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Quick Pasta Dinners

Now 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.