1 can chunky tuna in solid water

1 can diced tomatoes

1 cup regular tomato sauce

1 stick chorizo, sliced and halved

4 cloves of garlic, minced

10 pitted whole black olives

1 red bell pepper, finely diced

1 green bell pepper, finely diced

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

1 tbsp fresh sweet basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

olive oil

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meantime, in a skillet, saute garlic, bell peppers, olives, chorizos, rosemary, basil and tuna. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for two minutes. Add diced tomatoes and regular tomato sauce. Lightly stir for the next four minutes.

Toss sauce in pasta. Serve warm with sprinkling of cheese on top.