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Alabama Recipes


I consider pasta one of my love languages. With so many variations and ease of preparation, anyone can discover and prepare many delicious pasta dishes. Valentine’s Day is coming up and I hope you will try one of these pasta recipes. Cooking for your honey is always a sweet way to his or her heart, and cooking is a great way to show you care about someone. –Mary Tyler Spivey


Cook of the Month


Baked ziti 

John Piraino, Baldwin EMC

1 pound dry ziti pasta
1 onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
2 26-ounce jars spaghetti sauce (don’t use any “chunky style” sauces)
12 slices provolone cheese
1. cups sour cream
16 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 ⁄8  cup sugar
2 teaspoons dried basil

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes**, drain. In a large skillet, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add 1. jars of spaghetti sauce (mix remaining with ziti**), sugar and basil. Simmer for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with tall sides with non-stick cooking spray. Layer as follows: 1/2 of the ziti, Provolone cheese, sour cream, 1/2 sauce mixture, remaining ziti, provolone cheese and remaining sauce mixture. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted.

**Tips: mix first layer of ziti with some sauce. Cover with foil before baking. Last 5 minutes, remove foil to get cheese nice and browned. For cooking ziti, cook 2 minutes less than package suggests, as it will finish cooking while baking. Use taller casserole  dish, lower ones tend to overflow.




Easy pasta pesto with chicken  

3/4 pound shell-shaped pasta
12 ounces cooked chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1 11-ounce container pesto
1 cup jarred roasted red peppers, sliced into thin strips
1 cup halved red grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta in boiling, lightly salted water according to package directions. Drain. In a large bowl, toss pasta, chicken, pesto, red peppers, tomatoes, oil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.

Pamela LaRue Parker, Arab EC




Pasta and peas

4 tablespoons chopped green onions
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 can English peas, drained
1 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh sweet basil if available;
If not, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 pound ditalini pasta
romano or parmesan cheese

Saut. green onions in olive oil until wilted. Add drained English peas, water, sweet basil, salt and pepper. Cook about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain off most of the water and add peas mixture to the pasta. Serve in a bowl and sprinkle Romano or Parmesan cheese on top. Serves 4 people.

Sara Jean Brooklere, Baldwin EMC





1 pound ground chuck
1/2 cup water
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 teaspoons crushed oregano
9 cooked lasagna noodles
1 teaspoon minced garlic
8 ounces sour cream
2 cans tomato soup
12 ounces mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 ounces provolone cheese

In saucepan, brown ground chuck, onion, garlic and oregano. Add soup, water, salt and vinegar. Simmer 30 minutes stirring now and then. In 9×13-inch pan, arrange 3 alternate layers of meat sauce, noodles, sour cream and cheeses. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes or until top cheese is brown. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Jamie Petterson, Tallapoosa River EC