These days I’m all about getting the most out of my cooking. I love it when I find a recipe that not only feeds us for two nights in a row, but also freezes well. Investing time in the kitchen is even more rewarding when there is a big payoff, and in my world a quick meal that just needs heating up on a busy weeknight is a pretty big payoff. This cheesy spinach stuffed shells recipe makes a lot, plus it’s hard to go wrong with cheesy pasta. I don’t make special “kid meals” for Julia and William- they either eat what we’re eating as a family or they don’t. But it is nice when dinner is something that they love and enjoy, and these were enjoyed by all.
If you love cheese, then these shells are for you. Filled with a mixture of four cheeses and spinach, and then topped with marinara and grated mozzarella, these shells are totally cheesy and totally delicious. The cottage cheese works surprisingly well in the filling, making them a bit healthier without you noticing at all. When I make these, we get two meals out of them, plus I freeze a third of the shells for a later meal. These shells are so good and so easy to make, that they’ve gotten me thinking about other stuffed shell possibilities… maybe with even more veggies inside?
Cheesy Spinach Stuffed Shells
Makes about 8 servings
- 12 oz. box jumbo shells
- 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
- 12 oz. cottage cheese
- 1 cup Italian blend grated cheese
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- Dash of ground nutmeg
- 10 oz. box frozen spinach, defrosted with liquid rung out
- 24 oz. jar marinara sauce
- 1 ½ cups grated Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions for just shy of al dente. You want to be sure that they don’t overcook or they will fall apart when you fill them. Drain and lay the shells out on a sheet of parchment paper. Let cool while you make the filling.
- In a large bowl, combine the ricotta, cottage cheese, Italian blend cheese, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in the defrosted, drained spinach.
- Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray, as well as a smaller baking dish (I like to use a freezer-safe baking dish so that I can freeze part of the shells). Spoon about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture into each shell and lay seam side up in the baking dishes. Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. (If you are freezing part of the shells to save for a later meal, leave them unbaked and make sure they are completely cool, then cover the shells with plastic wrap, pressing it down close to the shells. Cover the dish with a lid and freeze. Defrost for a day in the fridge and then bake as usual.)
Source: Slightly adapted from Eat, Live, Run.
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This weekend we celebrated William’s 1st birthday with a barbecue at our house, and I made this pasta salad to go along with our burgers and other side dishes. Pasta salad is always a hit with my family, and this time I wanted to try something new. Of course, I waited until Friday night to search for a recipe, but I found this one right away and knew it would be perfect. (I also waited until Friday night to decide on a birthday cake recipe, and that one turned out to be a great find as well. I’ll be sharing it soon, along with some pictures from the party!)
Aside from being addictively yummy, pasta salad is a great entertaining dish because it’s easy to make, and it’s best made the night before, freeing you up to do other things on party day. This Greek pasta salad is full of flavor, with bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, kalamata olives, and feta cheese all tossed in a Greek dressing. A number of our party guests requested the recipe, and I think it’s my new favorite pasta salad. I’m pretty confident that this is going to be my go-to pasta salad recipe from now on.
Greek Pasta Salad
Makes 10-12 side dish servings
For the Dressing:
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
For the Salad:
- 1 lb. dried rotini pasta
- 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¾ cup Kalamata olives, halved lengthwise
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water; set aside to cool completely.
- In a Mason jar or other sealable container, combine all of the dressing ingredients. Shake well to combine.
- In a large bowl, combine the cooked, cooled pasta, cucumber, bell peppers, tomatoes, green onions, and olives.
- Reserve ½ cup of the dressing in the refrigerator. Toss the pasta salad with the rest of the dressing until evenly coated. Cover and chill overnight.
- Right before serving, add in the feta and some of the reserved dressing, to taste, tossing to mix well. Season with additional pepper, to taste, if needed.
Source: Adapted from My Baking Addiction.
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I try my best to make sure that our family eats plenty of fruits and vegetables. The fruit part is easy, but it’s the vegetables that make this task a little more challenging. While William has enjoyed just about every vegetable we’ve given to him, Julia is a different story. She will eat a few bites of cucumber and broccoli, and that’s about it (unless you count tomatoes, which are technically a fruit). I was hopeful that she would like this broccoli pesto pasta, since she does like broccoli (sort of), and she did!
Our whole family loved this pasta, and I know it is one of those recipes that I will make again and again. I made the full recipe, and we enjoyed the leftovers for dinner the second night and lunch on the third day. This is a one-pot meal (plus you’ll need a food processor or blender) because you cook the broccoli, pasta, and then aromatics in the same pot, which helps with dish clean-up. Be sure to serve the pasta with some freshly grated Parmesan, and be ready to add this healthy recipe to your list of keepers!
