Pasta

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How to Make Homemade Pasta (Without a Pasta Maker!)

Homemade Pasta Dough No Pasta Machine

I’ve been making pasta from scratch for about eight years now, often with a child standing at each hip, and all without using a pasta maker.

Sometimes gadgets can be barriers to experimentation in the kitchen, but a small kitchen or a lack of funding shouldn’t prevent anyone from making delicious homemade food. I find that most meals can be made with a few simple tools that serve multiple purposes.

In the case of my homemade pasta, my rolling pin doubles as my pasta roller.

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Easy Chicken Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese with Chicken

As I’ve grown as a home cook, prioritizing flexibility in recipes is something I’ve learned to truly cherish. Especially now that I’m a busy parent, I find myself asking a series of questions any time I approach a recipe:

Can I substitute leftovers for an ingredient in a recipe I want to make? Can I serve this meal in a variety of ways? Is it doable to make this on a weeknight, or can I change it a bit to make it special for a weekend dinner party?

When it comes to this Easy Chicken Mac and Cheese, the answer to all of those questions is “yes!”

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Fettuccine Alfredo with Mushrooms

Mushroom Fettuccine Alfredo

If you’re a beginner cook, or even an intermediate one, it may not cross your mind to try making alfredo sauce from scratch. For me, it seemed just a tiny bit out of reach for years. Then one day, I gave it a try and quickly found myself saying, “Oh. That was really easy.”

Alfredo is one of the most underrated sauces—it’s made with just a few pantry staples, it’s always satisfying, and it’s surprisingly easy to make at home.

Every home cook should have a recipe at the ready for quick weeknight dinners. It’s certainly not just for restaurant dining!

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Roast Chicken on Angel Hair Pasta

Roasted Chicken on Angel Hair

If you’ve ever watched a rotisserie chicken turning slowly on a spit—my local supermarket has several going at once— then you’ve seen the tray underneath the birds to catch the drippings. Those drippings are gold!

Now, imagine those chickens roasting over a baking dish filled with pasta: All those juices from the bird would drip into the pasta and give it an unbelievably delicious roasty flavor.

This idea of roasting meat on top of other ingredients is actually an ancient technique from when individual families didn’t have their own ovens, and cooks brought pans of meat or poultry and whatever went with it to the local baker to roast in the baker’s big oven. This approach inspired this recipe.

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Pasta with Butternut Parmesan Sauce

Butternut Parmesan Pasta

One of the best things about fall is the abundance of pumpkins and hardy winter squash. Ever wonder why winter squash is called “winter” squash when it first makes its appearance in the fall?

Perhaps because if stored in a cool place, they’ll last several months, well into winter.

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Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

Chicken Florentine Pesto Pasta

Dear chicken Florentine. I like you. I like your spinach and your cream sauce.

But honestly? I don’t love you. You’re missing a little pizzaz.

So, I would like to introduce you to my friend pesto pasta.

You kinda need that punch from the pesto’s garlic, basil, and Parmesan.

Now we have the makings of love. Go forth and multiply.

Recipe and photos updated, first published 2011

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