Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Quick Pasta Dinners

Pasta with Mushrooms, Spinach and Mt. Tam CheeseNow that school’s in session and folks are back to work, I’ve been thinking about solutions for fast, convenient meals that don’t sacrifice good nutrition. Recently, I took a look at building Easy to Assemble Meals perfect for whipping up some delicious quick dinners. This week, I’m all about pasta – another quick way to feed your family a healthy, tasty meal without falling prey to the fast food trap.

Kids love pasta, and so do grown-ups. After all, it’s easy to prepare, versatile, inexpensive and super satisfying — making it a perfect choice for busy weeknights. These days it’s easy to expand your horizons with an assortment of pasta made from a variety of whole grains such as spelt, whole wheat and even sprouted whole grains. We’re lucky these are so readily available. I remember a time when pasta meant either spaghetti or macaroni made strictly from white flour. Not so anymore! You’ll even find an abundance of gluten-free pasta made from brown rice, buckwheat, quinoa and corn.

When it comes to busy weeknight meals, you can’t beat a simple pasta dinner. Just remember to follow the package instructions for cooking unless, of course, you are following a recipe that says otherwise.

Here’s my favorite “pasta-in-a-pinch” recipe:

  • Cook either fresh or dried pasta according to package directions.
  • Add grilled or roasted veggies, either home-cooked or purchased from our Prepared Foods Department.
  • Top with some protein such as beans, chopped cooked chicken or baked tofu.
  • Top with a favorite pasta sauce or a splash of quality extra virgin olive oil and your choice of seasonings. Among my favorites are: sea salt, black pepper, chives, parsley and a light grating of Pecorino cheese.

Here’s a sampling of some of our pasta-for-dinner ideas:

Many pasta meals are make-ahead perfect. Simply bake or prepare over the weekend and keep for a quick weeknight dinner or a take-along lunch.

Got a pasta-in-a-pinch recipe you’d like to share? Let me know.

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Anna Crosby says …

My 'pasta in a pinch' recipe is version of carbonara for children http://www.toddler-recipes.co.uk/baby-carbonara.html. Just whipped it up now actually!

Timothy Daniels says …

Thanks. Please send more.

joan gomez says …

great receipes

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Lucy Mauriello says …

I love the Angel Hair Pasta with Asiago Cheese in the prepared foods section of my Cary Store. Is the recipe available? Thanks, Lucy

Nikki - Community Moderator says …

@LUCY - Since this is a dish made in-house, check with the Cary store directly at 919.816.8830 to find if they have a recipe to share!