Pasta - Double-Post Tuesday

Besides being Taco Tuesday, it's also Double-Post Tuesday (since not everyone loves tacos). Today's double post deals with one of my favorites, pasta, and includes One-Pan Spaghetti and Meatballs (yum!) and Italian Sausage Lasagna. Enjoy!

PASTA WITH BROCCOLI, SUN-DRIED TOMATO, AND LIME

This was in an article titled "Vision Quest, Recipes for Eye Health" in the July 2020 issue of Taste for Life (page 14).

I had picked up a copy of Taste for Life at Rollin' Oats, a Florida health food store with two locations (Tampa and St. Petersburg). Since I live close to the St. Pete store, I try to go there as often as possible (though not often enough, as far as I'm concerned). If you're ever in the area, I highly suggest giving them a try.

Anywho, this recipe's prep time is 30 minutes, and serves 4.

Ingredients

3 cups bite-size pieces of broccoli florets

12 oz penne pasta

1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomato slices

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 1 large lime)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Steam broccoli for 5 minutes until tender. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Set aside.

Heat sun-dried tomatoes and their oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes.

Add pasta, reserved cooking water, steamed broccoli, and lime juice to sun-dried tomato mixture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

BALSAMIC VEGGIE PASTA

This comes from Ali at her wonderful site, Gimme Some Oven. This recipe starts off, "This easy Balsamic Veggie Pasta recipe is overflowing with fresh veggies, and sautéed in a delicious balsamic sauce."

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 25 minutes; Total Time: 35 minutes; Yield: 6-8

To view this online (recipe and chit-chat beforehand), go to https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/easy-balsamic-veggie-pasta/.

Ingredients

12 ounces uncooked pasta (I used penne)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 small red onion, peeled and thinly-sliced

1 pound asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces (with ends trimmed off and discarded)

1 small head of broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly-sliced

Kosher salt and freshly-cracked black pepper

5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

3–4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

freshly-grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

Cook pasta in a large stock pot of generously-salted boiling water al dente according to package instructions. Then drain the pasta, and set it aside.

Meanwhile, as the pasta water is heating and the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes. Add the asparagus, broccoli, and red bell pepper, and season the mixture with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Continue sautéing for 4-5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. (Adding in another tablespoon of oil if needed.) Stir in the garlic and continue sautéing for 1-2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from heat.

Once the veggies and pasta have all finished cooking, return the stockpot to the stove over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, cooked pasta, veggie mixture, balsamic vinegar, lots of freshly-cracked black pepper, and toss to combine. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, so that the pasta is very lightly toasted. Taste, and add extra balsamic vinegar and black pepper if needed.

Remove from heat and serve warm, garnished with lots of Parmesan cheese.

Notes

*Feel free to also add a splash of dry white wine to the pasta along with the balsamic, if you’d like. Delicious!

ITALIAN SAUSAGE LASAGNA

This comes from the Betty Crocker e-newsletter. If you're looking for more recipes, it's a good place to start.

This recipe starts off, "No need to buy frozen lasagna when you have this much-loved recipe on hand."

Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes; Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes; Makes 8 servings

To view this online, go to https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/italian-sausage-lasagna/.

Ingredients

1 lb bulk Italian pork sausage

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

1 clove garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves or 1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1 teaspoon sugar

2 cups Muir Glen™ organic diced tomatoes (from 28-oz can), undrained

1 can (15 oz) Muir Glen™ organic tomato sauce

12 uncooked lasagna noodles (12 oz)

1 container (15 oz) ricotta cheese or small-curd cottage cheese (2 cups)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (8 oz)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

In 10-inch skillet, cook sausage, onion and garlic over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain.

Stir in 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, sugar, tomatoes and tomato sauce. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered about 45 minutes or until slightly thickened.

Heat oven to 350°F. Cook and drain noodles as directed on package.

In medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, remaining 1 tablespoon parsley and the oregano.

Spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture in ungreased 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish. Top with 4 noodles. Spread 1 cup of the cheese mixture over noodles; spread with 1 cup of the sauce mixture. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Repeat with 4 noodles, the remaining cheese mixture, 1 cup of the sauce mixture and 2/3 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining noodles and sauce mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Cover; bake 30 minutes. Uncover; bake about 15 minutes longer or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.

Expert Tips

Leftover lasagna freezes well. Wrap individual portions tightly in plastic wrap, then wrap again with aluminum foil. You need only unwrap and thoroughly reheat to enjoy an instant lasagna fix!

Put this recipe together lickety-split using 5 cups (40 ounces) of your favorite regular (do not use thick or extra-thick varieties) spaghetti sauce with meat instead of the first eight ingredients.

If your family likes lasagna with a milder flavor, use ground beef instead of the bulk Italian sausage.

