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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Can, A Can, A Can, and A Hand(ful)

I'm not a big pasta person. This is surprising, since I come from a long line of noodle-maniacs. Cut my mom and she bleeds Al Fredo sauce. My grandma is the queen of dumplings. Most of my childhood meals started with a bag of egg noodles. I'm pretty sure I'm not exaggerating when I say my mom had a five gallon glass jar filled with noodles. I wonder what ever happened to that huge jar, it was pretty cool.

They are an economical way to fill your belly, but your typical pasta just isn't Weight Watchers friendly. So, in my quest to find healthy, budget friendly meals, I discovered Ronzoni pastas. High fiber (but nobody notices), so they're extremely point friendly. I tend to stick with the "normal" looking stuff, the whole wheat looks just to brown to get past Young One's lips (this a kid who's rarely had white bread! Go figure.).

Last night, dinner was major crunch time. We had a busy day of cleaning, laundry, and attacking the car with the Shop Vac. I was hot, Young One was hot, and D surprised us and came home early for dinner. In all the craziness of the day, I had neglected to plan dinner and my list of planned meals was short and filled with items that required advanced planning (thawing!). So, I winged it and it was a delightful meal, even without the sugar snap peas that somehow didn't steam quickly enough to make it to our plates at the same time as the pasta.

I think this meal would be delightful cold as well. This was really delicious and so easy, it looks like I fussed much more. I suppose you could toss in just about anything else you have on hand (leftover veggies or roasted red peppers, mushrooms, etc would be great). Top with some crumbled Feta or Parmesan if you wish and if you have enough Points! The leftovers were great the next day after all the flavors had melded overnight.

So, the next time you're on crunch time, give this one a whirl.

A Can, A Can, A Can and A Hand(ful) Pasta

One can artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped

One can ripe olives, drained and coarsely chopped

One can Italian style tomatoes

One Box Ronzoni Pasta--I used spaghetti, any would work fine

A couple of handfuls of frozen shrimp

Start a large pot of water to boil. Do not salt the water! (all the canned stuff is salty enough). Thaw shrimp under running cold water. Drain and set aside. While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet, dump all sauce ingredients and heat over medium heat until bubbling, toss in shrimp and cook until heated through. Drain pasta well. Toss pasta with sauce.

You'll have to figure out the Points value based on what you use.

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