Category Archives: Pasta – main course

Linguine with Zucchini and Chickpeas

When zucchini are in season, this is one of my favorite (and easy!) recipes to make. I always have pasta on-hand, and almost always have chickpeas, so all I need are zucchini! Enjoy!

Linguine with Zucchini and Chickpeas

Adapted from Real Simple, Aug 2009
Serves 4

8 oz dry whole wheat linguine
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 small zucchini, cut into thin half-moons (about 2 cups)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
15 oz canned chickpeas, rinsed & drained (or use 1 1/2 cup home-cooked chickpeas)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 oz finely grated parmesan

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water, drain, and return the pasta to the pot.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini and salt.

3. Cook the zucchini, tossing often, until just tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Add the chickpeas, garlic, and red pepper and cook until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes.

5. Toss the pasta with the reserved pasta water and 1/2 of the Parmesan.

6. Divide the pasta among bowls and top with the zucchini mixture and the remaining Parmesan.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 395.9
Total Fat: 8.1 g
Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 4.3 g
Cholesterol: 5.6 mg
Sodium: 544.0 mg
Potassium: 606.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 65.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 10.3 g
Sugars: 3.5 g
Protein: 15.1 g


Homemade Pasta

Ever since we got our Kitchenaid mixer, one of the first attachments we *really* wanted was the pasta roller/cutter attachment. And ever since we’ve had the attachment, we have had lots of fun making pasta at home. And John has become the pasta-making expert in the household as a result!

This is the base recipe to make any shape of pasta. We started off making whole wheat pasta, but we’ve also had success making white pasta using the same recipe (just with all-purpose flour instead of whole wheat). Both types can be made into spaghetti, fettuccine, ravioli, lasagna, and on and on… Serve it with your favorite sauce, and enjoy!

Homemade Pasta (whole wheat)
Recipe from Kitchenaid
Yield: 1 1/4 pounds dough
Number of Servings: 10 (2 oz each)

4 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
3 1/2 cups sifted whole wheat pastry flour (**Note** – to make white pasta, just sub all-purpose flour – we use Ultragrain)
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place eggs, water, whole wheat flour, and salt in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn to Speed 2 and mix 30 seconds.

Exchange flat beater for dough hook. Turn to Speed 2 and knead 2 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and hand knead for 2 minutes. Divide dough into eight pieces before processing with Pasta Sheet Roller attachment. Wrap pasta dough in plastic wrap. Let rest at least 30 min (or for a few hours in the fridge).

To Roll Pasta:
1. Cut dough into about 8-10 pieces about 3/8 inch (1 cm) thick. Flatten each piece slightly.

2. Set adjustment knob on Pasta Sheet. Roller at 1 by pulling the knob straight out and turning to setting 1. Release knob, making certain pin on roller housing engages opening on the back of the knob, allowing the knob to fit flush to the roller housing.

3. Turn mixer to Speed 2 or 4. Feed flattened piece of dough into rollers to knead. Fold dough in half and roll again. Repeat folding and kneading process several times, or until dough is smooth and pliable. Lightly dust pasta with flour while rolling and cutting to aid in drying and separation. Knead and fold each piece of dough in the same manner.

4. Move adjustment knob to setting 2. Feed dough through rollers to further flatten. Change to setting 3 and feed dough through rollers again. Continue to increase roller setting until desired dough thickness is reached. Cut or press into desired shape (with cutter or by hand).

To Cook Pasta:
Add 2 teaspoons salt to 6 quarts boiling water. Gradually add pasta and continue to cook at a boil until pasta is “al dente” or slightly firm to the bite, about 6 minutes. Pasta floats to the top of the water while cooking, so stir occasionally to keep it cooking evenly. Drain in a colander. Serve with your favorite sauce.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 170.1
Total Fat: 2.8 g
Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.9 g
Cholesterol: 74.0 mg
Sodium: 144.3 mg
Potassium: 28.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 30.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 5.1 g
Sugars: 0.0 g
Protein: 8.1 g

For white pasta (sub Ultragrain all-purpose flour for whole wheat):
Calories: 182.8
Total Fat: 2.6 g
Saturated Fat: 0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.7 g
Cholesterol: 74.4 mg
Sodium: 144.7 mg
Potassium: 27.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 31.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
Sugars: 1.5 g
Protein: 8.1 g

Eggplant Marinara Pasta Casserole

At this time of year, with lots of fresh produce available (especially eggplant!), this is the perfect comfort food. It doesn’t take too much work, and it has lots of flavor. Enjoy!

