3 Simple meatless pasta dinner recipes

Penne, broccoli rabe, crushed red pepper and feta

Penne, broccoli rabe, crushed red pepper and feta make a robust and satisfying meatless entree. (Credit: Marge Perry)

Marge Perry

Newsday columnist Marge Perry Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts,

bio | email

PENNE WITH BROCCOLI RABE AND FETA

1 large bunch (about 1 pound) broccoli rabe, cut into 3-inch pieces

8 ounces penne

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 ounces feta, crumbled (a scant 1 cup)

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil; add broccoli rabe and cook until bright green and crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer to a bowl.

2. Bring water back to a boil; add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain but do not rinse.

3. Meanwhile, whisk 3 tablespoons of the oil with the lemon juice; set aside.

4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium high; add garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in broccoli rabe and red pepper flakes and cook, tossing, 1 minute until warm. Dress with pasta and olive oil-lemon mixture. Toss with feta and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 447 calories, 21 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 15 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 350 mg sodium

------

SPRING ORECCHIETTE WITH RICOTTA AND EDAMAME

8 ounces orecchiette pasta

1 (12-ounce) bag shelled edamame

8 ounces part-skim ricotta at room temperature

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

1/4 cup basil, chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

Salt

1. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add pasta and cook 1 to 2 minutes short of the recommended time; add edamame and cook until they are bright green and crisp-tender, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain.

2. Toss pasta with ricotta, Parmesan, basil, mint and pepper; add salt and additional black pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 391 calories, 11 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 24 g protein, 50 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 230 mg sodium

------

FUSILLI WITH KALE, CHICKPEAS AND GOAT CHEESE

1 pound kale, torn into 3-inch pieces

8 ounces fusilli

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Salt and pepper

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add kale and cook 2 minutes, until bright green and somewhat tender. Transfer with tongs to a bowl.

2. Bring the water back to a boil; add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain.

3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and kale and cook, tossing occasionally, 2 minutes, until warmed through.

4. Toss with the pasta; stir in the goat cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 468 calories, 12 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 21 g protein, 73 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 239 mg sodium