Tag Archives: pasta


If you don't know what to buy someone for their birthday or money is tight, why not make them something. It was my sister's birthday this past Monday so I made her a homemade pasta dinner. From the sauce to the stuffed pasta.

Birthday lady finishing serving #2

I like my sauces cooked low and slow.

  • Saute several cloves of garlic for about 30 minutes (I got that tip from the Food Network show, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, the Garlic episode). Then I sauteed chopped red onions until they were caramelized. Dumped in two cans of whole plum tomatoes (I crushed them before adding to the pot). Added dried oregano and thyme, fresh cracked black pepper, Himalayan salt, palm sugar. Cooked on low heat for about 4 hours. At the end refreshed with some more oregano.
Pasta balls

I made the pasta at the same time.

  • Two eggs and flour. That's it. Salt the water and it will be fine.

While it was resting (about an hour) I made the filling.

  • Blended cottage cheese, until smooth. Panko bread crumbs, Asiago cheese, Grana Padano cheese, oregano, thyme, fresh black pepper, salt, fresh nutmeg, lightly steamed baby spinach (water squeezed out), chopped fresh brown mushrooms.
The finished product

She liked it (remember Mikey?). How do I know? She never over-eats and she had 2 servings.

In general people appreciate when you cook for them. If you don't have any gift ideas, buy a card and put a homemade dinner certificate in it. Or maybe a certificate to clean their house. I'm sure you know an older person who can't move around as easily as they used to, or a new mom, who is overwhelmed. There are tons of ways to show people you care, without spending money, whether you have it or not.

Leave a comment with any useful, non-monetary gift ideas. Not just for Christmas but for any occasion.

Song of the Day: Canned Heat - High Times - Singles - 1992-2006 (Double-Disc Version) Canned Heat- Jamiroquai, High Times - Singles - 1992-2006 (Double-Disc Version), 2006, Sony BMG Music Entertainment (UK) Limited. Click here to watch the video of Canned Heat. (Links may not work in all countries.)

Till next time,