Somewhere along the line, “comfort food” got a bad reputation. “Comfort food” started to mean zero nutritional value, lots of starch, and cheese. But that’s simply not true. Comfort food stems from emotion and yes…sometimes a little bit of starch. At its core, comfort food fosters enjoyment. And enjoyment can be as much about the process as the final dish.
Cooking at home can be relaxing and comforting (if you let it - it’s also a great way to get stressed out in the wrong mood!). Pasta takes simple ingredients and turns them into a crowd-pleasing favorite that’s easy to modify.
From changes in flavor and color (add anything from lemon to squid ink to pasta dough) to accompanying toppings and sauces, pasta can be a delicious base to adding healthy produce to dinner tonight.
Making pasta at home takes a little bit of practice, but it’s fun and easy to get the whole family to help. Tender, homemade pasta is delicious enough on its own with butter and salt and pepper, but to make it healthier comfort food, it’s accompanied by produce and a sauce that focuses on vinegar and mustard for lightness.
By infusing herbs into the pasta, extra flavors are added in a calorie-conscious way. To add fiber and satisfying colors, I also recommend adding spinach, artichokes and roasted red bell peppers.
This recipe is also a look into quality over quantity. Day to day, we use salad plates for eating in our house since most American dinner plates are more like platters and can encourage serving more than you meant to enjoy.
A homemade dish of pasta is truly the ultimate comfort afternoon activity. Since you put the work in, make sure you sit down and enjoy your hard work!
For the Pasta:
For the Sauce & Toppings: