All-In-One Spaghetti


1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
3 cups spicy tomato juice
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Dash of pepper
1 (7-ounce) package spaghetti, uncooked
Grated Parmesan cheese

Brown and crumble ground beef in a large pot with onion and garlic; drain well. Add in the tomato sauce, paste, juice, water, salt, sugar, chili powder, dried oregano and pepper; bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.

Add in the pasta. Cover and simmer until pasta is tender, stirring often (about 20 minutes). Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on each serving.

Adapted from


Light Fettucine Alfredo


1 lb. fettuccine
1 large onion, diced
1/2 lb. portabella mushroom caps, sliced
4 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese
1 C skim milk
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or pressed
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
salt to taste

Cook fettuccine in lightly salted boiling water until firm but tender. Meanwhile, coat skillet with cooking spray. Over medium-high heat, add onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms release their liquid. Stir in cream cheese until it begins to melt. Stir in milk, garlic, basil, and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes. Stir in half of the cheese. Add salt to taste. Toss cream sauce with fettucine in a large bowl. Serve and top with remaining cheese.

Easy Chicken and Dumplings


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
2 small cans cream of chicken soup + 1 can water
2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 stick butter
salt and pepper

3 eggs
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1 3/4 C flour
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 C water

In a large skillet, met 1/2 stick butter. Brown onion and celery until slightly softened and onions are clear. Add chicken pieces, stirring until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the two cans of chicken soup and water till creamy. Stir constantly until bubbly. Turn heat to low and simmer.

Bring a 2 1/2 quart pot of water to a boil. In a large bowl, mix melted butter, eggs, and water. Add flour and salt. Drop by 1/2 teaspoon into boiling water. Dumplings are done when they float. Add all dumplings to skillet and serve.

Pasta Carbonara


1 lb. rotini pasta
1/4-1/2 lb. bacon, browned and crumbled, with drippings reserved (use part or none of the drippings if you want a lighter version)
1 C heavy cream (subtitute 1/2 and 1/2 for a lighter version)
4 egg yolks
1 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 C grated fresh Parmesan cheese (more if you’d like to add some when serving)

Place bacon in a medium size nonstick skillet. Cook until browned, then remove and place on paper towels. Reserve drippings. Once cool, crumble bacon into small pieces. While bacon is cooling and crumbling, cook pasta in lightly salted boiling water until tender but firm. Drain and keep warm. Whisk together cream and egg yolks in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking, until temperature reaches 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer (about 6-7 minutes). Maintain 140 degrees for at least 3 minutes while stirring – the eggs and cream will thicken and bubble around the edges. Sitr in basil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Add bacon and drippings to cooked pasta. Stir in cream and egg mixture. Stir in cheese. Spoon pasta into a large serving bowl and sprinkle with extra cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

Stuffed Shells


1 small tub low fat ricotta
1 package mozzarella cheese, grated (reserve 1/4 for topping)
parmesan cheese, grated to taste
asiago cheese, grated to taste
dash of nutmeg
Italian seasoning to taste
dash of salt
marinara sauce
large shell pasta, cooked

Mix all but the pasta and sauce together. Fill cooked pasta shells with filling. Place in a baking dish and pour sauce over assembled shells. Sprinkle reserved mozzarella on top. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sweet Chili


2 lbs. ground beef
2 large onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 can (28oz.) whole tomatoes
1 can (28oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (16oz.) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
½ C packed light-brown sugar
1 lb. cooked elbow macaroni

shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream

In a large nonstick pot, brown beef, onion, and garlic for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chili powder, salt, cumin, pepper, and oregano. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Drain liquid from tomatoes into pot; roughly chop tomatoes using kitchen shears and add. Fill can with water and add to pot along with tomato sauce, beans, and brown sugar. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Serve over cooked elbow macaroni. Garnish with cheese and sour cream if desired.

Tortellini Soup


1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1 med. Onion, chopped (about ½ C)
3 C water
½ t basil leaves
½ t oregano
2 carrots sliced
1 med zucchini or yellow squash halved and sliced
2 cans (10 ¾ oz. each) tomato soup
8 oz. uncooked dried or frozen cheese or meat filled tortellini (approx 2 C)
Grated parmesan cheese

Cook and stir sausage and onion in 4 qt. dutch oven until sausage is light brown and drain. Stir in remaining ingredients except cheese. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until vegetables and tortellini are tender (about 20 min.). Serve with cheese.