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pasta

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6 healthy pasta alternatives you need to try

You don’t have to be a dietician to know that eating a ton of pasta isn’t the healthiest move you can make. It’s typically loaded with refined and bleached flour, and pretty low on anything resembling a vitamin, mineral, or protein. It sure is tasty, but too much of the good stuff, and you’ll probably pack on a few pounds.  (Or will it?) But what if I told you there is a way you can enjoy your favorite pasta dishes without piling on the carbs. Try these 6 delicious pasta alternatives when you’re really craving Italian — for the third time this week. 1. Pasta with added veggies If you want to start stepping away from traditional pasta, pasta with added veggies can be your first baby step. It’s typically a traditional pasta recipe, but it has dehydrated veggie paste — such as spinach, tomatoes, or mushrooms — mixed right in.…

Best bruschetta pasta salad

If you had to describe summer in one bite, it would probably be something cool and refreshing. It would definitely be loaded with the flavors of juicy, local tomatoes and fresh, fragrant basil. It would be easy to make and light to eat. It would be this bruschetta pasta salad. You can choose any pasta you have in your pantry, but I if you’re going shopping, pick up some orecchiette. The shape is perfect for cradling small cherry tomatoes. If you use a pasta with more nooks and crannies, you may have to add more dressing to coat. If you’re a backyard gardener, or if you’ve inherited a crop of heirlooms or other full-sized tomatoes, use those! Yum! Don’t buy special cherry tomatoes just for this. Just chop up whatever you have — maybe even a mix! — and toss with the pasta and other ingredients. It’s a great way…

12 tips for makings the best pesto

Pesto is a simple and delicious summer staple. Without it, think of all the basil that would go to waste! But the trouble with this sauce it doesn’t always go so well. Here are 12 tips for how you can make your most perfect pesto. 1. Clean your greens Always, always, always be sure your basil is washed really well before you begin. You don’t want any gritty dirt in your pesto. Wash your basil using cold water — never warm. Warm water wilts greens. Use a salad spinner to get your leaves really dry or gently pat them between layers of kitchen towels to remove all of the moisture. 2. Make it a mix Don’t think you have to stick to just basil. You can add other leafy greens to give your basil a distinct flavor. Replace some of your basil with parsley instead for a lighter flavor, or try arugula…

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad Recipe

To say buffalo chicken dip is addicting is an understatement. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to a potluck where the buff-chick dip didn’t all go — and go fast! I feel confident saying that any one of us well-meaning health conscious adults, would sit down and eat an entire tray of buffalo chicken dip if it weren’t for judgement. That same love extends to this delicious buffalo chicken pasta salad. In fact, it’s even better as a summer barbecue side dish than the real deal dip because it’s cold and refreshing. The contrast between this dish and the foods hot off the grill create a perfect balance. Add a big scoop to your plate along with baked beans, coleslaw, watermelon, and potato salad — drooling yet? This buffalo chicken pasta salad is creamy yet, has a kick of heat, and juicy, crunchy veggies. It’s so good, you’ll get asked…

Classic 3 cheese lasagna with meat sauce recipe

Lasagna from scratch is a meal to behold, but if you’re like most people, simmering sauce and making individual strips of pasta aren’t on your nightly schedule. Boxed pastas and store-bought marinaras save a ton of time without sacrificing any flavor. Some Sunday when you have a whole day to kill, build it from the ground up, but on a busy day — in a busy life — have no shame in shortcuts. National Lasagna Day is right around the corner (July 29). You might be headed to your favorite Italian restaurant for a great big piece, but why not do as the Italians do, and make this delicious dish at home! Here are a few tips for baking your best lasagne ever: 1. Careful with your noodles. Building a good lasagna requires a bit of architecture. Lasagna needs a good structure, and the noodles give it all it needs —…

Eating pasta three times a week won’t make you fat, study shows

Spaghetti. Rigatoni. Fettuccini. It’s everyone’s favorite — pasta — and Italian lovers everywhere can rejoice over new research that reveals the popular pantry item won’t make you fat. While the joys of pasta are undeniable (is there anyone out there who doesn’t love diving into a big bowl of bolognese?) its healthfulness has always been in question. In recent years, low-carb options like quinoa have taken a bite out of pasta sales as health-minded adults feared packing on the pounds. But science now tells us, that eating a portion of penne up to three time a week won’t make you fat, and it might even help you slim down. Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto conducted 30 randomized control trials involving nearly 2,500 people who replaced their regular carbohydrates with pasta as part of a healthy low-glycemic index diet. The findings? Pasta doesn’t not cause you to put on extra body fat. “The study found that pasta didn’t contribute to…

Easy, Cheesy Taco Pasta

If your Cinco de Mayo menu usually consists of some sad tacos, try kicking it up a notch this year with a cheesy taco pasta. It’s become a favorite in my household because it goes from stove to table in less than 30 minutes. Plus, I don’t mind that it only dirties one pot! But don’t just save it for your Cinco de Mayo fiesta. Make it for Taco Tuesday or anytime you want a simple, tasty meal that can feed a crowd. Top it with some chopped tomatoes and cilantro or avocado for a fresh kick. Use any bite-sized noodle from your pantry. I’ve tried rotini, large shells, radiatore, and even farfalle — all do a delicious job of soaking up the flavorful Mexican-inspired meat sauce. For the jarred salsa, I think Herdez adds the best flavor. I like a little kick so I used medium or spicy salsa…

Foods you should never freeze

Your freezer allows you to do everything from plan meals ahead to eliminate food waste. While you can usually throw in most dinner dishes or leftovers and be fine, the super cold temperature isn’t ideal for all foods. Certain ingredients can morph into something gross once thawed or even become a health hazard. The freezer has it’s limits. Here are some foods that just shouldn’t be frozen: Milk While it would be nice to have a few quarts of this staple item stowed away, milk stored in the freezer can separate into chunks and turn watery when it thaws. It is still technically safe to consume when this happens, but the consistency won’t be anything like what you would expect for your morning coffee or cereal. If you absolutely must free milk, try putting it in an ice cube tray to lessen the effect. Pull it out, and you won’t…

10 mistakes you’re probably making when cooking pasta

Pasta is so simple, even a broke college kid can make it, right? Well, yes, if simply scarfing down calories is your goal. It doesn’t take much know-how to boil water, open a jar of sauce, and hope for the best. But if you want a delicious, authentic Italian-American plate of al dente pasta, there are many nuances to master. From leaving the noodles in the colander to not salting the water, here are 8 common mistakes we’ve all made when cooking pasta. Also see, Avocado whole wheat pasta salad. 1. Your pot is too small Size does matter. Pasta should be swimming because it will soak up water and expand. Once it expands, if there isn’t enough water left, it will get mushy and sticky. For 1 pound of pasta, fill a 4 or 5 quart pot about 3/4 of the way with water and boil. For 2 pounds of…

Easy Tomato Basil and Gnocchi soup

Need to thaw out from the winter weather? This recipe combines two of the most delicious cold weather comfort foods on the planet — pasta and soup. A big bowl of this filling soup and you’ll be toasty for hours. What’s even better? It’s ready in less than a half hour. Seriously. A food this delicious that’s also ready in about 25 minutes — you’re going to fall in love with this recipe. If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, you can usually find them in the pasta section at any well-stocked grocery store. They’re often vacuumed-packaged and sold next to the boxed pastas. They might also be in the frozen foods aisle near the ravioli and stuffed shells. So what are they? Confession, this description might be a bit biased because I LOVE gnocchi. They’re these pillowy puffs of pasta with a slightly chewy texture, never tough, always just the…