Pasta is one of the most popular staples. You probably ate spaghetti and meatballs as a kid, or perhaps you preferred mac and cheese. Well, regardless of the traditional pasta meal you shared with your family years ago, you don’t have to give this carb up completely! The following are a few classy and healthy ways to use your favorite types of pasta.
Whole Wheat Linguine with Saffron and Roasted Peppers (courtesy of Health.com)
- 8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat linguine
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, cut into thin rings
- 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup (1 1/2- x 1/4-inch) strips jarred roasted red bell peppers
- 2 teaspoons capers, drained
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 20 large curls Parmesan cheese removed with a vegetable peeler (2 ounces)
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid; drain.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saffron; cook until onions are softened (about 5 minutes), stirring frequently.
3. Add garlic; cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds), stirring constantly. Stir in bell peppers, capers, vinegar, thyme, salt, and pepper; cook until heated through (about 3 minutes), stirring occasionally.
4. Add the pasta and the reserved pasta liquid to sauce in the skillet; cook until heated through (about 2 minutes), stirring constantly. Transfer mixture to serving bowls; top with Parmesan curls. Serve immediately.
Roasted Butternut Squash Ravioli (courtesy of grouprecipes.com)
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of sage
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound of Fresh pasta Dough
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Wash and cut the squash in half lengthwise
3. Roast the squash face down for about (1 hour and 15 minutes), allow to cool.
4. Meanwhile, heat oil in pan and add onion, shallot and sage, cooking for about 5-7 minutes until onions are tender.
5. If the onions are too chunky – chop in food processor, then set aside.
6. Scoop squash from skins with a spoon, and mash in a large bowl. Then add the onion mixture and salt and pepper.
7. Divide the dough into 8 pieces. Roll each piece through pasta machine as directed, until it is at its thinnest setting. With each piece of dough, place rounded teaspoons of filling 3/4 of an inch apart down one side of the dough – then fold it over and carefully seal each ravioli, getting all the air out. Immediately, cut into individual pieces and place on floured surface to rest/dry for 10-30 minutes.
8. Refrigerate four up to 24 hours, or freeze to use later.
Farfalle with Watercress, Cherry Tomatoes, and Feta (courtesy of fitnessmagazine.com)
- 8 ounces farfalle pasta
- 1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 cups watercress leaves (from 2 small bunches)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Place the cheese in a large bowl; top with the watercress.
3. Before draining the pasta, take 1/4 cup of the cooking water from the pot and pour it over the watercress. (Watercress will wilt slightly and cheese will get soft.)
4. Place the tomatoes in a colander.
5. Drain the pasta over the tomatoes for a super-quick blanch.
6. Toss with the watercress and cheese; sprinkle with pepper comma and serve.
Mediterranean Chicken and Pasta
- 1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
- 1 7-ounce jar roasted red peppers, drained and cut into strips
- 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 3 cups hot cooked campanelle or penne pasta
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
1. Drain artichoke hearts, reserving marinade, and chop them.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add chicken and garlic.
3. Cook and stir until chicken is brown.
4. Add the reserved artichoke marinade, broth, wine and dried oregano.
5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Stir in chopped artichokes, roasted peppers, and olives.
6. To serve, spoon chicken mixture over pasta. If desired, sprinkle with feta cheese.
Ziti with Tomato-Pesto Sauce (courtesy of allrecipes.com)
- 12 ounces ziti pasta
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 (26 ounce) jar tomato basil pasta sauce
- Pinch of Salt
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add ziti pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-low heat, mix together the pesto and basil tomato sauce. Bring to a simmer, and season with salt to taste. Microwave instructions: cook on high for one minute.
3. Place pasta in a large serving bowl. Toss with pesto-tomato sauce. Top with grated Parmesan cheese.
Each of these recipes is made with a different type of pasta and are healthier spins on traditional Italian pasta dishes. They make great dinner party entrees! Learn how to properly store the leftovers with this helpful article.
Want to learn how to make more Italian dishes? Check out this article on how to make lasagna!
Don’t forget to let us know how you like your pasta dish and find more recipes on the College Lifestyles™ nutrition page!