Weeknight Meals, Part 1: Meatless Monday

August 6, 2014 – It’s Alicia here, from Weekly Greens. Who has time for complicated meals during the week? Certainly not you (me either). Keep your pantry and fridge stocked with easy weeknight meal ingredients like pasta, beans and fresh vegetables, and you’ll be ready to produce fast, nutritious meals in no time.

Creamy Pasta 1 - blog postThis deceptively creamy pasta dish, packed with nutrient-rich broccoli and lean, plant-based protein, comes together in a flash. The starchy cooking water combines with ricotta and parmesan cheese to create the illusion of a cream sauce without the heaviness and calories of cream. If you can chop broccoli into florets and boil water (you can!), get ready to enjoy dinner in 30 minutes or less. Make it a part of your Meatless Monday roundup and don’t be surprised if you’re asked to make it again…on Tuesday!

Creamy Pasta with Broccoli and Chick Peas

1/2 pound Priano Fusilli (or any short pasta)
1 Tbsp. + 1/4 tsp. Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt, divided
1 pound broccoli crowns, cut into bite-sized florets
2 Tbsp. Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1/4 tsp. Stonemill Essentials Crushed Red Pepper, plus additional to taste
15.5 oz. Dakota’s Pride Garbanzo Beans (Chick Peas)
1/2 cup Priano Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup Priano Shredded Parmesan Cheese, plus additional to taste
Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Creamy Pasta 3 - blog postDirections

  1. Cook the fusilli according to package instructions, adding 1 Tbsp. of salt to boiling water. During the last two minutes of cook time, add the broccoli. Before draining, remove 1 cup of cooking water; reserve. Drain fusilli and broccoli.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, remaining ¼ tsp. salt and crushed red pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add chick peas and cook until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk the ricotta and parmesan cheese with 3 tablespoons of reserved cooking water. Add more water by the tablespoon, as necessary, to create a creamy sauce.
  4. Return the skillet with chick peas to the stove over medium heat. Add the fusilli and broccoli. Fold in the cheese mixture, stirring gently. Add more reserved water to loosen the mixture, as needed.
  5. Serve with additional parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper and black pepper, to taste.

TIP: If more broccoli is desired, chop 1/2 of the broccoli stalks into bite-sized pieces, cook along with the florets. The starchy pasta cooking water is the secret to creating the silky sauce, so don’t forget to set aside before draining.

Recipe and Photos Courtesy of Alicia Sokol, Weekly Greens

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40 thoughts on “Weeknight Meals, Part 1: Meatless Monday

    1. ALDI USA

      Hi Teri, the Creamy Pasta with Broccoli and Chick Peas recipe calls for 2 cups of chopped yellow onions. However, you can always adjust the recipe based on your preferences. Thanks for being an ALDI fan!

  1. Sara

    Made this for dinner tonite–subbed out the yellow onion for red as that is what I had in my pantry. Delicious!!! A great weeknight meal 🙂 Made a lot of it too for leftovers 🙂 Thanks Aldi!!

  2. Cindi

    My Aldi doesn’t sell ricotta in the summer. To make room for the potato salad and cole slaw. So, I’ve been told by an Aldi employee. Really? Aldi should sell it all year long. It’s NOT a seasonal item.
    Anyway, I’m going to try this recipe tomorrow. Without the ricotta. Because I won’t shop anywhere else but Aldi!

    If Aldi doesn’t have it………we won’t be eating it.

  3. Gayle McCandless

    The recipes are wonderful however I was just wondering if Nutrition per serving could be added. I have recently been diagnosed with severe Congestive Heart Failure and have been told to limit my sodium to 2000 mg. This is not easy!!! I can say ty for the fact that the only can of tomatoes I could find in my cupboard usable sodium wise was the Fit and Active diced tomatoes!!!

  4. leila keeler

    I have tried several receipts they were all very good. I have been going to Aldi sence the store iN Williamsport Pa opened. Just love it.

  5. Joyce O'Banion

    I really appreciate the great prices on a regular basis at my Aldi. It especially helps those of us on fixed incomes to maintain a healthy diet.

  6. Ponza Vaughan

    I chose this recipe as my hubby loves peas and I always look for recipes like this. We do eat meat, just not sweet sauces of any kind. A taste bud preference no sweets om poultry, seafood , or red meat. We have to drive 45 minutes to Aldi’s and continue ti mention it to our mayor. Our town is large enough for a CFA. I will be happy to show a rep around town. Camden and Lugoff, SC

  7. Sonia Richards

    I love Aldi’s produce. A lot of great choices for us vegans. I would like to see more options in the freezer section like black bean burgers or kale burgers. Our’s doesn’t carry.

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