Veggie Riggies: A Rigatoni Saute #SundaySupper

Veggie Riggies a Vegetarian rigatoni sauteWhat the heck are riggies? Short for rigatoni, the barrel shaped pasta that is hearty and perfect for scooping up a thick sauce. If you have read H.A.G. before, you know that I am originally from Central New York, home of “Wicked Chicken Riggies,” of the restaurant, Pastabilities. They were featured on the Food Network for this “Wicked” recipe that includes rigatoni (the riggies), chicken and is so called “wicked” for it’s hotness…and also awesomeness in my opinion. But for this week, the week of Worldwide Vegetarian Day (!), I decided to make a twist on this “wicked” dish and serve it up, vegetarian-style. Hold on, because it is de-licious!before mixing rigatoni and vegetable sauce: spicy

I kept the recipe a saute, because if you put this in the oven, it becomes a ziti. This is not that guy. This is a creamy, salty, hot, plate of hearty vegetables and chewy pasta. The ultimate comfort meal. I also tweaked the original recipe quite a bit, so if you are up for it, let’s go!

Here’s the recipe:

Veggie Riggies: A Rigatoni Saute #SundaySupper

A creamy, spicy, comforting pasta dish that will satisfy vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!


  • For the Hot sauce:
  • 2 chili in adobo (from a little can- freeze the rest in a ziplock)
  • ½ cup hot deli style cherry peppers, sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • For the Riggies:
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus 1-2 Tbsps.
  • ½ yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 tablespoons finely minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp. dry basil
  • 1 tsp. dry oregano
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 green peppers, chopped medium (2 cups)
  • 1 red pepper,chopped medium (1 cup)
  • 1 orange pepper, chopped medium (1 cup)
  • 2 medium zucchini, quartered and rough chopped
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz. total) sliced Baby Bella mushrooms
  • 28oz. can of tomato sauce or puree (your choice)
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Romano
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 pound dried rigatoni noodles
  • 2 cups baby spinach* (optional)


    First, Make the hot sauce:
  1. To a blender, add the 2 adobo-chilis, the ½ cup of hot cherry peppers, and ¼ cup olive oil. Put the top on and BLEND. Don’t breathe in- this is spicy! Set to the side for later.
  2. Now Make the Veggie Riggies:
  3. In a large pot, heat the 1/3 cup of the olive oil over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, cayenne and red pepper flakes. Stir well and cook until the onions are translucent.
  4. Add the chopped peppers into the onion mixture. Stir and cook 3-5 minutes. You don’t want to crowd the pan, so remove the mixture to another bowl. Set aside.
  5. To the now empty pot, add 1 Tbsp oil and cook the zucchini and mushrooms for 3-5 minutes until the vegetables are somewhat tender. Sprinkle with ½ tsp salt.
  6. Add back the veggies that you cooked previously, and the reserved hot sauce. Stir and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add the tomato sauce, heavy cream, Romano and sugar. Stir completely, and lower the temperature to low. Continue to cook on low or turn off it's too bubbly as you make the rigatoni noodles.
  8. Cook the rigatoni noodles until firm to the bite, and drain.
  9. To serve, toss the pasta and the sauce together, all at once or in batches, and pour into a serving platter or in individual bowls.
  10. Serve. Garnish with more Romano, dried hot peppers, or parsley.


Recipe inspired by the restaurant in Syracuse, NY, Pastabilities

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TaDa! A beautiful plate of comforting pasta and tons of fresh vegetables smothered in a creamy, spicy, tomato sauce. You will love how this comes together. Enjoy.

veggie riggies: A riggatoni saute

For lots of other GREAT vegetarian dishes (and by the way, who doesn’t need more great meatless ideas in their cooking arsenal?) check out the line-up from the SundaySupper folks, with special thanks to the event host: Susan Pridmore  from The Wimpy Vegetarian. I know you won’t leave disappointed!





Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Fun Contest from Personal Creations: Fall is in the Air!

As summer comes to an end, I am loving these first signs of fall: the scents of apples, spices, and pumpkins along with the beautiful leaves and fun family activities. It also means that Halloween is right around the corner, bringing with it its own assortment of fun treats and decorations for the kiddos.

To help capture and share this spirit, Personal Creations is hosting their first ever Pinterest “Falloween” contest with a $500 Personal Creations gift card to their first-place winner, as well as $100 gift cards for five runners-up. While I have never promoted a contest that someone else runs before, Personal Creations has some super cute items for my favorite season that is upon us, which they sent me a sample to show you all:

fall mantel and decor

FALL! Yipee! Isn’t this adorable?!

Personal creations fall board

I personalized my #PCFalloween decorations this year thanks to @pcgifts. Adorable! #ad (tweet this)

I just love it! Last year, I received a cute holiday canvas as a gift from a friend. It was so unique, and was personalized with our family name on it which made it so special and well…personalized!  And of course, upon checking out where I could make one of these great signs to GIVE someone else, I found that it was made from the Personal Creations site! So since then I have just loved this company for cute gifts. And now you have a chance to WIN gift cards with them! Here are the details:

• Follow Personal Creations on Pinterest:
• Create a Pinterest board named “PCFalloween”
• Add a creative description to your Pinterest board
• Add at least 10 fall or Halloween décor themed Pins to your board with descriptions for why you’ve added each

Feel free to check out the Personal Creations Falloween Pinterest Contest board for inspiration:

Or you can check out my own board that I have made over on the right of this page or here.

