Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

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A shallow bowl filled with Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops and pieces of crusty bread.

Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops is a wonderful homemade dinner ready in about 40 minutes when using jarred roasted red peppers. Roasted red peppers are widely available at most grocery stores and they make wonderful sauces and dips. For this recipe, the roasted red peppers are pureed with onion, garlic, herbs, and cream for a luscious sauce that hugs the spaghetti nicely and makes an easy yet delicious dinner.

Dry spaghetti, onion, garlic and salt arranged around a black pot in preparation for Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops.

It’s not always easy being creative in the kitchen and coming up with a wide range of meal options for you and your family, especially if you have picker eaters. Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops has a blended sauce that is smooth, creamy and mild in taste, making it appealing to many.  Not a fan of scallops? Try the recipe with shrimp, cooked chicken chunks or just an extra sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Other kinds of pasta like linguine or fettuccine will work well too, so use up what you have. The creamy sauce can be made up to two days in advance and warmed gently on the stove before adding the scallops. But I find little need to make it ahead of time when it comes together quickly as it is. But if you are all about the meal prep, I would suggest making a double batch of sauce and freezing half for use later. You just can’t beat meals made from scratch and this is a great dinner to have on rotation.  Enjoy!

Red Pepper sauce in a stainless steel sauce pan ready for cooked spaghetti for Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops.
A shallow bowl filled with Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops and pieces of crusty bread.

A shallow bowl filled with Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops and pieces of crusty bread.

Red Pepper Spaghetti with Scallops

Total Time 40 mins
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 340ml jar roasted red peppers, drained about 8 ounces
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 12 ounces bay scallops, patted dry
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
  • as needed chopped fresh basil

Instructions
 

  • Heat a large pot of well-salted water to a simmer. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions, about 8-9 minutes. Drain well, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  • Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft but not browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the white wine and reduce for 2 minutes. Stir in broth, herbs and spices and continue to cook until the liquid has evaporated.
  • Pour mixture into a blender along with roasted red peppers. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour the sauce back into the pan and whisk in cream. Heat to a simmer and reduce for 1-2 minutes. Add the scallops and cook for about 3 minutes (depending on size) stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and adjust salt to taste. Add the cooked spaghetti and Parmesan cheese tossing to coat in sauce, adding a splash of pasta water if needed.
  • Divide among serving dishes and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Notes

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Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon

Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon

Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon

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Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon served on a wooden plate with dimly lit candles and a linen napkin in the background.

Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon is a great way to enjoy a satisfying bowl of creamy pasta without feeling bogged down with heaviness. It has a splash of cream, just enough to cling to the noodles and make it taste heavenly. The bacon is a must for a burst of salty, meaty texture to this dish, so it’s recommended not to omit it. The peas provide that fresh, earthy bite that makes this a pasta dish that you want to eat during the summer. It’s also a lovely way to use your fresh garden peas if you’re lucky enough to have them. You simply need to simmer your fresh shelled peas in lightly salted water for about 6-7 minutes until just tender and add to the pasta with the parmesan cheese at the end. It’s so good!

Ingredients for Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon arranged on a wooden plate garnished with fresh parsley.

Don’t have pappardelle pasta? No problem, I’ve made this recipe many times using fettuccini, linguini and penne rigate. I happen to enjoy it most with the pappardelle, but use what you have and enjoy!

Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon
Print Recipe
    Servings
    2 people
    Servings
    2 people
    Pappardelle with Peas and Bacon
    Print Recipe
      Servings
      2 people
      Servings
      2 people
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a gentle boil.
      2. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium heat and cook bacon until crisp-tender. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined dish reserving a tablespoon of bacon fat in the pan.
      3. Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving a cup of hot pasta water.
      4. Heat remaining bacon fat over medium-low heat and add garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes until starting to soften but not brown.
      5. Stir in cream, peas and salt. Heat to a full simmer and allow to reduce for 1 minute.
      6. Reduce heat to low and stir in pasta, reserved bacon, parmesan cheese and parsley and toss until combined and creamy. Add a small amount of hot pasta water as needed to bring everything together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
      7. Serve immediately with additional parmesan cheese.
      Recipe Notes

      -Linguini, fettucini and penne rigate work well in this recipe if pappardelle is not available.  Simply substitute your favourite using the same quantity size as stated in the recipe.

      -Fresh summer peas are optimal in this recipe if you have them.  Simmer your fresh peas in lightly salted water for 6-7 minutes until just tender and add at the end with the parmesan cheese

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      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

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      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.

      I absolutely love hot, cheesy spinach and artichoke dip. It’s something I can dig into and truly be a little pig about. So today’s post is a riff on one of my favourite dips made into gnocchi casserole form. This will likely be my last warming and hearty casserole of the season because it’s time to think spring…and I’m definitely okay with that. But in the same breath, I didn’t want you to miss out on this wonderfully cheesy and saucy Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin.

      If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, they are essentially little dumplings often made with mashed potatoes or ricotta cheese. Very simple to make, they cook in minutes and they can take on whatever sauce you want to toss them in. A classic sauce is a butter and sage sauce, but your favourite family meat sauce would be great too. The cheese lover in me can’t help but smother the tender little dumplings in a luscious Gruyere cheese sauce. Enjoy!

