Pasta Anyone?

pastaRike’s post the other day about comfort foods got me thinking about some of my favorites. I love many of the things she mentioned to snack on.  But when we’re talking a meal, and when I’m totally exhausted, overworked, and overstressed, there’s really only one thing that I want: pasta.

I suspect that my love of pasta goes back to the ever popular macaroni and cheese my mother used to make when I was a child. And no, she didn’t use boxed mixes; she made hers completely from scratch, and it was delicious.

I know a love of pasta isn’t exactly a popular thing to talk about, with all of the low-carb, non-carb diets out there. I actually do try to limit bad carbs myself, but I won’t give up pasta for anything. I have tried to make my pasta more healthy, so years ago I switched to using only whole wheat pasta. At this point it’s the only taste I recognize for pasta.

When I have lots of time, I like to make an old fashioned marinara sauce from scratch, letting all the flavors simmer together for hours. But more frequently, when I’m really craving pasta, I’m way too harried to be able to take the time.  So, I resort to pasta toppings that can be prepared in about the same amount of time as it takes to cook the pasta.

My main, go-to pasta recipe? I like to dump a bunch of spinach in a colander, drain the pasta over it (it cooks the spinach), then put a bit of bottled marinara sauce on top, and pop it in the microwave with a some feta on top. Yummy.

Alternatively, I’ll simply saute garlic in olive oil, toss the pasta in, and add some Parmesan cheese, and perhaps some sun dried tomatoes if I have them.

Somewhat more work, but still fast, I’ll saute onion and garlic in olive oil, and then toss in a few thawed, frozen shrimp, along with a chopped tomato (I also use drained canned tomatoes). I’ll add whatever herbs and spices sound good, pour it over the pasta, and top with feta cheese.

I have a bunch more, but am always looking for new, easy pasta recipes. How about you? Do you like pasta? Do you have any quick pasta recipes?


41 thoughts on “Pasta Anyone?

  1. LeeB.

    Love pasta but basically just cook it up and top it with tomato sauce and shredded Asiago cheese, or when I have whole wheat pasta, just low-cal butter and cheese.

    When I was in Italy last year, my friend and I ate out most of the time and had some yummy pasta dishes. What was most noticeable were the small sized portions, which obviously in the real world are normal compared to most American restaurant servings.

  2. Jane AAR

    Every other week or so I make spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs are from scratch– just ground turkey, bread crumbs, some garlic, and salt and pepper. I cook them on the stove top then pour bottled pasta sauce (usually Prego) and let it simmer until the pasta is done cooking. Since I only cook for myself, it makes a good 4-5 servings– perfect for during the week to microwave for a quick meal.

    When I was in London, my pasta staple was a sauce made of sauteed onions and garlic, sardines, tomato paste, and frozen peas. I’d toss it with cooked pasta. Some of my friends didn’t like the smell (sardines aren’t usually a crowd-pleaser) but I really enjoyed it.

  3. xina

    I love pasta. I only use whole wheat pasta now and am so pleased to see it comes in so many different shapes now. I used to use angel hair for spaghetti, but now use the thicker spaghetti in whole wheat. I make my own sauce with canned Italian tomatos, lots of spices and garlic, fresh flat leaf parsley and fresh basil. Takes about 45 min. but so much better than bottled sauce. Also through in some turkey meatballs.
    More…I like penne with shrimp, asparagus, broccoli, garlic, sun dried tomatos…toss with a little olive oil.
    And from my childhood…a version of carbonara which is just pasta tossed with eggs and bacon, garlic, basil (if I have it fresh) and fresh parm. I sometimes leave out the bacon (I use turkey bacon these days). It’s great with a salad and glass of wine.

  4. LinnieGayl

    Xina, that penne dish you describe sounds wonderful, and really healthy with asparagus and broccoli!

  5. xina

    LinnieGayl…It is very healthy. (wow…sorry about the spelling..I’ve got dinner guests..I see I misspelled throw. Gah!..a little stressed at the time)
    I stir-fry the shrimp, with garlic in olive oil, then put in the asparagus and broccoli. Last comes the basil and flat-leaved parsley. Stir with the pasta and parm. (I have a block and shred it.) I think the garlic and basil add a really nice flavor. I always use whole wheat pasta…penne or whatever shape you like. I like jumbo shrimp. Peel it, because it is so much cheaper.

  6. Jean AAR

    My standard is fry up onions and mushrooms and garlic, dump in a tin of tomatoes, and grate cheddar cheese over it. But recently I’ve been on a rose sauce jag because I needed to use up a carton of cream cheese. So I chuck in pesto with cream cheese and some tomatoes with whatever I have to use up in the fridge, et voila.

  7. LinnieGayl

    Xina, thanks! That sounds like something I would really like.

    Jean, those sound interesting as well, although it never occurred to me to put cream cheese on pasta.

  8. smilinggreenmom

    Oh our family really loves pasta! My husband loves the Amish egg noodles from our Farmer’s Market and I really love pasta made from Kamut Khorasan Wheat! Kamut is so healthy and a great texture – but I try to incorporate both for variety and happiness all around lol :)

  9. Alexis Ourso

    Thanks for that, it was a great read. I can’t believe it myself, but my wife and I will have been married 10 years next week. We met in Italy, and had the most delicious shrimp pasta in this little cafe in Rome. I’ve been looking all over the net for a good recipe to see if I can make something myself to surprise her, and I even found a shrimp pasta website full of them!

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