Acini Di Pepe Spinach soup

While rearranging my pantry I came across a pack of acini di pepe pasta. It’s a tiny pasta that works well in soups and salads. The name apparently means “seeds of pepper”. This tiny pasta is also used for a cold salad called frog eye salad. I had initially bought it to make the salad but never ended up making it.

I used the recipe in the box itself for our lunch today. It’s been extremely windy and cold here for the past couple of days. A hot bowl of soup is perfect for this weather.

The recipe is very simple and the soup was ready in a matter of minutes. While searching the internet, I learned that this soup is called Italian wedding soup if you add meatballs to it. The name implies a marriage of flavors rather than being served at an actual wedding. But of course I didn’t tell my husband that part ;-) He had his lunch thinking he was having a part from a wedding meal!

Read on for the recipe. This post goes to Kids Delight event, hosted this month by PJ under the theme Winter warmers.

Recipe source: Ronzoni

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 6 cups of broth/water
  • 1/2 cup acini di Pepe pasta, uncooked
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, optional
  • 10 oz pack of frozen spinach
  • Salt and pepper as needed
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Method:

  1. Heat butter in a pan. Sauté onion and garlic until it turns light pink.
  2. Add water or broth and bring it to a boil. Add pasta, nutmeg , salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring in between. Pasta should be cooked by now. Take off the heat and serve with grated Parmesan cheese if preferred.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#96

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Tortellini Salad

salad1

My son’s resistance against food is growing everyday and meal times are war zones in our place. I still have the upper hand in everyday battles, but slowly I can sense defeat.

My tactics include diverting him and feeding him when he is really hungry – like right after he comes from school. But God knows how long I can keep that up. The minute he sees a bowl of rice, he starts howling. The problem is, with rice being the predominant grain in our cuisine, it would be a huge problem if he turns his back on it.

I have right now cut a deal with him – he has to have a typical Indian meal once a day and in return, lunch and dinner would be his choice. Funny thing is, it’s always been that way – just that he never realized it ;-). Good for me!

Salads are his choice for dinner many a days. I am happy because of the amount of vegetables I can feed him and he is happy that there is no rice in the plate. A perfect win-win situation!

Read on for this recipe.

salad2

BM theme : Salads

recipe adapted from all recipes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet tortellini ( or 2 cups cooked pasta of your choice)
  • 1 cup sliced olives
  • 1/2 cup artichoke hearts
  • 2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
  • handful of cherry tomatoes, halved

salad dressing*:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning ( I didn’t have any, so skipped it)
  • salt and pepper

* Alternative dressing would be 2 tablespoons mayonnaise mixed with any other salad dressing and seasoned with salt and pepper

Method:

  1. For the dressing, mix everything listed and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta or tortellini per the package instructions.
  3. Slice the olives and artichoke hearts and halve the cherry tomatoes.
  4. Drain the pasta and let it cool. Once cool mix everything and add the dressing.
  5. Check the seasonings and adjust per taste. Refrigerate for at least two hours before serving.

salad3

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 58

Mac and Cheese

I am home now, after visiting my brother for four days.

My 3.5 months old niece is not only the cutest baby I have seen, she is the smartest one too. In a short span of 3.5 months, she has trained my brother and sister-in-law efficiently.

She has categorized a sound system for hunger and boredom. If one gets it wrong, she would let out a war cry. Why, she had me trained in just two days!

Niecey has a way of asking us to pick her up by trying to lift her body. If you don’t pick her up, then you get a nice scolding from her in her own language. She goes ‘Wah Wah Wah’ like Donald Duck does, when he gets angry.

Well, the cute way in which she asks to be lifted, no one can resist picking her up actually.

I miss her a lot, now that I am back home. Her ‘Waaahs’ and ‘Ga Ga’s and ‘AHHHHH’s are still fresh in my mind. I sometimes have this crazy thought of catching a train and going back to see her, and ‘Goo Goo’ with her.

Well, can’t do crazy things (anymore), so just made some Mac and Cheese, the ultimate comfort food and ate my way through.

I had a Linky Party Invitation from Tina Hudgens of MOMS CRAZY COOKING last month. Not one to miss any kind of party, I hopped in. So here I am, with the MAC and CHEESE, for the first

You can check out here to see the fellow bloggers take on Macaroni and Cheese.

Ingredients:

  • Macaroni or Pasta of any shape        :       1/2 cup
  • Spinach leaves                                          :      10 large leaves, chopped fine
  • Onion                                                            :      1 small, chopped fine
  • Potato                                                           :      1/2 small, boiled and mashed
  • Milk                                                                :      1/2 cup
  • Cheese of your choice                            :      1/4 – 1/2 cup
  • Garlic                                                             :      1-2 cloves, chopped fine
  • Turmeric Powder                                     :       1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Butter                                                            :       1 – 2 tsp
  • Salt & Pepper

Method:

  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Keep aside.
  2. Heat butter in a pan, add the onion and garlic. When the onion turns brown, add the spinach leaves and turmeric powder (if using), salt and pepper. Saute for 2-3 minutes till the spinach is cooked.
  3. Add the mashed potatoes. Mix well and add the milk. Once the milk boils, add the pasta and the cheese.
  4. Let the cheese melt. Adjust the sauce consistency by adding more milk (if sauce is too thick) or a bit more of mashed potato (if the sauce is watery).
  5. Serve warm.

Note:

Recipe serves one hungry 5 year old.

I have adapted the recipe from Radhika’s blog. Head out to her blog for awesome photos and the original recipe. I have just doubled the quantity to suit my needs.

Like the cup says, this goes best with a hug :-)

You can check out here to see the fellow bloggers take on Macaroni and Cheese.

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