Tag Archives: Pasta

Penne with Vodka Sauce

20 Jul

This recipe stems from a Weight Watchers recipe that I found online. My mom has been into Weight Watchers for a while so I got used to figuring out the points of my main dishes. I think this one was round 7 or so. When I first made it I loved it, but figured I could change it a bit so you could have more sauce with fewer calories… and I was right! I have worked my healthifying magic once again, and even on an already healthy Weight Watchers recipe! Don’t worry, this is amazing and will blow your socks off. My boyfriend LOVES this dish! And what’s not to like… You have pasta, heavy cream, wodka (ode to my German roommate in New Zealand ­čÖé ) and fresh basil.

To healthify the recipe I used more tomato paste to make the base of the sauce, the same amount of heavy cream, but added milk to extend the sauce, and more shallots to semi bulk it up a bit. ┬áThis would be great to make the sauce and noodles separately and then combine them when you want to eat it. My problem is I work 5:30-10 a lot during the week and every other weekend so I barely get time to eat with my man. Often times I make the meal, package it up (aka add the pasta and sauce together then put in Tupperware in the fridge) and take it to work where I have to f**king microwave it… NOT ideal and NOT fresh. Also, when you refrigerate it the sauce soaks into the pasta and you are left with, seemingly, less sauce so give my suggestion a try! Just measure our how much sauce and pasta you make and divide by how many servings you want (this recipe makes 8 servings, 1 cup each… I’m not sure how many cups of sauce of noodles are separately).

By the way… yes I have noticed that the majority of my main dish posts have been pasta. Hope you like pasta and carbs!


12 oz SmartTaste Penne

1 Tbsp butter

4 Tbsp shallots (I used 2, but you can use more if you want), I love using shallots because they are a bit milder and very delicate tasting

2 medium garlic cloves

6 Tbsp tomato paste

1/4 cup vodka

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup skim milk (you could probably just get 1/2 and 1/2 or fat-free 1/2 and 1/2)

1 tsp salt (or more… definitely more)

1/4 tsp pepper

2 Tbsp parsley

Fresh basil for garnish (a must!)


Chop your shallots, garlic and parsley (get the chopping out of the way). Cook your pasta according to directions.

Add the butter to a large skillet (medium temp/flame) and saute shallots and garlic for 3-5 minutes NOT burning them.


Add the parsley, salt and pepper, and tomato paste and stir until everything is combined… like this:


Cook this for about five minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn. Here comes the good part: wodka:

Add the wodka, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the little yum yums detached from it and cook for about 5 minutes to release some of the wodka flavor. I will note that not all of the wodka will be evaporated, but that’s a good thing. The flavor it brings to the dish is amazing and I mean it IS Penne with Vodka Sauce so…

Add the cream and milk to the mix, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes (these times are estimates, go by how you feel). This is what it should look like:

 Drooling yet? No? Getting close?

Now all you need to do is add the pasta and top with basil! You can do this dish-by-dish or do it all and have left-overs (when you heat it up add a bit more milk/cream and you’re good to go!).

┬áEat it!┬á┬áMmmm… this is what satisfaction looks like.

Now for the nutrition information… this dish serves 8, 1 cup each!

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 243

Fat: 7.75g

Protein: 6.5g

Carbohydrate: 39g

Fiber: 5g

Sodium: 422 mg

Healthy food doesn’t need to be bland or boring! I’m bringing you healthy dishes that excite your palate.


Jalape├▒o Popper Pasta with Bacon

18 Jul

I want to preface this post by saying, when you work with jalapeno where gloves! I sadly (and stupidly) did NOT know this and went ahead slicing up my jalapenos, taking out the seeds and ribs with my bare hands. I washed my hands several times, but never experienced any burning or pain so I didn’t think anything of it. So I was like, I guess I was right… they aren’t that hot to cause any issues! WRONG. A few hours later while I was at work I made a big mistake… I touched my eye. And ooooooooh shit did it burn! If any of you have contacts and use the hydrogen peroxide solution with the red tip and the warning that says “Do not put directly in eye”… that’s what it felt like.

I stopped touching anything that might burn, aka I was soooooooo careful when going to the bathroom, and figured it would go away soon. However, that night when I wasn’t doing anything except trying to get a good night’s sleep I started to notice more burning! I was getting pretty damn annoyed at this point and jumped out of bed to figure out how I could relieve my pain. There were all sorts of home remedies… rub your hands with Vaseline (check), wash your hands with dish soap (check), use a diluted bleach solution (check). So of course I tried them all! Then I went back to bed… 2 seconds later they were burning again! I turned to my boyfriend and tried to get him to help me.. and when he couldn’t I freaked out because my hands were STILL burning! Then I figured it was probably because of the diluted bleach solution… maybe I didn’t dilute it enough or I kept my hands in there for too long. So I looked up some home remedies for that too. I soaked my hands in cold milk for 10 minutes, went back to bed, woke up with burning hands and did it again then rinsed my hands in cold water for as long as I could stand. My hands still tingled when I went to bed, but when I woke up they weren’t nearly as bad as they were before. So………. the whole purpose of this story is to warn you to WEAR GLOVES WHEN WORKING WITH JALAPENOS! Don’t make my dumb mistake.

Although I suffered a bit to make this dish, the outcome was amazing! The pasta tasted┬ájust like jalapeno poppers! The bacon on top added a nice crunch and some extra flavor. Next time I make this though I’m going to finish it off in the oven with toasted bread crumbs on top to emulate a fried jalapeno popper. I hope you enjoy this!

Time: takes about 30 minutes total

Servings: 8 (6 if you’re hungrier or a man ­čÖé )


12 oz SmartTaste spaghetti

2 jalapeno peppers, halved and de-seeded (using gloves for crying out loud!)

8 oz + 2 Tbl 1/3 reduced fat cream cheese

1/4 cup (or more) skim milk

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or any other hard cheese you want)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

4 pieces turkey bacon (I like Butterball or Oscar Meyer, Jennie O doesn’t have enough fat in my opinion)


First, start cooking the pasta and make sure the water is salted (add salt AFTER the water is boiling). Then either grill your jalapeno halves or roast them in the oven (425 for about 15-20 minutes depending). I thought I would need more than 2 jalapenos for this dish… then I realized I’m weak when it comes to spicy food so I laid off, but if you want more of a kick feel free!

Once the peppers have a nice char on them, take your softened cream cheese, milk, Parmesan cheese, peppers, and seasonings and blend them together. Blend until… blended! Boom! Done ­čÖé

Crisp up your bacon (you can do 1/2 or 1 piece per serving, the nutrition information is for 1/2 a piece). Add the jalapeno popper sauce to the cooked spaghetti and top with bacon crumbles!

     Delicious, right? Right.

Nutrition Information (8 servings):

Calories: 246

Fat: 9g (4.7g saturated)

Protein: 9.8g

Carbohydrate: 36g

Fiber: 4.8g

Sodium: 564mg

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