Buffalo Chicken Pasta

I am actually pretty excited about this Super Bowl this year. I am a Giants fan & Chris is a huge Steelers fan & even though both teams are out of the running, I am pretty excited to see the Broncos kick butt this Sunday. I’m not going to lie, I am a sucker for a Manning. I have actually probably watched more Broncos games this year than Giants, a fact I am not proud of.


Anyway, I will be working Sunday night, & watching it via the NFL app updates as I am sure my store will be absolutely dead. But to get in the football spirit, I decided to watch some of my favorite football movies. A little Remember the Titans, Friday Night Lights, & We Are Marshall marathon with some homemade Buffalo Chicken Pasta. Ummm… give me a nice, cold IPA & yes please!

I made this a few weeks ago for the first time & let me tell you, the first time was not the best. This time around… way better. Amazingly creamy & spicy. I cannot get enough. And best part… no messy fingers like when you eat Buffalo wings. That is literally the worst part of eating wings. I hate it!

Chris doesn’t love creamy pastas the way I do, so for this recipe I actually cut out a quarter of what I would have liked to put in of cream cheese. I suggest you put the entire amount in & indulge. After all… it’s Super Bowl! Day of football, food, & beer.



1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
1 lb linguini
1 bunch of broccoli
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
8 oz cream cheese
2 14 oz cans of chicken broth
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
½ cup buffalo wing sauce

1. Boil chicken breast for 15-20 minutes in salted water or until chicken is cooked through.
2. When cooked completely, use two forks and shred chicken into small pieces.
3. Cut broccoli off stalk and clean thoroughly.
4. Boil pasta to time on box, 4 minutes before pasta is done cook broccoli in pasta water. Drain pasta and broccoli and set aside.
5. Add cream cheese, cheddar cheese, chicken broth, garlic powder, and salt and pepper to the pot. Simmer on medium high mixing regularly.
6. Once the block of cream cheese is completely melted down, mix in buffalo wing sauce.
7. Mix in pasta and broccoli and stir so all pasta is coated and enjoy.

Spicy Sausage Meat Sauce

The first time I made a meat sauce myself I was actually trying to make chili. Uhg I know I had no idea what the hell I was doing. Anyway, it was right when I moved away & I didn’t really know how to make anything. So I did, basically what I do right now, & through some stuff together, think about some pointers my mom gave me or I picked up on while watching her, & tried to make a meat sauce.

It didn’t work.


It was not saucy, there too much meat, & it ended up tasting kind of tomatoey, like ketchup. So basically I threw it on top of some noodles & called it meat sauce. Well in five years I have perfected my meat sauce… & my skills of throwing shit together.

Anyway, one of my favorite, & simple meals is my spicy sausage meat sauce. I love having a spicy sauce with my pasta & having sausage instead of the normal turkey or beef definitely helps out in the spice area. Italian-Americans definitely make their sauce much soupier & heavier than Italians. I am convinced it is because we are usually using boxed pastas so we try to cover up the starchiness of the macaroni but until we all start making our own pasta dough, load me up on sauce.


2 Hot Italian sausage links
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
28 oz crushed tomato
14 oz water
Red pepper flakes

1. Score sausage long ways with a sharp paring knife and remove the casing.
2. Fry sausage at the bottom of a small pan.
3. Remove sausage and lower heat to medium. Add olive oil and scallions to pan. Cook until translucent but not browned.
4. Add pressed or minced garlic and continue stirring so it doesn’t burn. Add red pepper flakes and cook out oils.
5. Add crushed tomato. Fill can halfway with water and add to sauce.
6. Raise temperature to medium-high and add sausage. Once at a boil, lower to a simmer and cook 45-60 minutes stirring regularly.


Mediterranean Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts, Olives and Capers

It hasn’t been terribly hot here in SoCal this past week but the humidity is starting to really put a damper on things. We spent the day at Disneyland the other day & the weather literally felt like we had stepped into a time warp & landed at Disney World mid-August. It was so humid we didn’t even have the strength to really walk around & enjoy the park.

We hoped from store to store soaking in as much A.C. as we could get. I only got on about 3 rides, & one was indoor Space Mountain, so again… soaking in the A.C. I haven’t experienced a hot summer day in the Park that made me truly not want to be there, since I moved out here over five years ago. But we were committed to staying through at least the parade & fireworks show.

Since it is Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, they recreated & relaunched a lot of attractions to celebrate their Diamond Celebration. The firework show & Paint the Night Parade are two of the best shows I have seen in a long time.
I am not a big parade watcher. I think they can really kill your day at the park. You have to stake out a seat hours beforehand, & then you are still crammed into a small space with hundreds of other people all trying to take the same picture & see the same thing. This parade, however, is probably one of the most entertaining, fun & impressive parades I’ve seen at Disney & is totally worth the wait in the heat.

Anyways, I digress. Back to the heat.

Needless to say the last thing I, or anyone we were with wanted was a heavy meal. So after much deliberation, we finally gave in & headed over to Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante, the Mexican restaurant right next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad & had some carne asada Caesar salads. If there was about a table spoon of less salad dressing, it would have been the second best thing for a summer day next to jumping into the pool.

Fast forward to today, where I don’t go into work until after lunchtime, it’s again, kind of gross out. Best part, I am home alone so I can cook whatever I want for lunch & Chris can’t complain that he doesn’t like just about every ingredient I am putting into this pasta.


This is a pasta that my mom loves to make during the summer also. It’s light, has a ton of flavor, & doesn’t need to be served piping hot, like how I like my pastas with red sauces. This is even a nice pasta you could make with really anything you have laying around, & it is great when you need to start clearing out the fridge of things that way have been in there for a little too long. Here is how I am making it today. Enjoy!



Serves 2

1/3 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves
10 olives
3-4 marinated artichoke hearts
1 Tbsp capers
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes
2 cups spaghetti, cooked

1.  Boil water with a tsp of olive oil and a dash of salt. Once begins boiling, add spaghetti and cook to time on box.
2.  Saute garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until golden but not browned.
3.  Add olives, artichokes, capers and seasonings and continue cooking 5-8 minutes stiring every couple minutes. The artichokes with turn golden brown and olives will begin to wilt slightly when ready.
4.  Add pasta to saute pan and toss using tongs until pasta is totally covered by olive oil and veggies are dispersed evenly.


Penne Ala Vodka

In Italian families sauce is a very important thing. Every family has their own recipes that get passed on for generations and generations. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, families actually share recipes with friends. At my high school graduation party my mom made four batches of vodka sauce and everyone loved it. Let me tell you, an Italian women hearing that someone loves her sauce is like a baseball player winning the World Series. But when my friend, whose mother is from Italy, told my mom her vodka sauce was better than his mom’s, I thought she died and went to heaven. Below is her recipe which came to her via a family friend.

¼ cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 shallots, sliced
3 scallions, chopped
1 pint (2 cups) heavy cream
½ cup fresh basil
½ cup vodka
1.2 cup grated cheese
1 can crushed tomatoes
Red pepper flakes

1. Saute garlic, shallots and scallion in olive oil on medium-high heat.
2. Add tomatoes and simmer for 15 minutes stirring often.
3. Add vodka and seasonings, simmer for 15 minutes covered.
4. Slowly add heavy cream and then grated cheese and let cook for another 10 minutes.
5. Once sauce is cooled, place in a covered Tupperware container and let sit in refrigerator overnight.
6. Heat in saucepan and serve over pasta the next day.