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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple healthy pasta recipes

White beans, pasta and escarole make a healthful

White beans, pasta and escarole make a healthful and hearty soup. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

PASTA FAGIOLI

1 ½ cups (10 ounces) dry cannellini beans

4 ounces small bowtie pasta (or tiny shells, ditallini, orzo or other small shape)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 anchovies, finely minced

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

1 (12-ounce) bunch escarole, trimmed and chopped (about 6 cups)

1/8 teaspoon (or more) crushed red pepper flakes

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Combine the beans and 6 cups cold water in a pot; bring to a boil. After 3 minutes, cover, remove from heat and allow to stand for 1 hour.

2. Drain the water and add 8 cups fresh cold water to the beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until soft and just cooked through, about 1 hour. Bring back to a boil, add the pasta and cook until pasta is al dente, 8 to 9 minutes.

3. While the beans cook, heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium. Add the onion, garlic, anchovies and rosemary, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in red pepper flakes. Add about half the escarole and cook, tossing, until wilted, about 1 ½ minutes. Add the remaining escarole and repeat.

4. Season the cooked pasta and beans with the salt and stir in lemon juice. Add the greens mixture; taste and adjust the red pepper flakes and salt as desired. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 414 calories, 23 g protein, 69 g carbohydrates, 16 g fiber, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 409 mg sodium

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SPAGHETTI WITH SPINACH AND EGGS

8 ounces spaghetti

3⁄4 teaspoon salt, divided

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (9-ounce) bag baby spinach

1 tablespoon lemon juice

3/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

4 large eggs

1. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and toss with ½ teaspoon of the salt and 1 tablespoon of the oil.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Add about half the spinach and cook, tossing until wilted. Add the remaining spinach and repeat. Transfer to a large bowl and toss with the pasta, lemon juice and ¼ cup of the parmesan.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet; add the four eggs and fry until the whites are just set and the yolks still runny. Season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt.

4. Divide the pasta among 4 plates; top each serving with a fried egg. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 430 calories, 18 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 19 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 693 mg sodium

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PENNE WITH CARAMELIZED ONION, BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND BUTTERNUT SQUASH

3⁄4 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice (2 cups cubed)

1 pint Brussels sprouts, halved

1⁄4 cup olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon salt, divided

2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups)

8 ounces penne, preferably mixed grain

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Coat a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Toss the squash and Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Place on the baking sheet and roast until the vegetables are fork-tender, about 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the onion and 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and browned, 15 to 17 minutes

4. Cook the pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain and combine with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. Toss with the squash and Brussels sprouts, caramelized onions and Parmesan. Makes 4 servings

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 432 calories, 12 g protein, 63 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 16 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 692 mg sodium

TIP: Crank up the wholesomeness of these dishes by using a mixed grain pasta.

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