Inner Chef

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Scallops with Linguini and Cream Sauce

Scallops with Linguini and Cream Sauce


1 to 1 1/2 pound bay scallops

1/2 cup butter

3 garlic cloves; minced

juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon

1/4 cup white wine

1 cup whipping cream

1 cup Parmesan cheese; finely shredded

parsley; chopped

1 pound linguini

salt and white pepper to taste


Prepare pasta as directed on package.

Meanwhile melt butter in large, heavy skillet on medium heat. Add 1/2 lemon juice, white wine and scallops and sauté for about 4 minutes. Add chopped parsley, cream and cheese; stir until sauce becomes thick; about 5-6 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Drain pasta and toss into cream sauce  drizzle with lemon juice and toss again. Serve immediately.

Scallops and Linguini with Cream Sauce


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Rosemary Spaghetti with Roasted Asparagus


Rosemary Spaghetti with Roasted Asparagus

(Melissa’s Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce)

Here is the original recipe, as in the book. I used a lemon-infused olive oil and added diced chicken. This serves about 4-6 people.


1 pound asparagus, trimmed 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse salt, such as kosher 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use (see Cook’s Note) 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped 5 medium cloves garlic, sliced 1 1⁄2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth 1 1⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves 1 pound spaghetti, thick spaghetti preferred 1⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus cheese for optional topping Salt and freshly ground black pepper Garnish: 8 sprigs fresh rosemary


  1. Adjust oven rack to upper third of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread asparagus on rimmed baking sheet in a single layer; brush with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast until fork-tender, about 7 to 12 minutes, shaking pan halfway through cooking to redistribute stalks (roasting time varies depending on thickness of asparagus). Cut stalks into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
  2. In large, deep skillet melt 4 tablespoons butter on medium-low heat. Add onion and cook until nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add chicken broth or vegetable broth and chopped rosemary; increase heat to high and reduce by half.
  3. Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to boil on high heat. Add spaghetti and cook according to package directions until al dente (tender with a little bite); drain, reserving 2 tablespoons pasta water.
  4. Add pasta and reserved cooking water to butter mixture. Add cheese, 1 tablespoon butter and asparagus. Gently toss. Season with salt and plenty of pepper. Garnish each serving with rosemary sprig.

Inner Chef Note: I made a homemade Roasted Garlic Butter:

Cut about 1/3 of the top of a large garlic bunch, drizzle a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil on the cut part and wrap garlic bunch in foil, open side up. Open foil just a bit so that the garlic can caramelize. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 35-45 minutes, until garlic is tender. remove from oven and let rest. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic from paper. Add to unsalted butter and enjoy.


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Garlic Scape and Cherry Tomatoes

Garlic Scape and Cherry Tomatoes            Serves: 4

(Saveur Magazine)


Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ lb. spaghetti
2 tbsp. olive oil
10 garlic scapes
1 pint multicolored cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup baby arugula
1 lemon, zested and juiced


Heat oven to 400°. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta and keep warm. Toss olive oil, garlic scapes, tomatoes, red onion, salt, and pepper and spread in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 12–15 minutes, until tomatoes are just beginning to burst. Remove from oven and toss with spaghetti, arugula, and lemon zest and juice. Serve immediately.

Saveur Magazine

Saveur Magazine


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Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups


Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups     Serves: About 7

This recipe was going viral like crazy on Facebook and I had to give it a try. I made some changes to fit my likes and my needs. But you can find the original recipe on Budget Bytes website.


1 lb. lasagna noodles

15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese

1 cup finely shredded Mozzarella cheese

½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1 large egg

10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed, drained very well**

2 ½ cups roasted garlic marinara sauce

Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste



  1. In a large pot; bring salted water to rolling boil. Add lasagna noodles and cook to al dente (about 12-15 minutes).
  2. While noodles are cooking; in a large bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, egg, spinach, salt and pepper.
  3. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with veggie oil.
  4. When noodles are al dente; drain well. Cover a large baking sheet with waxed paper or parchment paper. Lay 3-4 noodles on baking sheet at a time. Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of cheese mixture on each noodle and spread end to end. (I used my fingers to spread and pat the mixture). This does not need to be laid on thick.
  5. Roll up noodles and place seam side down onto prepared baking dish. Place them side to side; close. Cover tops of roll-ups with sauce and cover baking dish with foil. Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and remove foil.

**Thaw frozen spinach on plate in refrigerator over night. Unwrap spinach and squeeze out as much water as possible. Lay spinach on platter lined with layers of paper towels and cover with more layers. Press down to remove any extra water. As you mix the spinach with the cheese (I used culinary plastic gloves) the spinach will break up.



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Lemon Pasta Salad




Lemon Pasta Salad                  Makes: 4-6 servings

(The Neely’s)



1 pound corkscrew pasta

1 pound asparagus

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 garlic clove, minced

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup freshly chopped dill leaves

1 cup frozen peas, defrosted

7 ounces crumbled feta cheese



Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse. Set aside.

In another large pot of boiling salted water, add the asparagus and blanch until bright green and slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon or a spider and shock in icy cold water. Remove from the water and dry well.

Trim the ends of the asparagus and cut into bite-size pieces on the bias.

Whisk together the mustard, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the reserved asparagus and pasta in a large serving bowl. Add the tomatoes, dill, peas, feta, and the mustard dressing. Toss with tongs to coat the salad well. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed.

Photo: The Neely's

Photo: The Neely’s


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Bow-Tie Pasta with Broccoli and Potatoes

I cannot remember exactly where this recipe came from…I think it was floating around my FaceBook pages. The flavors are amazing together! I do not recommend substituting regular onions or shallots for the leeks. Leeks have a brilliant flavor all their own and to trade those out of the recipe, would definitely change the taste.

Next time I make this; I plan to add asparagus and instead of potatoes; I will try cauliflower. I will let you know how it goes.



Bow-Tie Pasta with Broccoli and Potatoes


Kosher salt

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large bunch broccoli, florets and some chopped stems

12 ounces bow-tie pasta

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, sliced into half-moons

Freshly ground pepper

1 head Boston lettuce, torn

1 1/2 cups grated fontina cheese (about 4 ounces)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce), plus more for topping


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the potatoes and cook 10 minutes, then add the broccoli and pasta and cook as the pasta label directs.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and pepper to taste. Cook until soft, about 7 minutes.

Put the lettuce in a colander. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain the pasta, broccoli and potatoes over the lettuce to wilt it. Return the pasta and vegetables to the pot.

Add the leeks to the pot and stir in enough of the reserved cooking water to moisten. Stir in the cheeses and season with salt and pepper. Top with more parmesan.



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Balsamic Chicken and Pasta with Asparagus

Balsamic Chicken and Pasta with Asparagus                 Serves 4-6

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ½ “thick and cubed

4 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. fresh asparagus spears

1 Tbsp. olive oil

¾ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 cup balsamic vinegar

2 tsp. light brown sugar (using dark brown will give it a richer flavor)

1 lb. penne pasta

4 Tbsp. butter, cut into pieces

⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

In large skillet, heat the 2 Tbsp. oil on medium heat. Place chicken cubes in resealable bag and add flour. Seal bag and shake to coat chicken evenly. Add to hot skillet and cook until done; stirring often with spatula. When done, remove from heat and set aside.

Heat oven to 400°. Snap white ends off the asparagus and discard the ends. Cut asparagus into 1” pieces and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the 1 Tbsp. oil and toss to coat evenly. Sprinkle with ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper. Roast in oven until tender; about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

While asparagus is cooking, prepare pasta according to package directions. Simmer vinegar in small saucepan over medium heat until it is reduced by ½, about 5-10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and remaining ¼ tsp. pepper. Remove from heat.

Drain pasta and return to pot. Stir in butter until melted. Add asparagus and stir well. Stir in vinegar. Gently stir in chicken. Make sure ingredients are coated evenly with vinegar and butter. Add Parmesan cheese and remaining salt.

Serve immediately with additional Parmesan cheese for serving.