I participated in an Ambassador Program on behalf of Mom Central for the National Pasta Association. I received pasta samples and a stipend to facilitate the creation of pasta recipes as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #MC #PastaFits
Quick and easy weeknight dinners are a must now that school is back in session. A few years ago, my mother-in-law taught me a neat trick. She “shops” her fridge for whatever veggies happen to be there, cuts them up and tosses them with pasta and Italian dressing. I could not believe how simple it was to make a pasta salad without even using a recipe. This is now my favorite way to use up any odds and ends vegetables hanging out in my refrigerator.
Pasta is a versatile food for healthy meals. I can pair pasta with vegetables or beans, add a protein like chicken or lean meat, and cover it in a nutrient-rich tomato sauce. Fast. Easy. My family likes it. What more could I ask?
The National Pasta Association has a wonderful resource all about pasta! Visit PastaFits.org for recipes, contests and promotions, nutrition facts, and general pasta-cooking tips. I really liked their Pasta Shapes Dictionary. It names all the pastas and tells you which type of pasta pairs best with your pasta dish. I didn’t know that picking the right shape of pasta for your recipe could make such a difference.
PastaFits.org Tip for Parents: Serve Alphabet-shaped pasta with veggies to help make meal time fun for picky eaters.
Pasta Fits meal planner helped me find a Chicken Penne Pasta with Cream Sauce recipe to try with my family. It turned out deliciously and I will definitely make it again.
Chicken Penne Pasta with Cream Sauce (from PastaFits.org)
- 4 oz. penne rigate
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cup/4 oz. roughly chopped, mixed wild mushrooms
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
- 2 cups/8 oz. asparagus, cut into 2” pieces
- ¼ cup/2 oz. white wine
- 6 oz. shredded cooked chicken
- ½ cup/4 oz. lowfat sour cream
- ½ cup/½ oz. shredded basil
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the penne according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the oil and sauté the mushrooms until softened and starting to brown (about 5 minutes).
3. Add the garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add the asparagus and white wine.
4. Cover and cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender (about 2 minutes).
5. Stir in the chicken, sour cream, and penne. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Stir in the basil and serve.
See this recipe and more at PastaFits.org.
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How often does your family eat pasta? What is your favorite pasta dish?