Meatless Monday: Veggie Bowties with Asparagus, Baby Bellas, and Marinara Sauce

Welcome to another Meatless Monday. Today I have a yummy pasta dish inspired by Gina, from SkinnyTaste. I changed up the type of pasta and cheese to meet my kids’ approval. They have a recent obsession for pastas that have 1/2 or full servings of vegetables already in the pasta.

Veggie Bowties with Asparagus, Baby Bellas, and Marinara Sauce:

veggie bowties                    asparagus-spears
[pullquote align=”right” textalign=”left” width=”30%”]Servings: 4
Calories: 283.2
Total Fat: 3.7 g
Total Carbs: 51.3 g
Fiber: 4.9 g
Protein: 13.2[/pullquote]


  • 8 oz pasta (we used Barilla Veggie Farfalle—also known as Bowties)
  • 1 bunch thin asparagus, tough ends removed
  • 6 oz Baby Bellas, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups homemade marinara sauce (recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, Romano, and Asiago cheese (we use the Kraft blend)
  • Crushed Red Pepper to taste
  • Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb and pepper to taste


Boil about 4 inches of water in a large pot, when boiling add asparagus and cook about 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender crisp. Drain and chop into small bite sized pieces.

Quickly sauté sliced bellas in PAM (olive oil kind).

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (you can use the same pot from the asparagus not to dirty too many dishes). Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente.

While pasta is cooking, in a medium saucepan heat 1-1/2 cups marinara sauce. Drain pasta and RESERVE a cup of the pasta water.

Return pasta back to the pot and toss with marinara, asparagus, bellas, grated cheese, salt and pepper and a 1/4 cup of the pasta water or as needed to loosen the sauce.

Divide between four bowls and top with fresh pepper and more grated cheese if desired.

*Note: If you want to dine using this on meat days, add some shrimp, small scallops, or small fish fillet for a great dish and a major protein punch.

Quick Marinara Sauce
Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes

Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1/2 cup • Old Points: 1 pt • Points+: 1 pt
Calories: 51.5 • Fat: 0.8 • Carbs: 9.0 g • Fiber: 1.1 • Protein: 0.1 g

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2-3 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes (I love Tuttorosso)
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and fresh pepper to taste

In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, careful not to burn. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 15 – 20 minutes, add basil just before done.

1 comment

    • Maria D. on July 22nd, 2013 at 7:16 am

    Thanks for the recipe Aine! This looks really good

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