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Dairy recipes are favorites on Shavuot, when Jews celebrate the giving of the Torah, the Bible, on Mt Sinai. Here are a few pastas, all vegetarian or vegan, perfecrt for this holiday.  Click here for more recipes and my favorite New York Cheesecake! 

Easy and Comforting Thursday Night Pasta

Bring the hostages home.

I came up with seven E/C (easy and comforting) recipes for the week for a relative who was newly divorced and couldn’t figure out what to make, now that meals were solo. Easy and comforting were key to the recipes. This recipe can be easily made for 1 or 2 by using less pasta and veggies, although it’s nice to have leftovers and not cook one night! Vegetables can be prepped a day ahead of time and favorites can easily be substituted for vegetables listed below. This recipe also works with friends coming over for a casual dinner. Add a green salad and you are all set for a meal that should be easy prepping or serving!

Foodie Lit

One difficult question Front Row on Death Row brings forth is on redemption and its possibility for these death row inmates.


Author Steve Schonveld told me, “Redemption is a difficult thing. I do think people can change, for better or for worse. I don’t know how or when we decide that someone has been redeemed. And just because someone is redeemed, what does that mean? Do we just let them out of prison? I don’t think that’s appropriate. I do know that with visits like mine, if nothing else, inmates can feel worthy and listened to. That can only be a positive.”

The many questions in the memoir are all important for us to ponder in a world filled with hate, anger and violence. We all have a role to play.

Thursday Pasta


1 pound pasta of choice

1 medium onion, sliced thinly

1 garlic clove, cut into small pieces


Vegetables to choose from: Add one, several or all.

3-4 pieces of sun-dried tomatoes, cut into small pieces

1 small zucchini, sliced or chunked

1 bell pepper of color of your choice, chunked or sliced thinly

2 tablespoons sliced almonds

5-6 sliced white mushrooms

1/4 cup frozen spinach


2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup white cooking wine, optional but adds a great flavor

1 teaspoon dried basil or 5-6 fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon oregano or 3 fresh sprigs, leaves only

1 teaspoon salt




  1. Bring water to a boil and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon oil to a large pot. Add pasta of choice. (Spaghetti, penne, rotini, ziti, angel hair, orzo, etc.) Follow package directions for the amount of time needed.

  2. Stir pasta once or twice during cooking to keep from sticking together. 

  3. When done, pour pasta into colander in a sink, saving a cup of the starchy water. 

  4. Run cold water over pasta and drain.


  1. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet. Add in and sauté onions and garlic until the onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Stir (I like using a wooden spoon.)  

  2. Add your choice of the following:  sun dried tomatoes; zucchini; bell pepper; almonds, mushrooms and spinach.

  3. Stir in basil and oregano.

  4. Add wine. Wine adds a lovely flavor to sautéing vegetables. Sauté your vegetables about 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms have given off their juices, adding olive oil if needed.

  5. Add veggie mixture to pasta. Toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Sauces: Here’s some choices at this point in the recipe. 

  1. Pasta Primavera: Add homemade marinara sauce or sauce from your favorite tomato/spaghetti sauce and mix with veggies in frying pan. Add extra salt, pepper, bail or oregano to taste. Add to pasta.  

  2. Pasta Alfredo: Into the pasta pot stir in  3-4 tab;lespoons butter and 1 1/2 tqablespoons flour. Stir until combined. Add 1/2 cup of cream or milk.  Stir to combine. Add to pasta. Gently toss. Add 1/2 cup of ground or shredded Parmesan to pasta and toss. Add additional salt, pepper and Parmesan to taste. 

  3. Pasta Pesto: Add pesto to the cooked pasta and toss. You can make your own pesto or buy it.

  4. Add Grilled or Baked salmon, chunked, to the pasta.  

  5. Add Roasted Eggplant Rigatoni to the pasta. (guest blog)

  6. Quick Asian Noodle Bowl: A delicious pasta bowl with Asian style spices and soy sauce.

  7. Orzo Vegetable Salad: Great served cold or at room temperature.  Wonderful for larger numbers or buffets, when salads need to be out unrefrigerated.

    Each week try a different one! Let us know which is your favorite.

#vegan  #vegetarian  #pasta  #budgetfriendly


Expandthetable suggestions

Lower the calories: Use zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash in place of the pasta. Or use half pasta to get that pasta texture.

Salmon or tuna: Grill salmon or tuna, chunk and add to the pasta.

Pesto: Use homemade or store-bought pesto as the main sauce: classic and delicious and simple.

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