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Weekday dinner inspiration: Greek Pasta Casserole and more

Mon | Get them to the Greek

Greek Pasta Casserole (recipe below) is a flavorful, meatless dish that's simple to make. It has a lot of the same flavors as the traditional Greek salad. Serve it with tomato and cucumber slices dressed with an oil-and-red-wine vinaigrette.

Tues | On the grill

Consider a Grilled Portobello Sandwich for the main event tonight. Marinate the big caps in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, a bit of Dijon mustard and some red pepper flakes for about 15 minutes. Drain and grill for about 15 minutes, flipping halfway. Serve on your favorite rolls or split focaccia piled with a slice of mozzarella, some peppery arugula and a smear of mayo. Fresh fruit salad on the side.

Wed | Rotisserie chicken

Mexican Chicken Salad is perfect piled on a bed of ice-cold romaine and garnished with broken tortillas chips. To make the salad, mix shredded chicken with sour cream, corn kernels, chopped bell pepper and red onion, plus salt and pepper to taste and the juice of one lime. Chopped fresh cilantro adds a lot of flavor, too.

Thurs | Vampire delight

Garlic Shrimp and Chickpeas, from the Food Network, can be paired with rice (white or brown) for a satisfying meal. Mix 2 cans of drained chickpeas with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large baking dish and cook for 20 minutes in a 450-degree oven. Meanwhile, toss about 1 1/2 pounds of shrimp with 1/4 cup olive oil, 3 cloves garlic, lemon zest and some red pepper flakes. Add to the chickpea mixture and bake another 10 minutes or so.

Fri | Recipe redux

If you're keeping score, I shared this idea for Ham and Veggie Bowl about two years ago. It bears repeating. Simple and tasty. In a large skillet, saute diced onion in vegetable oil. Add a half-pound of cubed ham and heat through, then dump in a bag of frozen lima beans and corn and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh). Season with pepper (it probably doesn't need salt because of the ham) and a splash of wine vinegar. Pile it in a big bowl and kiss the workweek goodbye. Corn muffins on the side.

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EASY

Greek Pasta Casserole

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for pan

1 pound small shells

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice

1 jar (7 ounces) roasted peppers, well-drained and patted dry

1/4 cup pitted and roughly chopped black olives

2 tablespoons red wine

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 cup (5 ounces) crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.

Cook pasta shells to al dente following package instructions. Drain well in a colander. Place cooked shells in a large bowl.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds, and remove from heat. Cool slightly. Pour oil over pasta and toss until pasta is glistening. Cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally to prevent sticking.

Add tomatoes, peppers, olives, red wine, red pepper flakes, parsley, oregano and feta to pasta; toss to combine. Put mixture into baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until top is lightly browned, 5 minutes more.

Serves 6 to 8.

Source: America's Hometown Recipe Book edited by Barbara Greenman (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2011)

>>easy

Greek Pasta Casserole

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more for pan

1 pound small shells

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice

1 jar (7 ounces) roasted peppers, well drained and patted dry

1/4 cup pitted and roughly chopped black olives

2 tablespoons red wine

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 cup (5 ounces) crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.

Cook pasta shells to al dente following package instructions. Drain well in a colander. Place cooked shells in a large bowl.

Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds, and remove from heat. Cool slightly. Pour oil over pasta and toss until pasta is glistening. Cool to room temperature, tossing occasionally to prevent sticking.

Add tomatoes, peppers, olives, red wine, red pepper flakes, parsley, oregano and feta to pasta; toss to combine. Put mixture into baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until top is lightly browned, 5 minutes more.

Serves 6 to 8.

Source: America's Hometown Recipe Book edited by Barbara Greenman (Black Dog & Leventhal, 2011)

Weekday dinner inspiration: Greek Pasta Casserole and more 04/19/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 19, 2011 5:30am]

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