Recipe: Penne Pasta with Creamy Vodka Sauce

“I have an Italian colleague that I owe this whole recipe to.”

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Who’s ready to talk pasta? And vodka sauce? And ground sausage? Because those are kind of three things that make an amazing combo, and I’m about to share one bangin’ recipe with you all.

THE SAUCE:

  1. 1 tablespoon butter/olive oil
  2. 3-6 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste for garlic)
  3. 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  4. 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (also depending on your taste)
  5. salt and pepper

REAMINING INGREDIENTS:

  1. pasta of your choosing – I use 8-10 oz. of penne
  2. meat of your choosing – I use 1 lb. ground sausage (but I’ve heard shrimp is an excellent choice as well)

Brown your sausage first, and let it sit on low while you prepare the sauce.

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Start by mincing your garlic. Heat the 1 tablespoon of butter/olive oil over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic. Stir consistently so that the garlic is cooking evenly and preventing it from burning. Once the garlic has softened, add the pint of heavy whipping cream and turn the heat up to medium-high. Bring this to a boil and then turn down the heat so that cream continues to simmer.

*In the meantime, start cooking that pasta.

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Cream will start to thicken after 4-5 minutes, but feel free to cook it longer if it has not reached your desired consistency. Once you are happy with it, start adding 1 tablespoon of tomato paste at a time and taste test until you like the mixture. I end up adding 3 tablespoons because I like the way it tastes – but it’s really up to you!

Add the sauce and meat to your pot and stir it all up.

And voila! A delicious meal for any pasta-lover. I make caesar salad and garlic bread on the side to complete the dish, and usually have to go back for seconds. Enjoy!

Xoxo,

KS red lips isolated in white

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Blue Apron Meal: Pesto Pasta and Butter Lettuce

“This was a little underwhelming; it looked pretty though.”

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I wish I were more excited to write this post! It was the only pasta meal I ordered when choosing my three free meals from Blue Apron as a courtesy of one of my best friends. I loooove anything and everything pasta-related, and was really looking forward to a good homemade pesto sauce and a tossed salad combining fresh greens and chopped almonds.

Alas, it didn’t really measure up to expectations. If you missed my first Blue Apron post, you can read about the amazing meal we prepared of chicken meatballs and a sarda pasta. That one takes the cake as far as I’m concerned.

Back to the pesto pasta dish…

First you are to clean and prepare your fresh vegetables and the lemon.


The hardest part was probably chopping the almonds – they fly everywhere! Make sure you have a broom on deck. Next, peel the yellow part of the lemon with a grater, and slice the carrots a similar way. Then you will have to quarter and deseed your lemon. Next you need to sauté the greens!


When these finish cooking, you can start preparing the dressing and pesto sauce. The pesto sauce was so easy I’m almost skeptical. Though that could be the reason it lacked taste. You take the cooked arugula greens and chop them on a cutting board once they’ve cooled down. Then you transfer the greens to a small bowl and whisk around with some olive oil, creating a paste.
To me, this had no taste. Maybe I didn’t add enough salt and pepper, but considering it was already seasoned with red pepper, green garlic and lemon zest I figured that would suffice.

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You can find the recipe online here, but I also took a picture of the recipe sheets below!

So that was this dish! Although this dish was a letdown, I hope this still proved to be helpful. I am a HUGE fan of Blue Apron thus far, and will be soon writing a post about the delightful catfish and rice I made last night.

I just wish there were more taste to the pesto pasta, and less of a “cream cheesy” taste to the salad. Just not my cup of tea – that’s all!

Please let me know if you’ve tried this service before! I’d be so interested to see if anyone else finds it worth the $$, or whether there is something better I should look into.

Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

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Blue Apron Recipe: Chicken Meatballs & Fregola Sarda

“WOW! We brought a restaurant prepared dish to our own home.”

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This service is incredible. This is my first experience with a Blue Apron recipe, and it was chicken meatballs served over a fregola sarda pasta, mixed with kale and a tomato sauce. The flavors ranged from sweet raisins to garlic and it all blended wonderfully.

