THRIFTY PASTA CAN stretch the humbliest ingredients into something quite wonderful. Dress it simply with a little olive oil and cheese or add it to your next casserole or salad to "pad" out a meal.
For a main-course pasta dish, which includes a lot of ingredients, plan on about one-half pound for four servings. Follow cooking directions carefully and be sure to use plenty of water, a little salt and a smidgen of oil to keep the noodles from sticking together.
Don't forget to shop the economical bulk food aisles. Stored in airtight containers, noodles will last indefinitely.
This recipe is from Cookin' Good.
Chicken and Pasta Salad
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1/2 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
Salt to taste
8 ounces low fat yogurt
2 tablespoons olive-oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped, optional
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
2 cups bow-tie pasta, cooked and drained
8-ounces frozen sugar snap peas, thawed, cooked and drained
Place chicken in medium-sized skillet. Add water to cover. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes or until chicken is tender and juices run clear when pierced with a fork. Remove chicken to large platter. When cool enough to handle, slice in one-half-inch slices and return to platter.
Meanwhile combine yogurt, sun-dried tomatoes, mayonnaise, garlic, salt and pepper to taste in container of electric food processor or blender. Whirl at high speed until smooth. Gently toss together remaining ingredients. Drizzle over salad or serve on side. Serves five.
Pasta and Zucchini
6 ounces pasta, cooked
2 small zucchini
3 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons garlic, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Wash zucchini and cut in half lengthwise and then intone-quarter-inch slices. Then stack up slices and cut into one-quarter-inch sticks. You should have about two cups.
Heat olive oil in skillet. When hot, saute zucchini over high heat for four minutes until lightly browned and cooked through. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds longer.
When pasta is cooked, remove one-third-cup cooking liquid and place it in large bowl. Drain pasta through a colander and add to bowl. Add zucchini, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Serve with grated cheese.
Basic Tomato Sauce
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon oil
1 quart fresh tomatoes, chopped and drained in a sieve
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Fry onion and garlic in oil until light brown. Add tomatoes and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes. Season to taste. Serve over hot pasta.