Where would we be without pasta when it’s cold outside? This classic staple of winter eating is dependable, affordable and delicious. What’s not to love?
Even our favorites need the occasional refresh, though. Let this be the winter you revisit your pasta preparation plans and bring a warm, tasty dish to your table. These two techniques can be customized a dozen different ways to bring new comforts to your weeknight offerings.
1) Go Green
We don’t tend see a bounty of fresh, seasonal produce during the cold months. But greens—hardy salad greens like spinach and arugula and dark leafy varieties like chard, kale and escarole—are easy for growers to produce year-round in greenhouses or outdoors.
Cook up a pot of pasta and drain. Add a huge pile of greens into the empty, hot pot and place the cooked pasta on top. The heat of the noodles will slightly wilt the greens while preserving their vibrant color, flavor and nutrition. Choose a spinach pasta, stir in some store-bought (or home-made!) pesto, and you’ll be off to the healthy, delicious races!
2) Bake It Up
Few things conjure up the image of comfort food more than molten, bubbling cheese. There’s a good reason lasagna and baked ziti are such soothing staples. But it’s easy to elevate the nutrition of a baked pasta dish by folding in some vegetables like carrots, broccoli or winter squash into cooked pasta. Add some light, creamy cheese like ricotta, stir, and of course top with mozzarella, that champion of bubbling cheese goodness.
How do you enjoy pasta in the wintertime?