I love meals that combine items already in my pantry, but are still healthy. It's worth taking 10 extra minutes to whip up something fresh than buying something loaded with sodium and fat from the frozen section of the grocery store (don't get me wrong, I love my Costco frozen cheese pizzas - but I buy 'em cause they're plain and I can add lots of veggies at home).
Back in the day, I had a love affair with pasta. I ate it every chance I had, and couldn't get enough of the wads of carbs drenched in sauce. Fettucine alfredo was probably my favorite childhood dish (see my healthy take on it here), especially smothered in Parmesan cheese. This is a similar dish, but I amped up the veggies, thanks to Foodbuzz and the chance to try Green Giants' new Valley Fresh Steamers.
This is a great product: you just place the bag in the microwave (it stands up on its own), start cooking it, and the broccoli steams on its own right in the bag. It's low fat and the sauces are all-natural, another plus. I tried the Broccoli and Cheese Sauce version (another childhood fave, especially on baked potatoes!) and although the veggies steamed up nicely, the cheese sauce kind of stuck to the bottom of the bag in little clumps. Kinda gross. I'm glad I added extra cheese to my version to give this dish the ooey-gooey-ness I was craving.
You could throw any leftover veggies into this dish - that's the beauty of it. Work with what you have and enjoy what comes together!
Two-Tomato Pasta with Broccoli and Creamy Mozzarella Sauce
- 14 oz. pasta (I used half whole-wheat spaghetti and half regular orzo - use what you have in your pantry! This is a great way to finish off those almost-empty pasta boxes.)
- 1 bag Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers, Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
- 1 cup Alfredo sauce
- 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning with garlic (I used Garlic Gold)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (the Italian-seasoned variety would be fantastic here)
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- 1/2-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (depending on how cheesy you want it!)
- LOTS of grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- Optional: 1-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced and sauteed in olive oil and seasonings
- Boil a big pot of water and cook pasta according to package directions. This is a great time to prep all your ingredients if you haven't already done so (don't you hate those recipes that make you do everything ahead of time and double the time you spend in the kitchen?).
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- While the pasta is cooking, cook the broccoli in the microwave.
- If you're adding chicken, cook it until nice and brown :)
- Mix Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl.
- When pasta is finished cooking, drain and return it to the large pot.
- Add broccoli, Alfredo sauce, Italian seasoning, diced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper, and mozzarella cheese. Stir everything until combined.
- Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs over the top of the pasta mixture.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Enjoy!
Mmm...cheesy pasta! Yum :)
BTW: Foodbuzz sent me a free coupon for Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers (thank you!). My opinions expressed here are my own.