Eggplant Marinara Pasta Casserole
Adapted from Cooking Light, Aug 2008
Serves 8

6 cups (1/2-inch) cubed eggplant (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
Cooking spray
1 ounce capocollo, chopped
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
16 ounces uncooked whole wheat penne (tube-shaped pasta)
2 ounces shredded fontina-asiago cheese
1 ounce panko (about 1/2 cup)

1. Arrange eggplant on a mesh tray. Sprinkle eggplant with 1 teaspoon kosher salt; let stand 15 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels.

2. Preheat oven to 450°.

3. Arrange eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring after 15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet; cool.

4. Cook capocollo in a Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp. Add onion, oil, and garlic to pan; cook 6 minutes or until onion is lightly browned, stirring frequently. Add wine to pan; cook until liquid evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Stir in basil, oregano, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; partially cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in eggplant.

5. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking water. Add pasta and reserved 1/4 cup cooking water to tomato mixture; stir well. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with fontina-asiago cheese.

6. Sprinkle panko evenly over fontina. Spritz with olive oil (I use my misto).

7. Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 297.2
Total Fat: 5.8 g
Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.9 g
Cholesterol: 11.5 mg
Sodium: 511.8 mg
Potassium: 200.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 55.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 9.0 g
Sugars: 3.4 g
Protein: 11.0 g

Pasta with Arugula Pesto

I love arugula in recipes, but I usually only need a small amount for a salad or pizza (or something similar). So, I usually need to make something with the rest of the arugula, since at my stores they sell it in 5 oz bags (which seems to be WAY too much for a typical recipe). A few years ago, I came across this recipe in Cooking Light. The great thing about this pesto is that you can freeze it (I tend to freeze all pesto!), so you can always make it and freeze the extra before the rest of the arugula goes bad in the fridge! Enjoy!

Pasta with Arugula Pesto
Adapted from Cooking Light, Linguine with Arugula Pesto, April 2009
Serves 6

1 tablespoon walnuts, toasted
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 cups loosely packed arugula
2 cups loosely packed basil leaves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 oz freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese

12 oz whole wheat pasta, cooked according to package directions.

Place 1 tablespoon walnuts and garlic in a food processor; process until minced. Add arugula and the next 6 ingredients (through cheese), and process until well combined. Toss with pasta and serve hot.

Nutritional info (pesto alone, per serving):
Calories: 76.1
Total Fat: 6.9 g
Saturated Fat: 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.9 g
Cholesterol: 3.7 mg
Sodium: 381.7 mg
Potassium: 106.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 1.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.8 g
Sugars: 0.2 g
Protein: 2.7 g

Nutritional info (plus pasta):
Calories: 266.1
Total Fat: 7.9 g
Saturated Fat: 1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat:1.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.9 g
Cholesterol: 3.7 mg
Sodium: 391.7 mg
Potassium: 106.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 35.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.8 g
Sugars: 0.2 g
Protein: 11.7 g

Cauliflower Alfredo

We found this recipe recently, and I was intrigued… I’m not usually a fan of substituting traditional ingredients by “hiding” cauliflower in a recipe, but this recipe also featured both cauliflower and broccoli, which we both like. So, we decided to give it a try. The result? This was fantastic, and we will definitely be making this again! We made it by itself this time, but I’m sure that chicken or shrimp would work well with it, too! Enjoy!

Cauliflower Alfredo

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light, April 2016
Serves 4

8 ounces uncooked whole-wheat fettuccine
3 cups chopped broccoli
3 cups chopped cauliflower, divided
1 1/4 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
3 garlic cloves
2/3 cup skim milk
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli and 1 cup cauliflower during last 2 minutes of cooking; drain.

2. Place flour in a large saucepan. Gradually add stock, stirring constantly with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Add remaining 2 cups cauliflower and garlic. Bring to a boil; cook 15 minutes or until very tender. Add milk, butter, pepper, juice, salt, and 1 ounce cheese. Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce until smooth.

