Lentil Bolognese Sauce

You know I like to cook with lower fat  for a healthier diet. Today I’m offering a vegetarian Bolognese sauce when you sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on it. If you need a vegan version, drop the cheese. Bolognese sauce is traditionally a meat sauce with tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Today’s pantry recipe replaces the meat with lentils and mushrooms. It requires lentils, mushrooms, herbs, and crushed tomatoes to make a go-to-sauce for pasta, stuffed peppers, and even lasagna.  Add a little dry red wine (or white) to the simmering sauce; the alcohol will burn off. Wine adds another note of deeper, richer flavor. This is a great inexpensive week night meal that’s ready in less than 50 minutes.

Broader pastas have been used in Italy with Bolognese sauce, but you can use the pasta of your choice. Use whole wheat pasta, gluten-free pasta, or even zucchini spirals or spaghetti squash. Feel free to adapt the recipe to meet your family’s taste. 

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Pasta Cobb Salad

This time of year, I’m always looking for refreshing recipes to keep the kitchen cool. Pasta Cobb Salad does just that. It also is great to take it to summer cookouts, tailgates, and BBQs. Cobb Salad is one my favorite meals. If I spot it on a restaurant menu, I have a hard time passing it up. Starring chicken, avocado, bacon, blue cheese, lettuce, tomato, and hard-boiled eggs, this main dish salad makes me happy. Pasta Cobb Salad is a delightful twist on the classic Cobb salad. Incorporating pasta into the salad give you an extra dose of hearty comfort and satisfaction. It’s the perfect meal as the weather warms up and it only takes 30 minutes to make.

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Spicy Pasta & Sausage With Broccoli

This quick and easy recipe is well- balanced with protein, fresh tomatoes, and broccoli. For ease I used a store-bought marinara sauce, any flavor you like. Then I added Italian chicken sausage, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, fresh crushed garlic, basil and broccoli. Italian sausage with broccoli in a spicy tomato sauce is perfect on spaghetti pasta but you can use your favorite shape.

This is a flexible recipe and you can use very ripe tomatoes or other vegetables that you need to use up, such as bell peppers, spinach, mushrooms, kale, or arugula. If sauce thickens too much, add 1/2 cup of red wine or chicken stock.

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A Fast Meal of Linguine With Red Clam Sauce

Need a meal in a hurry? Today’s recipe is an Italian pasta classic, Linguine with Red Clam Sauce. Delicious clams in a savory tomato sauce make an easy meal¬†that is on the table in 30 minutes. I’m using canned clams which can be a staple pantry item for a quick meal. Drain the clams and reserve the clam juice. You’ll use juice from 2 cans in this recipe and add more if the sauce is too thick. You can use the rest in other recipes. The classic dish calls for linguine but if you don’t have it, spaghetti works well too. Start with a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. Add a few flavorful ingredients like capers and anchovy paste and cook with a quality white wine. If you try it with a cheap not so good wine, you can tell the difference in flavor.

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Pasta With Rainbow Vegetables

Back in the 1970’s Pasta Primavera was invented and introduced in a New York City restaurant. (Origins of the dish are somewhat disputed.) It was a pasta dish with springtime vegetables (primavera means springtime) in a cream sauce. I like to try to eat lighter and healthier meals with lower fat. In fact everytime I see my physician for a check-up, she says eat less fat! Today I’m sharing a lighter and healthier pasta dish with a rainbow of vegetables based on spring asparagus. Add carrots, yellow squash, zucchini, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes for a dish that is both pleasing to the eye and your taste buds.

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Crock Pot Bolognese Sauce

If you’re wondering what to cook while in quarantine, today’s pantry recipe requires ground meat, herbs, crushed tomatoes, and milk to make a go-to-sauce for pasta, stuffed peppers, and even lasagna.  Bolognese sauce is a meat sauce with tomatoes, carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Most of us aren’t used to adding dairy to tomatoey, meaty sauces, but adding milk to your bolognese adds such a richer depth of flavor, and results in much more tender meat. Add a little wine to the simmering meat; the alcohol will burn off but the wine adds another note of flavor.

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