Tag Archives: pasta recipes

Pasta Shells with Easy Arugula Cherry Tomato Sauce [vegan]

Sometimes keeping it simple is the best.

Every Easter when I was growing up – and really, almost every other holiday – my family would go over to my grandma’s for a big family get together. I’ve talked about my amazing grandma before, but she loved to cook for everyone – and she pretty much always overdid it with how much food she made.

There would be a ridiculous amount of dishes for everyone to enjoy. From a giant antipasto salad and homemade breads, to a gigantic spread for the main course, to probably half a dozen desserts, complete with her annual bunny-shaped Easter cake, my grandma always spent days preparing. She also always made me eggplant parmigiana because I loved it (and later on, I developed an allergy to it, probably from eating it too much!).

One type of dish that my grandma made for holidays was a simple pasta. It was usually designated as a go-to for the picky eater kids in my family, but everyone typically wound up scooping some onto their plates. She would often make a cavatelli pasta with just a homemade tomato sauce. It was maybe her most simple dish, but we all ate it every time.

Today, in honor of the upcoming holiday and my grandma, who we lost just about three years ago and I miss so damn much, I wanted to share an easy pasta dish. This one comes together in 30 minutes or less, and the stars of the sauce are heirloom cherry tomatoes and wild arugula.

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Healthier Fettuccine Alfredo with Spinach & Tomato

Hello strangers!

So, last week was probably the first full week that I did not post on this little corner of the internet of mine since I started this blog. Trust me, it wasn’t by choice!

I was pretty much in technology hell all week. My beloved computer had been running really slow, and I was troubleshooting and running back and forth to the Apple Store like my life depended on it – because well, it kind of does. I work on my computer every single day and depend on it as a publicist, blogger, freelance writer and health coach. So, you can imagine that I have a lot of stuff on this computer of mine!

To make a long story short, the good news is that my computer was salvaged and is now working fast. But what’s the bad news? Apple restored my computer without consulting me first, and wiped out many of my photos that I saved only on my computer + an external hard drive that randomly stopped working last week. And since my computer was running so poorly, I wasn’t able to successfully back up my photos. Believe me, I tried.

So yea, I’m majorly bummed about the photos being lost. I keep thinking of my travel photos, wedding shots, and captured family memories that I’ll probably never get to see again.

(Yes, my photos are now set up to automatically go to “the cloud” every day so that this never happens again.)

But on the bright side, I can recover some of them by looking at my past posts and social media, and saving them back one by one. Luckily I’ve posted a ton of photos on this blog of mine! And, I can resume working on my computer and it not take me 4x as long to do things. I know this sounds like such a first world problem, but with how much I rely on my Mac, the whole situation was very stressful. I’m thankful for yoga, baking and my bike trainer for keeping me sane when I wanted to rip my hair out!

So that’s that, but let’s get to the good stuff today… aka pasta.

Today’s recipe is one that I’ve been making for years. I first started making this dish after I had a craving for fettuccine alfredo, but when I ordered it out at a restaurant and ate half of the dish, I left feeling too full and kind of sick. That’s the thing about consistently eating healthy & light: When you eat heavier food once in awhile, your body does not like it! So, I did what any good food blogger would do: I came up with a lightened up recipe that leaves me feeling satisfied but not stuffed.

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Avocado, Spinach & Walnut Pesto Pasta

Good old St. Paddy’s Day is tomorrow, and while I didn’t make any Irish soda bread last weekend or have a blast celebrating at any parades, I wanted to share a green recipe in honor of the holiday.

avocado pesto pasta-1

My heritage is part Irish, and I have lots of St. Paddy’s Day memories: my family getting together at my grandma’s house (who was Italian, but loved any excuse to celebrate!) for corned beef & cabbage (hold the corned beef for me), potatoes and Irish soda bread; and day drinking at many Irish parades in Jersey as a college kid.

2009 St. Pats Day

Celebrating with my college roommates Marla & Meaghan

I kind of would like to be wearing green shamrock stickers on my face and day drinking with my girlfriends right about now actually, but any who… here’s a fun little holiday tidbit: The color green being associated with Ireland dates back to at least the 1600s.

A sign I saw at an Irish bar in Italy

A sign I saw at an Irish bar in Italy

And speaking of green… helloooo pesto – a veggie-packed, vegan pesto pasta dish to be precise.

pesto ingredients

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15 Minute Meal: Spinach Ricotta Pasta

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a great week.

This evening when I got home from the gym, I was pretty ravenous. Wanting to prep dinner quickly, I threw together this easy, cheesy pasta dish:

Spinach Ricotta Pasta

Serves 4 

  • 8 oz [multigrain] angel hair or spaghetti
  • 6 c of raw baby spinach
  • 1 c cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 c light ricotta cheese
  • 1 c light shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt & pepper

Boil a pot of salted water and cook pasta according to directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add a large handful of spinach to the pan. Cook until wilted, then add more spinach a handful at a time until all of it’s wilted.

In a bowl, combine the ricotta and mozzarella cheese. Mix together well.

Once pasta is done cooking, drain then return to the pot. Mix the cheeses and veggies in with the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste, and combine everything well. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 380 calories, 13 g fat, 24 g protein, 44 g carbs

Quote of the Day: “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn