Category Archives: Pasta

Pasta and Sauce with Black Bean & Toasted Bread Crumb Topping

Pasta with Black Beans and Toasted Bread Crumbs and Onions


Pasta and Sauce with Black Bean & Toasted Bread Crumb Topping
Compliments of JennaDish

original recipe


8 ounces fresh pasta (mine is from Bouchard's at Findlay Market)
2 cups pasta sauce (I used Muir Glen's Organic, Cabernet Style) 
2 cups toasted bread crumbs (mine is from Blue Oven's Spelt Bread, ground and toasted)
15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained 

Saute the bread crumbs in a little olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  After crumbs are heated, add the beans to the pan to heat up.

Meanwhile, heat the pasta sauce in a sauce pan, and cook the pasta according to package or vendor instructions.

Drain the pasta, serve in a bowl, top with sauce then the crumb/bean mixture.


Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs

6-Week Vegan Challenge

Vegan Spaghetti and Meatballs

Well, I really liked these beanballs but, full disclosure, the rest of the fam did not.

Nuff said. 

They taste like bean veggie burgers, only in the form of a ball.  I guess some people need a bun and ketchup to hide the fact they they are eating more healthful food.

Black-Eyed Pea Tempeh Beanballs

So I ate my 3 balls and the rest are in the freezer, all for me, me, me.  I think I'll make a "meat"ball sub.

Try them if you can handle BEANS and SOY and only 170 calories, 8g fiber, 2.5g fat, 10g protein, 260 mg sodium, no cholesterol, 35% daily Vitamin A, 15% daily Calcium, and 8% daily Iron.


Black-Eyed Pea & Tempeh Beanballs
Compliments of JennaDish

from Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz


12 ounces tempeh
1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Several pinches of freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt

First, prepare a steamer to steam the tempeh.  When ready, break tempeh into bite size pieces and steam for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350oF and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl, use a fork or similar to mash the beans.  They should be well mashed, with no whole beans left, but not completely smooth like a puree.  Mince well the garlic cloves.  Add the herbs and spices, soy sauce, tomato paste, and balsamic vinegar, and mix well.

When the tempeh is ready, add it to the mixture and mash well. It's ok if it's still hot when mixing, it will help meld the flavors. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, add the bread crumbs and salt. Taste for salt.  If the taste is bitter, don't worry, it will mellow out when baked.

Using about 2 Tablespoons per ball, roll the miexture into walnut-size balls, placing them on the baking pan.  Spray with an ample amount of nonstick cooking spray and cover loosely with aluminum foil.  Bake for 15 minutes, flip the balls, and bake for 10 minutes, uncovered.

Vegan: Quick, Spicy, and Peanutty Sesame Noodles for One

Our 6-Week Vegan Challenge

Quick and Spicy Peanut Noodles

No one in my family likes peanut sauce on anything.  

But I LOOOVE it!!

So when I heard that I'd only be fixing dinner for moi, I grabbed some frozen (formerly fresh) pasta and a jar of natural peanut butter.  Yay.  Another vegan friendly dinner.


Quick, Spicy, and Peanutty Sesame Noodles for One
Compliments of JennaDish


4 oz fresh pasta or 1 serving dry noodles (linguine or spaghetti are good choices, use eggless for vegan)
1-2 tsp toasted sesame oil (or use olive or canola as an alternative)
1 Tablespoon natural peanut butter, smooth or better yet, crunchy
1 Tablespoon Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2 teaspoons Chili paste, such as sriracha
juice of a lime
sesame seeds
scallions (chopped green onion) 

Cooking the pasta, drain, and put in a small to medium bowl for tossing.  Toss with the toasted sesame oil. 

Mix the next three ingredients, through the chili with 1 Tablespoon water in a small microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds or so, do not let it boil or burn.  Just get it very warm so it will stir completely.

After stirring, squeeze some lime juice in the mix, stir and plop onto noodles.  Toss well to coat all noodles.  Top with sesame seeds and scallions.

Zucchini Carbonara

Zucchini Carbonara 2
I've never made carbonara.  Not sure why – it's pretty simple and very tasty.

A carbonara is a pasta sauce made with eggs, bacon or ham, and cheese.

Got this from one of my favorite cookbooks:  Cook This Not That

This one costs $1.72 per serving, 370 calories, 8 g fat, 960 mg sodium.

Personal Note: All family members loved this.  That doesn't happen often.  About as often as Leap Day.

Zucchini Ribbons
TIP:  Cut in thin horizontal ribbons with a cheese slicer.


Zucchini Carbonara
Compliments of JennaDish

10-12 oz. spaghetti
6 strips bacon, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 large zucchini, sliced into thin ribbons
2 cloves garlic, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
2 eggs
Pecorino or Parmesan for grating
1 handful chopped fresh parsley

Start boiling pasta to al dente.  While pasta cooks heat a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the bacon and cook until crispy about 5 minutes.  Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels.  Discard all but a thin film of the fat from the pan.  Add the onion, zucchini, and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.  Stir back in the bacon and season with a bit of salt and plenty of coarse black pepper.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the pasta water.  Add the pasta directly to the saute pan and toss coat. Stir in enough of the pasta water so that a thin layer of moisture clings to the noodles.  Remove from the heat and crack the two eggs directly into the pasta, using tongs or two forks to toss for even distribution.  Divide the pasta among four warm bowls or plates and top with grated cheese and parsley.