Farfelle alla Vesuviana: Easy Pasta recipe (bowties)

I have made this fabulous pasta recipe four times since I discovered it in the book 250 True Italian Pasta Dishes by John Coletta. I’ve made countless recipes from here, many of which I’ve wanted to share with you, but the photos have always been dreadful. These aren’t stellar, but they were worth sharing anyway! I’ve made this recipe with   Read More »

Spaghetti with Pancetta & Broccoli

I had some broccoli in the fridge, and I always have pasta, so when I found the recipe for Linguine with Pancetta and Broccoli in my book, 250 True Italian Pasta Dishes, I had to make it. Hubby doesn’t like linguini, he likes spaghetti, so I substituted, but overall I stuck to the recipe. If you like pasta, especially those   Read More »

Pasta with Garlic Roasted Broccoli

I’ve been making a lot of pasta without red sauce lately. I still like red sauce, but have grown pretty tired of the same old same old, so trying recipes with broth or olive oil based sauces has been wonderful. Hubby won’t eat a white sauce, so Alfredo is out. This particular recipe is a little different than any of   Read More »

Chicken with Peppers and Pasta

Chicken with Peppers and Pasta @amandaformaro Amanda's Cookin'

I wanted to try something different that included pasta, but where pasta wasn’t the main part of the dish. Seems to me that far too often we make the pasta noodles the center of attention, when truly they don’t contribute any flavor at all! Something that does add flavor though are colorful sweet peppers and tender chicken. So I put   Read More »

Roasted Garlic Pasta Bake

Roasted Garlic Pasta Bake

I love the versatility of pasta. So many ways to serve it, and it appeals to a wide audience. Lucky for me my entire family loves pasta as much as I do, so trying different dishes is always a pleasure. I tried a new cheese flavor, which is amazing, and it brought out so much great flavor in this dish!   Read More »

3-Ingredient Quick Pasta Salad

So quick and simple! Use your favorite dressing in this 3-ingredient pasta salad.

I love a pasta salad filled with fresh, crunchy chopped vegetables, maybe some chicken and a flavorful homemade vinaigrette. But let’s be honest. Sometimes you just need a quick pasta salad when you already have too much on your entertaining plate. After all, you are making everything and hosting a barbecue or a party, adding one more thing to the   Read More »

Spaghetti in Chicken-Tomato Sauce with Green Beans

I really love pasta, but years of eating spaghetti with the same old sauce has worn on me. Recently I posted about a wonderful and authentic Italian recipe called Farfelle alla Vesuviana, which has been added to my permanently collection. I found that recipe, and the one I’m about to share with you, in the book 250 True Italian Pasta   Read More »

Farfalle with Green Beans and Pecans in Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce


I’m in love with these flavors! I really wanted to make something a little different for dinner, but was determined to use items from my pantry instead of hitting the grocery store. I had just bought some fresh green beans from the produce section a couple days before, and everything else I had on hand. The roasted tomato flavor pairs   Read More »

Tomato Herb Pasta Salad

In May I posted a recipe called Grilled Chicken Salad with Herbed Tomato Vinaigrette which was absolutely fabulous. However, I’m not one to drown my salads, I just like to add a bit of flavor with my dressings, so I have plenty of leftover vinaigrette. So, I used it to make this wonderful pasta salad. Since we were going up to our   Read More »

Spicy Chicken & Bowties

Many years ago, during a trip to Las Vegas, my husband and I ate in a restaurant that served a dish called Pasta & Peas. I loved it, it was delicious, so I attempted to recreate it myself. I put this recipe together years ago and we eat it often. I sometimes change out the veggie, but the base is   Read More »

Easy Tuna Pasta Salad Recipe

I love pasta salads, and with warmer weather on the horizon, picnics and barbecues are imminent. Pasta salads are a perfect accompaniment, and travel well in a cooler. I also love tuna salad, so this very simple recipe for tuna pasta salad was right up my alley. A friend of mine from years back owned a site called Old Fashioned   Read More »

Sausage & Penne in Garlic Olive Oil

This recipe is something I threw together based off of my Spicy Chicken & Bowties. It’s basically the same thing, only this time I threw some fennel seed and basil into the mix. I’m not big on tomato sauce with my pasta (unless it’s spaghetti and meatballs) and hubby doesn’t like white sauce, so I usually use lots of olive   Read More »

