Did you know that 10/17/19 is National Pasta Day?
I didn’t. There aren’t tons of freebies. Like… None.
Olive Garden has some sort of shenanigans going on via Twitter, but ain’t nobody got time for that. IF you sign up for their email club, you can get a free app or dessert.
For those of us who don’t have time to chase deals, and want to eat a bowl of plain ‘skettis at home, here are some yummy pasta recipes to try:
The kids have requested Mac and Cheese for dinner- so we’re celebrating!
This recipe came to me, as I was staring into the fridge wondering what the hell I was going to do with all spinach my friend gave me.
I used a package of Aidell’s Chicken caramelized onion meatballs, but feel free to use whatever kind of meatballs you like (or make your own!).
Mix it up with whatever veggies you have on hand! Peppers or kale would be great in this dish!
- 1 package chicken meatballs (about a dozen, if making from scratch)
- 1/2 purple onion, diced
- 1 T. olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1.5 c. grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise (about 1 package)
- 3-4 c. fresh spinach
- Juice of 3 lemons
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 T. Thyme
- 1 T. Rosemary
- 1 T. air-dried shallots
- 1 package pasta (I like ziti) cooked per package instructions
- 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan, saute onion until translucent.
- Add garlic, and cook on medium/low until fragrant.
- Add meatballs, tomatoes, and herbs. Cook on medium/low, until meatballs are heated thoroughly.
- stir in lemon juice and zest. Scrape pan to remove any browned bits.
- Toss in spinach, turn to low, and cover with the lid. Allow spinach to cook down by about half- this takes only a few minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in cooked pasta and cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper as needed, and serve ASAP.
This is a great 1 dish meal! It’s very filling, but the acid from the lemon and the chicken meatballs keeps the meal feeling very light.
To make this dish Gluten-free: Use GF pasta and make sure your meatballs are GF.
To make this dish Vegetarian: Use meat-free “meatballs”
Shakshuska is an incredibly easy vegetarian recipe! It’s high in flavor and protein. Most of the ingredients can be found in any kitchen.
We’ve been enjoying it for a few years, and I can’t believe I’ve never posted the recipe! My recipe is based on the NYT recipe found here.
- 2 T. Oil (I usually use olive oil, but grape seed oil is great too)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large bell pepper, sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced (sometimes I use the chopped garlic in the jar)
- 1 teaspoon each ground cumin and sweet paprika
- Dash of cayenne, or to taste
- 28 ounces of canned whole plum tomatoes with juices, coarsely chopped (I usually use 2
- 14-ish ounce cans, as they are cheaper/easier to find)
- 1 small can tomato paste
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- 1 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 6-8 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In a large, ovenproof skillet (I use one like this), heat oil, and saute onion and peppers until soft and onions are clear about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add spices, canned tomatoes, and tomato paste, cook over low for 10-15 minutes until sauce is thick and bubbly.
- Stir in about half the feta, and cook until combined/melted.
- Turn off the stove.
- Crack eggs into sauce, top with remaining feta and bake in the oven for 6-10 minutes or until eggs are done to your liking.
- Season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve with crusty hot bread, and a green salad.
Dietary/Allergy Note: There is no way to make this recipe vegan, but it is naturally Gluten-Free!
I mentioned in the Weekly Meal Plan post yesterday that it’s going to be a hot one this week. Ugh.
That means lots of time swimming and lots of time at the YMCA enjoying their AC and doing fun activities- Big Kid just did the fitness orientation and he is excited to start exercising. Mostly he wants to take boxing classes with me on Saturdays.
All that activity requires good, healthy fuel, and I do not want to fire up the stove or oven when it’s over 90 outside.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes to serve when it’s hot outside!
As you can tell there are a lot of dessert recipes. Because, really, who doesn’t like dessert?
Talk Back: What do you cook when it’s hot?
My Dad made this for us a lot when my mom worked late. I love it because it’s got chicken, onions, cheese, and pasta in it. Pretty much everything I like in life. AND when I was pregnant with Lil’ Man I had such horrible morning sickness round the clock, it was pretty much the only food I could eat. This is a great hot dish, perfect for a family dinner or make a bigger batch for a potluck. It’s a hit with kids and grown ups!
I try to make adaptations for many differing diets, but sadly, this recipe cannot be adapted for Vegans or be made gluten free (unless there is GF Cream of Mushroom soup I don’t know about).
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 t. butter
- 1-2 c cooked shredded or cubed chicken (I usually cook a batch of chicken breasts in the crock pot and then portion it up for later use)
- 1 can Cream of Chicken and Mushroom soup (if you can’t find it, stick with Cream of Chicken)
- I can of water
- 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
- ½ cup cheese (you favorite kind- I like sharp cheddar!) You can use more cheese if you like.
- 1 lb pasta, your choice
- Start a large pot of water on the stove and cook pasta as directed.
- While Pasta is cooking In a saucepan, saute the onion in butter, until the onions are clear, about 10 minutes.
- To the onions, add chicken, soup, water, Italian seasoning. Cook until bubbly, stirring to combine ingredients.
- Add cheese and stir until smooth.
- Add pasta and stir to combine.
- If you want to make this a one pot dish, add 1-2 cups steamed veggies, such as broccoli, peas, or asparagus.
- You can use the vegetarian “chicken” pieces in place of the chicken. You can also use leftover Turkey or rotisserie chicken!
- You can also add 1 cup sliced mushrooms and/or 1/2 cup celery while you are sautéing the onion.
- My dad likes the dish topped with butter bread crumbs or slivered almonds.
- To make this dish a little richer, stir in 1/2 cup sour cream (the real stuff, no imitation sour cream) when you add the cooked pasta.