3. Return cauliflower mixture to pan over low heat. Add pasta mixture and lemon rind; toss well to coat noodles. Sprinkle with remaining 1 ounce cheese. Serve immediately.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 361.2
Total Fat: 9.5 g
Saturated Fat: 5.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 2.4 g
Cholesterol: 22.1 mg
Sodium: 464.2 mg
Potassium: 538.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 54.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.6 g
Sugars: 5.4 g
Protein: 18.5 g

Zucchini, Sausage, and Feta Casserole

I love zucchini, and usually in the summer we need LOTS of different recipes to use it! We’ve been making this recipe for years, and it really tastes great, and even freezes well! Enjoy!

Zucchini, Sausage, and Feta Casserole

Adapted from Cooking Light, July 2007
Serves 6

2 1/2 cups uncooked whole wheat penne (8 oz)
8 ounces ground turkey breast with 1/2 Tbsp italian sausage seasoning
Cooking spray
1 Tbsp olive oil
5 cups thinly sliced zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups vertically sliced onion (about 1)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour*
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled fat-free feta cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400°.

Cook pasta in boiling water 5 minutes, omitting salt and fat; drain.

Heat a large nonstick skillet with 1/2 Tbsp oil over medium-high heat. Add ground meat and sausage seasoning to pan; cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Remove from pan. Heat oil in pan. Add zucchini, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and zucchini begins to brown, stirring occasionally.

Combine broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add broth mixture to pan; cook 1 minute. Combine zucchini mixture, pasta, sausage, and feta cheese in a large bowl; toss well. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 250.8
Total Fat: 3.6 g
Saturated Fat: 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1.7 g
Cholesterol: 20.4 mg
Sodium: 871.4 mg
Potassium: 450.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 40.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.9 g
Sugars: 3.2 g
Protein: 19.0 g

Pasta with garbanzos, tomatoes, feta, and mint

Ever since I discovered them, I think that garbanzo beans (i.e. chickpeas) have been one of my favorite beans. They are SO versatile – they work well with so many different flavors & preparations. I tried this recipe because it combines two of my loves – chickpeas AND orecchiette – my favorite shape of pasta! This is a tasty, easy recipe that everyone loves! Enjoy!

Pasta with garbanzos, tomatoes, feta, and mint
Adapted from Bon Appetit, Aug 2005
Serves 8

1 pound whole wheat orecchiette (ear-shaped pasta), or other medium-sized whole wheat pasta

1 pound Golden Grape or cherry tomatoes (scant 4 cups), halved
8 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint plus sprigs for garnish
1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus sprigs for garnish
2 garlic cloves, minced

1 15 -ounce can salt-free garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained, patted dry
4 ounces fat-free feta cheese, coarsely crumbled

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain.

Meanwhile, combine tomatoes, 2 tablespoons (6 teaspoons) olive oil, chopped mint, green onions, chopped cilantro, and garlic in large bowl. Season to taste with salt.

Heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add garbanzo beans and sauté until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Add garbanzo beans and pasta to tomato mixture in bowl; toss to coat. Add feta; toss briefly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with mint and cilantro sprigs. Serve warm or let stand at room temperature up to 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.)

**Note** For a milder garlic flavor, cook the minced garlic with the garbanzo beans instead of using raw.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 326.6
Total Fat: 5.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 406.4 mg
Total Carbs: 59.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.3 g
Protein: 12.4 g

Butternut Squash and Sage Orzo

I love, love, love butternut squash, and I am always looking for new ways to use it. Since winter squash are almost out-of-season, I realized that I needed to make another butternut squash recipe before they were gone! And, luckily, my herb garden has survived the many freezes we’ve had this winter, so I had plenty of fresh sage on-hand. This is definitely one of our favorites!

Butternut sage orzo - done

Butternut Squash and Sage Orzo
Adapted from Bon Appétit, March 1998
Serves 6

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 2-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
4 cups canned low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup whole wheat orzo
1 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

Heat oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add butternut squash and stir to coat. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth and wine. Simmer until squash is almost tender and liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 3 1/2 cups broth to boil in heavy saucepan. Add orzo. Boil until tender but still firm to bite, about 8 minutes. Drain orzo if necessary.

Transfer orzo to large bowl. Stir in butternut squash mixture, then Parmesan and sage. Season with salt and pepper.

**Notes**: If orzo is not available, another small whole wheat pasta can be used. Additionally, ½ cup broth can be substituted in place of white wine.

