Springer's Kitchen

Vegetarian. High-Altitude. Mormon. Food.

Angel Hair with Tomatoes, Basil and Parmesan

This is such a lovely a light summer pasta!


  • 1 13.25-ounce box angel hair pasta
  • 3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 28-ounce can Italian tomatoes
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet and saute garlic until golden.  Add tomatoes and season with salt.  Simmer 5-10 minutes.  Add drained pasta to skillet.  Add herbs, and mix well.  Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve.

From Barilla Plus Angel Hair box.

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Shell Pasta with Vegetables


  • 1 13.25-ounce box medium-size shell pasta
  • 1/2 cup canola or olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon mint
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to package directions.  When draining pasta, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, carrot, broccoli, and peas.  Season with salt and pepper and saute for 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup of pasta water (or just warm water), and simmer until vegetables are cooked through.  Stir in the tomatoes.  Toss in pasta with Parmesan and remaining herbs.  Serve warm.

From Barilla Whole Grain Medium shells box.

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Rigatoni with Eggplant & Tomato Pesto

This spicy pasta dish will warm you up on a cold evening!


  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, whole
  • 3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes*
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • 3 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the eggplant, cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes.  Spread the vegetables out in an even layer on the baking sheet.  Roast in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the eggplant is golden, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.  Add the pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions.  Drain pasta into a large bowl and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a food processor.  Add the mint and oil.  Puree the vegetables.

Transfer the pureed vegetables to the bowl with the pasta and add the Parmesan.  Stir to combine, adding the pasta cooking liquid 1/2 cup at a time until the pasta is saucy.  Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top and serve.

*I prefer 1/2 teaspoon, but Tyson prefers the full teaspoon.

From Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree by Giada De Laurentiis.

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Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes

This dish has become a staple in our home.  A delicious way to use asparagus!


  • 8 ounces penne pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups (about 9 ounces) cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried basil


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions.  Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add the asparagus, season with the salt, pepper, and basil, and cook for 3 minutes until slightly soft.  Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for 2 more minutes.  Pour the broth into the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock is reduced by half, about 3 minutes.

Transfer the asparagus mixture to a large serving bowl.  Add the cooked pasta and the Parmesan.  Toss well, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta.

From Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes by Giada De Laurentiis.

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Penne with Spinach Sauce


  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 ounce cream cheese
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Add the penne and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes.

Mince the garlic in a food processor.  Add the goat cheese, cream cheese, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, and half of the spinach leaves.  Blend until the mixture is smooth and creamy.  Set the cheese and spinach mixture aside.

Meanwhile, place the remaining spinach leaves in a large bowl.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.  Spoon the pasta atop the spinach leaves in the bowl.  Scrape the cheese and spinach mixture over the pasta mixture and toss to coat, adding enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten.   Sprinkle the Parmesan over and serve.

From Penne with Spinach Sauce by Giada De Laurentiis.

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Tyson’s Favorite Mac & Cheese

This is Tyson’s favorite mac & cheese recipe – pure Cheddar with crisp, crunchy Panko bread crumbs on top. 🙂


1/2 pound elbow macaroni
6 tablespoons butter, divided
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon powdered mustard
3 cups milk
1/2 cup onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 large egg
12 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh black pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water cook the pasta to al dente.

While the pasta is cooking, in a separate pot, melt 3 tablespoon of the butter.  Whisk in the flour and mustard and keep it moving for about five minutes.  Make sure it’s free of lumps.  Stir in the milk, onion, bay leaf, and paprika.  Simmer for ten minutes or so, until the sauce has become thick and creamy.  Remove the bay leaf.

Temper in the egg.  Stir in 3/4 of the cheese.  Season with salt and pepper.  Fold the macaroni into the mix and pour into a 2-quart casserole dish.  Top with remaining cheese.

Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan and toss the bread crumbs to coat.  Top the macaroni with the bread crumbs.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and rest for five minutes before serving.

From Baked Macaroni and Cheese by Alton Brown.

