October 17th is National Pasta Day!

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Distance runners everywhere rejoice – the holiday for carbo loading is upon us. October 17th is National Pasta Day!

Every family has their favorite noodle dish, but if you want to switch things up a little bit, we’ve put together a list of three of our favorite pasta meals. 

Serve with a salad of crisp greens and your favorite vino (milk for the kids), and you’ll be celebrating right!

American “Pasketti” and Meat Sauce

Did you know that spaghetti was never meant to be served with a heavy meat sauce?  This is entirely an American creation!  Well, embrace your inner American by mixing together a tasty meat sauce for your pasta.

Ingredients:

1 lb ground turkey
1 diced green pepper
1 diced small yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can Italian seasoned diced tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
Italian seasoning
Red wine (optional)

Directions:

Brown your meat.  Sweat out your veggies in the same pan with the meat.  Use the red wine to deglaze the pan.  Let it simmer for 10 minutes.  Add in tomatoes and tomato sauce.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Add in seasoning and simmer for 10 minutes.  While it’s simmering, boil up your spaghetti.  Great with garlic bread and a green salad! (For another great homemade meat sauce recipe, check out “How to Make Bologonese Sauce“)

Best Ever Mac’n’Cheese

Another American tradition, mac’n’cheese is usually that boxed meal you leave for the babysitter to make.  Make it fancy… and sooo tasty.  This is a great splurge food!

Ingredients:

16 oz of hearty pasta (elbow pasta, rotini, or shells)
¼ cup butter
½ cup flour
2 ½ cups 1% milk
2 cups shredded mild cheddar

Directions:

Boil up pasta.  In a sauce pan, melt the butter on low heat.  Create a rue by whisking in flour for one minute.  Gradually whisk in your milk until it thickens and bubbles.  Add your cheese, stirring until it is creamy and smooth.  Mix in your pasta and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.  For a tasty veggie supplement, serve with steamed broccoli!

(For another great macaroni and cheese recipe, read “Southern-Style Homemade Macaroni & Cheese“)

Better Fettuccini Carbonara

Rachel Ray likes to tell the story of how she made bacon and egg pasta for her hubby for a date, and now it’s his favorite food.  Well, with eggs, bacon, and cream, there’s no way this could be healthy.  Here is a lighter version of the traditional carbonara recipe that’s still super tasty.

Ingredient:

5 slices of turkey bacon, cooked and chopped
1 ½ cups fat-free half and half
½ cup egg substitute
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
16 oz fettuccini pasta
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup shredded Parmesan
2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

Directions:

Whisk together half and half, eggs, flour, and spices.  Mix in bacon bits.  Add peas.  Let it simmer until it’s nice and thick.  Toss with cooked fettuccini.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.  Serve with your favorite salad!

(Yum!)

What’s your family’s favorite pasta dish?

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