Miss A Columnist

Linda Yao is a student at the University of Pennsylvania, in the beautiful city of Philadelphia. Having grown up amidst music and art classes, she has an appreciation for the aesthetic, including the art of food. In pursuit of her passion for food, she loves sampling the best foods her city has to offer and enjoying time in the kitchen, exploring healthy options for desserts and entrees. Her biggest food weakness? Everything sweet, but especially dark chocolate. She hopes to influence those around her by sharing the joys of a healthy lifestyle.

Light And Simple Pasta Recipes

I admit I used to always use Ragú® sauces when I made pasta because it’s quick and easy. Eventually, however, I realized how much sodium I was consuming from the sauce alone, and I discovered that making my own pasta sauces from scratch really didn’t take too much effort.

An especially easy pasta to make is the “Pasta with Pesto Sauce.” The pesto sauce took me about ten minutes to create, but the result was a light dish that was tasty, filling, and fresh.

My favorite dish is the “Pasta with Tofu Tomato Sauce,” which I created as a healthy alternative to the more common cheese pastas. This is a great dish that supplements the carb-heavy pasta meal with low-fat protein.

Finally, I thought I would include my version of the classic “Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce.” I love this sauce because it’s easy-to-make, light, and has a zesty taste to it.

For all of these recipes, feel free to use whole wheat pasta or spaghetti for an extra fiber boost. Hope you enjoy your next Italian dinner!

Pasta with Pesto Sauce

Pasta with Pesto Sauce
(Photo Credit: Linda Yao)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 box (8 oz.) dry rainbox rotini
  • 1/3 cup basil
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Directions

  1. Prepare pasta.
  2. Make pesto by mixing basil leaves, minced parsley, crumbled Feta cheese, salt, minced garlic, and olive oil.
  3. Pour pesto over cooked pasta and stir.
Pasta with Tofu Tomato Sauce

Servings: 8

Pasta with Tofu Tomato Sauce
(Photo Credit: Linda Yao)

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (1 lb.) dry penne pasta
  • 1 box (14 oz.) medium-firm tofu
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • ¼ cup parsley
  • ¼ cup basil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil

Directions:

  1. Prepare 1 pound of penne pasta and set aside.
  2. Chop onion and set aside in separate bowl. Add 3 tsp. basil and 1 tsp. Italian seasoning.
  3. Chop tomatoes and set aside.
  4. Chop tofu into squares, as small as possible, and remove to a separate bowl. Mince parsley and add to tofu. Stir in remaining basil and 1 tsp. salt until creamy.
  5. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil on stovetop at medium heat. Mince garlic and add to oil. Then add prepared onions with seasoning to oil. Stir and let simmer for 3 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes and 1 tsp. salt. Then add tofu mixture and stir until entire mixture is heated through.
  7. Add mixture to prepared pasta and stir.

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
(Photo Credit: Linda Yao)

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 box (1 lb.) dry spaghetti
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ white onion
  • 3 tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. Prepare spaghetti.
  2. Dice tomatoes and set aside.
  3. Mince garlic and onion.
  4. Sauté garlic and onion in olive oil at medium heat.
  5. Add in tomatoes, basil, sugar, Italian seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Pour sauce over spaghetti and stir.

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