What is a Balaboosta?
Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife, homemaker, wonderful mother, cook, and gracious hostess. She does it all and does it well.
I make simple food with easy recipes and I like to try new things. My family and friends love my cooking and always ask me to share, with them, what I know about food, flavor, and technique.

I'm not a professional chef and I've had no formal culinary training. What I know and do in the kitchen comes from three women...Nana, Grandma Della, and Rose, my mom. Each one of them knew more about putting a meal on the table than any fancy chef in a white hat. They were the ultimate Balaboostas.

What I offer you is a lifetime of experience in the kitchen with my compliments and theirs. I hope they'd be proud. I will bring you my recipes as I make them with photos of the actual food I'm preparing. I'm no professional photographer either but I promise, my food will speak for itself in every picture.

The food on my table isn't stacked in a trendy tower.
Instead, my food is stacked with flavor and full of my passion for cooking. So please come in, make yourself comfortable, and enjoy.

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Disclaimer: While most of my recipes are "Jewish Style", I do sometimes cook with pork. This might have been a great disappointment to some but my grandmothers knew that I live in modern world. I light Shabbos candles religiously but I have to admit...I do not keep a Kosher home.

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Pesto Pasta Primavera - Meatless Or Not



Who said pasta can't be a healthy meal? I found a multi-grain pasta with 6 grams of fiber in every 1/2 cup serving! This was the foundation for tonight's meal. Along with the fact that last night I prepared steamed wax beans and Brussels sprouts that didn't get eaten.

This just goes to show you that with a few simple ingredients you can put together a one dish dinner that will leave your loved ones licking their plates.

Ingredients...

  • 2 cups cooked pasta
  • 1 pound ground meat (I used veal in this recipe but you can use ground turkey, beef, or sausage just as well). If you prefer "meatless" just leave out the meat and add another cup of veggies.
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley (or a small handful of chopped fresh parsley)
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1-2 cups cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup drained canned chopped tomatoes
  • 4 tablespoons Pesto sauce
Here's how you do it...
  1. Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions.
  2. In a skillet break up the ground meat and cook until it's just about done (the pink is almost gone)
  3. If you are using dried parsley add it now. (If fresh then add at the end of the recipe.)
  4. Add the chopped onion and for two minutes while they soften.
  5. Add the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms and stir for a couple of minutes.
  6. Combine the chopped tomatoes and the already cooked vegetables.
  7. Blend in the Pesto sauce and if using fresh parsley add it now.
  8. Stir in the cooked pasta until thoroughly heated.
Be Creative...
  • You can also dice a chicken breast, cook it off and add it in place of ground meat.
  • Leftover chicken, or steak, can work equally as well.
  • Sprinkle in a teaspoon of red pepper flakes when you add the minced garlic to add a little kick to the flavor.
  • If you're not kosher and want to give it that Italian flare...grate fresh Parmesan cheese to garnish each plate.
  • If you have red and/or yellow peppers in your fridge... dice it up and add a handful of color.
  • And once again, if you are looking for "meatless" just leave it out and add another cup of veggies.

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