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What’s for Dinner? The Book Edition

Getting a copy of my published recipe cook “What’s for Dinner? was an amazing feeling.

Ayaz and Faraz had been telling me for several years to publish it, and I actually had most of the work done and saved from a few years ago. So when I decided to go for it, the process was relatively quick and easy for me.

If you follow me on pretty much any social media, you will see that first and foremost I always describe myself as Arham’s Mama. It is who I am and it is what makes me most proud and happiest. This book is no different. It’s for him. I want Arham to know I’ll always be his number one fan in anything he wants to do [as long as it’s in good faith].

Have you picked up your copy of ‘What’s for Dinner?. I’d love to hear feedback. 

Have you tried any of the recipesLet me know what you think!

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What’s for Dinner: Shrimp Linguine

For dinner tonight, I put together a creamy white sauce shrimp linguine.

What you will need:

  • Seasonings/herbs: salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, basil, and parsley
  • 1 pound linguine20140428-185041.jpg
  • 1-2 tablespoon of  unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 pound of shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 2 cups of grated/shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan

Here’s how I made it:

  1. Boil your pasta as directed on the box.
  2. Season your shrimp with salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano and dried thyme.
  3. I have better luck cooking shrimp in the oven than on the stove since it cooks so fast, so I prefer that method. What i did was: bake the shrimp in a 400 degree preheated oven for about 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile to start the sauce: over low to medium heat, add in the butter. Once it’s melted, add in the flour and mix it well.
  5. Next, add the heavy cream to the  pan. Season the heavy cream with the same things you seasoned the shrimp with [in step one].
  6. On medium to high heat, let the heavy cream reduce a little bit.
  7. Add in about a cup of the shredded pepperjack cheese and 1/4 cup of the parmesan [it doesn’t have to be precise, I just eyeballed it].
  8. Add the shrimp back in with the heavy cream sauce.
  9. Add in the cooked pasta. Mix well before removing from the heat.
  10. Mix in the remainder parmesan cheese along with the pepper jack cheese.
  11. Add in some basil and parsley. Toss well.
  12. Serve immediately! I garnished mine with a little more parsley.

By the way, if you like this, I’m sure you will love my Cajun Chicken Pasta [good with chicken as is or substituted in with shrimp!]

One of the only things I don’t like about these white sauce pastas are that they tend to dry up fast and it’s only for the most part if you are serving them fresh. TipLeftovers aren’t usually that great unless you take the time again to make more sauce to make it creamier again.

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

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What’s for Dinner: Cajun Chicken Pasta

posting some [old] favorite recipes that I’m mentioned in the past on this blog, and I’m surprised I haven’t posted this already on here as it is one of the favorites. Everyone I’ve made this for loves it, and it’s one of the recipes I’m most often asked for.

You need:

  • 12 ounces of pasta [I prefer penne for this one]
  • 1-2 tablespoons of [unsalted] butter
  • 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour
  • Half-and-half [amount will depend on how creamy you want it. I use a 32 fluid ounce size container, but you can start with about 1 and a half cups if you’d like]
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into tiny bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 firm-ripe [roma] tomatoes, cored and diced
  • [1 cup] of mozzarella cheese, shredded or grated

How I make it:

  1. First thing — put the water to boil for the pasta as that will take the longest. Put a generous amount of salt in the water right at the start as this is the only chance to salt the pasta. For pasta preference, penne works best on my opinion because it absorbs the sauce the best.
  2. Then in a deep pan, melt about 1-2 tablespoon of butter and then add about the same amount of flour. Mix well so it becomes like a rue (light brown, thick liquid consistency)… There should be no lumps and the flour taste should be gone. Make sure you do this on very low temperature so it doesn’t burn.
  3. Then to this add half and half (I use a 32 fluid ounce size container). Add Cajun seasoning, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. On low heat, let it thicken. Then add Parmesan cheese.
  4. In a separate pan, add chicken pieces that are cut to small pieces (like if you were making popcorn chicken). Add salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, Cajun seasoning, and a little bit of oil. Let it cook on medium heat. When it’s almost done, lower the heat and add tomatoes that are  diced into small pieces (like on top of nachos). Also add jalapeño peppers if you want extra spice (cut into very small pieces, with the seeds thrown out — otherwise its too spicy).
  5. When the chicken and pasta is cooked through, add the pasta and chicken into the sauce pot and mix it well. Add shredded mozzarella cheese and more Parmesan cheese if you want and mix it well.
  6. To garnish — if I am serving at a party — what I do is after mixing, I add a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese on top [or grated parmesan like in the picture] and then sprinkle Cajun seasoning on top.

It’s best when eaten right away!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

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What’s for Dinner: Quick and Easy Pasta

Some days are just “use up what’s in your pantry” days. Today was definitely one of them. I had grape tomatoes that I wanted to use up. Marinara sauce, pasta and mozzarella cheese are pretty much staples at my house… so I decided to make pasta.

I first cooked the chicken. I had boneless chicken breasts. I used my food processor to mince the chicken into very tiny pieces. Then, I marinated the chicken with: salt, pepper, garlic powder, ginger, paprika, cayenne powder, and chili powder.

Cooked it over low heat [with some non-stick cooking spray] until the chicken was cooked through.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water [seasoned with salt] to a boil. Then, add in your pasta and cook for the 10-12 minutes the box tells you to. Any pasta would work well, but I’d suggest one that would pick up and absorb the sauce well. I used gemelli pasta: what a fun-looking pasta to make and eat!

While your pasta is cooking, take your grape tomatoes and cut each of them in half. As for the mozzarella cheese? I had a block of cheese this time, so I cut them into small cubes so it melted easily. Shredded cheese would work just as well.

After the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta water. To your pasta, add about half a jar of your favorite marinara sauce. Mix well. The heat will help warm up the marinara sauce relatively quickly.

Add in your mozzarella cheese. Continuously stir over low to medium heat to help the cheese melt nicely.

Finally, add in your cooked chicken and the grape tomatoes that you cut earlier. Stir everything together.

Serve warm!

Like my recipes? Click the below link to purchase my cookbook “What’s for Dinner”:


P.S. This post is a part of my “What’s for Dinner” series, where I share what I’ve been cooking and my recipes.

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