Simplify Your Life

With one bag of pasta, a few ingredients and a couple “tricks of the trade” even the most inexperienced cook can get a delicious dish of pasta on the table in minutes!

How to create your own healthy, delicious DYI pasta dishes-without a recipe!

Don’t get me wrong. I love looking at recipes, sometimes following them and other times simply getting new ideas. But most often it’s a matter of getting dinner on the table and that’s when I wing it. 

Monique-isms to Remember for DYI Recipe Creation

“Little, Little, Lot”   

A Little Pasta, A Little Protein and Lots of Veggies.

Pick a Pasta, a Protein, a Veggie……Then Add Punch

Examples of “Proteins”

beans, tuna, roast chicken, nuts, cheese, shrimp, crab, smoked salmon, pancetta/ham/bacon, turkey, fried egg, etc.

Examples of “Veggies”

Some veggies you can cook in the water along with the pasta. Eg. cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, green beans, peas, corn, edamame 

Some veggies you can saute or roast. Eg: mushrooms, zucchini, kale, carrots, radishes, turnips, onions, egg plant. (Don’t forget to use coarse kosher salt for roasting, not table salt) 

Some veggies you don’t have to cook and instead simply toss with hot the hot pasta. Eg. tomatoes, arugula, spinach

Examples of “Punch”

Sun dried tomatoes, capers, olives, artichoke hearts, garlic, herbs, lemon, dried fruit (apricots, figs, raisins, cherries), sauteed bread crumbs, nuts, cheese, pickled anything, fresh herbs, roasted peppers.

 

Tricks of the Trade

Pasta cooking water should be salted with kosher salt to “taste like the sea.”

Ladle a bit of the pasta cooking water into the skillet which awaits the drained pasta.

Use the finest, freshest ingredients possible.

Season generously

Tried and True Combinations:

pasta with tuna, spinach, capers (lemon zest)

pasta with broccoli, garbanzo beans, toasted almonds (red chile flakes)

pasta with cauliflower, golden raisins, walnuts (garlic bread crumbs)

pasta with arugula, feta and sundried tomatoes (pinenuts)

pasta with peas, parmesan and pancetta (or smoked turkey)

pasta with black beans, corn and sweet red pepper (salsa, lime)

pasta with tomatoes, basil, olives (parmesan)

How to create the “Sauce” part of the Sauce.

Utilize some of the pasta cooking water. This works to thin out and bind any sauce whether it’s ingredients you’ve sauted in olive oil and are waiting in the skillet, or pesto or cashew cream sauce. The starch in the water will serve to bind the sauce.

Use a bit of cream, half and half or nondairy substitute.

Portion Control = Pasta Pleasure for Life

Portion control is where it’s at!  We make for “Every Taste and Lifestyle” so you never have to feel deprived of one of life’s greatest pleasures!