Pastas with chunky sauces require shapes that hold the subtle flavours instead of letting them slide off. Try a short, tubular shape with grooves or ridges. These include “scooby-doos”, corkscrews, fugelli, rotini, or bowties (farfalle).
Pasta with Beans Recipe
Almost like the classic Italian pasta e fagioli (pasta with beans), this version is simpler and less like soup.
- 1/2 lb. (225 grams) whole wheat pasta such as penne or fugelli
- 1 (16 ounce) can or jar plain spaghetti sauce
- 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
- 1 (14 ounce) can cooked kidney beans
- ½ cup sliced black olives (pits removed), optional
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese, grated
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook pasta according to package directions.
- If using onion and garlic, sauté gently in a medium pot until golden. Be careful not to burn.
- Add spaghetti sauce to the pot containing onion and garlic. If not using optional ingredients, add sauce to a medium pot.
- Heat sauce over medium heat, gently stirring in spinach.
- It is best to defrost the spinach to ensure it is heated through, but frozen spinach will also work. Not draining the spinach means its vitamins remain in the sauce.
- When pasta is cooked, remove from heat, drain and return to the large pot.
- When sauce is heated through and spinach is fully defrosted, toss pasta with the sauce.
- Divide among plates and top with grated cheese.
Tomato Pesto Pasta Recipe
In the winter, use canned tomatoes. In the summer, mix fresh chopped Romas with garden-grown organic basil and oregano.
- 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can chopped tomatoes with herbs (most come with basil and oregano)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 14 ounce spiral pasta (fusilli); about 5 cups measured dry
- 3 tbsp. prepared basil pesto (available next to the pasta sauces)
- 3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese* or vegan parmesan
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh basil, for garnish
*note most (if not all) brands of parmesan cheese contain rennet; an enzyme derived from cows and may not be suitable for all vegetarians.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic lightly (about two minutes), then add tomatoes and simmer over medium-low for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot according to package directions or until al dente. Drain and return to the pot.
- Stir in basil pesto and add salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste.
In the large pot or a large bowl, toss pasta with sauce and mix gently. Garnish the bowl or individual servings with chopped basil and parmesan before serving.
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