Cooking with Katie

Chicken Cannelloni with Panzanella Salad


This is one of my new favorite dinners, it’s so easy, and it is absolutely delicious! It’s also really fun to make…you get to use your hands, which always makes me feel like I’m a little kid playing with my food. Plus, there are so many bright, robust flavors in this show-stopper stuffed pasta, and the cool salad on the side is a nice change-up to the traditional garden salad. I promise that you’ll love it!


We received this cookbook from some friends of my dad’s as a thank you present, and I have to say that I absolutely love it! It’s Bonnie Aeschliman’s Cooking with Bonnie: Farm to France, and it is full of fresh, healthy, incredible food. This recipe is actually from this book as well as the salad.


This salad is SO SO good!


And doesn’t this look heavenly!? Ahh, I cannot not wait to try out every recipe in this book! I definitely recommend it to everybody, but let’s get back to the main dish now!

Chicken Cannelloni with Panzenella Salad (Farm to France)

Chicken Cannelloni:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • 1/2 an onion, chopped
  • 1 red  bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 15 oz. carton of ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 8 oz. shredded Mont. Jack cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp. dried basil or 3 tbsp. fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano or 2 tsp. fresh oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 pound cooked chicken breast
  • 12 to 16 manicotti shells, cooked and drained
  • 6 tbsp. butter
  • 6 tbsp. flour
  • 2 1/4 c milk
  • 1 1/2 c chicken broth
  • salt and red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese
  • 3 c mozzarella cheese

Panzanella Salad

  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic (optional)
  • 6 cups of crusty bread cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 6 tbsp. parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 pounds ripe tomatoes
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and sliced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 2 c chopped romaine lettuce
  • sliced onion (optional)
  • 2 tbsp. chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar

For the cannelloni: Saute the garlic, onion, red pepper, celery, and green onions in the olive oil until tender. Combine it with the ricotta, egg, Monterey jack cheese, parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, salt and pepper, and chicken in a large mixing bowl. Then melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook until bubbly. Add milk, chicken broth, salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce boils and is thickened. Stir in the remaining parmesan cheese off the heat. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and spread a thin layer of parmesan sauce over the bottom of 2 13×9 pans. Split each cooked pasta tube in half and place about a 1/3 c of filling along the pasta. Roll it up to enclose and place seam-side down in the pans. Pour the remaining parmesan sauce over the cannelloni and cover with mozzarella cheese. BAke for 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Serve with marinara sauce. Makes 16 servings.

For the salad: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and combine the olive oil with the garlic. Heat it for 15 seconds in a microwave safe glass just to infuse the olive oil. Pour this over the bread cubes, along with the salt and pepper, and cheese. Bake them on a baking sheet, stirring once or twice, for 8-9 minutes. Let cool and store in an airtight container. Combine tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, romaine, onion, basil, and parsley. Add the croutons and toss well. Combine the garlic, olive oil, and vinegar and drizzle over the salad. Toss to coat.

Be sure to follow me on instagram-cookingwithkatie and Pinterest-cookwithkatie

BTW, this is not a paid advertisement. This is just a great cook book that I thought you all would enjoy!


Florentine Chicken Pasta

This is the first blog post I’ve written in over two months, and I have to say that I can’t believe it’s been this long!!!! I’ve been so busy with school, dance competitions, drill team, babysitting, play performances, and a million other things that I haven’t had time to cook! But, now that summer is finally here, I’ll be cooking and posting a lot more often!!!! And what better dish to start back again with than this yummy summer pasta!?! It’s so light and healthy that you won’t feel guilty about having fourths of it, and it’s just in time to help you get back in shape for bikini season. 🙂 Made with garden fresh tomatoes, and wholesome spinach, this dish is a winner, winner, chicken pasta dinner!

Chicken Florentine Pasta (The Pioneer Woman)

  • 1 pound Penne
  • 4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3/4 cups Dry White Wine
  • 3/4 cups Low-sodium Broth, More If Needed
  • 1 bag Baby Spinach
  • 2 cups Grape Tomatoes, Halved Lengthwise
  • 4 ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese, Shaved With Vegetable Peeler

Cook pasta according to package directions in lightly salted water. Drain and set aside.

Cut chicken breasts into chunks and sprinkle on salt and pepper.

Heat butter and olive oil over high heat in a large skillet. Add chicken chunks in a single layer and do not stir for a minute or two in order to allow the chicken to brown on the first side. Turn the chicken and brown on the other side. Cook until done, then remove chicken from the skillet.

