Mediterranean Diet Recipes: Pasta with Meat

A great way to make a one-pot Mediterranean meal is to add some type of meat, such as chicken, pork, or beef, to your pasta. Add some vegetables and a fresh sauce, and you have a complete meal. Using meat is a good way to add more volume to your pasta so that you don’t overdo the carbohydrate portion of the meal.

Classic Meat Lasagne

Prep time: 12 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Yield: 12 servings

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 pound pork sausage

5 cups tomato sauce

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups lowfat ricotta cheese

One 9-ounce package frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

1 tablespoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon pepper

8 lasagna noodles

1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Cook the beef and sausage in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until browned. Drain the meat, return it to the pan, and add the tomato sauce. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

  3. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, ricotta, spinach, Parmesan, parsley, oregano, and pepper.

  4. Pour 2 cups of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9-x-13-inch baking pan and top with 4 lasagna noodles (breaking a few to fit as necessary). Spread half the ricotta mixture over the noodles. Repeat the layers, topping the second ricotta layer with sauce.

  5. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 15 minutes. Allow the dish to cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving: Calories 337 (From Fat 151); Fat 17g (Saturated 8g); Cholesterol 64mg; Sodium 943mg; Carbohydrate 22g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 25g.

Chicken-and-Broccoli-Stuffed Manicotti

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

12 manicotti shells

Nonstick cooking spray

3 chicken breasts, diced

16 ounces frozen broccoli

1/4 cup onion, chopped

8 ounce Neufchâtel cheese

1 cup milk

2 tablespoons chives

1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon paprika

  1. Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil and cook the manicotti for 7 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water.

  2. In a large nonstick skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cook the chicken breast over medium heat until cooked and browned. Add the frozen broccoli and onions and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

  3. Meanwhile, heat the Neufchâtel in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until melted. Whisk in the milk @@bf1/4 cup at a time until you have a thin sauce.

  4. Continue whisking; add the chives and @@bf1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Whisk over the heat until smooth.

  5. Pour half of the cheese sauce over the chicken and broccoli mixture just to coat, and stir until combined. Let it cool for about 10 minutes. Using your hands, fill each manicotti with about @@bf1/4 cup of the broccoli mixture.

  6. Lay the manicotti side-by-side in a 9-x-13-inch baking pan. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and the paprika.

  7. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 5 minutes. Allow the manicotti to cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving: Calories 385 (From Fat 124); Fat 14g (Saturated 7g); Cholesterol 107mg; Sodium 856mg; Carbohydrate 24g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 41g.

Chicken and Vodka Sauce over Linguini

Prep time: 8 minutes

Cook time: 16 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 pound linguini

1 tablespoon olive oil

6 cloves garlic, chopped

Two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup vodka

1/2 cup half and half or whipping cream

1/4 cup parsley or basil, chopped

  1. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste and grill on each side for 10 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

  2. Allow the chicken breasts to rest for 5 minutes prior to slicing. Slice the chicken breast on an angle in @@bf1/2-inch-thick slices.

  3. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Cook the pasta according to package directions (about 7 to 8 minutes). Drain.

  4. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes, stir in the tomatoes and pepper flakes, and cook for 3 minutes. Add the vodka and cook for 2 minutes.

  5. Reduce the heat to medium low and stir in the cream. Use a blender or stick blender to mix the sauce until smooth.

  6. In the pan, add the fresh herbs to the sauce and season with salt. Toss the sauce with the pasta. Divide the pasta evenly onto 4 plates and top with the chicken. Serve.

Per serving: Calories 386 (From Fat 100); Fat 11g (Saturated 4g); Cholesterol 91mg; Sodium 533mg; Carbohydrate 25g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Protein 35+g.

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