Easy Pasta Recipes

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Crookneck Squash Gemelli Pasta (Vegetarian Pasta Recipe) Recipe

It's Meatless Monday and today I'm sharing with you one of baby Aria's favorite pasta dishes. I used gemelli pasta, cut crookneck squash the same size as the pasta and flavored them with tarragon and parsley crème fraîche. The crookneck squash provides a soft texture to the dish and the same-sized pieces make for easy eating, especially for little ones.

I hope your weekend was as adventuresome as ours. We spent the weekend at Half Moon Bay State Beach. It wasn't too hot with the ocean breeze. It was so peaceful and quiet; exactly what we needed! Aria and I wandered along the beaches and on the trails after our picnic. I had prepared my husband Lulu's favorite cucumber tea sandwiches and used the remaining filling to flavor the pasta dish the following day!


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Beef Pasta Sauce Recipe Recipe

Beef Pasta Sauce Recipe

05.26.11 by Jackie

Making delicious pasta is fairly easy; however it requires a few little tricks to ensure that the dish always turns beautifully. The pasta sauce is one of the key components. Today, I used ground beef, fresh ripe tomatoes, grilled zucchini, eggplant, Portobello mushrooms, a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and fresh oregano. I bound all the ingredients together using pasta water.

This pasta dish is unpretentious, tasty and oh so simple.


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Bow Tie Pasta in Asparagus Sauce Recipe

Our whole family,  especially the little ones, loves bow tie pasta. The cute shape isn't the best way to hold on to sauce, but it’s a welcome change ffrom macaroni or penne. This time, I sautéed the pasta with caramelized onions and spinach and added a few other ingredients. I used grilled Portobello mushrooms for a meaty texture, diced red bell peppers for color and fresh mozzarella for extra creaminess.

The asparagus sauce is an improvisation using leftover asparagus stalks (I used the tips for making risotto). I blended them into a thick sauce and separately cooked onions with diced tomatoes, a few spices and yogurt. The sauce is quite healthy but so flavorful. If you're minding calories, you could omit the mozzarella garnish or use a low-calorie cheese such as feta cheese.


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Vegetable Pasta with Zucchini Sauce Recipe

Zucchini pasta is my way of using all the zucchini we bought at the farmers' market last weekend. I cooked the vegetable two ways and combined them in this flavorful pasta dish.

First, one part of the zucchini is boiled in a large amount of water until soft and tender, then cooked the same way as I would baigan bharta (Indian-style eggplant spread) but instead of only adding liquid smoke and plain yogurt, I also mixed in a little cream cheese. The second step is to sauté the rest of the zucchini with other vegetables. I also used diced carrots, green beans and sun-dried tomatoes.

Once all the ingredients are cooked, I combine everything and the result is a scrumptious meal. The smoky aroma from the zucchini sauce is very delicate and the added vegetables balance well with the softness of the pasta. 

Zucchini Recipe with Picture


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Zucchini Radiatore (Vegetarian Pasta Recipe) Recipe

I love the vegetables my husband has been harvesting this season. We've had lovely zucchini so far. I've already used the zucchini flowers and stuffed them with risotto, and today I sautéed the zucchini with radiatore pasta. Lulu also pulled plenty of red Creole onions from the ground, so I used them to flavor the vegetarian pasta dish.

If you're able to plant your own vegetables, you should try zucchini. The young ones are sweet and more tender. They're fairly easy to plant, and if you take good care of them, they can be prolific.

You could pair any other pasta with the veggies in this dish, but I think the lace-shaped pasta looks very fancy. To make the dish a little healthier than my usual pasta dishes, I added very little cheese (I used Asiago for its strong flavor) and instead used enoki mushrooms, which resemble strings of cheese. It’s a great way to trick the kids, both little and big, into eating healthy!

Zucchini Pasta Recipe with Picture


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