Monday, January 10, 2011

Recipe of the Week!

I subscribe to probably an abnormal amount of magazines. Health, Shape, Fitness, Everyday Food, Cooking Light, Clean Eating, Self...just to a name a few. I love to rip recipes out of magazines and have a pile of recipes that I should try. This week, I dipped into that pile and decided to give a go to this recipe from January's Health magazine. It caught my eye because I love easy pasta dishes that you can make in 20 minutes on a weeknight when I get home from the gym at 6-7pm and need a meal to make before it gets too late. So, this one caught my eye and really surprised me. I was a little skeptical because it called for 8oz of pasta...that's 1/2 pound people. Even though there are only 2 of us in the Allan household, we know how to eat. This recipe that called for 1/2 lb of pasta had 4 I thought the servings would be skimpy and not fill us, but decided to give it a go anyway.....

such a good husband that helps his wife in the kitchen

My go to pasta is Whole Foods brand. It's whole wheat pasta where whole durum wheat is the only ingredient. You have to be careful with all the Healthy harvest, whole grain, wanna be wheat brands out there. If there's more than one ingredient besides whole wheat, you have a wheat blend pasta that probably has hidden sugar and other be a label reader! Trader Joe's name brand whole wheat pasta is also a good choice at a great price!

Although it didn't call for it....I decided to add a couple pieces of chicken to bulk up the recipe. I added about 1/2 pound of organic chicken.

The recipe also called for some pesto. I grow basil in my garden and at the end of the summer, I make massive ass batches of pesto. I freeze them in about 1/2 - 3/4 cup portions. So, I popped it out of the freezer, let it defrost and had it on hand for the recipe. Stop hating on my pumpkin gladware...yes, i got it half off the day after Halloween.

White beans, tomatoes, garlic and chicken simmering

 Whole Wheat shells with 1/2 cup of homemade pesto ready to be tossed

I added the beans, tomatoes, chicken and garlic...and voila....a hearty pasta dish

Things I liked about this recipe...although I was initially being Miss Piggy when I read it thinking to myself, Mr. Allan and I can easily polish off 1/2 lb of pasta and there's NO WAY I'll get 4 servings out of the recipe and it's probably not a good one to make since I have major portion control issues....this turned out to be a great recipe! The beans made it very filling...we stuck to 1 portion each and had leftovers for dinner later in the week. I think good additions to this would be some fresh basil strips added in and maybe a dash of red pepper flakes to give it a little kick. The recipe limits the pesto to 1/2 cup...I can see keep the fat and calories down, but the pesto taste wasn't as strong as I normally like it..but still a great dish! It's a keeper and seriously, with the help of Mr. Allan, we had dinner made in 20 minutes.

Pasta with White Beans and Pesto
courtesy of Health magazine

8 ounces Orecchiette or shell pasta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
(15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
3 plum tomatoes, chopped (about 11/2 cups)
1/3 cup prepared pesto
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
2. While pasta cooks, heat olive oil and garlic in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until garlic is fragrant. Add beans and tomatoes; reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes release their liquid, about 5 to 7 minutes.
3. Drain pasta and add to bean mixture. Add pesto; toss to combine. Divide into 4 equal servings. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.

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