Broccoli Pesto Pasta
Makes about 8 servings
- 1 lb. broccoli
- 1 lb. pasta
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Grated Parmesan, for serving
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, chop the broccoli crowns into florets. Use a vegetable peeler or knife to remove the tough outer skins of the broccoli stems, and chop the stems into 1/2-inch discs. When the water is boiling, add the broccoli and boil briefly just until fork-tender, about 3-4 minutes. (Or, you can place a steamer basket above the water and steam the broccoli until fork-tender.) Remove broccoli to a bowl, leaving the water in the pot.
- Maintain the water at a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Reserve 1 ½ cups of the pasta water and then drain the pasta; set aside.
- Return the pot to the stove. Add the butter and olive oil to the pot over medium-high heat, heating until the butter is melted. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and cook 1-2 minutes more. Return the cooked broccoli to the pan and cook 1-2 minutes more to heat through. Season with pepper to taste.
- Transfer the broccoli mixture to a food processor or blender. Pulse in short bursts, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is finely chopped. Add in the Greek yogurt and process until smooth. If needed, add some of the reserved pasta water a little bit at a time just until the sauce is smooth and creamy (be careful not to add too much or the sauce will be watery). Season with freshly ground pepper to taste. In a large bowl or the pot, toss the pasta with the sauce. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
Source: Slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen, via Annie’s Eats.
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Pasta. Cheese. Breadcrumbs. Roasted red peppers. Eggplant. Do I have your attention yet? (Or did I lose you with the eggplant?) Even if eggplant isn’t one of your favorite things, I’ll bet you’ll love this baked pasta. The eggplant is cooked perfectly and almost melts into the sauce, which is an amazing combination of roasted red peppers and fire roasted tomatoes. As we were eating this for dinner, we kept saying this is one of the best pastas we’ve made recently. And then we said it all over again the next night while eating the leftovers.
The original recipe calls for making this a one-pot dish by using an oven-safe skillet to brown the eggplant and cook the sauce and pasta. Then you can transfer the whole skillet to the oven to melt the cheese and brown the panko topping. While I always appreciate efforts to save extra dishes that need to be washed, I decided to transfer the pasta mixture to a separate baking dish before finishing it off in the oven to make storing the leftovers easier.
If you have some fresh basil on hand, sprinkle it on the top of the baked pasta right before serving. I didn’t have any, so that’s why my photo is lacking that pop of green. Either way, this cheesy baked pasta is definitely a keeper.
Cheesy Baked Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Eggplant
Makes 6-8 servings
- 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 16 oz. jar roasted red peppers, rinsed, patted dry, and coarsely chopped (or 2 roasted red peppers if roasting your own)
- 1 1/2 lbs. eggplant, chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. minced fresh oregano, or 1/4 tsp. dried
- 1/8-1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 cups water
- 12 ounces pasta shapes, such as rotini
- 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced thin
- 2-3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 375 degrees F. Toss the panko with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and then toss with 1/2 cup of the Parmesan.
- Meanwhile, pulse the tomatoes and roasted red peppers in a food processor until coarsely ground and no large pieces remain, about 10 pulses.
- Line a large plate with a double layer of paper towels. Toss the eggplant in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and then spread it out over the plate. Microwave uncovered, about 10 minutes, tossing halfway through. The eggplant should be dry and starting to shrivel. Let it cool slightly, then transfer it back to the bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a 12-inch skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the eggplant and cook until well browned and tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Return to the bowl.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Saute the garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the tomato mixture and increase the heat to medium-high. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of water and the pasta. Cover and cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
- If the sauce seems too thick, stir in the remaining 1/2 cup water. Add the remaining 1 cup Parmesan and the eggplant, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and then transfer to an oven-safe baking dish. Top with the slices of mozzarella and sprinkle with the panko mixture. Bake until the topping is well-browned and the cheese is melted, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle fresh basil over the top and serve.
Source: adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, Pasta Revolution, via Pink Parsley
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Today at lunch Julia declared, “I.do.not.like.tomatoes!” (dramatic pause in between each word), and then a few minutes later proceeded to eat about 20 or so orange cherry tomatoes, asking for seconds and then thirds. This is also the girl who will eat tomato after tomato straight off the vine in her grandmother’s garden. Three years old is certainly an age when kids are asserting their independence, so she just needed to eat those tomatoes on her own terms, not Mommy’s.
I’m with Julia on her love of fresh cherry tomatoes, whether they be eaten straight off the vine or roasted as in this pasta. This dish is reminiscent of caprese salad, as it combines tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil into a delicious pasta. I used whole wheat pasta because that’s pretty much all I buy these days, but feel free to use whatever you enjoy.
One year ago: Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes and Grilled Potatoes in Foil Packets
Penne with Roasted Tomatoes and Mozzarella
Makes 4 servings
- 1 1/2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- 8 oz. whole wheat penne
- 6 oz. fresh mozzarella, cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Toss tomatoes with garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in an oven safe pan and roast for 20-25 minutes, until tomatoes begin to burst.
