By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the National Pasta Association and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
I can’t be the only one constantly craving a big bowl of pasta for dinner. It’s quick, it’s inexpensive, and it’s SO comforting. If you’re in your right mind and agree with me, you’ll be happy to know that October is National Pasta Month aka I’m going to eat pasta every day month.
This recipe was inspired when my boss brought in a cream cheese + hot pepper jelly dip. It tasted *just* like a cheese rangoon (some people might call them cheese wontons?) dipped in sweet and sour sauce. YUM! For some reason, I’m always craving those little deep fried pockets of goodness and they’re clearly not the healthiest choice. And they’re normally an appetizer, so they only precede further bad choices on my part.
Eating a million buttery crackers with dip wasn’t going to save me any calories, though. Learning that this is pasta month made it immediately click in my head – toss it all with some whole wheat noodles for a great dinner. WAY more filling than a handful of crackers. What’s even better is it comes together really quickly – faster than driving across town for Chinese takeout! – and it saves me a couple bucks. We got 4 servings out of this, and I know that 4 dinners out at a restaurant would run us a much heftier tab. Plus, at home I can control everything that’s going in it and throw in extra veggies 🙂
2 large eggroll or wonton wrappers (Vegans/Egg Free, see note)
1½ tsp sesame oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ onion, cut into half circles
8 oz shitake mushrooms, cut into strips
2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos
3 tbsp. mirin
8 oz low fat cream cheese (Vegans – dairy free cream cheese works great!)
½ c vegetable stock
1 bunch green onions, cut into 3 – 4 inch pieces
6 oz whole wheat pasta (I used spaghetti)
1 jar hot pepper jelly (I used homemade, you can find it with other jellies in larger grocery stores)
Cut the eggroll wrappers into small strips.
Heat a nonstick pan over medium/high heat. Drizzle ½ tsp of sesame oil in the pan and toss in the wrapper pieces, sprinkling with salt if desired. You may have to cook in batches, based on the size of your pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Remove from pan and set on paper towels.
Meanwhile, begin boiling water to cook pasta according to package instructions.
Using the same nonstick pan, add the garlic and onion over medium heat with ½ tsp sesame oil. Stir occasionally and cook until almost soft.
Add the mushrooms, soy sauce, and mirin. Sauté for 2 minutes and then add the cream cheese and vegetable stock. Stir occasionally, breaking up the cream cheese and letting melt into the stock.
Toss the pasta and green onion into the sauce in the pan. Add the last ½ tsp of sesame oil and then taste, adding additional salt if desired.
Top each serving with a couple of spoonfuls of hot pepper jelly and ¼ of the crisped wonton wrappers.
Wonton wrappers – I can’t find any vegan/egg free wrappers! For a vegan version, omit. I personally LOVE the little bit of crunch and would replace with crushed tortilla chips. Omitting reduces calories by ~30.