What’s Cookin?

I was having another one of those weeks when I feel like nothing I’ve ever cooked before is good enough to have this week. Fortunately my real simple magazine showed up last week and happened to have like 25 recipes that only take 20 minutes! Now that’s what I’m talking about…

Last night I made Pasta with Peppers and Mozzarella:

12 ounces short pasta (such as gemelli or penne; about 4 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bunches arugula, thick stems removed (about 6 cups)
12 ounces bocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella), cut in half, or fresh mozzarella, cut into bite-size pieces
Kosher salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta, and set aside. Wipe out the pot.

Heat the oil in the pasta pot over medium heat. Add the bell peppers and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peppers are tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add the arugula, bocconcini, the cooked pasta, the reserved pasta water, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring, until the arugula is just wilted, about 1 minute.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

I also made Bean and Sausage Rigatoni:
8 ounces uncooked rigatoni or penne
1 can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 pound reduced-fat smoked turkey kielbasa, halved and sliced
5 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. In a bowl, combine the pasta, beans, tomatoes, spinach, kielbasa, tomato paste, broth and seasoning.
2. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until heated through.

Yield: 8 servings

Both of these recipes were so easy and were filled with lots of different delicious flavors. I especially the first one – it was so light. I’ll definitely be making that one again. The second one was not AS good as the pasta/mozzarella/peppers dish, but was still quite good and I think I’ll make it again.

Check out how similar mine looks to the Real Simple picture:

And don’t you love the adorable polka dot bowls my mom bought me?