“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
Did you know that October is National Pasta Month?
I didn’t! You’d think I would know that, being a huge pasta fan myself. I pretty much lived off spaghetti and marinara sauce in college (one box would last me three day for just $1) and even though my family is half German and half Polish, you’d think we were full blood Italian by how much pasta we eat. My mom’s recipe book is jam-packed with pasta recipes of all types– lasagna, ziti, ravioli, pilafs, salads, bakes, stir-fries… it’s endless!
To celebrate National Pasta Month, The Recipe Redux is hosting a contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association called “Pasta Fits”.
“Pasta is the perfect foundation for a healthy meal – it boasts energy, satisfies hunger, and pairs with vegetables and lean proteins to create delicious meals. In honor of October as National Pasta Month, the Pasta Fits Campaign would like find out what pasta recipe fits into your healthy lifestyle and diet.”
One of my favorite pasta dishes my mom cooks is an orzo, shrimp and feta cheese dish. It’s creamy, savory, and I could pretty much eat the whole pan. I decided to take a few components of my mom’s recipe and switch it up a little to create my first entry for this contest. Be on the lookout this week for TWO more recipes as I celebrate National Pasta Month!
So how can pasta fit into your lifestyle? Well for starters, it’s very affordable. Most dried pasta sells for about $1 a pound and you can make 6-8 servings out of one box. Like I said, I used to live off spaghetti in college for super cheap. Two, it’s quick. Most pasta boils in under ten minutes, ideal for creating quick dinners for families on the go.
And finally, when combined with lean proteins and fresh vegetables, it can boost energy, satisfy your hunger, and create delicious meals. Pasta is a no-brainer at my house. I’ll make some version at least once a week. We always keep a box of pasta and a jar of marinara sauce in the pantry for “food emergencies”. I mean, what is more comforting than a bowl of rotini and a big dollop of marinara? Mayyyybe this recipe that I’m about to share with you?
I wanted to combine the spicy flavors of red pepper, the savory taste of tomatoes, and creamy goat cheese with corn, zucchini and orzo. The result was terrific. I am a huge, huge fan of goat cheese and love what it can do to a dish. It’s so creamy, slightly salty and has it’s own unique flavor. In this dish, using goat cheese totally transformed the orzo from a regular pasta dish to a rich, creamy, savory dish.
Sprinkled with a little Parmesan-reggiano and YUM! I could eat the entire pot.
Here’s the recipe:
- 16oz orzo pasta
- 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 ears of corn, kernels cut off
- Ground black pepper
- 4 zucchini, diced
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
- 5 oz goat cheese
- 1 cup parmesan reggiano
- Boil the orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large non-stick pan, warm 3 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat and add the corn. Season with salt and pepper and cook until corn is golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the remaining 3 Tbsp olive oil. Add the diced zucchini, cooking until it is tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the large bowl with the corn.
- Set the pan over medium-low heat. Add the two cans of diced tomatoes, 1/2 tsp salt, black pepper to taste, garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the wine and let simmer for about 3 minutes until reduced.
- In a large bowl, combine the orzo, zucchini, corn, basil, sauce, goat cheese and parmesan.
- Serve with an additional sprinkling of parmesan.
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Hi! I’m Emily, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and self-taught intuitive chef. I firmly believe that cooking is the simplest and most important step we can take to improve our minds and bodies and build healthier communities. Join me and let’s bring food back to the kitchen!
Alysia @ Slim Sanity says
Wait, national pasta month?? I need pasta now to celebrate! :)
Zen & Spice says
Yeah haha, that’s what I said! Bring on the pasta!
Deanna Segrave-Daly (@tspbasil) says
It’s pretty much Pasta Month every month in my house and I’m a shrimp + pasta lover too. I rarely pair goat cheese with my pasta but I have to start doing that more often – love all the ingredients in this one.
Zen & Spice says
Haha yes it’s always pasta month for me too!
Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says
Love that you used orzo – don’t think a lot of people realize it’s a pasta! This looks like my kind of dish..mmm.
Zen & Spice says
I love orzo– it has such a great texture!
Love this adaptable recipe…but like you said goat cheese + spicy is a fab flavor combo. So I probably won’t adapt your recipe!(: