I am not really sure how to classify this recipe. All I wanted to eat was some sesame drenched noodles and Patrick really wanted fried chicken. As long as I add a vegetable it counts as a balanced meal right? Now you need to picture a big bowl of soft udon noodles coated in a sweet sesame soy sauce topped with sauteed veggies and crispy chicken. Yes this is one of my dream meals.
The first time I have ever had udon noodles was at Whole Foods. They had this amazing cold udon salad. They have such an amazing texture and the ability to soak up any sauces. The soft noodles pair perfectly with the crispy chicken. Of course I doused my noodles with hot sauce, but how can you not!? Hot sauce is perfect with crispy chicken. I bought a mix from the grocery store of raw veggies that were exactly what these noodles needed. Chopped cabbage, mushrooms, snow peas, and carrots seasoned lightly with salt and pepper.
This dish definitely rivals some of my favorite take out places. If you don’t like your noodles as soft you can cook them until just before they are done. The heat from the sauce will do the rest. Play around with the textures. Use your favorite veggies. I used toasted sesame seeds on top of the chicken for just a tiny bit more crunch.
I have always had an unhealthy obsession with olives. No idea where it came from because as far as I know I am the only person in my family that eats them. Patrick and I had just picked up a mixture of super tart olives marinated with red pepper and Parmesan rinds. I knew I had to use them in a pasta dish, but I just wasn’t sure what kind. We also bought 1/2 a pound of fresh angel hair pasta and hot Italian sausage. So obviously I had to make Pasta Puttanesca with rosted sausage!
This is not your traditional Pasta Puttanesca. Traditionally all the ingredients come from a can, but I wanted something with a bold fresh taste. The traditional dish uses whole canned tomatoes, but I found a can of fire roasted whole tomatoes that were perfect!
Spicy tart olives simmered with garlic, tomatoes, capers, and olive oil make the perfect sauce for this dish. Make sure you have lots of bread for dipping. (Trust me!)
These stuffed shells bring me back to my childhood. I don’t know how I have gone this long without making them myself. Growing up in an Italian household we typically celebrated holidays with some sort of pasta. With Thanksgiving only a few days away I wanted to offer a alternative to typical turkey and sides.
I personally will be celebrating Thanksgiving on a different day. Due to the nature of my day job I will be working on the actual holiday. This dish is for those of you that might be too busy to do a full on Thanksgiving meal, but still want something special. Each shell is stuffed with so much garlic, so much onion, so much mushroom, and so much sausage. Every bite will burst with flavor and ooey gooey cheese.
I finished the top with a little panko and fresh parm. Patrick does not liked baked pasta which is totally crazy to me but if you are one of these people feel free to eat these shells right out of the pan without baking. Still good. The cheese just isn’t melty enough for me.