Nutritional info:
Calories: 195.6
Total Fat: 6.4 g
Saturated Fat: 1.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 3.7 g
Cholesterol: 3.7 mg
Sodium: 189.2 mg
Potassium: 452.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 28.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.5 g
Sugars: 1.3 g
Protein: 5.1 g

Meat Lasagna

I love lasagna! It’s so homey and cozy – the perfect comfort food meal! And although the assembly takes a few minutes, it makes enough for many meals (and freezes well, too!).

Meat Lasagna
A Karen original recipe (with inspiration from several sources!)
Serves 12

9 sheets whole wheat lasagna (Archer Farms)

1 lb 93% lean ground beef
Spray olive oil (such as misto)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup diced onion
1 Tbsp italian seasoning (salt-free)
pinch red pepper flakes

1 jar (25oz) fat-free pasta or marinara sauce (365 brand)
1 can (14 oz) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1 container (15oz) fat free ricotta
1 container (16 oz) fat free cottage cheese
1 egg
salt & pepper

8 oz (2 cups) shredded fat-free mozzarella (I use a block and shred it myself), or low-fat mozzarella
spray olive oil (such as misto)

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a large skillet with olive oil and brown meat with garlic, onion, italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, paste, & basil. Stir mixture into cooked meat mixture.

In a medium bowl, mix ricotta & cottage cheeses, egg, salt, & pepper.

In a 13×9 inch pan, start by covering the bottom of the pan with meat/tomato mixture (about 1/2 cup maximum). Then add a layer of 3 noodles, then dollops of cheese mixture, then a coating of meat/tomato sauce, then a handful of mozzarella. Repeat for 2 more layers, reserving some sauce to top the entire lasagna. After covering with reserved sauce, sprinkle remaining mozzarella, then spray with olive oil.

Cover pan with foil and bake for about 1 hour 15 min, until bubbly (may want to put over a lined cookie sheet, to catch any spills).

Let rest 5-10 minutes, then cut into 12 servings.

**Note** To make ahead (and freeze), make lasagna in 3 foil loaf pans – use same directions as above, just divide each step among the 3 loaf pans. Cover with foil and freeze. To bake (from frozen), place one or more of the frozen lasagnas on a lined cookie sheet and bake at 400 for 1.5 hours. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, then divide the contents of each loaf pan into 4 servings.

Nutritional info (fat free mozzarella):
Calories: 235.3
Total Fat: 3.6 g
Saturated Fat: 1.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 51.9 mg
Sodium: 749.6 mg
Potassium: 293.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 23.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
Sugars: 5.7 g
Protein: 27.9 g

Nutritional info (low-fat mozzarella):
Calories: 258.6
Total Fat: 7.6 g
Saturated Fat: 3.7 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 58.6 mg
Sodium: 676.2 mg
Potassium: 293.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 22.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
Sugars: 5.7 g
Protein: 27.2 g

Zucchini and Basil Lasagna

Although we’re transitioning to fall, there are still quite a few zucchini available at our stores and farmer’s markets. I stocked up to make a few recipes, and this one is one of the best for freezing the leftovers (I often take it for lunch!). It’s a great recipe for using up any extra zucchini while you can still find it!

Zucchini and Basil Lasagna
Adapted from Cooking Light, April 2003
Serves 9

1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
1 cup fat-free ricotta
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 large egg
Cooking spray
4 cups chopped zucchini (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 1/2 cups bottled fat-free pasta sauce (I use 365 brand fat-free sauce, or you could use homemade)
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
9 oven-ready whole wheat lasagna noodles (I used Archer Farms brand from Target)
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth. (I use my immersion blender, but either will work.)

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and onion; saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in sauce and red pepper flake; remove from heat.

Spread 1/4 cup zucchini mixture in bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over zucchini mixture; top with one-third cheese mixture, one third zucchini mixture, and one third mozzarella.

Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake and additional 15 minutes or until lasagna is thoroughly heated.

**Note** This freezes well, so it is a great way to use extra zucchini and basil in the summer (and then enjoy it later!).

Nutritional information:
Calories: 170.1
Total Fat: 1.0 g
Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 30.6 mg
Sodium: 275.1 mg
Potassium: 253.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 26.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g
Sugars: 7.3 g
Protein: 15.2 g