•  Mostly, I like just about anything with pasta. When I was super poor in college and wanted to make something that seemed fancy, but still was cheap I made a vegetarian carbonara. To make:
    In a deeper, large pan, start cooking onions till they're soft, golden and sweet. Also put some garlic in there. Beat an egg (or more eggs, if you're making more than, say, two servings) with grated Parmesan (or Romano, whatever). You want it to be a thick and paste-y. Use a lot of black pepper, beat it right in with the eggs and cheese.
    When the pasta is cooked toss it into the pan with the onions. Here's the tricky part: You want to cook the eggs without scrambling them, so work fast. Remove onions and pasta from the heat -- they should be really hot , though. Poor the egg(s) on them and toss  with two forks. The eggs will thicken up and coat the pasta. If they don't put it back on low heat and keep on tossing. Salt to taste, blah, blah, blah.

    January 4, 2008 at 12:26 p.m.

  • Ok, I think of food when I'm trying not to pig out all day.  I bet some sun dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and pine nuts would be good tossed with pasta!  I just bought some sun dried tomatoes at our PLUS SIZE HEB and they are gross.  Make them yourself.

    January 4, 2008 at 11:13 a.m.

  • Wonders never cease...I had linguini last night.
    Being married to a serious runner, my kitchen is usually stocked to maximum carb level with beans, rice & pasta. Believe me, I have to slap myself to keep from eating too much of it. (Really I just exercise).
    Most sausage mixtures has a lot of salt in it anyway. Although I have made chicken caccitore (rice or macaroni, whatever you prefer). Turkey bratwurst is definitely a new twist. Noveau cuisine.
    I make my own gravy, too. While I normally make a marinara sauce, I love to use Italian sausage or ground sirloin (leaner beef here) as well. Sometimes, I'll make a bolognese gravy and use a very small  and thinly shaved amount (1/4 pound) of pancetta (HEB has this in the deli, WalMart carries it in the refrigerated section next to their deli cooking area and is a bit cheaper). However, these are the dishes I make when it's payday at my house.
    SugarMag's spaghetti is a healthy route. (I just love basil). A kind of tomato pesto sauce. Yummy. :-)
     If you ever look at those in a bottle at the store, you'd see they are chock-full of sodium.
    Fortunately, it is easy to be creative with rice and pasta. I love those dishes that you cook everything in one pot and voila! you have a hearty dish and hardy any dishes to do.

    January 4, 2008 at 8:53 a.m.

  • I love fresh basil, tomatoes, garlic, and mozzarella cheese.  Hey, you know what is really good?  Get some bread, butter,  and a frying pan out like you are going to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  Instead of using cheddar cheese use mozzarella.  Butter the first slice of bread and put it in the pan on med heat.  Slice some tomatoes (very thin) and put the slices on the moz cheese and put some fresh basil on the tomato.  Sprinkle that with garlic salt and some Parmesan cheese.  Cover that with more mozzarella and top it all off with the other slice of bread.  Turn it over when it's toasty.  Then, just fry that up like a grilled cheese only with all of those fancy "innards."  That's my daughter's favorite meal.  We call it a Grilled Margarita.  We love fresh basil, tomato, and mozzarella cheese!

    January 4, 2008 at 8:32 a.m.

  • Sounds like a decently improvised meal. Of course, we know that these don't always turn out for the best, but many times we wind up with real "keepers", huh! I like my spaghetti with fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil. That's it! Simple, and perfect. My family, however, doesn't share my taste with many items, so I also cook for them the old-fashioned "gravy" type spaghetti sauce, using Italian sausage, tomatoes, and seasonings.....last time I did that, though, for some reason, it came out WAY too salty. Don't know if it was that particular brand of sausage, or what, but WOWEE. I don't use much salt at all in my cooking, and I sure don't for my spaghetti sauce, but that salt came from somewhere. Jeez, I hope the next pot I make isn't anywhere near that salty. Otherwise, it was good and the family didn't seem to notice the salt as much as I did....

    January 3, 2008 at 10:20 p.m.