- Cook pasta in boiling, salted water according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, and then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
- Add a few splashes of pasta water to the pasta in the pot, then the mozzarella, tomatoes and garlic. Lightly toss, top with chopped fresh basil, and serve.
Source: Very slightly adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride.
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I know many of you might be feeling done with summer heat and ready for fall. I’m still enjoying summer and hoping it will stay around a little longer. I love the sunshine (not ready for those overcast days!) and being able to eat and play outdoors without worrying about jackets and long pants. I love summer fruits and vegetables, cooking dinner on the grill, and spending the evening outside.
Another reason I’m wishing summer would stick around for awhile? Next week I’ll be back to teaching after my maternity leave, and I’m just not feeling ready to leave these little sweethearts yet.
Before the season ends, I’m trying to enjoy fresh summer tomatoes and basil to their fullest, and this orzo salad is a great way to do that. Pasta salad is a great side dish to have with all sorts of summer meals, particularly those prepared on the grill. It can be prepared ahead of time, even the day before, and is actually best that way as the flavors have a chance to meld together. If you do prepare this salad a day ahead, I recommend waiting and adding the basil and mint right before serving. I hope you are able to enjoy more of whatever it is you love about summer, as fall will be here before we know it!
One year ago: Dark Chocolate Brownies
Orzo Pasta Salad with Tomatoes, Basil, & Mint
Makes 8-10 side dish servings
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups water
- 12 oz. (about 1 1/2 cups) orzo
- 1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups grape and/or cherry tomatoes (halve all but the smallest ones)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Scant 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- Salt and pepper
For the vinaigrette:
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a medium saucepan, bring the broth and water to a boil. Add the orzo and cook, stirring frequently, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 7 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl and toss until the orzo cools slightly. Set aside to cool completely.
- Prepare the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until well combined. Set aside.
- Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, red onion, basil, and mint to the bowl with the orzo. Toss together with the vinaigrette and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve salad chilled or at room temperature.
Source: Adapted from Giada’s Family Dinners
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Are you growing a garden this summer? We have a few tomato plants that are doing well, and some basil that’s not doing so great. We also have a few strawberry plants that have produced about 5 strawberries total (so much fun for Julia even though we won’t be making any strawberry pies with homegrown strawberries anytime soon). I really wish we had a bigger garden, and we’re working on putting up a planter box on our side yard. In the meantime, we’re lucky that my parents share with us. They’ve grown some delicious green and yellow squash, and they shared a few more with us this past weekend so I made them into this pasta dish.
My favorite way to prepare summer squash is grilling, usually on my grill pan because it’s easier for me than using the outdoor grill. To make this pasta, I grilled the squash and tossed it together with some whole wheat penne, baby arugula, and cheese. I had some leftover smoked gouda in my fridge that I needed to use up, so I cut it into small cubes and tossed it with the pasta. It worked ok, but I think mozzarella would be a better choice, as the smokey flavor was a bit too pronounced for the pasta. Fresh mozzarella would be especially tasty.
I love simple meals like this, because they’re both easy and a great way to use up ingredients that you have in your fridge. Pasta is great for mixing in whatever vegetables, cheeses, beans, etc. that you enjoy and need to use up. This meal is both nutritious and flavorful, and perfect for a weeknight dinner.
One year ago: Mississippi Mud Pie
Pasta with Grilled Summer Squash
Makes 6 servings
- 10 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 3 ounces (about 1/2 cup) mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes (or any cheese that you enjoy and have on hand)
- 2 large or 3 medium summer squash, such as zucchini and yellow squash, sliced lengthwise into 3/4 inch thick slices
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add the arugula and mozzarella to the bowl with the pasta.
- Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush both sides of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until the squash begin to get soft, about 4 minutes per side. Place the squash on a plate to cool slightly and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Place the squash in the bowl with the pasta.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Parmesan, and toss to mix. Serve.
Source: Kristine’s Kitchen.
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Mac and cheese is classic comfort food, and there are so many ways to prepare it. Although I already have a number of mac and cheese recipes that I love, I still enjoy trying new recipes. I was watching Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network a few weeks ago, and Ina Garten prepared this recipe. The mac and cheese looked rich and creamy, and I immediately looked up the recipe online and put it on our menu.
This recipe turned out as good as it looked on television. It is in fact incredibly rich and creamy, and is also easy to prepare. I took some advice from Ina and grated the cheeses in my food processor. This saved my arms from a lot of work (although grating by hand would be a great way to squeeze in a little workout!). The macaroni is topped with fresh sliced tomatoes before baking, which adds a little something extra special to the presentation.
Mac and Cheese
Makes 8 servings
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound elbow macaroni or cavatappi
- 4 cups milk
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 12 ounces Gruyere, grated
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- generous 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2-3 small fresh tomatoes
- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just shy of al dente, according to package directions. Drain well.
- Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t let it come to a boil. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, whisking constantly. While whisking, add the warm milk and cook for a few minutes more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, stir in 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Add the Gruyere and cheddar and stir until melted. Add the cooked pasta and stir well. Pour into a 3-quart baking dish.
- Slice the tomatoes and arrange on top. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir it into the panko. Sprinkle on top of pasta and tomatoes. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are browned.
Source: Slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa, Food Network
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In preparation for our baby to arrive, I made up a large batch of this baked penne pasta. We enjoyed half of it for a few meals that week, and I froze the rest so we’d have a dinner ready during the busy early weeks with a newborn. (I also stocked our freezer with meatballs, chicken taquitos, and pizza dough for other easy meals.)
While it did take some effort to prepare this dish, the payoff in terms of number of meals we’ll get out of it made it worth the work. The different components come together nicely to make a really satisfying meal. Pasta, turkey sausage, tomato sauce with a bit of cream, and cheese all go into this delicious baked pasta. Don’t be wary of the cottage cheese in the recipe- it really works here, and you won’t even know it’s there. I was skeptical myself, but I’m so glad I didn’t skip it or make a substitution.
One year ago: Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
- 1 lb. cottage cheese
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 1/2 cups), divided
- Table salt
- 1 lb. penne or ziti pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 20 oz. turkey Italian sausage
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 5 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves, divided (I used 1 tsp. dried basil instead)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- Ground black pepper
- 3/4 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 cup whole milk (or heavy cream)
- 8 oz. low-moisture mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, and 1 cup Parmesan together in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the pasta; cook until the pasta begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Drain the pasta and leave in colander.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Crumble in the turkey sausage and cook until nearly browned. Add in the onion and garlic and continue to cook until the onion is softened and the sausage is completely browned. Stir in the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and oregano (and dried basil, if using dried instead of fresh); simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Off the heat, stir in 1/2 cup fresh basil (if using) and the sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch and milk. Transfer the mixture to the now-empty stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat. (At this point, I removed about half of the milk sauce and only ended up using the other half.) To the milk sauce, add the cottage cheese mixture, 1 1/2 cups of the tomato sauce, and 3/4 cup mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the pasta and toss to coat thoroughly with the sauce.
- Transfer the pasta to a 9×13-inch baking dish and spread the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle the remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over the top. Cover the baking dish tightly with foil sprayed lightly with cooking spray, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue to cook until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. Cool for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons fresh basil and serve.
Source: Annie’s Eats, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated.
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You may have noticed that I haven’t been posting as many recipes for sweets and other baked goods lately. That’s because my pregnancy causes me to be glucose intolerant, meaning I don’t have full gestational diabetes (as I did when I was pregnant with Julia), but am just borderline diabetic. While pregnant, I have to follow a special diet, limiting the amount of carbohydrates I eat, and sweets are off limits. Being pregnant and not able to indulge in cookies, pastries, ice cream, and other treats is not so fun, but having a healthy baby makes it totally worth it.
I chose to try this salad recipe because it fits the requirements for the carbs I’m allowed at dinner time. The carbs in this dish come from whole grain pasta and chickpeas. Since there is plenty of arugula in the salad, you’re able to use less pasta and still enjoy a full plate of salad. Mozzarella cheese and the chickpeas add protein to help stabilize blood sugar levels and make the salad more filling.
When it actually came time to cook this for dinner, I wasn’t all that optimistic about how it would turn out. I was tired, and wasn’t sure if this was exactly what I wanted to eat. But I stuck to my plan and went ahead and made the salad anyways. It turned out to be super easy (the only actual cooking required is to boil the pasta), and, more important, delicious. The peppery arugula adds lots of flavor, as do the Parmesan cheese and sun dried tomatoes. All in all, this dish has a really nice balance of ingredients and flavors. I ate the leftovers for lunch the next day, and enjoyed them even more than I had enjoyed the dinner the night before. I think the fact that the leftovers were chilled from being refrigerated made the difference, since this is best served cold, like a pasta salad. The only thing that would have made this meal better would have been a warm, buttery homemade roll to go along with it. Soon enough, I’ll be able to enjoy it that way, too.
One year ago: Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies (Oh, how I wish I could be eating one of these right now!)
Arugula Salad with Penne, Chickpeas, and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Makes 4 servings
- 6 ounces whole wheat penne pasta
- 3 cups baby arugula (be sure to use baby arugula as it has a milder flavor)
- 1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp. Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly shaved or grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Boil the pasta in salted water according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking and cool the pasta.
- Toss the pasta with the baby arugula, sun dried tomatoes, chickpeas, mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic, half of the Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Divide between 4 plates and top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately at room temperature or chilled.
Source: Slightly adapted from Skinnytaste
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