Posts tagged ‘pasta’

20 minute Pasta Dinner

This is something I threw together quickly one night. It helps to use the convenience of some frozen veggies. When I cook pasta, I often don’t use the whole thing at once, so I often sometimes freeze the cooked and unused portion. Then the most I have to do is pop it in the boiling water to reheat and use immediately. Saves time! Not really a recipe, but this is what I did:

  • Spaghetti noodles (previously cooked and frozen. or cook it fresh)
  • Broccoli (frozen)
  • Spinach (frozen)
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped garlic
  • 1 shallot sliced thinly
  • Crushed or broken red chillies
  • Sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Feta cheese, crumbled, optional
  • Nutritional yeast- optional (great for adding vitamins to a veggie diet)
  • Panko breadcrumbs (a TBS or two)
  • Italian dried herb blend
  • Salt to taste

Bring a cup or two of water to boil. Add in the broccoli and cook till done. Then add the spinach and spaghetti. Once those are thawed and warm, turn off the heat and drain.

In the meantime, heat a saute pan and add olive oil. Then shallot, garlic, red chillies until slightly browned. Add sundried tomatoes… Then the veggie/noodles, stir well. Heat another tsp of oil and add to it the italian herb blend, then the panko bread crumbs and heat until they are toasty. Sprinkle on top of the noodles, along with nutritional yeast and feta cheese. Voila!

This is my entry for Presto Pasta Night hosted this week by The crispy cook.

And also for Vegetarian Foodie Fridays.

Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

This is not macaroni and cheese. I refuse to call it that. I have never liked mac n cheese. I think I have something against those elbow shapes, for no apparent reason. So to my mind, this is pasta with a cheese sauce or if I want it to sound extra fancy, I will call it mornay (french cheese sauce). Now, I always add veggies to my pasta, and sometimes beans or chickpeas too, so its not that much of a stretch to add in some pumpkin. It gives the sauce a lovely color too, adds fiber and nutrients, and allows me to use less cheese and milk to get the creamy consistency. It even gives a hint of sweetness. Now onto the recipe for mac… I mean, well, you know.

This recipe makes four servings. Here is what I did:

  • 2TBS butter
  • 2Tbs flour
  • 1c milk
  • 1/2c pumpkin liquid (or use more milk)
  • 1TBS dijon or wholegrain prepared mustard
  • 1/2tsp turmeric (do you know about turmerics health benefits? Throw some in everything!)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder or cayenne
  • 1/2c pumpkin puree
  • salt to taste and lots of pepper
  • a little grated nutmeg
  • 4 oz cheese, grated(I used this cheddar-gruyere blend that I found at Trader Joes)
  • 2 c (or half a bag) of pasta – I used fuscilli

Optional Topping:

  • 2oz cheese- grated
  • 2TBS butter
  • 3TBS panko breadcrumbs

Boil the pasta in water as directed.

In the meantime, start to make the sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan, once melted add in the flour. Stir it around and get out any lumps. Let the flour cook in the butter for a couple minutes. This is called a roux and thickens the sauce. Then whisk in the milk/liquid slowly. Add in the mustard and spices. Let the mixture boil until it is thickened (enough to coat the back of a spoon). Then mix in the pumpkin and the cheese. Once melted, turn off the heat.

Drain the pasta and mix it into the sauce. At this point you could serve this as is. But if you want to go fancier, not to mention add the delectable crispy crust (which just might be the best part) continue on.

Preheat the oven to 375 while making your sauce. Melt the butter and mix with the breadcrumbs. Spoon the pasta into an oven proof baking dish. Top with some shredded cheese and then the breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 mins or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. We love to have this with hot sauce or pesto.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

I am submitting this to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays 🙂

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