      Ricotta gnocchi dusted lightly with flour on a tan cutting board in preparation for Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin.

      Tips for great gnocchi:

      Don’t overwork the dough and mix only until combined. This will prevent too much gluten development in the flour.

      The grooves are not necessary, however, they help the dumpling hold the sauce. It only takes a few extra minutes to roll each piece over the tines of a fork or gnocchi board.

      Cook gnocchi in gently simmering water and only cook until they start to float to the surface. A rapid boil is a little too rough for the tender gnocchi.

      Gnocchi can be made and cooked ahead of time. Simply chill or freeze in a single layer on a large baking tray. Once they are frozen they can be stored together in a sealable bag or airtight container. If chilling, cover and use within 2 days.

      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.

      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.
      Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        4 people 75 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        27-33 minutes 5 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        4 people 75 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        27-33 minutes 5 minutes
        Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.
        Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          4 people 75 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          27-33 minutes 5 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          4 people 75 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          27-33 minutes 5 minutes
          Ingredients
          Gnocchi
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          Gnocchi
          1. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in flour until dough starts to come together.
          2. Scoop dough onto a floured work surface and knead gently for a few turns until dough is smooth. Shape into a round disk, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes for the flour to hydrate.
          3. Cut dough disk into 4 equal portions and roll eat portion into an approximate 15" log. Cut each log into 3/4" pieces, dusting lightly with flour as you go to prevent sticking.
          4. Roll each piece across the tines of a fork or gnocchi board, sprinkle with flour as you go to prevent sticking. Dust a large baking tray with flour and lay formed gnocchi in a single layer on the tray. Sprinkle with flour, cover and keep chilled until ready to use.
          Sauce
          1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add 1 cup of hot milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Repeat with remaining milk, adding it gradually and stirring until smooth after each addition. Once all the milk has been added, bring to a gentle simmer to ensure flour has thickened to its capacity. Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
          2. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer and preheat oven to 350°F.
          3. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in half of the Gruyere cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once the cheese has melted stir in spinach and chopped artichokes.
          4. Gently add gnocchi to the simmering water. Cook until all the gnocchi float to the surface which will only take a few minutes. Remove with a slotted scoop to a towel-lined tray to remove excess moisture. Immediately add gnocchi to the sauce and stir gently to combine.
          5. Divide between 4 oven-safe individual cocotte dishes or ramekins that will hold a minimum of 1 1/2 cups. Divide remaining Gruyere cheese evenly over tops and place on a foil-lined baking tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Turn oven to broil to lightly brown the tops for about 2 minutes.
          6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving as they are very hot.
          Recipe Notes

          A single casserole dish can be used instead of individual cocotte dishes if desired.

          It's important to add the cooked gnocchi immediately to the sauce as they will start to stick together if left to sit for too long.

           

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          Tuna Noodle Casserole

          Tuna Noodle Casserole

          Tuna Noodle Casserole

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          Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.

          Tuna Noodle Casserole is one of my favourite family casseroles.  It has just the right ratio of noodles to sauce and is topped with buttery panko breadcrumbs. It’s also cheesy, hearty and comforting and a one scoop meal with the peas baked right in. It does take a little extra time to make the sauce, cook the noodles and bake, so I would say it’s a nice weekend casserole.  The recipe is simple and uses everyday ingredients, which means there are no unnecessary trips to the grocery store.  The kids will love it and you’ll likely get leftovers as it makes a 9”x13” pan. 

          Cheese sauce in a stainless steel saucepan with a metal whisk in preparation for Tuna Noodle Casserole.

          Be sure not to overcook the noodles as they will continue to cook slightly while baking in the sauce. I will generally cook them a minute or two less than the package instructions. To save time and be efficient, I like to start cooking the sauce while the water comes to a boil and the noodles cook. Get the kids helping by grating cheese and flaking the tuna. Enjoy!

          Tuna Noodle Casserole served on a glass plate with a wooden fork on a wooden surface.

          Author:  Compelled to Cook, adapted from Food Wishes

           

          Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
          Tuna Noodle Casserole
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 people 30-35 minutes
            Cook Time
            35-40 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            6-8 people 30-35 minutes
            Cook Time
            35-40 minutes
            Baked golden Tuna Noodle Casserole in a yellow serving dish on a wooden trivet.
            Tuna Noodle Casserole
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 people 30-35 minutes
              Cook Time
              35-40 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              6-8 people 30-35 minutes
              Cook Time
              35-40 minutes
              Ingredients
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
              2. Cook noodles for slightly less time than package instructions so they are al dente (firm to the bite). Drain well.
              3. While noodles are cooking, melt the 1/4 cup of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add a cup of hot milk whisking constantly until the mixture is smooth and starts to bubble. Continue adding hot milk and whisking until all the milk has been added and the mixture is smooth. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, whisking often.
              4. Remove sauce from heat and whisk in mushroom soup, 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir in half of the cheddar cheese, tuna, and peas until combined. Add drained noodles and stir to evenly coat.
              5. Spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non-stick spray and pour casserole into the dish, spreading out evenly. Top with remaining cheddar cheese.
              6. Stir together breadcrumbs, melted butter, parsley and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread evenly over casserole and bake on the centre rack for 35-40 minutes until bubbly and the top is golden. Remove from oven and serve immediately.

