BF&F – Best Friends and Foodies

Posts tagged “pasta

Baked pasta with Eggplant and Mozzarella – townie

More eggplants for the csa. I think, I know I’m done with eggplants… This is it :). This was ok. I wasn’t a fan, too bland and mushy. The husband liked it ok. It’s not a keeper for us.


Baked pasta with Eggplant and Mozzarella
adapted from smitten kitchen

1 large or 2 small eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch dice
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
2 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 celery stalk, in a 1/4-inch dice
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces mini farfalle pasta
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon dried oregano
zest of a whole lemon
8 ounces mozzarella cut into 1/3-inch dice
1/2 cup parmesan, grated
3 medium tomatoes, diced

Sprinkle your eggplant generously with salt and let it drain in a colander for 30 minutes. I used this time to get the rest of my ingredients ready. After 30 minutes, rinse it well and pat it dry on towels.

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the oil and once the oil is shimmering, add the eggplant. Fry for 8 minutes, stirring pieces occasionally. Using a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer them to paper towels to drain. Add celery and carrots to remaining oil and cook for 3 minutes before adding onion and garlic. Cook together for 5 more minutes on medium heat. Stir in the pasta and tomato paste and cook for two minutes more. Off the heat, add the oregano, mozzarella, parmesan, tomatoes, fried eggplant, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon table salt, many grinds of black pepper and the stock and mix well.

Transfer mixture to an ovenproof baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes, then bake 20 minutes without the foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Chicken Picata with Mushrooms and Spinach – Bumpkin

I took out chicken a few days ago with every intention of cooking up a storm.  But, speaking of storms, the weather had another idea.  Winds got up to 70mph here and knocked out our power.  Since we didn’t know how long it would be out we opted to just go into town for dinner.

Fast forward to today.  So, here I am husbandless for the weekend (he is turkey hunting….the result of which will probably a 2-day beard, a bit of sunburn and a headache!) and not REALLY in the mood to cook but I have chicken about to spoil.  I also have meyer lemons, mushrooms and spinach about to spoil.  Sounds like picata time.

I found a quick recipe on  It, naturally, needed modifications because WHAT is picata without capers! The kids were watching Tom and Jerry, I whipped up dinner.  They all sat down and STARED!  I HATE going to any sort of effort just to have kids NOT eat.  Push the spinach aside kids….just eat your damn dinner!

After a few bites, spinach and capers picked out.  Dinner was done.  I think it was perfectly delicious.  Hubby will like it (not as much as his mom’s but…)  I will probably make it again because I typically have all the ingredients at any given time. I served it with spaghetti into which I juiced 1 lemon, added a dash of olive oil and grated some fresh parmesan cheese.


Chicken Picata with Mushrooms and Spinach

adapted from


  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1T chopped garlic
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs – cut into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • bunch of spinach
  • 2T capers
Let’s make It

  1. In a shallow bowl, mix together flour, paprika, and salt and pepper. Dredge chicken pieces in the seasoned flour.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add garlic and saute chicken until light golden brown (about 45 seconds each side). Remove chicken from skillet, and set aside.
  3. To skillet, add mushrooms, lemon juice, and chicken stock. Simmer until a smooth, light sauce develops. Season with garlic powder. Return chicken to the skillet, and simmer until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Stir in spinach and capers, and remove from heat.

linguine with shrimp, roasted tomatoes and spinach


sometimes i find recipes in random places — this one came from parenting magazine.   i made this in stages throughout the day — i think it would have turned out better had it been done all at once 🙂  it also needs some more flavor in my opinion — maybe more garlic?  some parmesan??   husband like it though – didnt have any complaints 🙂



  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes halved
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped, divided
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C bread crumbs
  • 1 box whole wheat linguine
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1lb large peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 1/2 C chicken broth
  • 2 C baby spinach

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

In a baking dish, toss together tomatoes,  2 cloves garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, and roast an additional 5 minutes; set aside.

Boil Linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add  oil, butter, and  chopped garlic, and cook for 1 minute. Add shrimp; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saute until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Add chicken broth, and let the liquid cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the drained pasta, roasted tomatoes, and  baby spinach. Toss well, then serve. Enjoy.