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pasta

Spinach Parmesan Orzo

This makes a great side dish, or you can add protein for a main dish!

Ingredients:
1 box of orzo
1 box of grape tomatoes
1 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1 bag spinach
2 tsp. garlic salt
Pepper
1 c. mushrooms
1/2. large onion
Olive oil

Cook orzo according to box. Saute onion and mushrooms in olive oil. Add spinach until just wilted and combine vegetables in with orzo along with parmesan cheese. Cut tomatoes in halves and mix in to orzo, along with garlic salt and pepper taste.

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Pesto Tortellini

This dish is ideal for carbo loading before a race, and tastes even better (if that’s even possible) cold the next day.

Ingredients:
1 package (3ish servings of pasta) tortellini
3 large portobello mushrooms
1 bunch (10-15 stalks) asparagus
3/4 c. pesto (optional: spicy!)
1/2 onion
3 cloves of garlic
2-4 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Olive oil
2-3 large chicken breasts (optional: with chimichurri sauce)
Salt
Pepper

Dice mushrooms, asparagus, onion, and garlic, and saute in (a lot of) olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and saute in a separate pan. Boil water and make tortellini according to the package. When done, drain the tortellini and combine with pesto, sauteed vegetables, chicken, and parmesan cheese. Serve with garlic bread and wine for a delicious experience.

Pesto Pasta

Another springtime favorite. The pesto will stay good for a while and is a very versatile ingredient, so you might as well make extra!

Ingredients:
2 c. basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c. pine nuts
1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender until smooth. Serve on top of spaghetti with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes, or use on sandwiches, meat, vegetables, and much more.

Dad’s Lasagna

This is a modified version of the lasagna I ate all the time growing up. Perfect for a family dinner and stays well in the refrigerator if you have leftovers.

Ingredients:
1 box lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground turkey or beef
32 oz. container ricotta cheese
8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
2 jars tomato sauce
2 c. spinach
shredded Parmesan cheese

Boil the lasagna noodles until mostly done, adding in a small splash of oil once the water is boiling. Drain the noodles and allow to cool. Mix ricotta, mozzarella, and egg in a bowl until thoroughly combined, and then stir in spinach. Put ground meat in a frying pan and cook until fully browned, making sure to break up the ground meat as it cooks. Drain the excess oil from the pan and add 1 to 1.5 jars of sauce to the meat. Lightly cover bottom of lasagna pan with a layer of sauce (from the jar that is not mixed with meat). Lay 4 noodles on the bottom, overlapping them so that there are no holes. Put half of the cheese mixture on top of this layer – 6-8 big spoonfuls will do, and it will melt so no need to spread thoroughly. Cover with another layer of overlapping noodles. Pour the meat sauce mixture over the noodles, and then cover with another layer of noodles. Add the rest of the cheese on top and cover with one last layer of noodles. Finally, cover the top with another layer of sauce (from the jar). Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake on 375 for about an hour. Serve with extra sauce and Parmesan cheese to taste.

Baked Ziti Extravaganza

This dish will warm you up on a crisp fall day and has everything you’d want in a meal. Between the veggies, ground turkey, pasta, and cheese you can get your fill of protein and carbs in every colorful bite.

Ingredients:
1 box of veggie pasta (I used Barilla’s tomato/carrot penne)
1 jar of tomato sauce (I used Prego’s tomato/basil/garlic)
1/2 head of broccoli
1 c. sliced mushrooms
1-2 c. frozen spinach
1-2 c. frozen stir fry vegetables
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
1 tbsp. dried oregano

Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces. Cook the pasta for 6-8 minutes, or until almost done, and then add in broccoli and mushrooms. Once the pasta is done, drain the pasta/broccoli/mushroom mixture. While the pasta is still hot, add in the jar of tomato sauce and all the frozen vegetables. Cook the ground turkey until fully brown in a separate pan and then add that into pot of pasta and vegetables. Season with oregano and stir. Pour mixture into large casserole dish and top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake in oven at 350 for about 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is fully melted. Enjoy!!

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