BEGINNER SUMMARY: If you’re not familiar with Blue Apron and the service they provide, it’s a “food subscription” of sorts. For $60.00/week (meals serving two people), you get three meals delivered to your house, all on the same day. If you look at it this way, each meal is $20.00, which doesn’t sound so bad considering you receive perfectly portioned fresh ingredients delivered directly to your doorstep. No more wasting an entire bottle of thyme you’ll never use, or the random sprinkle of cheese you needed but don’t plan to use up for the rest of the week.
**At any time, you can skip a week and forego the payment of that week as well. Similarly, you can also cancel at any time.

On with my first recipe, the chicken meatballs. I received a week of free meals from a friend of mine (huge shout-out to my hometown bestie, Monica!). xoxo

I first brought a pot of water to boil, and added the pasta. While that cooked, I prepared the kale by chopping it into bite-sized portions. You then have to heat up 1-2 tablespoons of cooking oil (in a separate pan) and toss in the kale, also including a clove of finely minced garlic.

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Let this cook for about 3-5 minutes. Then add a freshly squeezed lemon to the mixture for an added zing!

Next, you’ll want to start preparing the chicken meatballs. You combine the necessary ingredients into a medium-sized bowl, and mix it all together with your hands! Furthermore, continue to make 10-12 meatballs to brown in your cooking pan.

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Brown the meatballs on each side for roughly 2-3 minutes.

In the meantime, add the kale to your drained pasta and store in a warm place until we finish preparing the meatballs.

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Then, add 1/2 cup of water and the tomato sauce, stewing your meatballs for an additional 5-7 minutes. In this time, your tomato sauce should be thickening while the meatballs are cooked thoroughly.

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Once finished, split the pasta portion into two servings and top it with half of the meatballs/sauce. Garnish with the remaining parmesan cheese!

This recipe was incredible, and I would highly recommend this to a friend. I am keeping my recipe card, and plan to create this dish again someday. It is wonderful to have every ingredient delivered straight to your door, while not wasting excess ingredients you would buy in the grocery store. You can find the exact recipe here, but I will also post a picture of the front and back of my recipe sheet below.

Please let me know if you’ve tried this service before! I’d be so interested to see if anyone else finds it worth the $$, or whether there is something better I should look into.

Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

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Wanderlust Wednesday: Barbuzzo

“This is definitely classier than most, and the price is right!”

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Located at 110 South 13th Street

Barbuzzo is a Mediterranean bar and grill which specializes in unique tastes and flavorful dishes. It has quickly turned into our spot for special occasions. First it was my birthday (which, I might add, was New Years Eve with a superb set four-course meal) and the second visit was for our anniversary. Both times were not a letdown. This restaurant serves to impress and is accompanied by incredible waitstaff.

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As I previously mentioned, the first time we visited there was a set menu. We started with the sheep’s milk ricotta paired with country-grilled bread, and followed with our individual choices for dinner and then an amazing, absolutely must-try, caramel dessert.

The second time around, we ordered that sheep’s milk ricotta again, and it did not disappoint. I love that they give you more than enough spread to dip your bread. They do not skimp on portions for those of us who come with a big appetite.

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On NYE, I had asked our waiter if my main dish (campanelle) was a feature on their usual menu, and he said, “No, not typically.” BUT… little did he know, or maybe the menu changed to incorporate it, campanelle was on the menu as a dinner dish and ya girl here was so. so. stoked.

This is HANDS DOWN the best pasta dish I have ever eaten in my entire life.

Okay, yes, I know. Bold statement. And I am a huge pasta fanatic… anything noodles and believe me I’m there. But I stand by this. The flavors of this dish with tiny veal meatballs and a truffle cream incorporating kale and parmesan are everything a pasta-obsessive person is looking for. Please make sure that when you go, someone at the table orders this.

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My boyfriend chose to devour an entire margherita pizza, and I don’t think he thought twice about his choice.

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Lastly, we enjoyed one of the greatest desserts Philadelphia has to offer, the salted caramel budino. With a chocolate “cookie-like” crust on the bottom, followed by layered vanilla bean and salted caramel goodness, this dessert will not disappoint you AT ALL.

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I was really excited to write this feature and I’m happy I could make it to Barbuzzo twice in a couple months. It will definitely be a place I return to as I don’t think we’ll be able to stay away!img_20170208_183539

Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

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