Four Ways to Cook Pasta

The great thing about pasta is it can be cooked and served in so many different ways! Warm, cold, light, or hearty- pasta is an inexpensive and easy meal to prepare on busy weeknights! Be sure to try these four different ways to cook pasta!

Pasta Fajioli Soup

What you will need:

1/2 pound Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed

1 small onion, chopped

1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups water

1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 can diced tomatoes, undrained

1 can chicken broth

3/4 cup uncooked tubetti pasta

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup fresh greens (spinach, kale or Swiss chard)

5 teaspoons Parmesan cheese

Directions:

In a large saucepan, brown sausage over medium heat. Drain and set aside. In the same pan, sauté onion in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and cook for approximately one minute. Add water, beans, tomatoes, broth, tubetti, and pepper to pan. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until pasta is al dente  (approximately 8 minutes). Stir in meat and greens. Cook until greens are wilted (2-3 minutes). Top with Parmesan cheese.

Pasta Salad

What you will need:

16 oz tri-color rotini pasta

½ medium red onion, chopped

½ cucumber, chopped

½ medium green bell pepper, chopped

½ medium red bell pepper, chopped

½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bottle zesty Italian dressing

Crumbled feta cheese to garnish

Directions:

Prepare the pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse well. In a large mixing bowl, combine the pasta and chopped veggies. Stir in the Italian dressing and mix until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least six hours. Before serving, top with crumbled feta cheese.

Four Ways to Cook Pasta

Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

What you will need for the meatballs:

1 lb ground beef

1 cup dry breadcrumbs

1 cup parmesan, freshly grated

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 egg, beaten

All-purpose flour for dredging

You will also need:

1 jar prepared spaghetti sauce (or 24 oz homemade sauce)

1 lb spaghetti noodles

¼ cup olive Oil

¼ cup vegetable oil

Directions:

Crumble beef into large mixing bowl. Add breadcrumbs, 1/3 cup parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and beaten egg. With clean hands gently combine all ingredients. Shape into 1 inch round meatballs. In a shallow dish, lightly dredge meatballs through flour until evenly coated. Set aside. Heat olive oil and vegetable oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Without over crowding, fry each meatball in batches for approximately 6 minutes turning throughout. Place browned meatballs on paper towels to drain excess oil. In a separate saucepan, bring spaghetti sauce to boil. Add meatballs to sauce and cook for about 30 minutes (or until they are cooked through). Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and serve topped with spaghetti sauce, meatballs and remaining parmesan.

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

What you will need:

1 lb elbow macaroni

8 tbsp butter

8 tbsp flour

2 cups milk

2 cups cream

1 tsp salt

Freshly ground black pepper.

2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

2 cups Velveeta cheese, cubed

Directions:

Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Prepare macaroni according to package instructions. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add flour, salt and pepper, whisking continually. Gradually add milk and cream, constantly stirring. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes (still stirring constantly). Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes (stirring throughout). Slowly add cheeses (reserving half cup of cheddar) and simmer until all cheese has melted. Add prepared macaroni to cheese sauce and toss to coat. Transfer to large baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

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