Orzo with Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette

Click here to jump right to the recipe. The lowly tomato. It’s so versatile and plentiful this time of year. Just when I think I can’t eat another toasted tomato sandwich or any more Bruschetta,  I remember Orzo with Smokey Tomato Vinaigrette and love tomatoes all over again. I’ve been making this recipe, compliments of Giada De Laurentiis for ages. Charring the tomato skins in a dry pan give this vinaigrette a smokey flavour and it’s a great way to use up smaller varieties of tomatoes. I planted grape clusters this year and I can’t keep up with them so this tasty pasta dish is just what I need.

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Macaroni Salad

Have you ever gone to a pot luck and brought Macaroni Salad and a few other people did too? And yours looked sort of lame compared to the others? Me too. You probably just mixed together pasta and mayonnaise. That’s basically a macaroni salad but I learned that you just need to add a few colours, flavours and textures to make sure you’re taking home an empty bowl.

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Baked Pasta with Sausage and Peppers

Notice I didn’t call this “Sausage and Pepper Penne?”  That would be plagiarism. What makes this version better than the one from the popular Italian chain restaurant is, well…several things. It’s far less expensive to make it at home. You can make it as hot or mild as you like. And, you can customize it with the ingredients you prefer and what’s already in the fridge and pantry. Here’s our favourite version of Baked Pasta with Sausage and Peppers.

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Shrimp Scampi with Linguine

We’ve been spending some time on the gulf coast of Texas in the winter. One of my favourite things about coastal Texas is having access to fresh fish and seafood. Sometimes you can get fresh shrimp right off the boat. I heard about a local bait shop that sold shrimp and I couldn’t believe how fresh they were. And, I didn’t even have to twist their little heads off! So I bought some jumbo shrimp and made Shrimp Scampi with Linguine.

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