Feast For One: Utility Belt Penne

Kiy Note: I have many authors that I love. I wait patiently (yeah, right) for their new books to come out, marking the date on my calendar, salivating. But I have a TOTAL favorite. Dana Stabenow, specifically when she writes her "Kate" books. I can't get enough of Kate and Mutt. The fact that she writes about life in Alaska and I still like her books, is amazing. You see, I am not a fan of snow. AT.ALL. However, she makes me dream of someday seeing Alaska, and actually living there (not that that is going to happen). If you haven't found the wonderful Ms. Stabenow and enjoy suspense/thriller, be sure to pick up her first Kate novel, A Cold Day for Murder.

Thankfully, I follow her on Facebook or I would have never known that she also has a very cool cooking blog. Here is a soup that she posted today. I can't wait to try this, I know we will all love this and while it's "cooking for one", I can see it will easily double or triple. I wonder if Emi will let us have any. That gal and soup, a true love affair!

Utility Belt Penne

You know how Batman always has everything he needs fastened to his all-purpose, super-duper utility belt? In the same way, you've always got everything you need in the refrigerator for one-dish pasta.

Start with some olive oil. Add some chopped onion of any kind, yellow, green, sweet. Saute for about two minutes.

Add a couple of cloves of sliced garlic, and a couple of sliced anchovies. Saute for another minute.

Add four or five Roma tomatoes, chopped, or a can of stewed tomatoes, or a can of chopped tomatoes. Add some hearty shakes of dried Italian herbs, stir, and cook down for a minute or two. Add salt, but only a little because there is plenty in the anchovies and capers and cheese, and pepper to taste. Add a pinch of sugar if you feel like it.

Add a cup or two of chicken broth. It's better if you make your own, but canned is fine. Add a glug or two of wine, red or white, whatever you have on hand.

Bring to a simmer, and add a couple of handfuls of penne pasta. Yes, I know you're supposed to cook it separately, but why dirty another pan, especially when the pasta will soak up all that lovely broth you're putting together?

Bring back to a simmer and let cook for twelve minutes, or until pasta is al dente. Feel free to test, you'll know it when you bite into it.

Just before serving, toss in a tablespoon or so of capers. Garnish with parmesan, the good stuff, the stuff you should always have on hand, and serve.

Found this today and didn't want to lose it. Looks work trying!

Creamy Mushroom Soup
Creamy Mushroom Soup recipe

2 Tbsp. butter
1-1/2 lb. sliced fresh mushrooms
1 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 lb. baking potatoes (about 2), peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
1 qt. (4 cups) water
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) chicken broth
1/2 tsp. pepper
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

MELT butter in large skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms, onions and celery; cook 6 to 8 min. or until onions and celery are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally.

RESERVE 1 cup vegetable mixture. Add next 5 ingredients to vegetable mixture remaining in skillet; stir. Bring to boil; simmer on medium-low heat 15 min. or until potatoes are tender.

ADD 1/3 of the potato mixture to blender; blend until smooth. Pour into large saucepan. Repeat with remaining potato mixture.

WHISK in Neufchatel; cook and stir 2 min. or until melted. Stir in reserved vegetable mixture and parsley.