Pasta, although amazingly frugal, doesn’t always give one the best “bang for the buck” as far as nutrition. Even so, it is an item that finds itself into pantries and is high on the list of “comfort” foods.
For the healthiest meals, resist the urge to open a jar and instead dress pasta with a variety of sauces, vegetables and herbs – Many recipes can benefit from a side and/or a salad.
Home-made Egg Noodles: Quicker than one might guess, egg noodles and can be made for pennies.Making every noodle for your family may not be feasible, but these are perfect for down home dishes.
Pan Roasted Cherry Tomatoes: These are an easy, five-minute side for any simple dish, but are also amazingly versatile. Throw them over pasta, in a salad, top a crostini. You’ll find a zillion uses for them.
Pesto: If you grow your own basil, this is an amazingly inexpensive sauce to prepare for a pasta dinner. Of course, Pesto has many other possibilities – over crostini is another of my favorites.
Quick Marinara: A rich, full bodied Marinara that’s out of this world fantastic, and best of all fresh tasting! A little wine, a few herbs and a couple cans of tomato! You’ll look like a genius!
Simple, Quick Tomato Sauce: This super versatile sauce comes together quickly and can be used in any number of dishes or simply served over pasta. This fresh sauce defies the 20 minute time.
Pasta with Tuna and Tomatoes: When the temperatures are soaring and the tomatoes are coming in, its nice to serve a simple pasta dish. This is really a salad, and the tuna may be left for a Vegetarian.
Pesto Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables: This is heavy on the veggies, light on pasta, and has a gorgeous pesto dressing. Sprinkled with pine nuts and tossed with beans for complete protein.
Vera Heinmann’s Noodle Dish: A simple, quick one-pot meal made with humble ingredients. 20 to 25 minutes start to finish puts a meal on the table made from items many of us have on hand…
Pizza: This Pizza uses Tyler Florence’s pizza dough and his method of throwing the dough on a preheated pan – no soggy bottom, but a beautifully crispy crunch. The recipe makes enough dough for two pizzas – feel free to freeze one.
Artichoke Chicken or Turkey Casserole: For brunch or dinner, this is one beauty of a casserole! Fresh and vibrant, it’s a wonderful dish for company or family. As it, it serves six, but doubles easily.
Baked Ziti or Penne: This ubiquitous little casserole can run the gamut from excellent to bleh. A few hints can make sure yours is in the excellent category, each and every time you make it.
Cheesy Chicken or Turkey Casserole: I’ve been making this for over 35 years and it has always been a family favorite – this one makes one large or two smaller casseroles, so it’s perfect to make one and freeze one.
Cheesy Pasta Bake: While my Baked Ziti is an absolute perfection of a Pasta Dish, this one takes it up one more level. Spicy, cheesy and a little decadent, it still won’t break the bank!
Cheesy Tuna Casserole with Green Olives: I would have left out the olives had my daughter not made this for me. It’s become one of our favorites with it’s cheese & crunchy veggies.
Turkey Tetrazzini: What more can I say? This is an “oldie” but a “goodie,” a classic for using left over Turkey from Thanksgiving or Christmas. Chicken works just as well in this dish.