A Tale of Two Pastas

By Katie, 7:06 am

Prepare yourself. I am about to write something completely outrageous, scandalous, blasphemous even!

I am not a huge fan of pasta. 8-O

There. I said it. I adore most carbohydrates – all kinds of bread and cereal products are welcome in my tummy – but when it comes to pasta, I can take it or leave it. I mean, I don’t dislike it. I just don’t love it.

That said, I probably make a pasta-based dish for dinner at least every other week, if not more often. Why? 1. The Hubs, like the majority of the population, adores it. 2. It’s quick. 3. With just a few simple additions I can easily turn it into a one-dish meal, no sides required.

Recently I’ve made two blog-worthy pasta dishes – both great upgrades from your standard spaghetti, but also simple and fast. I figured most of you probably enjoy the stuff more than I do, so why not pass on the goodness to those who can truly appreciate it? ;-)

First up, one for the sun-dried tomato lovers in the crowd.

Not bad looking, huh? ;-) The inspiration for this dish came from Simply Life’s recipe for Pasta with Artichokes and Sun-Dried Tomatoes. The only real change I made was using water in place of the white wine because I didn’t have any on hand. To make 4 servings I used 8 oz. of dry pasta (a mix of whole wheat penne and rotini, just b/c it’s what I had), 1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes, 1 can of artichokes, and 1/4 cup of grated Parm.

And for those of you looking for something on the greener side…

This would be Broccoli-Avocado Pasta, recipe courtesy of Cate’s World Kitchen. You can’t tell from the photo, but this pasta is coated with a garlic-lime sauce that has a pleasant kick of heat. It takes your spaghetti noodles to a place they ordinarily don’t go.

The only changes I made to the recipe Cate posted were to use additional broth in place of the white wine (again because I didn’t have any, but I think it would have made the sauce even better), and to omit the zucchini so Dave wouldn’t turn up his nose. :-)

** Note that both of these meals were eaten out of a bowl. For some reason I find pasta significantly more appealing when consumed from a bowl instead of a plate. Bowls just seem more…comforting, maybe? Anyone else?

So the next time you’re craving penne, rotini, spaghetti, or whatever pasta shape happens to be your favorite, I urge you to consider trying one of these combinations. Because if the non-pasta-lover over here enjoyed them, then they must be pretty good, right? ;-)

Are you a pasta lover? What’s your favorite pasta-based dish?

35 Responses to “A Tale of Two Pastas”

  1. I love the look of the first recipe! I’m not a pasta lover myself. Stuffed pasta yes, but for me to like normal pasta, it has to be a pretty incredible dish!!

  2. I get random cravings for pasta, and it certainly is a breeze to prepare. The first one definitely looks like my cup of tea, and the garlic-lime sauce in the second sounds deserving of a shot, too! I tend to have pasta with my veggies rather than the other way around, too :P

  3. Mo says:

    I’m a baked ziti fan. And honestly it’s probably more because of the tons and tons of cheese that’s in baked ziti than the pasta itself. ;) I like pasta fine but usually I’d rather have something else. Especially since, even with whole grain, pasta never seems to really fill me up very much!

    The garlic lime-sauce sounds amazing. I’d definitely eat that. :)

  4. Beth says:

    I don’t like pasta at all. Most people look at me like I’m nuts when I say that, but the texture grosses me out and it doesn’t taste like anything. I would eat the artichokes and sundried tomatoes all by themselves, however. Love both of those.

  5. Jessica says:

    Not a fan of pasta! Is that sin? LOL! Hey, we all don’t like everything.
    These are a couple great looking dishes.

  6. Completely intrigued by lime on the pasta. I’m going to have to get after that one. I can’t believe you don’t love pasta after you gave me the most amazing recipe with asparagus and goat cheese! Although, I’d have to say, potatoes trumps pasta for my favorite carb any day. I could eat potatoes all day long!

  7. Hayley says:

    I’m kind of with you on the pasta thing and I think it comes from being brought up eating more potatoes than rice and/or pasta. That being said, your dishes look delicious! This is probably a stupid question, but did you use the sundried tomatoes that come in a jar of oil or dried ones?

    I’d have to say I usually like meaty pasta dishes – lasagne, baked ziti with meat (I’m thinking Maggiano’s right now because that’s what we had a few days ago – ha ha!) :)

  8. I love pasta! My favorite is Angel hair…so so good!

  9. *Andrea* says:

    i’m not a pasta lover either! i prefer chewy breads like ezekiel, brown rice, oatmeal and potatoes for my starchy carbs. but if doctored up with lots of veggies i think i could enjoy it more… if i had to pick though i would choose soba noodles in a stir-fry!

  10. Elina says:

    I LOVE pasta. Not cold pasta salad but the warm stuff with lots of sauce and add-ins. Both of these sound delicious. Thanks for sharing it with us :)

  11. Yum! I love the way these look…you could pair them together for a Christmas-colored meal, ha! :-)

  12. Cate says:

    I feel exactly the same way about pasta! We eat it maybe once a month because there are so many better carbs out there. I also love eating things out of bowls…so much so that in the dorms my friends called me C-bowls and gave me bowls for Christmas.

  13. I love pasta! I don’t really like creamy sauces too much. Give it to me light and flavorful like most Asian cuisines do. I adore pho noodle bowls and Pad Thai!

  14. I agree with you about the bowl! I JUST thought this the other day after I made some spaghetti.

    I do love my pasta, so theses are great chocies.

  15. Nicole, RD says:

    I saved that recipe from Cate’s World Kitchen, too! It looks and sounds delicious. I *like* pasta, but I don’t swoon over it like others. My hubby loves it, too…so we have it a few times a month. I’m more of a lasagna fan…I like the meat in there!

  16. ohhh that makes me a little sad you don’t like pasta much! ;)

    I love it so very much. The sundried tom/artichoke one looks so very delicious…such a great combo…black olives would be good in it too I bet. Thanks!

  17. I like the taste of most pastas but I don’t really eat them a lot because I feel like they don’t make a complete meal. A pasta dish that is mostly just noodles doesn’t satisfy me! But I love it when I make it for myself because I throw in tons and tons of veggies.

  18. Robyn says:

    Although I avoid it, I’m a pasta fan. That first recipe of yours looks great. You could probably make the sauce/topping and then put yours on chicken and your husband’s on pasta.

  19. sophia says:

    Ahhh! I can’t believe there’s actually someone who legitimately doesn’t like pasta (instead of using that as an excuse to diet and restrict)! I’m a big pasta lover, and so is my dad, and well, everyone I know! I love gnocchi the most…have you tried it? Maybe you’d like Asian noodles though? Like egg noodles or vermicelli.

    • Katie says:

      I actually do really like gnocchi! I’ve only had it once, but it was at an authentic Italian restaurant and it was DELICIOUS! I actually should have mentioned that stuffed pastas are a different story – butternut or pumpkin stuffed ravioli does make me swoon a little bit!

  20. Lauren says:

    Girl I am so with you! I am NOT a pasta fan either. I find that there are so many better options for carbs out there and pasta is just so boring to me. Unless its stuffed with some kind of veggie or unique ingredient, then I could easily take a bowl of veggies and marina sauce anyday. :)

  21. Cardio Pizza says:

    You’re not alone, I am not a big fan of pasta either. I actually rarely crave it! I do like Chinese restaurant lo-mein though..but it’s soaked in oil so that probably gives it it’s taste lol

    My favorite pasta dish if I had to choose would be a lobster ravioli!

  22. Amy says:

    I love pasta. We usually start with Annie’s Whole Wheat Mac and cheese as a base and then the possibilities are endless by adding a protein (chicken, pork tenderloin) and tons of veggies- peas,asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach). We eat some variation of that every other week.

    • Katie says:

      We’ve added canned tuna to Annie’s Whole Wheat Cheddar Shells before, and that was quite good!

  23. Cara says:

    I’m just the opposite of you: I LOVE pasta but almost NEVER make it! Why? When I think back my childhood and how I developed my food issues, pasta is the first thing that comes to my mind. My mother would regularly cook two boxes for our family of five, and not because she wanted to yield leftovers. As soon as one bowl was finished, it was immediately time for seconds – no thinking about digestion or whether we were really still hungry or not. I ate loads and loads of pasta while NOT learning portion control. So nowadays if I am going to make pasta, it’s very rare, and I need to measure out exactly 2oz dry per person, or else I’d be in danger! At least I know it’s a trigger food for me, right?

  24. I love pasta! Mac and cheese is so comforting and just might be my favorite :) I never thought of combining avocado with pasta, but love the idea!

  25. Shawnee says:

    I am a pasta lover. I don’t really have a fave dish though. I really like light and fresh pasta like rigatoni with olive oil, basil and tomatoes with some parm. That kind of thing.

  26. I’m sorry you don’t really like pasta. It’s one of my favorite meals…and I could probably eat it every single day (I blame this on my Italian family).

    I love the look of the dishes you made though. That garlic-lime sauce sounds amazing!

    Oh, and I like pasta out of a bowl too. Especially when I’m having ziti or macaroni. :)

  27. I’m not a huge pasta person either, but I think that’s because I still associate it with plain marinara! (Boring!) These recipes, however, look delicious!

    I often take a pasta recipe and swap out the noodles for polenta, potatoes, or quinoa. Almost any pasta sauce is just as delicious (if not MORE delicious) served over alternative grains/veggies! One of my favorites is pesto potatoes!

  28. I thought I was the only one! I think I don’t love pasta because I am always reminded of the yucky sluggish feeling i used to get when I ate a huge plate of white pasta covered in cheese. I don’t do that often anymore, but I just don’t get too excited by things like pasta salad or pasta and veggie dishes. Like you said, I can take it or leave it. Yours look yummy, though!

  29. Sarah says:

    I just made pasta last night! And like you, I ate mine from a bowl. I agree- pasta is just more satisfying that way.

  30. [...] that time I shared the¬†astonishing fact that I don’t really love pasta? That my attitude towards it is mostly “take-it or [...]

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