Turn heat to medium. Add garlic and quickly stir to avoid burning. After about 30 seconds, pour in wine and broth, stirring to deglaze the pan. Allow the liquid to bubble up, then continue cooking until it’s reduced by at least half (most of the surface of the liquid should be bubbling at this point.)

Turn off the heat. Add spinach, tomatoes, chicken, and cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss to combine; the spinach will wilt as you toss everything. Add plenty of Parmesan shavings and toss to combine.

Serve with extra Parmesan shavings.

Macaroni and Cheese

Mac ‘n’ Cheese is every kid’s favorite dinner, but it can become every adult’s favorite, too, when you make it the “gourmet” way. This is not some macaroni and cheese out of a box; this is a rich, bubbly, cheesy-beyond-belief macaroni and cheese that is sure to satisfy the simplest and most sophisticated palettes!

 Try it with fish and broccoli (as I did), chicken, steak, pork chops, or just a salad and you’ve got a great, easy dinner! You could also add different ingredients into the macaroni such as bacon, tuna fish, peas, or even mushrooms. You could also try experimenting with different cheeses. I like the classic cheddar, but this macaroni and cheese could be whatever you want it to be!

Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1-1/2 c milk
  • 2 c sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • salt and pepper

Start by melting the butter in a large saucepan.

Add the flour and whisk it up until it looks like…

..this! This is called a “roux.”

Then, pour in the milk. I actually just eyeball this step and estimate the right sauce-to-pasta ratio. Start whisking the mixture immediately and don’t stop until it’s thick and coats the back of a spoon. This mixture is called a “bechamel sauce,” and is used in alot of French and Italian cooking.

After the bechamel sauce comes together, add in the cheese to make it a “mornay sauce.” Don’t you feel so fancy using all these technical terms? Once the cheese is melted, add in the cooked pasta and toss it to coat. If you feel like you have too much sauce or pasta, then just remove a little bit before you combine them. You can always add stuff, but you can’t take it away!

Pour it in a greased baking dish and bake it at 350 degrees until it’s brown and bubbly! Enjoy!

Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Veggies

This dinner was inspired by a beautiful dish I had at our local Central Market cafe; it was penne pasta with chicken, zucchini, and yellow squash swimming in a velvety, smooth alfredo sauce. I loved every second of it, and I knew that I just had to recreate the dish at home! Thus, this beautiful pasta was born! And who knew it would taste even better than the one at the cafe?!?! The combination of the rich sauce, smoky vegetables, and succulent chicken makes this to die for. Enjoy this one, guys!

Alfredo Pasta with Chicken and Veggies

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 box of button mushrooms
  • 8-10 stalks of asparagus
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • 3 c heavy cream
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 1/2 c parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c mozzarella cheese
  • a handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Slice all the veggies except the asparagus.

Then, put the zucchini, squash, and asparagus in a bowl with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill them until they’re tender and cooked through. (You could also roast or saute them.) When they’ve cooled down enough, cut them into bite-size pieces.

In the meantime, put the mushrooms on a sheet tray and drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast them in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re golden brown.

Grill the chicken until it is cooked through. Then once it’s cool enough to handle, shred it and put it on standby. Cook the pasta, as well. 

For the alfredo sauce, combine the heavy cream and butter in a saute pan and whisk them together until the butter melts. Add the parmesan and mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper, and parsley and whisk it until the cheese melts. Add the veggies, chicken, and pasta into the pan and toss it to coat. Serve alongside crusty ciabatta bread and enjoy!

Five Cheese Macaroni and Cheese


I loooooooooooovvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeee Mac ‘n’ Cheese. I could eat it morning, noon, and night….and not get sick of it! This one is one of the best mac ‘n’ cheeses out there, and the 5 different cheeses don’t hurt that at all! Plus, I love getting to use my ramekins!:)

I used Ricotta cheese for creaminess, some Parmesan cheese for saltiness, Asiago cheese for a bite, Mozzarella cheese for a little richness, and….that’s it.:( I know, I failed! I didn’t get the 5th cheese in! But, since my mother detests goat cheese, I had to leave it out. Gorgonzola, Brie, Fontina, Manchego, Gruyère, and even Gouda would be fabulous here, but you can use whatever cheeses you like.

5 Cheese Macaroni and Cheese (Ina Garten)

  • 2 c whole milk
  • 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 c parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c asiago cheese
  • 1/4 c crumbled goat cheese or gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 c ricotta cheese
  • handful of basil, chopped
  • 1 lb. rigatoni, penne, or fusilli
  • 1/4 mozzarella, sliced

Combine everything except the pasta and mozzarella cheese in a bowl. Cook the pasta and add it. Make sure not to cook the pasta all the way though!

Then spoon them into individual ramekins or a baking dish and top with the mozzarella. Bake at 500 degrees for 7-10 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Bon Appetit!

Pasta All’Amatriciana

If I had to pick my favorite food, it would probably be any type of pasta dish. And if I had to pick my favorite pasta dish, it would probably be this!

Pasta All’Amatriciana (pronounced ama-chri-shana) is a Roman dish that is classically made with guanciale (a cured pork jowl), onions, red pepper flakes, San Marzano tomatoes, and bucatini pasta. It’s a very easy supper to make, but I did have to improvise a little!:) Instead of guanciale, I used pancetta and prosciutto; instead of San Marzanos, I used whole plum tomatoes; and instead of bucatini, I used linguine. If you can find those ingredients, then please, use them! But if you can’t, these are good substitutes! I also added the wine because I like the acidity it adds.

Pasta All’Amatriciana (Anne Burrell)

  • olive oil
  • 8 oz guanciale (or 4 oz pancetta, 4 oz prosciutto)
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • about a 1/2 c white wine
  • 2 (28 oz) cans San Marzano tomatoes (or whole plum tomatoes)
  • 1 lb bucatini, perciatelli, or linguine
  • parmesan cheese

Start with 3-4 oz of pancetta (right) and the same amount of prosciutto (left). Dice it up and throw it in a skillet with some olive oil.

Fry it until it’s crispy. Then ditch the oil and start with fresh oil to saute the onions, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the wine and let that reduce by half. In the meantime, you can either pass the tomatoes through a food mill, or puree them in a blender and then pass them through a fine-mesh sieve. Add those and the pork back to the sauce and let simmer for an hour; tasting every so often to make sure the seasonings are right.

Cook the pasta and drain it. Then remove a few ladles of pasta sauce, just to make sure you have the right ratio. Then add the pasta to the sauce and toss it with the cheese. Serve with more cheese on top and parsley if you’d like.

Israeli Couscous Salad with Spicy Toasted Chickpeas

Israeli coucous….sounds exoctic, right? Well actually, it’s pretty easy to find at local grocery stores, nowadays, and is just a bigger version of regular couscous. It’s a type of pasta, and if you’re like me, then that right there will tell you that it’s fabulous!

Now, I know what you’re thinking, who would chickpeas in a pasta dish? But trust me, they turned out to be one of the best components in the dish! They give that right amount of kick from the cayenne and add this really meaty texture, along with the crunch of the fresh veggies. If you’re looking for a light, summery side dish, then try this recipe!

Israeli Couscous Salad (Little House of Veggies)

  • 2 c Israeli Couscous
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • 1/2 c green olives
  • 1/2 c black olives
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. basil, chopped
  • 1 tsp. oregano, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. thyme, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Spicy Toasted Chickpeas

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • a good pinch of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper

Cook the couscous according to the package directions with the olive oil and salt, then add the veggies and the dressing.

For the chickpeas, heat the oil in a pan, then add the chickpeas and the seasonings. Toast for 3-4 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then fold into the salad. You can refrigerate before serving or serve at room temperature.

Pasta Prima Vera

This is a classic Italian bistro dish that is SO easy to make at home! You basically just take all of your favorite vegetables and combine them with any long-noodle pasta and…wah-la! You’ve got yourself pasta prima vera!

Now, since this dish is basically just noodles and vegetables, I went with a recipe that had more of a sauce consistency. I think you’ll really like how the vegetables give off their own juices and really add to the whole smoothness of this dinner. It is sure to convert anyone with a strict sweet tooth to someone who can’t get enough of their veggies!

I used carrots, red peppers, asparagus, yellow squash, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes. You could use any vegetables you like, though! (Heads up, whenever you see garlic in one of these dishes, just know that I did not use it. My family is not a big garlic fan, but I’m sure everything would be great with it, too!)

Pasta Prima Vera (Ellie Krieger)

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • 1/2 c milk
  • 1 tbsp. flour, dissolved in 3 tbsp. water
  • salt and pepper
  • linguine pasta (could substitute with fettucine, papardelle, or any other long noodle!)
  • 2 tbsp. parsley
  • 1/4 c basil
  • grated parmesan cheese
  • any combination of veggies you’d like!

Heat oil in a large saute pan and cook garlic for about 1 minute. Add peppers (if using) and cook for about 3 minutes. Add any other vegetables you’re using and saute for about 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in flour/water mixture and add chicken stock, milk, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until the liquid has thickened slightly.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 c of the pasta water. Toss the pasta with the vegetables and add the pasta water to thin if necessary. Add parsley and basil and serve with parmesan cheese. Bon appetite!