Tag Archives: pasta

Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Everybody has a different definition of what “comfort food” means to them. For me, it’s spaghetti with meat sauce (otherwise known as spaghetti bolognese). It was my favorite meal in my school cafeteria, and you KNOW I made a spaghetti sandwich with my dinner roll (you did it, too, don’t deny it!). This spaghetti bolognese recipe takes only about 30 minutes from start to finish. If you know what’s good for you, you’ll make sure it becomes a part of your “comfort food” lexicon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef (or ground turkey)
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped 
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jar pasta sauce of your choosing
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. anise seed
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle olive oil into pan. Saute onions and mushrooms until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
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Add ground beef, cook until fully browned.
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Stir in jar of pasta sauce. Season to taste. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes.
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Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente.
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Drain pasta. Ladle bolognese sauce over spaghetti, and top with freshly grated parmesan. Enjoy!
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Mediterranean Pasta Salad

So sorry for my hiatus from the blog – sometimes life just gets in the way. And by life, I mean grad school applications – yeesh! All my applications are submitted (*fingers crossed*) so now it’s time to get back to the kitchen.

This recipe is a cinch to make. It’s the perfect dish to bring to a potluck or party, or you can munch on it all week long. I use a mix of fresh and marinated veggies, plus plenty of lemon juice and lots of feta. Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. bowtie pasta (or pasta of your choice)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • Half a red onion, sliced
  • 1 can artichoke hearts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 jar sundried tomatoes, with oil
  • 1/4 cup of sliced kalamata olives
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 oz crumbled feta
  • Juice of 1-2 lemons 
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil

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While pasta is boiling, chop veggies. For the cucumber, I peeled the skin of in strips to maintain some of the green color. Spoon out the seeds with a spoon, then chop.

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Cut the marinated veggies into bite size pieces.

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Drain the pasta, and rinse under cold water. Mix with vegetables, and add feta, lemon juice, and olive oil. I also used some of the oil that the sundried tomatoes were marinated in. Season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Serve cold or room temperature.

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Penne with Spinach, Mushroom, White Wine Sauce

This is one of our go-to recipes for a quick and easy weeknight meal. We almost always have the ingredients on hand. It only takes 20 minutes, but it tastes like a gourmet pasta dish! Plus, we like to exclude meat from our diets at least one day out of the week, so this is a great meal for Meatless Mondays and for vegetarians. Follow these instructions for a dish you’ll come back to over and over!

Ingredients
Makes 3-4 servings.

  • 1/2 box of penne (or pasta of your choice)
  • 1.5-2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup of chopped button or crimini mushrooms
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

While penne is boiling, chop mushrooms and garlic. Sautee mushrooms in olive oil for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for an additional minute.

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Add white wine, and let reduce for about 5 minutes. Then add spinach and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and red pepper.

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Drain the pasta, and toss in the saucepan. Serve, and top with grated parmesan cheese.

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Notes: For some added protein, you can throw in some grilled chicken. You can also nix the pasta and cut the wine and garlic in half for a delicious spinach mushroom side dish!

Arugula Pesto

This is a quick and delicious week night meal. In my house, we are arugula fiends – we use it liberally in salads and pastas. It has a peppery bite, and is much healthier than just your run-of-the-mill iceberg lettuce. Plus, it’s affordable: we can usually find it for $2 at Trader Joe’s.

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1.5-2 cups fresh arugula
  • 5-6 crushed garlic cloves (or less, depending on how much you like garlic)
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of almonds
  • 1/4 cup-1/2 cup of olive oil
  • Vermicelli noodles, or pasta of your choice
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Put the first 4 ingredients into a blender. Pulse until roughly chopped. Then drizzle in olive oil until it is the desired consistency (we like a thicker pesto, but you can do it thinner if that’s what you prefer).

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Add salt and pepper, to taste. I recommend being stingy with the pepper, as the arugula is already naturally peppery, as is the raw garlic.

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Boil vermicelli, or whatever pasta you have on hand.

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Drain pasta, and add a few tablespoons of pesto. Toss, and top with extra parmesan.

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And voila! A unique and delectable twist on a traditional pesto.

As an added twist, you can roast the garlic to add a more nuanced flavor. You can also substitute different kinds of nuts for almonds, or exclude nuts altogether if you are allergic.