How Do You Like Your Pasta? 5 Ways to Enjoy Noodles
Happy Monday Recess readers! Have you gone meatless yet or are you still chowing down carnivore-style? It’s another Meatless Monday and here at Recess, we are committed to helping this movement by providing meat-free recipes on this day of the week. Today we’re focusing on the different ways you can serve up pasta. Whether it’s spaghetti, spiral, bow-tie or penne, there are several ways you can dish out these noodles without the meat but full of delicious flavor.
5 Ways Serve Up Yummy Pasta
Just Boiled — Or the Traditional Way
Most people just boil their pasta, drain and serve with sauce or other toppings. I like to add veggies and cheese to my noodles so it can be a complete meal. Any way you serve it, most households typically have a “pasta” night because it’s easy to make and kids love noodles. But did you know, you can still be a little creative when making pasta the traditional way? Check out the Organized Cook’s Lorax Pasta Dinner which we featured on Recess back in March. Not only can you dye your pasta funky colors, you can also turn the sauce awesome shades as well.
Baked — This Is Ideal for Optimal Cheesiness
Baking pasta may take your dinner longer to get from the kitchen to the table because it requires the extra step of, well, baking in the oven. However, it’s totally worth it. My favorite baked pasta to make (no, it’s not homemade macaroni and cheese although that comes in second place) is manicotti. Contadina has a great recipe for Hearty Manicotti and I often make this for my family because it doesn’t take too long to prepare (an hour tops and most of that time is the baking part) and it’s a great dish. You get the tangy taste from the cheese and the sweetness from the sauce combined with the delicious pasta. And the kids are eating spinach. Bonus!
Fried –Yes, You Read That Correctly
Have you ever tried Fried Spaghetti? Well, I have and it’s yummy. My brother-in-law made this for my husband years ago and ever since, he’s been a huge fan. I reluctantly tried it (because whoever heard of fried spaghetti?) and I was amazed how delicious it tasted. I don’t make it all of the time since I don’t consider anything “fried” healthy, but it’s a great (and unexpected) dish to make for your family.
There are 2 ways you can make Fried Spaghetti. Either you can prepare it the traditional way (boil spaghetti pasta, drain and top it with marinara and cheese) then place in a skillet and fry the mixture over medium-high heat. Or, you can fry just the noodles (after they have been cooked and drained) then add sauce and cheese in the skillet over medium-high heat.
Served Cold — Because Revenge Isn’t the Only Thing Best Served This Way
My mom would often make a cold pasta salad for potlucks and pool parties when I was growing up. You would think cold pasta would be nasty but it’s surprisingly good if you make it correctly. My favorite cold pasta dish is Tri-Color Pasta Salad. You can find dozens, if not more, recipes for this dish on the internet and they even sell a boxed kit for this pasta salad in grocery stores, although I highly recommend making it yourself. Homemade just tastes better. I make my Tri-Color Pasta Salad this way:
1 Box of Tri-Color Pasta
Black Olives (I use sliced)
Parmesan Cheese (try to get fresh from the deli section)
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil (optional)
Prepare pasta according to directions on the box (I always add a dash of olive oil to the water before cooking pasta). After draining pasta, add desired amount of Italian dressing and salt and pepper to taste. Add olives and tomatoes and stir until mixed. Place in refrigerator until cold. When ready to serve, sprinkle with fresh Parmesan cheese.
Plain — Because Sometimes Less is More
Sometimes the best pasta is just good old-fashioned plain pasta. My son actually just likes his noodles sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and nothing else. My younger daughter will eat it without anything, not even cheese. I’ll add a veggie and buttered bread on the side so that the meal will be complete. Sometimes kids just like it simple.
How do you like your pasta? Share your pasta recipes and ideas!