Get Out of Your Pasta Rut With 4 Fresh Spaghetti Dinner Ideas

real simpleHelp! I'm in a dinner rut and I can't get out. Lately we've been eating the same pasta dish over and over again. You know the one: Ground beef, garlic, tomato sauce over noodles, rinse dishes, and repeat. Well no more. It's time for a brisk, springlike breeze of inspiration!

You may have noticed I'm a little bit obsessed with the new cookbook, Real Simple Easy, Delicious Home Cooking. I told you about the mix-and-match cakes and the slow-cooker tacos (made them over the weekend, delish). It's arranged by season and all the recipes are weeknight simple -- but loaded with fresh ingredients.

And they have a mini-guide with four ideas for spaghetti. I'm saved!


Each of these should take 20 minutes to cook.

Spaghetti Primavera With Basil: Broccoli, bell pepper, zucchini, and fresh basil leaves. You just cook your chopped veggies with garlic in olive oil while your noodles boil. Couldn't be simpler.

Peanut Noodles With Snap Peas and Cabbage: Peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, fresh ginger, garlic, thinly-sliced cabbage, snap peas, and roasted peanuts. Can't wait to try this one, especially because of the protein you get from the peanut butter.

Spaghetti With Pesto and Shrimp: Baby spinach, Parmesan, olive oil, pine nuts, cooked shrimp. Did you know you can make pesto out of spinach? I've made pesto from different nuts, too -- this weekend I used pistachios.

Spaghetti With Ricotta and Roasted Tomatoes: Grape tomatoes, garlic, ricotta, parsley. This is our dinner tonight! You roast the grape tomatoes and garlic in olive oil before tossing with the cooked pasta and ricotta. My husband is doing the cooking tonight, but I made things even easier for him and roasted the tomatoes over the weekend so he can just add them.

And as long as you're relishing your spaghetti revolution, it might be a good time to experiment a little with those noodles. You could try buckwheat soba for the peanut noodles dish. Or try whole wheat, quinoa pasta, or gluten-free pasta.

Can I just tell you a little bit more about this cookbook and why I like it so much? There are loads of pretty pictures (what, everyone loves that!), nutritional information for every recipe, and several other nifty mini-guides like "three ideas for rice," "five ideas for burgers," "three ideas for lemonade," and more.

Do you ever get in a dinner rut? What's your favorite springtime pasta dish?


Image via Real Simple Easy, Delicious Home Cooking

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