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Monday, March 01 2010
We have pasta night once a week (at least) at my house. There are lots of reasons why pasta makes it on our weekly dinner rotation—perhaps the best reason is that it’s fast. While I do love to cook, I have a 30-minute rule during the week: if a recipe won’t be ready in 30 minutes, I won’t make it! I save longer, more complicated recipes for the weekend, when I have more time to enjoy the process. The other reason I love pasta is its versatility. It’s a great way to enjoy traditional Italian sauces, but pasta also shines in Asian dishes, with untraditional toppings and more.

 

Here are 5 of my favorite pasta recipes, ready in 30 minutes (or less!).

Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Pasta (recipe follows)—Here’s a way to use the “power vegetables” sweet potato and red bell pepper in a satisfying vegetarian pasta dish full of fresh herbs and creamy goat cheese. Any fresh herbs you have on hand, such as basil, oregano, sorrel or chives, can be substituted for the tarragon. Serve with a garden salad.

Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomato Orzo—Sun-dried tomatoes and Romano cheese pack a flavorful punch along with the tantalizing aroma of fresh marjoram in this rustic Italian-inspired dish. Serve with sautéed fresh spinach or steamed broccolini.

Fusilli with Italian Sausage & Arugula—A whole teaspoon of black pepper along with a small amount of Italian turkey sausage deliver a piquant flavor without adding too much in the way of saturated fat and calories in this quick pasta dish. For maximum taste, use a high-quality cheese. Bonus: This one’s just for two.

Hoisin Beef & Edamame Noodles—Sweet hoisin sauce and tangy lime juice balance perfectly in this quick, colorful, Asian-inspired noodle dish. Make it a meal: Dress a cucumber salad with toasted sesame oil and lime juice and enjoy a cup of jasmine green tea.

No-Bake Macaroni & Cheese—Not only is this ultra-creamy version of mac-and-cheese nearly as fast as the boxed variety, but your family will be able to pronounce every ingredient. If they aren’t broccoli fans, substitute a frozen vegetable of your choice.

Sweet Potato & Red Pepper Pasta
Active time: 30 minutes | Total: 30 minutes

Here’s a way to use the “power vegetables” sweet potato and red bell pepper in a satisfying vegetarian pasta dish full of fresh herbs and creamy goat cheese. Any fresh herbs you have on hand, such as basil, oregano, sorrel or chives, can be substituted for the tarragon. Serve with a garden salad.

8 ounces whole-wheat angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups shredded, peeled sweet potato (about 1 medium)
1 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup diced plum tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar or lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes or according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon oil and garlic in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is sizzling and fragrant, 2 to 5 minutes. Add sweet potato, bell pepper, tomatoes and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bell pepper is tender-crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat; cover and keep warm.
3. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot. Add the vegetable mixture, the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley, tarragon, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and cheese; toss to combine. Add the reserved pasta water, 2 tablespoons at a time, to achieve the desired consistency.

Makes 4 servings, about 1 3/4 cups each.
Per serving: 402 calories; 12 g fat (3 g sat, 6 g mono); 7 mg cholesterol; 62 g carbohydrate; 12 g protein; 9 g fiber; 546 mg sodium; 738 mg potassium.

By Carolyn Malcoun

When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 01:00 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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