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Springer’s Favorite Mac & Cheese

I love the delightful creaminess created by the blending of cheeses in this recipe.  I went searching for the perfect homemade mac & cheese recipe, and I found it!

I like to serve this with a large side of steamed broccoli, in a pathetic attempt to balance out all the cheesy goodness!


  • 1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 quart milk
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces shredded sharp Cheddar
  • 8 ounces shredded Swiss
  • 4 ounces Havarti
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 small tomatoes, but only if good quality and in-season
  • 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs (or panko crumbs)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t boil it.  Melt 6 tablespoons of butter in a large (4-quart) pot and add the flour.  Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk.  While whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth.  Off the heat, add the cheeses, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Add the cooked macaroni and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.

Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine them with the bread crumbs, and sprinkle over the top.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is golden brown on the top.

Adapted from Mac and Cheese by Ina Garten.

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Lentil Veggie Stew

I love this stew!  It’s a favorite of mine for a healthy, delicious, and satisfying meal.  And if you leave out the Swiss cheese, it’s great as a vegan dish, too!



1/4 cup oil

1 carrot, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

3 cups vegetable broth

1 cup dry lentils, rinsed

1 15-ounce can tomatoes, diced, stewed, or whatever

1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed*

1 tablespoon parsley

salt to taste

shredded Swiss cheese



In a large pot, saute carrot and onion in oil until onion is translucent.  Add thyme and marjoram and saute 1 minute more.  Add remaining ingredients, except cheese.  Cook, covered, for 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender.  Remove from heat.  Place 2 tablespoons of Swiss cheese in the bottom of each bowl, and top with hot stew.  Stir in the melty, cheesy goodness, and enjoy the deliciousness!

*When I’m fixing this for other people, I typically use 1/2 the box.

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Cauliflower Chickpea Curry

I was about to move on to pasta dishes, but I’m going to take a quick detour.  Tonight I am making the only Indian dish that I’m really happy with.  (And I looove Indian food!)  Since it’s a melding of two different recipes, I want to record it before I forget what I did. 🙂


1 head cauliflower, rinsed and broken down into florets

2 tablespoons butter, divided

2 tablespoons oil

1 tablespoon butter or oil

1/2 onion, chopped

2 teaspoons yellow curry powder

2 teaspoons garam masala

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic,pressed

1 cup vegetable broth

2 cups half-and-half

1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained


In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter to melt.  Once melted, add the cauliflower florets, a nice sprinkle of salt and cook until golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes.  Give a good toss and let cook for 3 more minutes.  Repeat tosses until most of the cauliflower is coated with the butter and golden on parts, about 4 tosses or so. This part smells sooo good!  Cauliflower should still be crunchy at this point, but tender enough to eat a smaller floret. Then, pour the florets into a large bowl and quickly cover tightly with plastic wrap.

While the cauliflower continues to steam in the bowl, make the sauce. In the same pan over medium heat, add the remaining butter.  Once the butter is melted, add the onions and spices. Cook until translucent, then add the garlic and cook a minute more.  Add the vegetable broth and bring to a simmer.  Cook until the stock is reduced by half, and then add the half-and-half and raise to a simmer.  Cook until the sauce is reduced and thickened.  With a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower from the bowl and add to the pot.  Add chickpeas.  Raise the heat and simmer 5 minutes more.  Serve warm over rice.

Adapted from Cauliflower in Curry Cream Sauce by Sunny Anderson and Butter Chickpea Curry from AllRecipes.com.

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Golden Potato and Cheese Soup

I got this recipe from me Mums, and I love it!


2 tablespoons canola oil

1 small onion, chopped

2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes

4 cups vegetable broth

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon dill, optional

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup whole milk, or half-and-half

1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese



In a large pot, saute the onion in oil over medium-high heat until browned.  Add the broth, potatoes, and seasonings, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.  Return to low heat, add the milk and cheese and stir until cheese has melted.

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