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Old 11-06-2010, 04:50 PM   #1
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What to serve with Pasta Dishes

My sister got me a Williams-Sonoma pasta cookbook for Christmas. after rolling my eyes and looking at it on my bookshelf for almost a year, I decided to not be an ingrate and use my Dreamfields pasta to make some of the dishes, since the only variables are the sauces really.

But, What to serve them with? I usually use the pasta as part of a bigger meal, like lasagna or soup, or stew, y'know some other food that could actually stand alone without the pasta. So If I make these pasta dishes I don't know what's the best meat, salad or whatever that goes with them.

Here are the recipes I intend to try, can you suggest how to round these out to real meals with real meat and veggies, I'm no chef or culinary expert at all!
  1. Spaghetti Alla Carbonara - basically the dish is heated beaten egg, bacon and parmesan on spaghetti
  2. Spirals with Zucchini and Goat Cheese- What it sounds like
  3. Penne with Vodka sauce - vodka, tomato paste, cream and parmesan

What would you serve these Dreamfields Pasta dishes with to make a complete meal?

Now to look through the accompanying Williams-Sonoma desserts book she also game me... Thinks she's trying to fatten me up?
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:24 PM   #2
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Chicken or pork with white sauces and beef or veal with red sauces.

Or is that wine??
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:28 PM   #3
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I wouldn't mind a little wine with that cheese!
Y'know that sorta makes sense.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:29 PM   #4
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Traditional spaghetti alla carbonara is one of my favorite dishes of all time. But it is very rich (maybe why I love it), so I can't see serving much with except for a light salad.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:33 PM   #5
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In real Italy, the pasta comes before the meat course. Eaten separately..However, in America it IS the main dish.

I usually serve my pasta with meat in it..But, since there is a protein, you don't have to do that at all.

The Carbonara is extremely nommie and rich full of cheese/bacon, so you might serve a small chicken breast with that and some broccoli..A basic green salad is always nice.

For the Spirals..you could saute some shrimp with garlic/butter and have that as your
meat.

Penne with vodka sauce..Add some sliced cooked Italian sausage to that dish or some
cooked chicken..

Oftentimes I do sauteed zukes with onions and red/green peppers sauteed in olive oil
and Italian seasoning sprinkled on top with some Parmesan, too.
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perdita View Post
[...] But it is very rich (maybe why I love it), so I can't see serving much with except for a light salad.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolynF View Post
In real Italy, the pasta comes before the meat course. [...]
...graciously taking notes and assembling menu plans...
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Old 11-06-2010, 05:42 PM   #7
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Metga: If you are having a special dinner, it would be really fun to do the course thing..
Then you don't have to eat so much pasta..
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:18 PM   #8
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Not a bad idea. I can make each of these for the next three date nights! Uh... I'll have to figure out how Italian courses go.

I already picked up some goat cheese... I thought they had names, not just GOAT CHEESE. We don't call all the other stuff COW CHEESE, but meunster, cheddar, etc. Even feta has a name, but what i bought tonight just said GOAT CHEESE.

once I had a dream i walked in on a lady milking a cat! But way off topic.

one precooked measure of dreamfields is really two servings once you add sauce, meat and veggies. So it would be enough for BF and I, If we had other things to go with. Salad, some meat, and some veggies.

Thanks for the suggestions Carolyne... if anyone has any other suggestions, I'm still open to all of them. Which dish would go well with boneless pork loin slices, hmm?
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Old 11-06-2010, 09:38 PM   #9
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Metga: Have you ever had goat cheese? I would taste it before I made a dish with it..Just sayin....My dd loves it, me not so much.
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Old 11-06-2010, 10:12 PM   #10
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Listen to Carolyn - she has it goin' on!

My vote on the Carbonara is it's a one course meal...meaning make a light salad (baby arugula and vinaigrette, pinenuts, a little gorgonzola or blue cheese) or mixed spring greens, blanched green beans, roasted beets, blue cheese and vinaigrette - but I personally like just a light salad with very little cheese in this case!)

