These two fresh, healthy and stunning pasta dishes will allow you to feel like you are in Italy at a fine restaurant. They incorporate fresh vegetables into their sauces and are perfect for a hearty meal on a cool night.

According to Eating Well, “This simple pasta recipe is one of the best ways to enjoy sweet bell peppers. The pasta sauce—red peppers stewed with caramelized onions and tomatoes—is tossed with wagon-wheel pasta for an easy and filling pasta dinner.”

Cartwheel Pasta with Peppers and Onions

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups sweet yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 yellow bell peppers
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped canned no-salt-added whole peeled tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 12 ounces ruote di carro (wagon wheels) or fusilli pasta

Directions:

  1. Combine onion, oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and crushed red pepper in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is a rich golden color, 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, peel bell peppers. Cut them in half, remove the cores and thinly slice into 1/4-inch-wide strips.
  3. When the onion is golden, increase heat to medium-high and add peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to medium; add tomatoes and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until tomatoes are no longer watery and have separated from the oil, 15 to 20 minutes. Add parsley, stir for 30 seconds, then remove from heat.
  5. Meanwhile, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon salt, then add pasta and stir well. Cook according to package instructions until just tender.
  6. Drain well and toss with the sauce.

This second pasta recipe has to be healthy because it is from FitnessMagazine.com! Just this fact alone should be enough reason to try it, but when you add in the tangy, salty taste of feta cheese along with the zesty, peppery flavor of watercress, you get a whirlwind of flavors in your mouth. This recipe is a keeper.

Farfalle with Watercress, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces farfalle pasta
  • 1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3 cups watercress leaves (2 small bunches)
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. Place cheese in a large bowl, top with watercress.
  3. Before draining the pasta, take ¼ cup of the cooking water from the pot and our it over the watercress (watercress will wilt slightly and cheese will get soft).
  4. Place the tomatoes in a colander. Drain the pasta over the tomatoes for a super-quick blanch.
  5. Toss with the watercress and cheese. Sprinkle with pepper.

Two easy, healthy pasta recipes to make up quickly for a very satisfying meal for the whole family.