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Food & Dining // Heart-y Chef
Diana Helfand

A Pasta Bake For Mom’s Special Day

Evan Wojnar enjoys her job as a server at Buona Sera Italian Restaurant in Kailua, where chef-owner Kevin Ma has been cooking for his devoted fans since 1995. This cozy restaurant is a favorite landmark.

Evan, a Kalaheo High School graduate, was born in San Francisco and raised in Kailua.

She and husband Pete love motorcycles – in fact, they met while working at Cycle City. They have two children, Brooklynn, age 6, who attends Lanikai Elementary School, and Logan, age 3.

For relaxation, Evan loves to watch classic movies and listen to classic rock music. The family takes pleasure in doing a multitude of art projects together, and loves paddleboarding and all beach activities, the zoo and Sea Life Park.

I would like to dedicate this column to Evan and her family. Happy Mother’s Day to all!

This recipe makes enough to serve eight and is great if you are cooking for Mom and the family on Mother’s Day.

Leftovers can be eaten for lunch the next day, or you can freeze half for a future dinner (which saves Mom some extra work). Serve with a lettuce and tomato salad dressed with a light balsamic vinaigrette, and some crispy garlic bread.

Broccoli is a very good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese, and a good source of protein, Vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and pantothenic acid.

RIGATONI RICOTTA WITH BROCCOLI

* 12 ounces rigatoni, cooked al dente and drained

* 1 teaspoon olive oil, to coat sauté pan

* 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

* 1 cup broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces

* 1 teaspoon crushed oregano

* salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

* 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

* 1 8-ounce container fat-free ricotta cheese

* 1/4 cup grated low-fat Parmesan cheese

* 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim moz-zarella

* olive oil cooking spray

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, add olive oil and sauté garlic.

Add chopped broccoli, salt and pepper and sauté until garlic is soft and broccoli is crisp-tender.

Add sauce, stirring until all are combined, and heat until sauce is warm.

Stir mixture into rigatoni. Mix Parmesan with ricotta until ricotta is soft, then mix into rigatoni.

Add half of the mozzarella and mix well, then transfer to pan.

Top with remaining mozzarella.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and the top is lightly browned.

Let it cool five minutes.

Makes eight servings.

Approximate Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 320
Fat: 7 grams
Sodium: 510 milligrams

heartychef@hotmail.com

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