With just a couple of minutes prep, this easy weeknight pasta dinner recipe is on the table in 15 minutes from pan to plate.
~by Regan Jones, RD
My oldest son is responsible for emptying the utensil carriers from the dishwasher every night. I say "carriers" because we have more than one. There's always one in the sink, one on the counter and one in the dishwasher. At any given time -- especially if he's behind -- there might be three carriers full of utensils to put away.
If you're picturing a constant stream of dishes being dirtied, cleaned, unloaded and dirtied again, you're picturing my life. And I bet there's a good chance yours looks similar. (Minus the three carriers. I realize that's a uniquely Regan requirement in the kitchen.)
The point is this -- as a working mom with two kids, I almost always feel like I'm sinking in a quicksand of dishes and laundry. The harder I try to get caught up, the worse it seems to get.
I remember being a fresh-faced food editor years ago long before kids and coming home every evening with at least 4 dishes in mind to cook. Cooking dinner was an elaborate production that filled my night in a way that was relaxing and refreshing.
Preparing dinner with two kids battling against having to do homework, fighting one another with swords and lamenting that they're "starving to death" is anything but relaxing and refreshing. But it doesn't mean that I don't want to still enjoy those "elaborate" tasting recipes. It does mean that I need them to be ready as soon as humanly possible.
That's where pasta is my BAE (Okay, I totally threw that in because I'm too old to be using that phrase, and I have a contingent of folks who will totally love that I was able to use it semi-sucessfully. You're welcome.)
Today we're kicking off a 3-month series devoted to all things pasta. Sponsored by the National Pasta Association, the #PastaFits campaign will be filled with not only tasty recipes like this...
...but more importantly words of wisdom from some of our most-talented RD bloggers about "why" and "how" pasta are an ideal part of a healthy diet.
If you've followed me for any time you know that I'm not a huge fan of empty carbs. But make no mistake. While pasta is obviously a rich source of carbohydrate, it has a low glycemic index (which means it doesn't cause quick blood glucose spikes) and provides the slow release of energy that your brain and muscles need.
Beyond these benefits, each blogger listed below will share the scoop and skinny on why she thinks #PastaFits. But I'll confess that even with all the talk of complex carbs, iron, B vitamins and fiber, for me it's all about the ease, simplicity and most importantly, the "canvas" pasta creates for so many healthy foods and sauces -- #AllTheGreens, spring sweet peas, virtually any type of roasted veggie, healthy oils and veggie puree sauces... you name it.
Here are the bloggers who will be participating in the campaign:
- Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean
- Amanda @ The Wholesome Dish
- Melanie @ Nutritious Eats
- Alexis @ Hummusapien
- Diane @ Cape Fear Nutrition
- Kylie @ Yeah, Imma Eat That
- Alex @ Delicious Knowledge
- Sally @ Real Mom Nutrition
- Meme @ Living Well Kitchen
- Min @ The Adventures of MJ & Hungryman
- Rachael @ An Avocado A Day Nutrition
- Katie @ Mom to Mom Nutrition
- Anne @ Craving Something Healthy
Each month will have a different theme. Here's what you have to look forward to:
- September: Back to School. Tips, recipes, ideas for getting back into a healthy eating regime for kids and families after a summer of hot dogs, BBQ, ice cream, etc. Quick, simple and healthy lunch and dinner ideas to kick off the school year with a nutritious start.
- October: National Pasta Month. It’s National Pasta Month! Celebrate one of America’s favorite foods with new, delicious and healthy spins on classic dishes.
- November: Holidays. From Thanksgiving feast to December holiday prep, keeping a healthy diet full of fruits and veggies is important during this time that tends to be filled with food. Find tips, recipes and suggestions for healthy pasta meals for the holidays.
I hope you'll visit each of these blogs throughout the month to see what they're serving up. As for me, I'll be busy switching out utensil carriers, playing "shuffle the laundry baskets" and creating quick, easy recipes (like the one below) that make me feel like I have plenty of time to cook a special dinner, even when I don't.
To connect with The National Pasta Association, visit them here:
With just a couple of minutes prep, this easy pasta dinner is on the table in 15 minutes. ad: Tweet this
15 Minute Lemon Pepper Pasta with Shrimp
Serves 3 to 4
- 1/2 pound dry fusilli or medium-size twisted or tube-shaped pasta
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound medium-size shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 cups frozen chopped kale, spinach, broccoli rabe or other greens
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta cooks, heat oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet. Add shrimp. Cook 2 minutes. Turn shrimp over.
- Add kale and wine to pan; zest lemon directly into pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove from heat.
- Drain pasta; toss with shrimp mixture, pesto and cheese.