Fresh Fridays 
Easy pasta meals for busy weeks
As the holiday season gets into full swing, it's all too easy to skip meals or fall back on fast food that you eat on the run. If you keep Mediterranean Diet staples including pasta, extra-virgin olive oil, olives, tuna, capers, garlic, red pepper flakes, and Parmesan cheese on hand, you can come home from a busy afternoon and put a fine, nutritious pasta meal on the table in a matter of  minutes.

In fact, you may discover that the simple dinners you prepare at home, in-between the big festive holiday spreads or meals out at restaurants are special in their own way because they give you a chance to relax and savor this season of celebration. If you have relatives visiting or kids home from college, you can turn a home-cooked dinner into an opportunity to talk. Or, you can invite friends or neighbors to join you for what you promise will be a welcome, low-key get together. Look for any occasion at this busy time of year to slip into the Med Diet lifestyle by focusing on sharing time together over good, honest food.

Try any or all of these three quick and easy recipes, which rely on ingredients you can easily keep on hand. (Two recipes call for easy-to-find fresh vegetables and herbs.) Each uses a different type of pasta and provides exceptional flavor with minimal fuss. 

Web links

December buckwheat
Take Our List and
Med Diet Grocery List   Download a copy of our Mediterranean Diet
Shopping List
. It's a great reminder to keep your pantry stocked with ingredients for quick and healthy meals.   
Thin Spaghetti with Garlic,   

Red Pepper, and Olive Oil
What could be easier? Here's the perfect meal for a busy weeknight. Keep all the ingredients on hand to make it any time during the holiday season. Thin spaghetti highlights the delicate, slightly nutty flavor of the pasta.   

Penne with Spicy Tomato Sauce,  
Capers, and Olives
This easy recipe coaxes flavor from canned tomatoes with the help of several Mediterranean staples. Zucchini and fresh basil deliver clean, fresh tastes. Penne means "pen" in Italian; the tube-shape was actually inspired by the quill of an old style ink pen.        
Gemelli with Vegetables and    


Carrots and zucchini bring sweet vegetable flavors to this easy pasta meal. Gemelli, or "twins" in Italian, is made of two strands of pasta twisted together. This versatile shape holds the flavor of the sauce while keeping its texture.

The Mediterranean Diet Gift Basket
Any combination of these foods makes a fabulous holiday gift:  Extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic or flavored vinegar, olives, stuffed grape leaves, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, capers, tapenade, fig spread or jam, fancy mustard, honey, nuts, peanuts, dates, figs, and other dried fruit, jars of spices, dried beans, canned tuna, salmon, or anchovies, biscotti, a bottle of wine. Arrange your selection in a basket lined with colorful cellophane and add a big red bow.

Fresh Fridays is a bi-weekly celebration of Mediterranean eating and living. We hope our Friday recipes will remind you just how easy and delicious eating the Mediterranean way can be.   
To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:    

 Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)    


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Let the old ways be your guide to  good health and well-being. 

12 ways to use beans  
Med Diet USA
 Broad Street Grill
Broad Street Grille
Chattanooga, Tennessee
The culinary staff at the
Chattanooga Hotel serves
up a fabulous holiday

feast starting at noon, with
lots of Mediterranean
favorites, from citrus-fennel
shrimp to fig cake.
Oldways bookstore

Mourad: New Moroccan

Mourad: New Moroccan   by Mourad Lahlou 

This lovely book combines history, stories, and great
recipes to unlock the secrets
behind the haunting flavors
Moroccan cooking.