Not Your Average Pasta Dinner

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 2 minutes

Spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, chicken Alfredo. These are staple pasta dishes, but they also lack a full serving of vegetables and are quite heavy on the stomach. With so many great flavors of fall, it would be sinful not to use what’s freshest this season. That’s why we’re offering a twist on the traditional pasta dinner and saying toss that tossed salad out the window!

Not Your Average Pasta Dinner
For a healthier, heartier meal, fill up on these sauteed sprouts instead of the usual pasta pairing — bread sticks.

Family-style pasta is usually served with a big bowl of salad and a side of buttery bread sticks. But when you prepare Fall’s Perfect Pasta Plate, you won’t miss out on the ho-hum salad or the extra carbs. This dish is full of fall favorites, including tart cherry tomatoes, crisp roasted chickpeas and a drizzle of savory olive oil. The combo of flavors is much more sophisticated than your mom’s spaghetti…not to mention it’s great endurance fuel.

Fall’s Perfect Pasta Plate

6 ounces gluten-free penne pasta
1 can (15 oz) organic chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans)
1/2 package cherry tomatoes, halved
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 tsp. organic garlic powder or 1/2 clove fresh garlic
Parmigiano-Regiano, grated
Sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2.  Drain and rinse chickpeas before seasoning with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.
3. Spread chickpeas evenly on a baking dish and roast for 25 minutes. Let cool.
4.  Cook pasta according to package directions.
5. In a large serving bowl, toss together remaining tablespoon olive oil, tomatoes, roasted chickpeas, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a pinch of salt and pepper.

Brussels sprouts are a really healthy side dish and beats a boring salad any day. We love these sprouts sauteed with bacon, because bacon makes everything better. Here’s what you need:

1 lb. Brussels sprouts, washed, dried and halved
3 slices bacon
1 Tbsp.  olive oil
1 tsp. organic garlic powder or the other half of the fresh garlic clove
Salt and pepper to taste (though, the bacon has enough salt if you want to skip it)

1. In a medium sauce pan, cook the bacon until crisp, drain the fat (optional) and crumble into pieces. Set aside.
2. In the same pan over medium heat, saute the sprouts either in the bacon fat or in olive oil.
3. Season the sprouts and add the bacon toward the end.
*Tip: if the sprouts aren’t soft enough, put a lid on while cooking to help speed up the process.