Spirals with zuch and goat cheese, I would serve with a lot of zuchs! And I might or might not add meat or seafood protein. Fish or chicken would be yummy with it. And I'd do the same sort of salad as above.

Penne with VS I would do tons of sauteed spinach and garlic with pine nuts, a simple salad and maybe a small couple ounces of chicken if you are the kinda person who needs protein with their pastas. I could be happy and content if I could eat it. It would be the center of the meal. And no protein would be necessary. But I already know that doesn't work for me!
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Old 11-07-2010, 09:25 AM   #11
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I want protein with the meal just because of meal of solely pasta seems out of sorts. Guess i'm not a real Italian! Even though Dreamfields is Low ...Whatever it is, i still want the meal to be a balance of carbs, protein and fat.

Perdita did say the Carbonara was rich, i suppose because of the eggs and bacon, so I can see the protein and fat balance in that being one dish.

The Zuke dish, the zucchini is sliced matchstick style, not as a separate side. It's blended into the pasta. So it's kinda light. That's why i thought to have some meat on the side.

Many of the recipes have meat in the sauce, Some have basil or beans, a lot have beans , but some are just pasta and cream or olive oil sauces with no meat and very few veggies. These are the ones I want to round out to full meals. I hardly ever just eat a plate of flavored pasta. Even when i ate ramen, or udon I doctor it up with meat,egg, veggies and fat. Supposed 'ta slow the carb absorbtion i hear, but i just prefer it that way

Okay, how do I do a Italian meal in courses. Do I have to get a crusty bread? BF would like that. I prefer croissants when I can find good ones. See, that's it too, bread and pasta together seems so overkill on the carbs.
But i guess if you are already skinny who cares?

Y'know, I've never seen and Italian exercising.

Oh I found some yummy desserts in the dessert book. Some look like I could sub the sugar for a lower carb treat:
Strawberries with lemon and mint
Roasted plum with ginger and cream
Lemon Mouse with Raspberry sauce
Cantaloupe Granita
Plum Sorbet

All the really sweet syrupy type fruits of course, but a few light citrus ones as well.
So I have Pasta Ideas, Salad Ideas, Meat Ideas and Dessert ideas, how do I put it together? What comes first, second, etc?
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File Type: jpg spiral with zuke.jpg (21.4 KB, 8 views)
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:28 AM   #12
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a salad or side of steamed veggies would be nice. If you wanted to add some meat, meatballs, or roasted chicken would be good. Wine would be a good addition.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:29 AM   #13
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I'd do the carbonara as the main course too, but I'd also have a nice salad with maybe some grilled chicken in it - not a lot, just enough to balance out the pasta. OR, make an antipasto platter - sliced meats and cheeses - prosciutto, salami, a few dry-style cheeses, some olives, marinated artichoke hearts. Snack on that a little before your pasta course.

The goat cheese, I'd definitely have some chicken or veal on the side.

The VS I'd make some nice meatballs to go with!

They ALL sound really good. I need to dig out the Sopranos Italian cookbook my coworker gave me for Christmas a few years back - it's not all pasta, there are things like bracciola (stuffed meat) in there too. Thanks for the reminder!
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:40 AM   #14
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We have the Dreamfields, and we jut have the pasta with meat sauce (very generous on the meat). We don't even have the sides. People already think they're spoiled because I let pasta back into the house.
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Old 11-07-2010, 10:59 AM   #15
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With the Vodka noodles, I always make a fish of some kind. The pasta dish is heavy, and the fish is light, Sometimes I make trout almondine. Yum. I'm getting hungry.
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:08 PM   #16
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sistertzu, I do have a chicken i need to roast...hmm

Charkski, Thanks, I never really knew what antipasto was before now!

Cleo, you push over!

Scottsdalejulie, i like the fish almondine idea, haven't had that in a long time. and thanks for explaining the balance. I guess a light meat for a heavy sauce.

Thanks everybody, this is seeming more and more doable after all.
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Old 11-07-2010, 02:37 PM   #17
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Trout almondine sounds so good!
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