the Pence family cookbook

Recipes Tagged with “Pasta”

Pecan Pasta

Main Course Pasta Vegan Vegetarian


  • 4 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 New Mexico red or red jalapeno chiles, seeded and julienned
  • 1 cup pecans, very roughly crushed (may substitute other nuts)
  • handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
  • salt & pepper
  • 20 fresh basil leaves, cut in strips


Bring water for pasta to a boil. Meanwhile, heat half the oil over low heat in a small sauce pan and add garlic, chiles, and nuts. Stir-fry 3 minutes. And parsley and stir-fry 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and stir in remaining oil. Cook pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup pasta water, drain and return to pot. Add nuts & pasta water as needed to keep it from sticking together. Season with salt & pepper and stir in basil. Drizzle oil over individual servings. Serves 4 as main course.

Spaghetti Casserole

Main Course Beef Pasta Pence Pork


  • 1 lg. onion
  • 2 sm. bell peppers
  • some ground beef or Italian sausage or ground pork
  • 1 pkg. sliced mushrooms
  • 2 jars standard spaghetti sauce
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • 1 container ricotta cheese (optional)
  • 1 container grated parmesan cheese


Sautee onion and bell pepper until translucent.

Add ground beef (or Italian sausage, or ground pork).

Cook until the meat is about ¾ cooked.

Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms and meat are done.

Drain, if desired.

Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

While sauce mixture is simmering, boil pasta.

Add pasta to sauce and mix thoroughly.

Grease a 9x11 casserole dish.

If using ricotta cheese, add half of the sauce/spaghetti mix, then a layer of ricotta, and then the other half of the sauce/spaghetti mix. Otherwise, just add sauce/spaghetti mix to dish.

Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Uncover, top with parmesan cheese, and bake for a few more minutes until bubbly.

Cynthia Pence

Creamy Pasta with Asparagus, Parmesan, and Crispy Prosciutto

Main Course Asparagus Pasta Prosciutto


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces thin sliced prosciutto, cut into 1/4 in slices
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced thin
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lb pasta or penne or fusilli, any with texture
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 in pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil


Bring 4 qts water to boil in largepot.(in the meantime) Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over med heat until just smoking. Cook prosciutto until lightly browned and crisp, (5 min) Transfer to paper towel lined plate to reduce fat. Add garlic to pan and cook 30 sec. Stir in cream and lemon juice and simmer until thickened, 3-5 minute.

Add 1 tbsp salt and pasta to boiling water until just eginning to soften, 8 minute Add asparagus to pot and cook until tender and pasta become al dente (4 min).

Reserve 1 c cooking water and drain pasta and asparagus, return to pot.

Add sauce, 1/2 c reserved water, cheese, and basil to pot, toss to combine, add remaining water as needed.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with crunchy prosciutto.

Serve. Delicious with crusty warm bread.

Penne al Forno con Melanzane

Main Course Eggplant Italian Pasta Untested Vegetarian


  • 2 pounds eggplant, sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 pound penne or other short pasta
  • 2 cups basic tomato sauce (from Mario’s cookbook)
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated caciocavallo or pecorino
  • 4 sprigs fresh basil, roughly torn


Stack eggplant slices in a colander, each piece sprinkled with sea salt. Weigh the slices with a large, full can of tomatoes or other weight and set aside in the kitchen sink so that juices run free. After 1 hour, rinse and pat dry.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons salt.

In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat and saute eggplant slices until golden brown on both sides, working in batches if necessary and removing cooked eggplant to a plate lined with a paper towel.

Cook the penne in the boiling water until not quite done; about 5 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss with 3/4 cup of tomato sauce.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Grease a glass or ceramic oven dish with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover the bottom of the dish with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce. Top with half the bread crumbs, and salt and pepper, to taste. Add half the cooked pasta, then half of the eggplant slices, arranged in a layer. Drizzle about 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce over, and top with half the grated cheese and torn basil leaves. Repeat the process with remaining tomato sauce, bread crumbs, pasta, eggplant, cheese, and basil.

Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and bake in oven for 1 hour. Let rest 30 minutes before serving.

Mario Batali