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Leftover Night Pasta

A couple of weeks ago, I did a big 'fridge clean-out. I was utterly embarrassed by how many uneaten leftovers I had to throw away. They were well past their prime, and I knew that no one else in my house would touch them with a ten-foot pole. Each time I go grocery shopping, I tell myself that we're not going to go out to eat- that we should eat all meals at home to save money. After that last clean out, and a little inspiration from fellow MBP Contributor, Vanessa (who has regular leftover nights), I vowed to use leftovers to create new dishes that my family will actually eat.

One of the easiest ways to use leftover veggies or chicken is in pasta! I'm a simple pasta kind of girl. My grandmother's family is Italian, and pasta is just sort of in my blood. I've never had a pasta dish I didn't love, and if it didn't stick to my ribs (and thighs) so well, I'd eat a whole lot more of it!

My Gram's favorite way to enjoy pasta was with fresh sauteed veggies with roasted or minced garlic and tossed in olive oil, with a sprinkling of fresh Parmesan cheese. This sort of simple pasta dish became a go-to for me throughout my college years and to date, it's still a favorite!

I had a lot of marinated & grilled chicken leftover from a previous dinner that I really wanted to use for another meal. Pasta it was! I cooked up some Angel Hair pasta, and in another pan, sauteed steamed broccoli (also leftover from another meal), zucchini (I had one zucchini left for the week that needed to get cooked), and a little garlic. A little olive oil is all you need to get it going. I still like a crunch to my veggies, so I just did a light sautee. 

Once the veggies were cooked through, I drained the pasta and then added it right into the pan with the cooked veggies. I drizzled more olive oil and gently tossed it all together, and then sprinkled it with the Parmesan cheese.

I served it up with sliced garlic toast and enjoyed a crisp glass of white wine with my meal.

So simple. So delicious.

This meal made everyone tummies happy, and they were none the wiser that I had used leftovers from previous meals earlier in the week to make a completely new dinner dish.

Curious to find out what else you can make with leftovers? Don't worry, I'll have more leftover meal ideas to share with you soon!

Let's chat leftovers! What meals do you create with leftovers?
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