CRITERIA in the decision:

• Creativity (30%)
• Uniqueness of Descriptions on Pins (25%)
• Diversity of Pins to Board (23%)
• Attractiveness of Board as a whole (22%)

If you love to PIN, then this is a great opportunity. If you just want to check them out, their website has some great gift ideas, or ideas for your own home. Check them out!

I was compensated to promote this contest with a sample canvas as pictured above. As with all my content, you can trust that what you read is my opinion alone, and is in no way influenced by any compensation that I may receive.  You can read more of my disclosures here.


Polish Black Cake with Whipped Mocha Frosting #SundaySupper

polish black cakeMy mom gave me this recipe. I just thought I should put that right out there. That way, you will know how truly good this is. My mom is a GREAT cook. She is also a fussy cook. Always follows a recipe to the letter. Always buys the best ingredients. Stretches herself and makes complicated, hard to make, interesting dishes.

So when she happens upon a great recipe and tells me, “You have to make this recipe, it is SO easy.” Seriously. You told me Beef Bourguignon was easy. By the way…It isn’t. I can’t even spell it.

But in this case…In this cake-case, she wasn’t lying. This recipe IS so easy. For what you get at the end, it seems like it should be really involved. I got, “mmmmmmms” and “ooooooooooos” and “Mom this frosting is SO good.” Well, then. I guess this one’s a keeper.

Actually my mom gave me the cake recipe, but the recipe for the frosting is mine. So is the adding coffee to this cake instead of hot water like it originally called for. Coffee anything is my #1 favorite thing usually, and especially when it’s paired up with my 2nd favorite thing, chocolate. So I had to take it there: to Mocha. YUM.

A homemade cake from scratch is like pure LOVE. It takes just a little longer than opening a boxed version to whip this lovely up. Seriously. You must make this. And the frosting. Well, you don’t have to make it. The cake is super tender and chocolately without the frosting already. Just dust with some powdered sugar and call it dessert. IF you are feeling fancy, serve it like my mom does, with homemade hot fudge drizzled over and a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. But for me, cake needs  a topping, or it’s just breakfast: AKA a muffin. So I add the frosting every time.

Here is the play by play:

Butter and sugar a cake pan:

polish black cake

See that? that is a nicely buttered and sugared cake pan!

I make the frosting right away so it has time to cool. Just heat some milk then pour it over the chocolate chips and add in some coffee crystals. To those of you that are fancy…Go buy some instant coffee. Some of us, coffee-desperadoes, always have coffee on hand for emergencies. We NEVER want to run out. Anyhoo…Once the chocolate gets melty, stir it up until it’s nice and smooth, and then cool until firm. Then whip until creamy. Done.

whipped mocha frosting

whipped mocha frosting

While you wait for the frosting to firm up, you make the cake:

Mix the dry:dry ingreddients for polish black cake

With the wet:polish black cake

And mix:polish black cake

Pour it into your buttered pan, and bake for about 1/2 an hour. Cool and then frost… and enjoy!

polish black cake

It happens that fast.

Here’s the recipe:

Polish Black Cake with Whipped Mocha Frosting #SundaySupper

For an easy to make scratch cake, this Polish Black Cake is delicious all on it's own. But to make it truly special, I add my Whipped Mocha Frosting. Over the top YUM!


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 cups hot coffee, or (2 heaping tsp.decaf crystals dissolved in hot water)
  • For the Whipped Mocha Frosting
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. coffee crystals (I used decaf)


    To make the cake:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350*
  2. Butter and sugar a 9X13 metal pan.
  3. In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together to combine completely. Set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the wet: oil, vanilla, eggs, coffee. Whisk until combined.
  5. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  6. Add this to the buttered pan.
  7. Bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center, comes out clean.
  8. Remove to a rack to cool.
  9. To make the frosting:
  10. Measure out 1 cup (8oz) of chocolate chips. Put them in a heat-safe bowl.
  11. Heat the heavy cream on the stove until boiling. Turn off the heat and stir in the 2 Tbsp. granulated coffee powder. Pour this over the chips. Let sit a minute to soften them up. Stir until the melted chips and cream is smooth.*(see note)
  12. Let the mixture sit in the bowl, covered at room temperature for 4 hours or you can keep it in the refrigerator until it’s firm. Once it’s firm, you can beat it for 2 minutes with a hand-mixer or in a stand mixer, until fluffy, and then spread this on your cake once it's cooled. YUM.


*For the frosting, you can just pour the melted chocolate and cream mixture over the cake at this point. It firms up to make a delicious glaze. I use it this way for frosting on brownies.Or you can let it firm up and then whip as the recipe suggests.

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polish black cake

I am clearly obsessed. I love mocha and I love coffee. And I am not alone!The Sunday Supper Bloggers are honoring the great Java beverage, by offering up some awesome recipes that contain coffee in them (and not all are chocolate!) that I think you will love. Big thanks to Wendy Hammond from Wholistic Woman blog for hosting this week.  Check them out:






Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.
Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.