Fortunately, there are ways to use pasta that are not only inexpensive, but are easy to make and absolutely delicious.

Are you having one of those weeks where nothing comes to mind when planning your dinners? A lot of times this happens in between paychecks, when there isn’t much but pasta and canned goods lining the shelves.

Here are a few of our favorite easy pasta dishes that are sure to please. Feel free to use whole wheat pasta for an even healthier meal. You can also add any vegetable, spice or herb you have on hand.

  • Pasta with Dried Fruits and Almonds: Boil your pasta in chicken broth, or add some chicken broth to your pot of boiling water. Drain the pasta. Saute chopped dried fruit such as apricots, pineapple or golden raisins in olive oil. You can add garlic, herbs and salt/pepper for extra flavor. Mix with the pasta. Sprinkle pepper flakes on for a bit of heat. If you have a lemon on hand, squeeze some on before plating.
  • Lemon Butter Pasta: Boil pasta and drain. In another pan, saut? butter, lemon juice and lemon zest. A little olive oil will make the mixture go further. Add any vegetables you have on hand and throw in some chopped garlic. If you have a carrot, shave it and saut? it with the lemon sauce.
  • Pasta with Bacon: Brown bacon and cut it up into smaller pieces. When you are draining your pasta, save ? cup of the liquid. Melt four tablespoons of butter in a pan and add your reserved liquid. Add the pasta and grated cheese of your choice. Sprinkle with bacon, parsley or oregano. Season to taste. Applebees has a version of this they call 4 Cheese Honey Pepper Mac ‘N Cheese that we love.
  • Tuna Pasta: Saute garlic in either olive oil or butter. Add spices of your choice. Add a can of tuna. If you have cooking wine, pour some in and allow to heat with the tuna. Toss in pasta and sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  • Pasta and Eggs: Saute onion and garlic in butter and olive oil. Stir in pasta. In a bowl, beat together four to six eggs, half a cup of parmesan, mozzarella or cheddar cheese, parsley and salt and pepper. Pour over the pasta and cover. When the eggs are set and browned on the edges, place a plate over the pan and flip the egg on to the plate. Slide the pasta back in to the pan to cook the other side. Cut in to wedges and serve.

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