I am also a new cook, and I have to cook for just myself. Which I think is the hardest thing to do! What do you do with all the leftovers? Anyways here in Chicago we have a place called Portillos/Barnelli's which has the best baked Mostaccioli, so I tried to make some at home. I just took about two cups of pasta (I used Rigatoni) and then followed the package directions to cook the pasta. Then drained the pasta and put it into a baking dish, then poured my favorite pasta sauce right over the pasta and topped with mozzarella cheese. I put the dish into the oven 350 degrees for about ten minutes until the cheese was bubbly and browning.
I served this with a salad and some italian bread.
Kind of simple and basic but when you are working and going to graduate school simple and basic is good. =) enjoy and good luck.
I'm a new cook as well, and I'm cooking for just me every night, so that's taking some getting used to. I happen to like leftovers, so I just make sure I cook something that I won't mind eating for a few days (or all week) I eat spaghetti a lot because it's cheap and easy. I've been looking for ways to jazz it up. Here's what I came up with:
Boil some pasta (I like whole wheat rotini) and start heating up the sauce. Add a can of Italian diced tomatoes, a can of mushrooms, a can of garbanzo beans [all drained], and chopped zucchini to the sauce. Once the pasta is finished add it all together. So good, and a good way to get in some vegetables.
I made this the other night...start like in the previous one. Add a can of mushrooms, a can of Italian diced tomatoes, and a couple of handfuls of fresh baby spinach to the sauce. Let all of that cook, and when it's time to mix the pasta and sauce together, stir in a container of ricotta cheese. It turned out really great
I haven't tried this one yet but it sounds good. I think it would be good over pasta or rice: Slow Cooker Chicken Stroganoff
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cubed
1/8 cup margarine
1 (.7 ounce) package dry Italian-style salad dressing mix
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
Put chicken, margarine and dressing mix in slow cooker; mix together and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours.
Add cream cheese and soup, mix together and cook on high for another 1/2 hour or until heated through and warm.
I will definately be checking out your recipes at some point. I made a Kung Pao Chicken dish tonight. I did cheat and buy a box with the rice and seasonings in it, but it turned out pretty good and I have leftover for later. Your pasta with the spinich and ricotta sounds fantastic. Thanks for some great ideas.