Bake Pasta with a Twist
Baked Pasta with a Twist
Rate Baked Pasta With a Twist
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A Twist With a Pop of Flavor
It's amazing how the combination of such simple ingredients can provide such a powerful flavor. The twist in this recipe is the addition of tomato paste which provides a real pop in flavor.
The addition of peas and carrots adds color and makes a wonderful hearty dish for those colder days, and it tastes even better the next day once all the flavors meld together overnight. Serve with a side garden salad.
To sliver the carrots, take a vegetable peeler and just peel away (see photo below of slivered carrots). If you are short on time, this is a dish you can put together ahead of time and then bake the next day.
Several times in the past I have portioned off small servings of this dish into freezer-safe containers and froze them for a later time. Once this frozen dish was defrosted and reheated the big flavor was still there, so this is a freezer friendly recipe.
With the combination of the sausage and the pasta, you don’t need a large serving to fill you up, making it perfect for brown bagging during the week, or if you want a little something to eat before a big night on the town. Eating carrots, peas, and onions have benefits which are also explained below.
All comments are welcomed and please feel free to rate this dish.
The Benefits of Eating Carrots
In Chinese medicine, carrots are used to stimulate the elimination of wastes and to dissolve gallstones and ancient Greeks drank carrot juice as an aphrodisiac. In the West carrot juice is known by herbalists for diuretic action and as a treatment for heartburn. Carrots are one of the richest known sources of beta carotene. This antioxidant has the ability to soak up and make harmless the dangerous by-products of metabolism and pollution known as free radicals, which are believed to be able to damage cells and start cancer.
The traditional belief that eating carrots can help you see better at night is well founded. Night blindness is usually due to a lack of the substance visual purple, which requires beta carotene for its formation. The beta carotene in carrots will help to ensure that visual purple can be produced.
What is your favorite kind of pasta dish?
- 8 oz box Elbow macaroni
- 1 lb Mild Italian Sausage
- 1 medium Onion, diced
- 2 Carrots, slivered
- 2 cups Peas
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 1 TBSP Tomato Paste
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 2 cans (14.5 oz each) Petit-diced tomatoes with basil, oregano, and parsley
- 1/8 cup Dried Basil (or 1/4 chopped fresh basil)
- Cooking Spray
- 2 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
Combining the Ingredients
Combine Pasta, sausage mixture, tomatoes and stir
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cook pasta according to directions. Leave out salt and fat. Drain pasta and set aside. I always go for 9 minutes for al dente.
- Remove casings from sausage. Dice the onion, mince the garlic, sliver the carrots. Cook sausage, onion, garlic, and slivered carrots over medium heat until sausage is browned. Stir to crumble.
- Add the tomato paste, salt, pepper, and diced tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring at least once.
- Combined cooked pasta, peas, sausage mixture, and basil. Place half of the mixture in a 9 x 13 casserole dish sprayed with the cooking spray. Top this half with ½ cup of the parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Place the other half of the pasta mixture on top of that. Then top with the remaining ½ cup parmesan cheese, and the remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
- Bake at 350°F for about 20 minutes or until bubbly.
Before and After the Oven
If you love pasta and sausage together, this is some good eating!
CAUTION: Legumes contain proteins called lectins. If legumes are eaten undercooked, the lectins can cause vomiting and diarrhea. The lectins are destroyed by boiling the legumes for ten minutes.
The Benefits of Eating Peas (Legume)
Fresh peas are part of the legume family and are a good source of vitamin C and also supply iron, carotenes, and B vitamins. Dried split peas are used in soups. The key benefits of legumes include a decrease in heart disease, helps control blood sugar levels, may lower the risk of certain cancers, and help maintain the correct levels of iron and calcium in the body.
In Chinese medicine, legumes are believed to be good for the kidneys because of their diuretic properties. Studies have revealed that when people who have high levels of blood fat and cholesterol add legumes to their diet, these levels decrease. It is therefore possible that a diet rich in legumes could help in decreasing heart disease. It is possible that the protein and fiber found in legumes help in lowering the effects of cholesterol and fat.
The insoluable fiber in legumes does not get digested in the small intestine but moves into the large intestine, or colon, where bacteria act on it and produce short-chain fatty acids. These are thought to nourish the lining of the colon and protect it from carcinogenic invaders. Insoluble fiber adds to the physical bulk of the stools, helping them to move along more quickly. This helps to prevent cancer causing substances from attaching themselves to the colon wall.
The Benefits of Eating Onions
Related to garlic, the onion family includes chives, shallots, and leeks. Onions have been used in cooking and for their medicinal properties for thousands of years. Traditionally they have been used as a home remedy for coughs, colds, and bronchitis. Simmering an onion in water with a little honey, then eating the onion and repeating this every 4 hours has been noted to be a remedy for coughs.
An average sized onion weights about 90g and provides about 5 percent of an adult’s daily potassium needs. They are also a rich source of quercetin. They may help to ward off heart disease if eaten 3-4 times a week. Also placing a fresh onion slice on insect bites have shown to reduce the swelling.
Tobacco smoking is one of the major causes of bladder cancer in humans. Onions contain flavonoids such as quercetin and it is believed that the quercetin are converted into substances that protect the bladder lining from carcinogens. Regular intake of onions may help prevent cancer. Of course if at all possible you should stop smoking. Tobacco smoking is a powerful addiction and it may take a few times to quit.
© 2013 Michelle Dee