Healthy Noodles: Easy Meal Edition

This summer, I had a full time internship, with an hour and a half commute to and from work.  By the time I got home, I wanted to work out, and then eat a quick, healthy meal.  At the beginning, I mostly made monotonous salads.  But I soon grew bored of spinach leaves, and tried to be more creative.  Here are three quick and easy noodle ideas… that do not use traditional pasta!

Spaghetti Squash with Meatballs 

IMG_3390

Have you ever heard of spaghetti squash before?  It is an oval shaped squash that produces stringy threads when baked, which are reminiscent of thin spaghetti!

This meal is really easy because all you have to do is bake the squash.  My mum had made the meatballs in bulk beforehand.  And the sauce is Rao’s Marinara.

To bake the squash, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Carefully cut your spaghetti squash in half.  Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper.  Sprinkle salt and black pepper on top of the fleshy side of the squash halves.  Then rub olive oil so the fleshy side is completely covered.  Then lay the squash flesh side down (The “fleshy side” is the interior of the squash).  Bake for 1 hour.  Then, using a fork, scrape the inside of the squash to create spaghetti!

Top with warm marinara and meatballs.  Add some grated parmesan on top.  Then you are all set!

“Puttanesca” Spaghetti Squash

IMG_5238.JPG

While puttanesca sauce is now popular, and an esteemed dish, that was not always the case.  Puttanesca translates to as “in the style of a whore.”  There are theories as to where this tarnished relation came from… Puttanesca sauce is very easy and quick to make.  The intense aroma of the pasta would lure men off of the street.  Etc, etc.

Puttanesca generally consists of tomatoes, garlic, olives, and anchovies.  It has a saltier bite than a traditional marinara.

This version is not a traditional puttanesca, but it has similar salty, briny flavors.  I used Rao’s Artichoke sauce, which is very similar to their marinara, but artichokes are added!

Prepare the spaghetti squash following the above recipe.

Chop kalamata olives and remove the pits.

Mix the spaghetti squash with the sauce.  Add the chopped olives.  Crumble feta on top. And serve!

Butternut Squash Noodles with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto and Roasted Chickpeas 

IMG_4890.JPG

Start with the roasted chickpeas. Preheat your over to 400 degrees.  Open one can of chickpeas, wash thoroughly, then pat dry.  Lay parchment paper on a baking pan, and put the chickpeas on top.  Salt and pepper the chickpeas.  Then drizzle olive oil on top and mix all the chickpeas together. Bake for 30 minutes.

Drizzle olive oil in a sauce pan that is on medium high heat.  Place the sweet potato noodles in the pan and cook until the potato is cooked through.  Around 3o minutes.

I used Seggiano Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto.  Toss the pasta in the sauce.  Sprinkle the chickpeas on top.  And enjoy.

 

Advertisements

Spicy Tomato Pasta

This pasta dish is actually called Bucatini all’Amatriciana and is a recipe from Bon Appétit.  Not only is it very easy to whip together, but it is so satisfying.  The spice from the red pepper flakes, richness from the pancetta, and sweetness from the tomatoes all combine to create a memorable meal.

IMG_2653

Spicy Tomato Pasta (serves 3 people)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive

4 oz. thinly sliced pancetta ( you can use unsmoked bacon too)

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup minced onion

2 cloves of minced garlic

28 oz. can peeled tomatoes with juices, crushed by hand

Kosher salt

12 oz. spaghetti

1/4 cup grated Pecorino

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the pancetta and sauté until it reaches a golden color and is crispy (see below picture).

IMG_2636

Add pepper flakes and black pepper.  Add onion and garlic, stir until soft.  Add tomatoes and reduce the heat to low.  Keep cooking with occasional check back in stirs, it will take another 20 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook to al dente according the instructions on the box.

Add drained pasta to sauce and toss.  Finally add the cheese and then feast!

IMG_2660