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              Meaty Baked Pasta

              Meaty Baked Pasta

              Well, baked pasta is far from anything new.  This little version is my own yet very similar to many that are out there.  It’s more of a reminder of how wonderful a baked pasta can be.  There are a few steps involved so I wouldn’t call it the best weeknight meal.  However, Meaty Baked Pasta is just what the family calls for on the weekend.  

              With this pasta casserole, you will find a meaty sauce that includes ground beef and Italian sausage, a light and creamy ricotta cheese layer that helps to balance the acid in the tomato sauce.  More sauce hugged pasta with chunks of tomato that is broiled oozy with mozzarella and parmesan.  It’s the kind of dish you know you should stop eating, but just can’t.

              It serves many with even a few leftovers.  If planning ahead, you may want to assemble in two casserole dishes, bake one and freeze the other for a later meal when time is not your friend. 

              Meaty Baked Pasta is homey, satisfying and best of all cheesy!  It’s not diet friendly, so I won’t pretend that it is.  Everything in moderation, right?  Enjoy!

              Meaty Baked Pasta is hot and cheesy from the oven in a blue casserole dish with handles. There is a serving spoon half tucked into the pasta. The dish rests on a cork pot holder that is draped with a white and navy towel. Fresh basil sits in the background.
              Meaty Baked Pasta
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                8-10 people 40 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 5 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                8-10 people 40 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 5 minutes
                Meaty Baked Pasta is hot and cheesy from the oven in a blue casserole dish with handles. There is a serving spoon half tucked into the pasta. The dish rests on a cork pot holder that is draped with a white and navy towel. Fresh basil sits in the background.
                Meaty Baked Pasta
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  8-10 people 40 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 5 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  8-10 people 40 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 5 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften, stirring often.
                  2. Add ground beef and Italian sausage. Cook until browned and no longer pink, breaking apart any large chunks and stirring often. Dab out any excess fat with a paper towel.
                  3. To the meat add marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and chili flakes.
                  4. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 20- 25 minutes to meld flavours.
                  5. While meat sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to package directions using well-salted water. (about 1 tbsp regular salt to 4 litres of water). Drain pasta and set aside.
                  6. Preheat oven to 350℉.
                  7. In a small bowl stir together ricotta, half of the mozzarella, half of the parmesan, dried basil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
                  8. Lightly spray a 9"x13" casserole dish with non stick spray. Add half the cooked pasta and half of the meat sauce to the casserole dish. Stir to combine. Spread with ricotta cheese mixture.
                  9. To the pot with the remaining pasta add remaining meat sauce. Stir to combine and pour over ricotta cheese layer. Top with remaining half of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
                  10. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until bubbly. Broil for 2-3 to blister the cheese. Remove and allow to rest 3-5 minutes prior to serving.

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                  One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta

                  One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta

                  Bring on the leftovers!

                  Get ready for the inevitable week of turkey leftovers with this creamy and delicious One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta.  It will gobble up 2 cups of leftover turkey while being quick, easy and perfect for the whole family.  This one tastes a little like turkey pot pie, without the pie.  One of the ways I make sure there’s added flavour is to brown the mushrooms nicely.  The trick here is to start with a hot oiled pan, don’t overcrowd the mushrooms and allow them to cook on one side until golden before stirring.  It’s a great way to maximize flavour.  I also like to use flavoured cream cheese for added flavour.  For this recipe, I used a garden vegetable cream cheese, however, herb and garlic would also work well. 

                  While this post is geared at using up leftover turkey, you could also use leftover chicken, purchased rotisserie chicken or even frozen cooked cubed chicken. The whole premise is minimal cooking involvement but great tasting creamy pasta cooked in one pot.  

                  Being a shift worker, I’m a big, big fan of one pot dinners.  Working nights, I still cook dinner prior to leaving for work, so easy and relatively convenient is a must when it comes to getting dinner on the table. One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta is just one of my go-to meals to make my work week easier. 

                  Author:  Compelled to Cook

                  One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    4 people 20 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    25 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    4 people 20 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    25 minutes
                    One Pot Turkey Mushroom Pasta
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      4 people 20 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      25 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      4 people 20 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      25 minutes
                      Instructions
                      1. In a large skillet heat oil over high heat. Add sliced mushrooms and allow to cook until golden on one side and moisture is starting to evaporate. Stir mushrooms and cook for an additional minute. Add chopped onion and garlic. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally until starting to soften, 3-5 minutes.
                      2. Add wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes until most of the wine has cooked out. Stir in 3 cups of chicken broth, pasta, thyme and parsley. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low, stirring once.
                      3. Whisk cornstarch into remaining 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Stir into pasta and allow to come to a full simmer to reach full thickness. Stir in cream cheese, turkey, peas, salt and pepper. Allow to cook 1-2 minutes to heat turkey and peas. Serve immediately with freshly grated parmesan cheese.