Our Favorite Pasta Brand {Plus a recipe!}

Hey there! I’m SO excited to share today’s post and recipe with you. If you know us and have been following along for a while, you know we like to have our diet mostly filled with lots of veggies, fruits, lean proteins, healthy carbs, etc. Of course, we don’t hold ourselves back from pizza, pasta, wings and ice cream, but as these foods don’t always make us feel the great or fuel us the best for our activities, they aren’t what we are eating 80% of the time. I don’t believe in cutting out foods because they are “bad”. In fact, I don’t believe that foods are inherently “good” or “bad” – they are what they are and they all have a time and place in our lives (in my opinion).

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That said, we will try to make healthier swaps in our kitchen for things we eat on a more regular basis. For instance, I have a banana bread recipe we LOVE that doesn’t have any added sugar. They are still sweet and so satisfying, they just don’t come with all the extra sugar banana bread usually comes with. We tend to eat Ezekiel bread and wraps or sour dough bread as these feel better for us to digest. And, we chose Jovial pasta products instead of the traditionally Barillo or Prego brands because Jovial products have so few ingredients and are easier for us to digest.

If you’ve seen my Instagram stories, I’m sure you’ve seen my post about our love for Jovial products, which is why I can’t wait to share this recipe with you. Recently, Jovial sent us the the most wonderful package filled with all sorts of our favorite Jovial products, as well as many new-to-us products.

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Over the weekend, I had to break open a box (while munching on the rosemary einkorn crackers, lol) and whip up something tasty … which is where this recipe comes from! It’s super easy and was all put together in about 30-40 mins, and that was without really rushing around. We’ve been enjoying leftovers throughout the week!

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The best part, too, is that I’m hosting a GIVEAWAY over on my Instagram page. All you have to do is leave a comment saying what your favorite pasta dish is. If you follow Jovial, myself and tag a friend, leave comments for each that you do as they’ll give you extra options to win. I will be choosing TWO winners on Monday, February 4th who will each win a $25 gift certificate for Jovial products! Trust me – you want this prize!

Ingredients

  • Jovial Farfelle Pasta (or elbows would work great, too!) – I used half a box
  • 1 package of pancetta
  • 1 small/medium sweet potato
  • 2 handfuls of Brussels sprouts
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • EVOO
  • salt & pepper

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Directions

  1. Heat a large pan on the stove, add some EVOO, chop your sweet potato and Brussels sprouts and add them to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to your liking. Tip – make sure to use plenty of EVOO so they don’t stick. You can also add some water throughout the cooking process.
  2. Once the veggies are getting soft, start to bring a pot of water to boil. Add the Jovial pasta once it is boiling. Move the veggies to the edges of the pan and allow space for the pancetta and garlic in the middle. Allow the pancetta to brown and crisp up and then mix the veggies back in.
  3. Once the pasta is ready, collect some of the pasta water in a cup and drain the rest. Add the pasta to the veggies and pancetta and stir to combine. If it’s a little dry, you can add some of the pasta water and/or olive oil into the pan. Sprinkle some Parmigiano-Reggiano over the pasta and veggie mixture and combine.
  4. Serve with a little extra Parmigiano-Reggiano over the top.

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All in all, this recipe is a relatively quick and easy dinner to put together – perfect for a busy weeknight! We absolutely loved the flavor combinations and when I say you cannot tell that the Jovial pasta is a “healthier” pasta option, I am not lying! Jovial products have become a staple in our house and I hope you love them as much as we do.

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Don’t forget to head on over to my Instagram post to enter the giveaway for your chance to win a $25 gift card to Jovial!

Questions for you – What’s your favorite weeknight quickie meal to throw together? What’s your favorite “healthier” alternative to use or make in the kitchen?

 

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Weekending: Making Sausage & Pasta

Good morning! Another weekend, come and gone- how come they go by so quickly?! This past weekend was a real treat on the food front- too good not to share!

Weekending….

I had an apt in the city after work and after that I met RM for a drink and some snacks, but not before enjoying my “to go” wine from my waxer:

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When I met up with RM, we ended up going to Nix’s Mate- I enjoyed a rose bubbly, he had a delicious beer and we ended up getting some oysters and shrimp since they were only $1 each!

