Posts tagged with Pasta

Meatless Monday recipe of the week: Spaghetti with faux Bolognese sauce

When it's cold and dreary, there's nothing better to come home to than a hot meal. Double bonus if it's hearty, right?

This Meatless Monday spaghetti is ready to eat hot off the stove, and gets an extra dose of stick-to-your-ribs satiating power thanks to the addition of chickpeas. The chickpeas give the sauce a bit more of a "meaty" mouthfeel, while adding extra fiber and nutrition to go along taste and texture.

Serve this with a side of steamed veggies and you'll feel warm and nourished despite winter's appearance.

Spaghetti with Faux Bolognese Sauce (recipe from

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas or garbanzos, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce

3/4 cup cubed part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces)

8 ounces whole-grain spaghetti, cooked and drained

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Pulse garbanzo beans until they are coarsely chopped in food processor; set aside. Heat olive oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and cook pepper, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until softened. Add beans and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add sauce and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until heated through. Stir in mozzarella cheese, and let stand 1 minute. To serve, spoon sauce over hot pasta, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


Meatless Monday recipe of the week: Hearty greens soup with bowtie pasta and tomatoes

Chances are that we've all had some very, VERY hearty meals the past few days. The Thanksgiving holiday plus all the leftovers, family get-togethers and football watching add up over time. So, if you're having a bit of a food hangover this Monday, it's safe to say that you probably aren't alone.

Thus, something light yet satisfying is in order for Meatless Monday. This soup fits the bill with greens, carrots, onion, pasta and cheese for a classic veggie soup.

Take care of yourself this week and you won't be feeling your indulgent few days for much longer.

Hearty Greens Soup with Bowtie Pasta and Tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 bay leaf

Salt and pepper to taste

4 plum tomatoes, cored and chopped

2 carrots, chopped

8 cups water

1 bunch Swiss chard (about 3/4 pound), roughly chopped

1/2 bunch escarole (about 1/2 pound), stemmed and roughly chopped

1/2 pound dried bowtie (farfalle) pasta

1 (3-inch) Parmigiano Reggiano rind, plus grated Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish

1/4 pound baby spinach

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add garlic, onions, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid is released and absorbed, about 5 minutes more. Add carrots and water and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.

Stir in Swiss chard, escarole, pasta and Parmigiano Reggiano rind, reduce heat, cover and simmer until broth is flavorful and greens and pasta are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach and season with salt and pepper.

Remove and discard bay leaf and rind from soup then ladle into bowls, garnish with grated cheese and serve.

— Recipe from


Meatless Monday recipe of the week: Tri-color penne pasta salad with arugula, cherry tomatoes, chives and fresh mozzarella

Admittedly, this is more of a “summery feeling” dish, going by just the ingredients and flavor profile.

However, it’s still possible to get very good cherry tomatoes and arugula this time of year, and fresh mozzarella is always a given. If you make it this week, it’ll not only warm you after our recent cold snap, but it’ll probably taste better than if you made it in, say, January.

Serve it with a crusty baguette, maybe some olives and a light soup or salad. You should be able to have dinner on the table in under an hour, no big production needed.

Tri-Color Penne Pasta Salad with Arugula, Cherry Tomatoes, Chives, and Fresh Mozzarella

1 box tri-color penne

6 tbsp olive oil

1 clove garlic

2 cups baby arugula

¼ cup chives

2 balls fresh mozzarella

2 pints (red and yellow) cherry tomatoes

¼ cup Parmigiano cheese

2 tbsp lemon juice

salt to taste

Black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt and cook pasta 1 minute under the required cooking time. Drain and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, place on sheet tray to cool down. In a small skillet saute garlic in 2 tbsp olive oil until slightly yellow in color, set aside to cool down.

In a large bowl combine, halved cherry tomatoes, minced chives, fresh mozzarella and arugula, season with salt and black pepper. Toss with remaining olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice to combine.

Sprinkle with Parmigiano cheese and toss again. Let it rest for 30 minutes before serving. Serves four.

— Recipe from


Meatless Monday recipe of the week: Super colossal garlic buttered noodles with heirloom tomatoes

OK, this time we're not doing a sandwich for Meatless Monday.

There's not been a break in the heat and, thus, we could probably do sandwiches or salads (or other cold things) forever, but that wouldn't make for a very exciting run of Meatless Mondays. So, we decided to go for some quick, yummy comfort food this week.

