Monday, October 17, 2016

Happy National Pasta Day – October 17th!

Can’t wait to share some of my favorite pasta recipes with Christine and the folks at Atlanta & Company today! Did you know that pasta is one of the world's most favorite foods?  Spaghetti, lasagna, rotini, tortellini - there are OVER 600 known pasta shapes. Why? It's delicious, it's nutritious, with only about 100 calories per serving (1/2 cup) especially when it eaten along with lots of yummy veggies.

Oh yeah – and it's versatile - t can be enjoyed as an appetizer main course, or side dish. 
Pasta is typically thought of as an Italian dish, but there is evidence that people living in Asia in 2000 BC made noodles with millet. Pasta can be made dry (pasta secca) or fresh (pasta fresca). There are over 350 varieties of dried pasta in Italy alone. The highest quality of dried pasta is made with pure durum semolina flour and water.

Do your part by cooking up some of these easy, yummy recipes - we need to catch up…the typical Italian eats over sixty pounds of pasta per year. In comparison, Americans only eat around twenty pounds of pasta per person per year!

Mediterranean Shrimp 
with Feta and Tomatoes

2 TB Olive Oil
1 Medium Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
1 Cup Dry White Wine
2 Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes
2 Tsp Dried Oregano
Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
1 TB Chopped Parsley
2 TB Chopped Fresh Oregano
1 1/2 LB Large Shrimp, Peeled and Deveined
8 Oz Crumbled Feta or Mozzarella or Combination
1 Box Whole Wheat Penne Pasta

Step One Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and cook the onion over medium heat until transparent. Add the wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, oregano and a healthy sprinkle of salt and pepper, cook over medium heat for 20 - 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Stir in the herbs.

Step Two. Place the shrimp in the bottom of an ovenproof casserole dish and top with the sauce. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until the shrimp is just cooked through.

Step Three While the shrimp is cooking, prepare the whole wheat penne. When the shrimp is done, top the penne with the sauce, shrimp and feta.

****No time to make the sauce? Use your favorite purchased sauce and pick up the recipe on Step Two.

Caprese Tortellini Skewers

1 Pkg Prepared and Cooked Cheese Tortellini (al dente)
1 Pkg Grape Tomatoes
1 Recipe *Simple Vinaigrette

Skewer the tortellini, basil leaves and grape tomatoes on bamboo skewers. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve.

*Simple Vinaigrette
1⁄4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2-3 TB Balsamic Vinegar
(or any vinegar or lemon juice)

1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

1⁄2 Tsp Honey 
Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Pasta Salad with a Asian Twist

16 oz Whole Wheat Linguine** Cooked, Rinsed, And Cooled
8 Cups Thinly Sliced Purple Cabbage or Napa Cabbage (or combination of the two)
1 Large Red, Yellow or Orange Pepper, Finely Chopped
½ Cup Chopped Cilantro
½ Cup Water Chestnuts
½ Cup Green Onions, Sliced
1 Cup Toasted Chopped Cashews
¼ Cup Sesame Seeds
*Sesame Ginger Dressing

Combine the noodles, cabbages, pepper, cilantro, water chestnuts, and scallions in a large salad bowl. Beginning with half of the dressing, toss the salad, adding more dressing as desired. Top the salad with the cashews and sesame seeds.

*Sesame Ginger Dressing

1/3 Cup Rice Vinegar - unseasoned
3 TB Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Canola or Grapeseed Oil
¼ Cup Light Soy Sauce, Tamari or Braggs Amino Acids
2 TB Toasted Sesame Oil
3 TB Fresh Ginger, Grated
2 Tsp Garlic, Grated
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to Taste

Add the ingredients to a jar and shake to combine.

**If you’d like to make this salad in a more authentic Asian style, try using any kind of thin noodles from the international aisle. Udon or fresh Chinese noodles are a great substitution, or if you’re looking to make the salad gluten-free, you can use rice noodles.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

Fabulous Post!! And so inspirational! yay for Pasta!