pastaRike’s post the other day about comfort foods got me thinking about some of my favorites. I love many of the things she mentioned to snack on.  But when we’re talking a meal, and when I’m totally exhausted, overworked, and overstressed, there’s really only one thing that I want: pasta.

I suspect that my love of pasta goes back to the ever popular macaroni and cheese my mother used to make when I was a child. And no, she didn’t use boxed mixes; she made hers completely from scratch, and it was delicious.

I know a love of pasta isn’t exactly a popular thing to talk about, with all of the low-carb, non-carb diets out there. I actually do try to limit bad carbs myself, but I won’t give up pasta for anything. I have tried to make my pasta more healthy, so years ago I switched to using only whole wheat pasta. At this point it’s the only taste I recognize for pasta.

When I have lots of time, I like to make an old fashioned marinara sauce from scratch, letting all the flavors simmer together for hours. But more frequently, when I’m really craving pasta, I’m way too harried to be able to take the time.  So, I resort to pasta toppings that can be prepared in about the same amount of time as it takes to cook the pasta.

My main, go-to pasta recipe? I like to dump a bunch of spinach in a colander, drain the pasta over it (it cooks the spinach), then put a bit of bottled marinara sauce on top, and pop it in the microwave with a some feta on top. Yummy.

Alternatively, I’ll simply saute garlic in olive oil, toss the pasta in, and add some Parmesan cheese, and perhaps some sun dried tomatoes if I have them.

Somewhat more work, but still fast, I’ll saute onion and garlic in olive oil, and then toss in a few thawed, frozen shrimp, along with a chopped tomato (I also use drained canned tomatoes). I’ll add whatever herbs and spices sound good, pour it over the pasta, and top with feta cheese.

I have a bunch more, but am always looking for new, easy pasta recipes. How about you? Do you like pasta? Do you have any quick pasta recipes?