Lemony Penne & Broccoli

Makes: 4 servings


8 ounces whole-wheat penne

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic,sliced

1 pound broccoli florets

1 can (19 oz) cannellini beans, dained and rinsed

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1.  Cook penne following package directions, about 10 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Transer pasta to large serving bowl.

2.  While pasta is cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until golden.  Add broccoli and 1/3 cup water to skillet and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until tender.

3.  Stir beans into skillet and heat through.  Add lemon juice, zest, salt and red pepper.  Add contents of skillet to pasta.  Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and enough reserved cooking liquid to create a sauce.  Tear in the basil.  Serve immediately with the cheese on the side.

by March 2011 Family Circle

Healthy Sausage Egg Bake


12 oz lean Italian turkey sausage, casings removed

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

1 medium bell pepper (green, red yellow or orange) chopped (1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 box (9 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained; or use fresh Phocas Farms spinach;

4 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes (from 30 oz bag), thawed

2 cups reduced-fat Italian cheese blend (8 oz)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

12 eggs

3/4 cup fat-free (skim) milk

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


  1.  Spray 13 x 9 inch (3 qt) baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In 12 inch nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium heat 5 – 7 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up sausage with spoon until no longer pink; drain if necessary.  Add onion and bell pepper; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add garlic; cook and stir 1 -2 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender.  Stir in spinach.
  3. In baking dish, mix cooked sausage mixture, potatoes and cheeses.  In medium bowl, beat eggs, milk, basil, salt and pepper until blended.  Pour over mixture in baking dish.  Cover; refrigerate 8 hours or overnight but no longer than 24 hours.
  4. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered 1 hour.  Uncover; bake 15 – 20 minutes longer or until center is set.  Let stand 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Fresh Basil Pesto

If you’re a basil lover, you will love this recipe for Fresh Basil Pesto.  Not sure what to do with it when you make it . . . . . here are some ideas:

  • Mix it with Mayonaise for sandwiches.  Gives it a little Italian kick.
  • Use it on pizza in place of pizza sauce.  Try adding some herbed goat cheese or Chevre to the pizza as well.
  • Add to pasta when making pasta salad or just as a side dish.
  • Spread on toasted baguette slices and top with chopped tomato and onion for a quick appetizer.
  • Spoon over baked potatoes.



2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts

3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


Combine the basil and pine nuts (or walnuts) in the bowl of your food processor.  Pulse a few times.  Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.

Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on.  Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended.  Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

This recipe can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Garlic and Herb Pasta

Serves 4


2 tablespoons olive oil

20 garlic cloves, peeled

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup minced fresh chives

1/2 cup minced fresh Italian parsley

1/4 cup minced fresh basil

1/4 cup minced fresh dill

2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon

8 ounces cooked fettuccine


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil.  Add the garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and add 1/2 cup broth;  cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes.  Remove the cover and cook until the garlic is soft and the liquid has evaporated.  Crush half the garlic with the back of a wooden spoon, and stir in the remaining broth, pepper, chives, parsley, basil, dill, and tarragon.  Mix well and keep warm over low heat.
  2. Place the fettuccine in a large pasta bowl; add the garlic sauce and toss well.  Serve immediately.

Summertime Bruschetta

Yield: 32 slices


16 fresh ripe plum tomatoes, very finely diced

4 tablespoons finely minced garlic

1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Thirty-two 1/4 -inch-thick slices French or Italian baguette

6 garlic cloves, cut in half


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomato, minced garlic, basil, parsley, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss very well and set aside for at least 3 hours.
  2. Just before serving, toast the bread and rub on one side with the cut sides of the garlic cloves.  Place a small bowl in the center of a serving platter.  Fill the bowl with the tomato mixture and arrange the toast around the bowl.  Serve immediately.