Skillet Rigatoni: Weeknight Dinner Recipe

The cooler weather finally has come to Alabama, and on Halloween it is supposed to be pretty chilly. We have a super busy week ahead with my daughter’s dance, Halloween and my youngest son is his little league football’s Super Bowl (which means practicing almost every night). This Skillet Rigatoni Recipe is the perfect weeknight dinner recipe. It’s easy, fast and a crowd pleaser, and my kids absolutely love it. Feel free to use ground turkey if you want.  I may just make this on Halloween night to make my life a little simpler.

Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini

Lately, I’ve had so many requests for an easy, healthy fall weeknight dinner recipe that kids will love too. This recipe for Lightened Up Chicken Tetrazzini is one that really sticks out in my mind. I purchase a rotisserie chicken for the chopped, cooked chicken which makes my life easier. I also used light cream cheese, low sodium chicken broth and whole wheat noodles to make this dish healthier. The panko breadcrumb topping is probably my favorite part, giving it a toasty crunch and pretty golden color. This is a great make-ahead recipe or wonderful to take to someone who is ill or just had a baby. Feel free to make this recipe ahead of time and freeze. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before baking as directed.

Part 2 Marche Region: Food, Fashion and Travel

For 4 nights, we stayed at Hotel Emilia in Portonovo in Ancona, Italy which sits on the mountain where you have a spectacular view of the coast. It’s a serene spot that speaks beauty and relaxation. I loved to sit out here overlooking the mountains.

An outdoor bar was the perfect place to sit after a busy day.

The pool was beautiful sitting in front of the rooms of the hotel.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the most exciting part of the trip, but visiting Tod’s headquarters seemed to be the highlight for some of us women. Tod’s is the largest shoe manufacturer in Europe and the largest business in the Marche Region, which is publicly traded on the Italian stock exchange. We saw the entire shoe making process; how they check the leather and why these shoes are such great quality. This is the coolest work of art when you walk in the lobby of Tod’s.

Do you think these boots will be the hit of fall 2011?

After the tour, we went to the Tod’s and Prada outlets nearby. This is also a must stop if you’re in the Marche region :). I love these kid’s shoes.

Next, we were off to lunch in the town of San Benedetto del Tronto at Ristorante Mattia with Chef Marco Cameli. I loved his Miami-style restaurant. His specialty is fish since his restaurants sits right near the beach. This clever way to present an appetizer was a favorite. I call this an Italian version of ceviche.

Next was a pasta course with clams and shrimp. I have never tasted a dish so fresh. I loved that the Chefs don’t over-salt their food.

One of my favorite dishes on the entire trip was this fish dish. It’s monkfish cooked in garlic, olive oil, white wine, with fresh tomato sauce and rosemary. I am trying to recreate this one for sure. Delizioso!

And the dessert was phenomenal and nothing like I have ever had before. Bomboloni (Italian doughnuts) with Chantilly Cream and Limoncello topped with chocolate.

There’s more to come. So much to say…This region is too spectacular for words.