Rethink Your Pasta Plate!

woman-cooking-pastaPasta is a staple in my house (as I am sure it is in yours). However, numerous plates of spaghetti topped with your freezer-stocked spaghetti sauce can get a little tedious- to say the least.

Pasta dishes are quick, easy and inexpensive. But they don’t have to be repetitive. Here are a few new ways to serve and old dish.

Bruschetta Pasta

Cut up about three or four plum tomatoes. Slice up about three boneless chicken breasts (or five or six thighs).  Arrange in a baking pan, tomatoes on one side, chicken on the other.

In the meantime, stir together about 1/3 of a cup of oil, a tsp each of basil, oregano, minced garlic and balsamic vinegar. Reserve about a quarter of the mixture, and brush tomatoes and chicken with the rest.

Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes at 425. Meanwhile, boil pasta (spaghetti or a thinner noodle like spagettini or angel hair pasta works well in this dish) according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

Once chicken and tomatoes are cooked, coarsely chop tomatoes. Toss tomatoes and chicken with pasta and rest of olive oil mixture.


Fresh Basil Toss

This one is particularly good as we bow out of summer, with fresh tomatoes still plump and juicy.

Cook a wider noodle (i.e. fettuccini or linguine) according to package directions. Coarsely chop up tomatoes, several slices of provolone and/or mozzarella cheese and tear up fresh basil leaves.

Toss pasta with veggies, cheese and spices and coat with a little olive oil. Delicious, nutritious and fresh.

Shrimp Alfredo

This dish is great at my house, because it combines two of my children’s fave foods (one loves Alfredo sauce, the other shrimp. Everyone is happy). If you’re not seafood fan, or if it’s not in the budget, you can substitute chicken or sliced veggies.

In one pot, cook fettuccine. In another, sauté shrimp in butter, salt and pepper until cooked through (opaque). Once these are cooked, set aside and keep warm.

Meanwhile, combine a half a cup of butter and a block of cream cheese and melt in pot. Add a tsp of garlic powder. Gradually whisk in two cups of milk, a little at a time so that there are no lumps.

Spoon pasta and shrimp on plate and top with sauce and a little parmesan cheese.