Meatless Monday: 8 Vegetarian Pasta Recipes

Keep your cabinets stocked with dried pasta and whip up easy, meat-free dinners in minutes.
By: Michelle Buffardi
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Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

Pasta is every home cook's secret weapon: it's inexpensive; you can buy it anywhere from bodegas to gourmet grocery stores; it lasts (practically) forever; and it's super easy and super fast to cook. Keep your cabinets stocked with your favorite shapes and types and you'll never be stuck without dinner ideas, even if you have little else in the house. Some of these are made with bare-bones kitchen staples, like lemon and garlic.

Penne With Spinach: Make a pesto-like sauce from spinach and cheese and mix it with hot pasta and even more spinach for a super-easy, veggie-packed meal.

Classic Spaghetti: Everyone should know how to make a good red sauce for ladling over your favorite pasta. Gabriele and Debi's recipe is traditional and meat-free, though it can be paired with sausage and meatballs for the meat-eaters at your table. Make a big batch and freeze it; use the sauce to make lasagna, eggplant Parmesan, pizza or eggs in purgatory.

Fettuccine Alfredo: This one's known for being indulgent, but everyone loves it. If you're wary of all the cream and cheese, try this vegan version instead, made with almond "cream."

Whole Wheat Linguine an Easy Sauce: Giada makes a creamy sauce from ricotta cheese and tosses it with pasta, tomatoes and green beans -- the green beans mimic the shape of the pasta so you can twirl it all together on your fork.

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Photo by: VideoFocus

VideoFocus

Baked Pasta: Baked pasta is made extra-creamy (and cheesy) by adding creme fraiche with asiago and Parmesan before baking.

Spaghetti With Lemon: Sometimes the most simplistic ideas are the best ones. Just when you think you have nothing in the house for dinner, turn the box of pasta in your cabinet and the lemons rolling around in your 'fridge into a why-didn't-I-think-of-that-before combo.

Frittata: Frittata's a great way to clean out the fridge and make dinner at the same time -- load it with leftover vegetables and even pasta.

Pasta + Beans: Everyone's always worried that vegetarians don't get enough protein; here's the recipe that answers that -- penne with protein-loaded, fiber-filled beans.

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans; Ellie Krieger

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

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