Pasta for Dinner - Bring it On!
By mansibshah on March 18, 2010
When it comes to cooking something fast for dinner, Pasta is often on the top of the charts. And why should it not be? It is indeed a boon for the working women who have to dish out a decent dinner in less than 30 minutes, but you can even transform a lame pasta packet into something exotic if you have some time on your hands! Keeping this simple and short, here are the top 5 reasons according to me why Pasta is a preferred choice for weeknight dinners!
Recipes & Photo Credit - Fun and Food Cafe
1. Availability & Storage
Evey supermarket store will carry pasta, even if it is in the most simplest Spaghetti form. In fact, even the mom-and-pop stores across the streets carry them at time. no matter where you live, and no matter what weather it is, you can always rely on a package of pasta to quickly whip up a Pasta Salad or some Baked Macaroni & Cheese!
2. Ease of Preparation
It is so simple, even a kid could do it (well, almost, if the kid is at least 8 years old!) Just boil a pot of water, add a teaspoon of salt and empty the pasta noodles into the crock pot. Cook for 10 minutes and you are done. When you are short on time, just add some ready-made Pasta sauce on the top, some Parmesan cheese, some fresh pepper, and you are good to go. Simple enough, right?
This is perhaps the most important reason to choose Pasta for dinner. a 2 lb package of noodles can easily feed a family of 4 or 5. Add the cost of some sauce and cheese, and you'll still be looking at a family dinner under $10 - and that includes Garlic Toast too! That's even less than the cost of one person's meal if you go to a non-chain restaurant and order a single item from their menu! And homemade sauces are even cheaper, as you can make in bulk and store and keep for use later on in the month. Try making different kinds of Pesto Sauces, like this Cilantro Pesto, or the Walnut Arugula Pesto for affordable yet tasty variations.
4. Delicious to Eat
Pasta comes in so many shapes and sizes, that its easy to mix and match and create a meal that is delicious, yet different from last time. What I do is keep 5 basic sauce recipes on hand, and 5 different types of pasta packages at home. Then I keep alternating between the pairings. So one time its Ravioli with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, other time it is Fettuccine in Roasted Garlic Tomato & Wine Sauce, and yet another time it is the Vegetarian Spinach Lasagna!
5. Healthy & Kid-Friendly Too!
Homemade pasta can be quite healthy, contrary to what one might think, if you stick to a healthy Pasta Sauce recipe; using whole wheat pasta and adding nutritious ingredients like spinach, garlic and herbs that add to the vitamin, mineral and fiber content of the pasta, some cheese for protein, tomatoes for lycopene & nuts for omega-3 oils will actually give you a filling meal fit for your kids and your entire family. Plus, pasta comes in so many interesting shapes, tubes, tunnels, macaroni and more, that kids find it fun to indulge in the colorful meal laid out in front of them.
So, if you are wondering what to cook tonight, it might be a good idea to dish out some Noodles and look at one of the Pasta recipes above, then make your family a hit & healthy restaurant-style meal which will not cash out your pockets, and yet make for a tasty eating event.
Do you have some interesting Pasta recipes to share? Then please add via comments.
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