Saturday, November 28, 2009

Spaghetti With a Twist

Based on my prior posts, I am sure it is obvious just how much I love two things: Pasta and tomatoes. And I know that this little boy growing in me takes after his mom. He loves pasta too. Every time I eat pasta or anything sweet, he goes nuts! He kicks and moves and lets me know that he loves my dinner. That isn't the subject of this post though. I haven't had good luck finding new recipes from Cooking Light these past few issues, however, the month of December was a veritable gold mine! I think I pulled out at least a dozen recipes that I want to make. This is one of them.

I like this recipe for a number of reasons:

1. It was easy to make. Case in point, I made it on a weeknight (which I hardly ever do), and the tag in the magazine said this was a 30 minute recipe.

2. It took pantry staples that I had on hand: Olives, capers, pasta, marinara sauce and spices.

3. It was a different twist on spaghetti. Don't get me wrong, I could eat plain pasta with plain tomato sauce every day of the week. However, it was nice to try something new.

4. Jason liked it! He eats my pasta with a smile even though I know half the time he is a little annoyed. He does not share my love of pasta.

Cooking Light has gained my love back. Not that I ever lost my love for them. I just needed a kick start to find a new recipe. This was very easy and I love the fact that it's light. A serving of a cup of pasta and 3/4 cup of the sauce was a mere 445 calories. That isn't bad! Pair this with a green salad and a glass of milk like I did and you will be full for several hours. I didn't feel a bit guilty eating this.

I don't keep sherry on hand, but I imagine red wine would probably be fine. I just used water since it called for only 1/4 cup. That and the saffron, which is optional anyways, are the two ingredients that I didn't have on hand. I added about double of the red pepper since we like things spicy in our household. The results were a very nice spiced pasta kick.

Try this recipe! It's very very good. I have been eating the leftovers as well. They are just as tasty reheated.

Spanish Spaghetti with Olives
from: Cooking Light December 2009

8 ounces thin spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups choppen onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed saffron threads (optional)
8 ounces extra-lean ground beef
1 2/3 cups marinara sauce
1/2 cup sliced pimento stuffed olives
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; saute 4 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Stir in oregano, celery salt, red pepper, black pepper and saffron. Crumble beef into pan; cook 5 minutes or until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in marinara sauce, olives, sherry, capers, and 3 tablespoons parsley. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.

3. Add spaghetti to sauce mixture. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon parsley.