This twist on classic butter noodles adds those great seasonal heirloom tomatoes you've been seeing at the farmers' market and the grocery stores right now. Plus, it adds garlic, which you can also get locally if you prefer. The recipe calls for Colossal Garlic, but any type will work, you may just have to do an extra clove.

Super Colossal Garlic Buttered Noodles with Heirloom Tomatoes

1/2 pound spaghetti, cooked

1 stick unsalted butter (1/4 pound)

3 cloves Colossal Garlic sliced thin

3 large Heirloom tomatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

Italian parsley washed and chopped as needed

In a sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter and add the garlic. Sauté until garlic is aromatic but do not over cook. You don't want brown butter. Gently toss together the pasta, garlic butter, tomatoes and parsley. Season to taste and serve.

— Recipe by Tom Fraker for


Meatless Monday recipe of the week: Bow Tie Pasta with Pea Pesto

This Meatless Monday meal is about as green as you can get — fitting for the upcoming Earth Day and the beautifully green days of early spring.

This recipe also happens to leave green in your wallet: fresh or frozen peas are inexpensive and tasty, bow tie pasta can be had on the cheap, and lemons are a good price right now in stores. The most expensive ingredient here happens to be (take your pick) the cheese or the nuts, and you don't need much of either, making their cost a non-issue.

So, enjoy your Meatless Monday with an easy, tasty, green pasta dish that comes together quickly and leaves you with cash in your wallet for next week.

Bow Tie Pasta with Pea Pesto

2 cups fresh or frozen (thawed) peas (divided)

2/3 cup unsalted pistachios or blanched almonds or hazelnuts (divided)

1 small clove garlic

1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (divided)

1/3 cup pistachio oil or extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Grated zest of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground pepper (to taste)

1 pound bow tie pasta (6 cups cooked)

If you're using fresh peas, bring a pan of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the peas for 90 seconds. Drain and plunge the peas into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process. When cool, drain again and transfer 3/4 cup of the peas to a food processor. Reserve the remainder of the peas.

Add 1/3 cup of the nuts and the garlic to the peas in the food processor and process until the mixture is coarsely puréed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the food processor at least once.

Add the ricotta cheese and 2 tablespoons of hot water to the food processor and process again until smooth. Add half of the parmesan, oil, mint, and lemon zest, and process until smooth. Season the pesto to taste with salt and pepper.

Roughly chop the remaining pistachio nuts and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the pasta, and cook according to package directions. Remove and reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid, then drain the pasta in a colander.

Return the pasta to the pot and add the pea pesto. Stir until the pasta is coated, adding some of the reserved pasta water as needed to create a creamy consistency. Stir in the reserved peas and divide the pasta among 6 warm plates. Sprinkle each serving with some of the chopped nuts and the reserved parmesan. Serve immediately.

— Recipe from


Meatless Monday recipe of the week: Jambalasta

Does the snow have you out of sorts? Make you want to hide in bed, only to come out for some warm nourishment — oatmeal, soup, tea?

This dinner is absolutely perfect for this particular Meatless Monday, provided you actually will yourself to the store if you don't have all the ingredients.

A cross between pasta and jambalaya, this meal will keep you warm tonight, that much is sure. The pasta and veggie mixture is warm and comforting and the addition of Cajun seasoning and hot sauce will heat you up from the inside out.

Happy Monday!


4 tablespoons of flour

4 tablespoons of margarine (Earth Balance preferred)

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

1 green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 small or medium onion, finely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tablespoon of Cajun or creole seasoning

1 tablespoon of hot sauce

2/3 cup of soy milk or regular milk

2 tablespoons of vegan or regular cream cheese

1 dash cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon of lemon juice

1 can (14.5 ounces) whole tomatoes

1 pound of whole wheat penne, cooked

4 vegan sausage links

Begin by making a roux: Melt butter in a large pot over low heat and add flour. Stir or whisk mixture constantly for about 15 minutes, until the mix is light brown and smells nutty.

Increase heat to medium and add celery, onion, and pepper and saute until softened. Add garlic and continue cooking another 2-3 minutes.

Add tomatoes, cajun seasoning, cayenne, and hot sauce and mix well. The tomatoes should “melt” so that there aren’t any big chunks.

Whisk in milk and cream cheese, allowing cream cheese to melt. The mixture will become thick and creamy. Stir in lemon juice and reduce heat to low.

Slice vegan sausage into rounds or half-moons, and cook in olive oil or melted Earth Balance until lightly browned.

Add cooked sausage to the pot, and serve over pasta.

Note: If you want to stretch the sauce out a bit to serve more people (or if you just like a thinner sauce) simply add about 2 ladles of the pasta cooking water.

— Recipe adapted from Alison Rohrer for


Meatless Monday recipe of the week: Simple Spinach Stuffed Shells

This Monday happens to be the warmest day of the week with the temperature topping out at 50 degrees.

As the temperature (inevitably) drops, you'll be happy you took advantage of Meatless Monday by using it to make something delicious that can be reheated all week. Thus, you'll be less inclined to give up and order pizza or another warming take-out option if you have these Simple Spinach Stuffed Shells leftover in the fridge.

Warm and comforting, this sophisticated take on a classic Italian dish includes all-star green spinach and adult ingredients like fennel seeds, garlic and basil. The result is something familiar yet different, indulgent yet a bit lighter.

Simple Spinach Stuffed Shells

1 1/4 pounds spinach (2 10-oz bags frozen, or 1 big bunch fresh)

18 ounces low-fat cottage cheese

1 cups shredded Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup for shells plus 1/2 cup for topping)

2 tablespoons washed and chopped fresh basil (or use 2 teaspoons dried basil)

1 tablespoon washed, dried and minced fresh parsley

1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds

4 fresh garlic cloves, peeled and minced

Sea salt & pepper to taste

3 1/2 cups pasta sauce

16 ounces pasta shells (about 32 shells)

If working with dried pasta, cook shells as directed, wash and drain. Prepare spinach (wash, dry and chop fine if fresh; thaw if frozen) and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add cottage cheese, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, fresh basil, parsley, fennel seeds and minced garlic. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend to desired consistency. Taste the mixture and adjust seasonings if needed. Note: Go easy on the sea salt, as cottage cheese is a bit saltier than the classic version of stuffed shells that call for ricotta cheese.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 9x13-inch baking dish, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce to coat the bottom of the dish and to prevent sticking. You may also add a dash of extra virgin olive oil if desired.

Using a serving spoon and clean hands, fill each pasta shell with the spinach mixture. Carefully transfer stuffed shells, filling side up, to the prepared baking dish. Spoon remaining pasta sauce over shells and sprinkle with remaining shredded Parmesan cheese.

Cover the baking dish loosely with foil and bake until heated through, about 30 minutes. Allow the shells to settle for 10 minutes before serving (or else they may be juicy).

— Recipe from


Spaghetti with Creamed Avocado Sauce

So, we’ve had a cold snap. The chill probably won’t be here permanently for a bit, but, boy, it’s amazing how 60 degrees on the thermometer makes us all raid the hot chocolate stash after a blistering summer.

This pasta dish hits all the right notes in cool (or cold) weather, plus it’s creamy, healthy and gets you a good helping of veggie. too.

Now, tonight isn’t supposed to be the coolest night of the week, but you’re pretty good at playing pretend, aren’t you? If not, check this blog for some of our other Meatless Monday suggestions and save this one for a really cool night.

Spaghetti with Creamed Avocado Sauce

3 ripe avocados

3 1/2 cups of fresh spinach — 2 cups whole, 1 1/2 cup chopped, separated

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1 large vine-riped tomato, sliced

3 cloves fresh garlic

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

1/4 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of salt

1 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice

1/2 cup margarine

1/4 cup of plain soy milk

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1 pound of 100-percent durum wheat spaghetti noodles, cooked and strained

2 tablespoons of dried basil

1/2 teaspoon of salt

6 tablespoons of pistachios, chopped

6 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

Salt and pepper, to taste

In a food processor, combine the avocados, 2 cups spinach, cucumber, tomato and garlic; mix until creamy.

Add the turmeric, paprika, salt and lemon juice; mix until creamy and set aside.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter into the soy milk and cider vinegar.

Once melted, add cooked spaghetti noodles, basil and salt; mix for 2-3 minutes, or until the noodles are coated with the sauce.

Divide noodles evenly between six plates.

Layer, in this order: fresh chopped spinach, avocado sauce, pistachios, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper.

— Recipe from Ashlae Warner for