Today was one of those days. It was beautiful outside, and I lost a few more hours than planned enjoying it. So glad the prep this week I planned was a double duty pasta prep!
Last week I gained efficiency by doubling up on some ingredient prep that was used in 2 different dishes (Grass Fed Beef Pasta, and Grass Fed Beef Ragu w/ Zucchini Noodles). So this week, I tried it again.
Week days are busy for us, and pasta dishes are easy and taste good lunch or dinner. I know often we talk about carbs, … mainly avoiding them… But, there are so many different types of pasta out there that you can really tailor it to meet your dietary needs or wants. And carbs are not bad!!! Your body needs all food groups to be fit. It’s all about balance 🙂
This week I mixed 2 different types of pasta: Whole Grain + Protein Enriched. By mixing them, I thought it would be the best of both worlds… high fiber, with an added protein kick. The result was very good, and my family loved it!
Short cut: Cooked 2 boxes of pasta at the same time. Then when it’s time to mix with your sauce mixture, just split the cooked pasta between the 2 dishes.
Today I made this alfredo dish and a marinara sauce dish.
Here are some tips to gain prep efficiency:
- I reduced my prep time by having all the pasta ready at the same time.
- I baked the Italian sausage for this dish (vs grill or stove top). This allowed me to bake the sausage for the Alfredo dish simultaneously as I completed the prep for the marinara dish.
- I also used similar ingredients (spinach, sundried tomatoes) which also helped knock both dishes out in less than 30 minutes!!!
Alfredo pasta prep:
- 1/2 box of Barilla Whole Grain Penne Pasta (cooked)
- 1/2 box of Barilla Protein Plus Penne Pasta (cooked)
- 1 jar of Bertolli Alfredo Sauce
- 1 package of Johnsonville Sweet Italian Sausage (5 links)
- 2.5 oz of fresh organic baby spinach (1/2 5 oz container)
- 1.5 oz of California Sun-Dry Sun-Dried Tomatoes Julienne Cut (1/2 3 oz bag)
- 2 tbsp of Italian Seasoning
- 1 tsp of Garlic powder
- 1 tbsp of finely shredded parmesan cheese.
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Place sausages on a baking sheet, and bake 20 ~ 25 min until internal temp = ~160 degrees.
Once the sausages are cooked, cut into 1/2 inch slices, put into the pasta pot, and turn stove to medium-high heat. Add sundried tomatoes, spinach, and seasonings. Saute until spinach is wilted (~2 min). Add cooked pasta.
Slowly add Alfredo sauce, and stir. I add the sauce slowly to avoid adding too much, maybe start with 1/2 the jar at first. You can also dilute with water to reduce calories.
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Prep time = ~ 30 min
Calories = ~350
# of containers = 8