Last week I picked up some Noodles and Company to bring over to my Mother-in-Law for lunch. She got the Pasta Fresca with shrimp (which I’ll share the recipe below), I got the Buttered Noodles with Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Little Man got Wisconsin Macaroni and Cheese. They both really enjoyed their noodles. I remember mine tasting better the last time I went in. They just seemed like they didn’t have any flavor and they were all stuck together. I tasted Little Man’s mac and cheese and I thought it was very good. My Sister-in-law took a bite of my Mother’s-in-Law noodles and liked it so much that she went home and made the recipe that weekend. Maybe I was just having an off day. I’ve never had problems with my food before.
Did you know that Noodles & Company has 300 locations nationwide, including 40-plus in the Chicagoland area? I love having one close by. I’m going to give it a try again soon. They even have dozens of options that are 500 calories or less. You can look at their cheat sheet and even download it to bring with you. A small portion of the Pasta Fresco, that I’m about to give you the recipe for, is 410 calories. If you add shrimp, it’s only 490 calories. A great option for those trying to keep it light! If you want comfort food, the Wisconsin Mac and Cheese is only 510 calories for a small portion. That’s still not bad, and it tastes good.
- 1 lb penne pasta cooked al dente (or 1 lb of your favorite pasta)
- 3 roma tomatoes sliced into ½ moons
- 1 red onion cut into julienne strips
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 bunch fresh baby spinach leaves
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 cup white wine (white balsamic vinegar optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1 TB each fresh chopped basil, oregano, and Italian parsley
- Cracked black pepper
- Shaved Asiago cheese
- 4 chicken breasts, marinated and grilled (or shrimp)
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 TB rosemary leaves
- 1 TB fresh lemon juice
- Cook the pasta to al dente chill in ice cold water. Drain then toss with 1 TB olive oil and set aside.
- Chop the garlic, cut the tomatoes, slice the onions, de-stem the herbs, chop and set aside.
- Marinate chicken breast with 1 TB lemon juice, salt, pepper, rosemary leaves and garlic, place in fridge for 30 minutes. Grill just before you prepare the pasta. Let rest, slice and toss into pasta.
- Pour olive oil in a large sauté pan.
- Heat pan to hot, but not smoking. Add garlic and onions. (You should hear a sizzle)
- Stir and deglaze with white wine or white balsamic vinegar.
- Add pasta (and chicken, if using), toss to coat with aromatics.
- Add tomatoes, toss then add fresh spinach.
- Add herbs, a squeeze lemon juice, if desired, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Place on platter and garnish with shaved Asiago cheese.
Note: I received coupons to try Noodles and Company in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own. I did not try the above recipe, it was given to me by PR.