CREAMY LEMON PASTA

This yumminess is from Barbara Kafka in The New York Times cooking e-newsletter. Barbara wrote, "This astonishingly delicious pasta dish is surprisingly easy to make. Just combine the zest of two lemons, heavy cream, salt and pepper in a saucepan, and let it come to a boil. Pour over freshly cooked egg noodles, add fresh lemon juice and toss. Cook for a couple minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly and cloaks the noodles in a rich, creamy, lemony brightness. It's luxurious weeknight cooking at its best."

Time: 30 minutes; Yield: 6 servings

This can be found in "Secrets of a Lemon Lover In a Season of Plenty", and can be viewed online at https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/8355-creamy-lemon-pasta.

Ingredients

12 ounces wide egg noodles

Zest and juice of 2 lemons; zest cut in very thin strips 1 inch long

1 cup heavy cream

Kosher salt, to taste

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles, and stir to separate. Cook for 8 minutes or until tender. Drain, then return to the cooking pot.

Just before noodles are done, in a small saucepan combine the lemon zest, cream, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes, or until cream comes to a boil.

Pour cream mixture over drained noodles, and add the lemon juice. Stir to coat. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until all the liquid is absorbed, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional pepper, if desired.

FRENCH ONION SOUP PASTA

This yummy recipe is from Leah Maroney on The Spruce Eats. She wrote, " This pantry pasta is warm, hearty, and full of French onion soup flavor. The best part is that it can be on your table in 40 minutes. The onions are lightly caramelized, then tossed with al dente pasta, buttery breadcrumbs, and of course nutty gruyere cheese—all items that are readily found in a well-stocked kitchen.

"You can easily use the base of this recipe and change the add-ins. Try using chicken and mushrooms or chickpeas and spinach—it all depends on what your family likes. It's a quick and easy weeknight meal that any home cook can tackle and the leftovers reheat extremely well. Just add a little extra broth and heat it up in a saute pan when you're ready to enjoy again."

Prep Time: 5 minutes; Cook Time: 35 minutes; Total Time: 40 minutes; Servings: 4; Yield: 1 pot

To view this online, go to https://www.thespruceeats.com/french-onion-soup-pasta-4776513.

Ingredients

1/2 pound short pasta (such as campanelle, cellentani, rotini, or farfalle)

3 tablespoons butter (divided)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large vidalia onion (sliced)

1 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 tablespoon flour

1 cup beef broth

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

2 sprigs thyme

1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

4 ounces Gruyere cheese (shredded)

Directions

Gather the ingredients.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of butter and the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter is melted, add the onion and salt. Saute until onions are softened and golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Add the garlic and flour. Stir to incorporate the flour into the fat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on low heat to cook off the flour flavor.

Add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and the leaves from the thyme sprigs, stirring with a spoon while incorporating. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce is thickened.

Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to a small sauté pan. Heat until melted and then add the breadcrumbs, toss to coat and toast on low heat until lightly browned.

Add the cooked pasta and the Gruyere cheese into the pan. Toss to combine. The heat from the sauce will melt the cheese just enough.

Top with toasted breadcrumbs and additional shredded Gruyere if you wish. Serve immediately.

Recipe Variations

Chicken and Mushroom Pasta: Saute the onions with a cup of chopped cremini mushrooms. After you add the garlic and flour, add in a cup of shredded rotisserie chicken. Keep the Gruyere cheese or substitute with parmesan (or do both). You can also add in a little heavy cream to make it extra decadent.

Chickpea, Spinach, and Artichoke Pasta: After you saute the onions, garlic, and flour, toss in a can of chickpeas, a cup of roughly chopped spinach, and a cup of quartered artichoke hearts. Follow the rest of the recipe or substitute vegetable broth to make the dish vegetarian. Keep the Gruyere or substitute with Pecorino cheese. Keep the breadcrumbs or leave them out.

ONE-PAN SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS

What could be better, taste-wise, comfort-food-wise, and more, than this? This recipe also comes from Pure Wow, and begins, “Guys, this lazy cook's one-pan spaghetti and meatballs recipe is a total game changer. The next time you want to get dinner on the table with ease—and not deal with a million dirty dishes--we've got you covered.” Makes 8 servings.

To view this online, go to https://www.purewow.com/recipes/one-pan-spaghetti-and-meatballs-recipe.

Ingredients

Meatballs

1 pound ground beef

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 egg, whisked

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Spaghetti

1 pound dried spaghetti

3 cups marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions

Make the Meatballs: In a medium bowl, mix the beef with the garlic powder, parsley and Parmesan to combine. Add the egg and bread crumbs, and mix to combine.

Form the mixture into balls, using about 2 tablespoons of meat per ball.In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meatballs to the pan and cook until they are fully cooked and golden brown all over, 3 to 5 minutes.

Make the Spaghetti: Remove the meatballs from the pan and set them aside. Drain any grease from the pan, and then fill it with three inches of water and a few pinches of salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the spaghetti in an even layer and boil until al dente, 8 to 9 minutes (or according to package directions).

Drain the spaghetti, then return it to the pan. Add the marinara sauce and meatballs; toss to coat. Garnish with Parmesan and parsley. Serve warm, immediately.