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To help with my Box FIIT certification, I’m trying to get to more Box FIIT classes so I hit one up on Saturday morning. It wasn’t as hard as George’s, but it was still a great workout and I seriously cannot wait until I can start teaching my own classes!!

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I hadn’t seen my sister in almost 3 weeks so after class I met up with her and our other friend Amy for manicures in Southie. Amy and I ended up getting the same color and I love it!!

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The rest of the Saturday was spent at our friends Jessi and Chuck’s apartment doing all sorts of cooking. RM and I went to the north end and picked up the sausage and then headed over to their place to get cooking.

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We opted for 8 pounds of meat which ended up yielding about 35 decent sized sausages. RM also had the butcher grind it and season it (2 ounces of salt per 10 pounds of meat) to help save time. We decided to do 2 different kinds: regular and garlic/parsley/parmesan and I don’t know which one I liked more! The whole event was so smooth and seamless- we were all pleasantly surprised by how easy it was! In just a few hours we had loads of sausages to enjoy.

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And, if that wasn’t enough, Jessi and Chuck broke out their recipe for homemade pasta and sauce- umm hello deliciousness! Making pasta with the Kitchen Aid attachment was SO easy- RM was ready to go out and buy the adapter yesterday!

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Between the homemade sausage, which cooked in the homemade sauce and the homemade pasta, the meal was pretty freaking amazing!!

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We also played games and drank lots of vino while we waited for everything to cook. It was seriously one of the best Saturday afternoons we’ve had in a while… even though we were so exhausted by the end that we went to bed at 9:45 haha

Sunday started out with being up nice and early thanks to our early bed time so we ended up going back to the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown for breakfast. Our breakfast looked very similar to how it did the last time we went there, only difference was that RM got an omelet this time.

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I love being up and out early- getting to Whole Foods at 9:15am on a Sunday was such a nice treat! Besides Whole Foods, I went to Target, cleaned the house and then RM and I went to LensCrafters to get new glasses. Since I still love my current glasses, I opted to go for an entirely different style so I can rotate between the two. I’ll show you a picture once we go pick them up. Later that day we went to visit his mom since she just got home from vacation. We had pizza and salad and it was perfect!

And that about does it! How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun or different? Did you get in any good workouts? Do you like boxing workouts? What’s your favorite breakfast item to order? Have you ever made sausage or pasta? What do you have going on this week?

Italy Recap Part 2: Pienza {including stops in Montepulciano & Siena}

In case you missed my Rome recap, you can find it here: Rome. Today i want to share the second portion of our trip, which was spent in Pienza. Grab a coffee (or a glass of vino), and settle in- it’s a long, picture-filled recap!

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On Monday, we packed up and headed out in this bad boy:

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Poor RM- he was the only one who felt comfortable enough to drive this beast on the windy roads of the Tuscany region (and he knew how to drive a standard!). It wasn’t the most ideal vehicle to have due to the size of it vs. the size of the roads, but we made it work! He handled it very well, too, so that helped.

Anyway, before this trip I thought Tuscany was a specific place to visit like Rome or Florence, but in fact it’s a region to visit and you go there to visit all the little towns within the region. We absolutely loved Pienza as it had a super cute city center and was relatively close to other charming/picturesque towns. It was about 2.5 hours from Rome.

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We stayed at Tenuta Santo Pietro, which was about 6KM from the city center, for our 4 night Pienza part of the trip. I loved the B&B for so many reasons! Here’s a bit about it from their site:

Nestled in the heart of the rolling Tuscan countryside, Tenuta Santo Pietro
is a tranquil oasis comprised of a twelve bedroom inn that dates back to the 13th century, and a 72 acre working farm. Vineyards and olive trees spread through rolling hills rising to a small valley. A stay at Santo Pietro is one of the best ways to enjoy all that Tuscany has to offer.

They serve wine from their vineyard, olive oil from their trees and vegetables from their garden- pretty awesome, right?! The service was impeccable and we all felt really at home while we were their. The rooms, grounds, food, wine, pool, etc. made for such a great stay!

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