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PASTA, POLENTA & RICE [tried and true]

Where would I be without pasta? Very hungry, I can tell you that much. Pasta is so cheap and versatile that I eat some form of it several times a week. While I think that the best part of having a stock of dried pasta around is the ability to transform pantry ingredients into a meal on the, I've also got some pretty good recipes that I turn to over and over. Yum.

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This is a recreation of one of my favorite dishes at a local brewpub.

Recipe #206254

Are you craving that great Mexican rice from your favorite taco stand? Here it is. This is just like a good Mexican restaurant rice. Many recipes taste good... but the texture just isn't right. You know how it is... you have prepared scores of Mexican rice recipes but always have been disappointed. It may be delicious but kinda "gloopy and wet." Try this. Everything is pureed and cooked in. There are no chunks of anything... just dry fluffy rice with all the seasonings and just the tiniest hint of a tomato flavor. I will throw away all of my Mexican rice recipes- this is the one I have been looking for for years! I don't own a rice cooker but some people have had disappointing results using one. You will also need to adjust your cooking time if you want to use brown rice. I recommend following the cooking instructions as directed. Proceed at your own peril if you stray. Enjoy.

Recipe #117892

This is one of my favorite recipes from college. Even my meat-and-potatoes boyfriend likes this - he actually requests it for dinner. Don't be scared off by the number of ingredients and steps. This really only takes a little longer then boiling the pasta.

Recipe #188182

These are fantastic (and fantastically convenient) basic meatballs. I love the fact that I can get 4 batches of meatballs made all at once. When I cook them in spaghetti sauce, I normally serve half of them over pasta, and then use the other half to make meatball subs. I try to keep these in my freezer at all times. (Cooking time is freezing time.)

Recipe #145201

Just basic jasmine rice from the pressure cooker. I kept burning it until I got the timing / ratios right.

Recipe #180640

This recipe is from an episode of Food 911.

Recipe #180756

I like my pesto pretty garlicky, so this is how I make mine. I normally weigh my basil after I've stemmed it, so this recipe is per oz of pesto. This amount will sauce about 1/4 pound of pasta, and you can just scale it up based on how much basil you have.

Recipe #179970

Simple, classic, delicous. So many variations. What could be better?

Recipe #171713

This is an addition to a good basic risotto recipe. I add this to a double batch of my Basic Risotto (recipe #145066). The mushroom mixture is ridiculously flavorful.

Recipe #146362

Made with penne and the parmesan, this is a meal in a pinch for me, needing maybe just a slice of toasted bread rubbed with garlic. Made with curly egg noodles, this is an ideal side for anything from a piece of a cooked turkey to a thick beef stew.

Recipe #145908

This is a good basic pressure cooker risotto recipe. I was skeptical at the idea of quality risotto from a pressure cooker, but this produces the texture and consistency of normal risotto without the continuous stirring. I wouldn't make this with canned chicken broth - the flavor ends up overly salty and metallic. [This is partially adapted from both The Pressure Cooker Gourmet(Victoria Wise) and The Naked Chef (Jamie Oliver).]

Recipe #145066

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