Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Broccoli

January may be long and over, but hopefully those New Year's resolutions have not completely gone out the window just yet. I, for one, have not had the greatest of willpower over the last month, but I'm trying hard to get back on track. It's just really unfortunate that chocolate tastes so much better than say, brussel sprouts.

Aside from obvious taste preferences, though, my biggest problem these days is time. I'm busy! Sometimes I just don't have time to cook a healthy meal. Or if I do have time, I completely lack the energy... we've all been there. Or, I get sick and spend three days straight laid up on my couch wanting to die, which is how I spent most of last week. So, unfortunately, we spend more nights than we really should ordering in pizza or Chinese food from our favorite restaurant down the street. Sometimes it's just too easy to let someone else do the work for me, even if the options aren't always that healthful.

But this pasta kind of invalidates all of those excuses. It comes together in a matter of minutes, with very little effort. I'd wager that you could make this in less time than it would take that Chinese take-out to get to your house. And it's healthy without tasting like diet food. It's packed with flavor, but not with calories! If you've never had sun-dried tomatoes, you're really missing out... they add a wonderful savory-sweetness to just about any dish, and they pair amazingly well with a little pesto and broccoli. Add some creamy cannelini beans for protein and you've got yourself a delicious, guiltless, vegetarian meal in under 20 minutes. Beat that, delivery boy!

So who's ready to jump back on that healthy-eating bandwagon, huh?

Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Broccoli
a Learning Curve original!
yields 6 servings, roughly 465 calories each

1 pound rotini pasta
12 ounces frozen broccoli
12 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
one 15-ounce can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup prepared basil pesto

1. Cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Reserve 1 ladle of pasta water; drain pasta and return to cooking pot.
2. Meanwhile, place broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl with 3 tablespoons water. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 5 minutes, or until tender. (Or, for ease, feel free to use the frozen broccoli which steams in its own bag.)
3. In the pasta pot, combine the cooked pasta and broccoli, beans, tomatoes, and pesto. Add pasta water as needed to create an evenly-distributed sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve warm.


  1. Wow, that is a beautiful pasta salad. You're right; I wouldn't miss the calories with all those flavors bursting in my mouth. It looks fantastic.

  2. What a yummy salad. It looks so pretty on that plate.

  3. This looks gorgeous :) I love sundried tomatoes, and they pair so well with white beans and broccoli. Thank you for sharing!

  4. I just had a pasta like this, like exactly like this. We must be on the same wavelength.

  5. I absolutely love dinners like this. So easy to throw together, so flavorful and so healthy. This is a great recipe to keep that delivery boy out of your house!


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