Below is a collection of some of my favorite pasta dishes. All of these recipes have a balance of healthy and comfort and have been approved by the foodies and picky eaters in my household.
Homemade Whole Wheat Pasta
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon EVOO
I have a mixer with a bread hook, so I put in all of the ingredients and put the mixer on. You know the dough is done when it is in a ball and its not sticking to the sides of the bowl. If it seems dry, add a tablespoon of water. If it seems sticky, add a touch of flour. When the dough is done, wrap up in plastic wrap for 30 minutes. The next part was fun for me. I cut the ball in half, put some flour down on my counter top and rolled out the dough. You want the pasta dough to be pretty thin. Once its thin, cover with a touch of flour and roll up. Use s knife to cut 1 inch sections. Unravel and there you go. Finish by repeating to other half.
Boil water, add a drizzle of EVOO and a pinch of salt. When pot is boiling, add pasta. Cook for 2 minutes, drain and serve with sauce.
Homemade Meat Sauce
- 1 pound ground beef and 1 pound ground turkey (or pork)
- 1 yellow onion sliced
- 6 garlic cloves minced
- fresh herbs: parsley, basil, thyme and oregano
- 1 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
- cream and butter
- Shredded parmesan cheese
Heat up EVOO in pan, cook onion and garlic until tender. Add 2 tbsp butter in pan, when melted, add the ground meat. Cook meat until done. Add the red wine, beef broth and tomato sauce. Mix well. Chop all of the herbs small, add to the sauce. Simmer on low, covered for 2-4 hours (the longer, the better). Within an hour before serving, add some cream and 2 tbsp butter. Cover. Top with parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil before serving.
The first part was the sauce, since it slow cooks for 4 hours. I had 1 cup left of the beef bone broth I made 2 weeks ago. I had 1 pound pork chops and 1/2 pound venison. I cut them both up into small cubes. Put a pot on the stove, turn to medium low. Put in some EVOO, 1 yellow onion chopped and 2 garlic cloves (minced), cook for a minute. Add 2 tablespoons butter and the meat. Stir for about 2-3 minutes, until browned. Cover meat with 1 tablespoon flour, mix well until flour is dissolved. Add the 1 cup bone broth, 1 cup red wine and 1 cup can tomato sauce. Add is about 1/8 cup chopped fresh basil and parsley. Cook on low, covered, for about 4 hours (or until meat is tender). Once meat is cooked, stir in 1 cup cream, 1 cup parmesan cheese. Stir and serve over pasta. Top with shredded parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
Follow my homemade pasta recipe, but roll and cut to 4 inch x 2 inch sections. I was able to have 8 pieces. Boil in pot of salted water for 3 minutes, reserve to the side when done.
Pan fry 1 pound of ground turkey with 2 tablespoons each dried parsley, basil, oregano, garlic powder. Set to side. Open can of tomato sauce.
Spray baking pan, put 1/4 cup of tomato sauce on bottom of pan. Layer with: pasta, tomato sauce, ground meat and shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat this 3 times. Top with layer of pasta, tomato sauce, fresh basil and shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil and cook in over (350) for 20 minutes. Serve alongside roasted garlic parmesan cauliflower.
Cheese tortellini with sauteed shrimp, asparagus and a tomato cream sauce.
Even though I want to try to make tortellini, this week was not going to be that week. I brought the fresh pasta from the store, so that part was easy. Just follow the instructions, drain and keep to the side.
The shrimp, I peeled earlier in the morning and placed in a container with the marinade. The marinade was 2 tbsp EVOO, juice of 1 lemon, 1 garlic clove minced and parsley. When ready to cook, heat up a pan on low, place shrimp in pan, cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
A great tip for asparagus is peeling the skin on the end with a vegetable peeler. This allows for even cooking with the tip. I cut up 1 cup of asparagus, sauteed in EVOO in a pan for 2 minutes on medium heat. Then set to the side with done.
The cream sauce was easy too. 2 tbsp tomato paste, drizzle of EVOO, 1/4 cup light cream, 1/4 cup pot water (from the pasta). Mix ingredients on low heat, add 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese. Allow cheese to melt, then add the pasta.
Macaroni and Cheese with topping bar
Anytime you have a crowd or just several picky eaters, pasta and topping bar is a time saver and crowd pleaser. I have done this with fettuccine Alfredo, tortellini in a cream sauce or orzo in a parmesan sauce.
- 2 cups cooked macaroni, any size. I prefer elbow noodles this time, since all topping bar toppings were same size.
- when boiling, reserve 1 cup water before draining
- in pot, add the cup of water, 1 cup of milk, 1 cup diced Velveeta cheese and 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese. Whisk on low heat until all cheese is melted. Pour over macaroni and mix
- the topping bar: diced ham, crumbled bacon, crab meat, peas. I will also add diced tomatoes and broccoli the night of the meal.
- Put 1 cup of macaroni and cheese in bowl, top with your choice of toppings, heat and enjoy.
One of my favorites as a kid was this ziti, my mom enjoyed this as a kid and now its one of my kids’ favorites as well. It’s real simple to make and is definitely a classic comfort food. I did this with a simple, healthy twist: whole wheat pasta, canned tomato sauce and cauliflower. It was an easy way to add some veggies and whole grains.
First thing to do is cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces. I really like when casserole dishes have everything the same size, it seems to make it easier to eat. Spread the cauliflower onto a baking pan (for easy clean up, I lay some parchment paper on the baking pan). Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Top the cauliflower with a drizzle of EVOO and garlic powder. Bake for 20 minutes. To make things easier, I will bake the cauliflower while I am baking the meatballs (that recipe will follow).
Combine the cooked ziti and baked cauliflower in a oven safe baking dish. Top with the can tomato sauce, mix well. Top with american cheese, cover with foil and bake in oven until cheese is melted. Mix and serve
Pesto Salmon with linguine and cherry tomatoes
This is another favorite from my AIP recipes. A homemade basil pesto sauce with no nuts. The recipe will be below. I put a little of the pesto sauce on the salmon, place 2 sliced lemons on top and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. The pasta is easy, 4 cups cooked linguine, 2 cups cherry tomatoes (cut in half). The heat of the noodles will cook the tomatoes slightly. Cover the pasta with the rest of the pesto sauce. Serve with some salmon, fresh basil and shredded Parmesan cheese on top. If you prefer nuts in your pesto, I love adding pine nuts, cashews or pistachios before blended. Just make sure you soak the nuts in water overnight to soften them.