Monday, April 4, 2011

Pasta Dish - from the Fridge

This is a great way to make a pasta dish without all of the extra starch. When vegetables and low-fat cheeses are added, the need for that pasta gets satisfied without the carb overload. Next to chocolate, pasta is my favorite food.
This is a way to use those small amounts of food from the refrigerator. Left-over make-overs usually taste better than the original dish as the flavors have merged. This dish has a good dose of protein, potassium and iron.
The amounts do not have to be exact; just give it your best shot. A gluten-free brown rice penne was used in this dish. Any pasta in bite sizes will work for this dish. The idea is to not overload the dish with starches, thus the small amount of pasta. Any type of legume (bean) can be used; the taste will vary according to the bean. Black, pinto, brown or red kidney beans work best in this dish.

Pasta Dish - from the fridge
• 1 cup sautéed spinach
• 1/2 cup sautéed sliced mushrooms
• 1/2 cup sautéed sweet peppers
• 1 cup canned beans (equal amounts of black and garbanzo), rinsed, drained and crushed
• 2 ounces uncooked pasta (penne, macaroni, etc)
• 1 15 1/2 oz can stewed tomatoes with peppers, onions, etc
• 1 Tbsp freeze dried salad or Italian Herb mix
• 1 Tbsp dried salt-free Italian spices
• 1 Tbsp minced garlic or dried onion flakes
• 1/2 cup small-curd cottage cheese(2%)
• 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
• 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded, optional
do not add additional salt

• Spray a baking dish with oil spray.
• Mash the beans, just to crush them, not pureed.
• Open the stewed tomatoes and drain the liquid into the crushed beans.
• Puree the tomatoes in a food processor with the spices. (A small food processor works fine here)
• Spread the pasta over the bottom of the dish
• Place about half of the spinach over the pasta.
• Dollop the cottage cheese over the dish
• Place about half of the peppers and mushrooms over the dish
• Stir the beans and spread it over the dish
• Place the remainder of the spinach over the dish
• Sprinkle the Feta cheese over the dish
• Place the remaining ingredients (mushrooms, peppers) over the dish
• Cover with the pureed tomatoes
• Using a fork or spoon, Push down on the edges to move the sauce down into the dish.
• Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes covered and 15 minutes uncovered. You may need to push down the contents of the dish if the liquids are on top.
• Remove from oven and top with the mozzarella, if desired. Allow to cool about 1/2 hour before serving, so the dish will absorb most of the remaining juices.

Great for make-ahead dishes. Refrigerate and re-heat in serving size amounts.

Servings: 4
Yield: 4 meals suitable for lunch.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition (per serving): 276 calories, 9.6g total fat, 1.8g monounsaturated fat, 2.4g polyunsaturated fat, 3.2g saturated fat, 14.8mg cholesterol, 519.9mg sodium, 770.2mg potassium, 37.9g carbohydrates, 8.4g fiber, 29.5g net carbohydrates,  8.9g sugar, 13.9g protein, 4.8mg iron.

Ricotta or additional Feta can be substituted for the cottage cheese.

1 comment:

  1. You are making me very hungry.....pasta is also one of my favorites!