Spiced Chicken & Mezzi Rigatoni

Spiced Chicken & Mezzi Rigatoni by AmandasCookin.com @amandaformaro

I’m a huge pasta fan and love trying out new recipes. I’m always scanning the pasta aisle for a different noodle to try. That’s when I spotted the mezzi rigatoni on the shelf. Mezzi rigatoni is the same as regular rigatoni, but basically the noodle is about half the length. The sides are ridged, making it great for grabbing and   Read More »

Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Casserole

Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Casserole - AmandasCookin.com @amandaformaro

This delicious casserole combines the flavors of your favorite pizza with the textures of your favorite pasta. I used rotini pasta because I think the spirals are perfect for grabbing and holding sauce. Ziti would work well too as would mostaccioli. If you aren’t a sausage fan, you can leave it out, but I love sausage and won’t eat pizza   Read More »

Baked Rotini with Italian Sausage


I’m always looking for new recipes for dinner time. Who doesn’t get tired of serving the same old thing all the time? On the other hand, there’s always the risk of trying something new and it not being well received. So combine the two! Take a classic and give it a twist, like this sausage and pasta bake. The familiar   Read More »

Rotini with Creamy Three Herb Pesto & Chicken

You’ve heard my harp about this fabulous cookbook that I have, The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet. I found a pasta recipe using pesto and chicken. I didn’t have any chevre, so I substituted with plain feta cheese. The flavors of the herbs mingled beautifully with the familiar taste of garlic and shallots, which I tend to use often. This is definitely   Read More »

Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan @amandaformaro Amanda's Cookin'

Chicken Parmesan is an Italian-American dish that is derived from popular tomato based Italian casserole dishes known as parmigiana. Eggplant is the most common filling, deep fried then baked in a dish layered with cheese and tomato sauce. The Americanized dish chicken parmigiana is often baked in a casserole dish, smothered in too much sauce and cheese for my taste.   Read More »

Rotini, Peas and Cheese

Rotini, Peas and Cheese @amandaformaro Amanda's Cookin'

It’s true that two of my children have moved out, so I am feeding less mouths each night. But there are still four of us, and two of them are ravenous teenagers. Finding dinners that are inexpensive but still satisfying is sometimes a challenge. This cheesy pasta meal fits the bill on both counts. The addition of bacon in this   Read More »

Chili Mac Recipe

Chili Mac

Got your attention do I? I’m definitely giving away $100. But let me tell you about this Chili Mac first. I have a homemade chili seasoning mix that I make several batches of to use when I want to make chili. Often times I’ll use a couple of my homemade packets and make a double batch. That way I can   Read More »

Tuscan Garlic Chicken


Several weeks ago, my daughter and I had lunch at Olive Garden. We had the standard soup, salad and bread sticks that I remember from my Corporate America days. Olive Garden was just down the street from work and we went there at least once a week. I couldn’t help but notice as I watched waiters and waitresses pass by   Read More »

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna Roll Ups

Lasagna is one of my favorite dinners, especially in the colder months. While lasagna tastes great and is a great meal to serve for a large family, it’s time consuming to put together. Lasagna roll ups are a bit easier to handle and have all the same flavors as your traditional lasagna, without as much fuss. Combining all the filling   Read More »

Mostaccioli with Chicken, Peas and Peppers

I vowed to make more recipes for the Cooking with Alicia & Annie blog event. So this week I printed off  bunch of recipes to try. One of them was this very delicious, super easy and quick to prepare recipe for Mostaccioli with Chicken, Peas and Peppers. To join in the fun you can make any recipe you want from their   Read More »

Penne with Tomato Sage Sausage Sauce

I know I sound like a broken record, and that I’ve told you before about this great cookbook, The Complete 15-Minute Gourmet. But I can’t help it, really! Everything I make from this book is fabulous, I have yet to be disappointed. The other day I was browsing through the recipes I had bent the page corners on, and I settled   Read More »

Spaghetti and Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Spaghetti and Meatballs in Marinara Sauce

Spaghetti and meatballs are a favorite in this house, and pretty much a family tradition. While I’m British born, my other half is Italian. Years ago when we first started dating I remember going to his mom’s house and having Sunday dinner. Quite often that meal consisted of some sort of pasta, more often than not, spaghetti and meatballs. While   Read More »