Tortellini Gorgonzola

tortellini gorgonzola recipe

This Tortellini Gorgonzola recipe was inspired by a local restaurant called The Neighbors Italian Bistro.  I order it almost every time I go there, so I wanted to figure out how to make it at home.  This semi-homemade version is quick and easy – ready in 30 minutes.   Plus, now that I feel I’ve got a good version of my own I may branch out and try something different the next time I’m there.

Tortellini Gorgonzola
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A quick, easy at-home meal that will satisfy your craving for Italian restaurant food
Ingredients
  • 2 chicken breasts (1/2 per serving)
  • 1 bag cheese tortellini noodles
  • 1½ C. fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • ½ jar Alfredo sauce
  • 1 C. half and half (to thin the sauce)
  • ½ container Gorzonzola cheese crumbles
  • ½ C. chopped walnuts
  • 1 red pepper, sliced (optional)
  • ¼ C. diced Roma tomatoes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Prepare tortellini noodles per bag instructions. Meanwhile, saute the spinach and red peppers in 1 Tbsp. of butter. Add the Alfredo sauce. Next, add the walnuts, gorgonzola crumbles, and diced tomatoes. I grilled my chicken breast on my George Foreman grill. I didn’t add the red peppers and tomatoes this time because I didn’t have them, but the original restaurant version includes them. Add the cooked tortellini noodles to the sauce. Slice ½ chicken breast and add to the top of the noodles and serve. Serves 4.
  2. Note: I really “eyeballed” the quantities on this recipe. You may want to adjust according to your taste – but it’s really yummy, quick, and easy too!

 

Frugal Tip:  Flash frozen chicken breasts that come in a bag are pretty cheap, but they often get dried out and don’t taste as flavorful as fresh chicken breasts.  One thing I’ve discovered is that if you par-boil them in chicken stock before grilling, they taste better and are more juicy.

tortellini gorgonzola ingredients tortellini gorgonzola ingredients tortellini gorgonzola ingredients tortellini gorgonzola ingredients tortellini gorgonzola ingredients

German Spaetzle Noodles

german spaetzle recipe

German Spaetzle is the ultimate “cheap” dish.  After all, it doesn’t get much more frugal than a dish mainly comprised of eggs, water and flour.  It’s the shape of these noodles that make them fun to eat.  Dress them up with gravy, herbs or freshly grated cheese.  My kids LOVE this dish and my daughter can make them all by herself.  Plus, they’re ready in about 15 minutes from start to finish.

Frugal Tips:  We have a Spaetzle Maker, but you can make an impromptu spaetzle maker at home.  The first time my husband and I made these noodles we were newly married and broke – so we used a tin can with holes punched in the bottom.   A smaller can “squeezes” the spaetzle dough through the holes.  You can also use a colander to make spaetzle if it has wide enough holes.

German Spaetzle Noodles
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Serves: 2-4
 
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tsp. water
  • 1½ C. flour
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg

Instructions
  1. Combine ingredients to form dough. Press dough through the holes in a colander or spaetlze maker into boiling water. The noodles will rise to the surface when they’re done cooking. Serve with butter, gravy or other thick sauce. Garnish with parsley if desired

I first posted this recipe on Mommysavers.com

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter

 

butternut-squash-ravioli

This butternut squash ravioli with sage brown butter recipe is frugal fall cooking at its best.  The creamy, rich combination of goat cheese and butternut squash will make your mouth water.  The only drawback is the time it takes.  I made mine in stages, since everything can be refrigerated and assembled when it’s convenient.  Luckily, it freezes well– so make sure to make extras while you’re at it to enjoy long after the last leaf has fallen off the tree.

Frugal Tips:  The goat cheese is the only somewhat spendy item in this recipe, but don’t substitute it for anything else.  Look for deals on goat cheese at ALDI, Sam’s Club and even Target.  If you use a Target REDcard, you’ll save an additional 5% on all your purchases, including groceries.

Make your own butternut squash puree and freeze the leftovers to enjoy all winter long.

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Pasta
 

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp. + 7 Tbsp. butter
  • 3 Tbsp. minced shallots
  • Puree from one medium butternut squash (approx. 1½ C.)
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ¾ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ C. ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz. goat cheese
  • One batch fresh pasta dough
  • 12 sage leaves, chopped + 5-6 additional whole sage leaves for garnish
  • Toasted pine nuts (optional for garnish)
  • Goat cheese crumbles (optional for garnish)
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, melt one tablespoon butter and sautee the shallots until translucent. Turn the heat down and add the butternut squash puree, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Remove from heat and stir in the ricotta cheese and goat cheese.
  2. Roll the pasta dough into thin strips. Use a glass to cut circles as pictured below. Spoon one teaspoon butternut squash filling into the middle of each round. Brush edges with water and press to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges.
  3. Boil pasta for 3-4 minutes until it floats. Give it a toss in a skillet with butter to brown it as well.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the butter and chopped sage leaves over low to medium heat until brown. Remove from heat.
  5. Spoon butter over the pasta and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and goat cheese (optional).

butternut squash ravioli   butternut squash ravioli

butternut squash ravioli

butternut squash ravioli

I was inspired by Emerill’s recipe for Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter on Foodnetwork.com but adapted it according to my own taste.

Best Ever Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

best ever macaroni and cheese

Best Ever Macaroni and Cheese Recipe

My kids love macaroni and cheese.  It’s comfort food at its best.  As a mom, I get really tired of the blue boxes and crave the good stuff.  I’ve been experimenting with different variations in search of the best ever macaroni and cheese recipe.  I think I’ve finally hit the nail on the head.  In this version, the sauce is based on Mommysavers Copycat Version of Beecher’s World’s Best Mac and Cheese Recipe.  I also add tiny bits of Spam, ham or bacon bits for an extra pop of flavor.  However, that’s totally optional.  It tastes great all by itself.

Best Ever Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
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Serves: 6-8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 1-lb. box elbow macaroni
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 C. + 1 C. sharp Cheddar cheese
  • ½ C. grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9×11 casserole pan (or cake pan if you don’t have a glass casserole dish). Prepare macaroni according to package directions. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat until melted. Next, whisk in the flour. Continue whisking and cooking for 2 minutes until butter/flour mixture turns light golden brown. Slowly add the milk. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat. Add 3 C. Cheddar cheese, Monterrey Jack cheese, salt, chile powder and garlic powder. Stir until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated.
  2. Blend cheese and elbow noodles and place in a greased 9×11 casserole dish. Top with additional Cheddar cheese and bake for 45 minutes or until bubbly.