Joe Bastianich's Healthy Italian Favorites

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'Masterchef's Joe Bastianich whips up these delicious, healthy Italian favorites!

Chicken Involtini


4 large chicken breasts

1 block of frozen spinach, thawed

1/4 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white wine

2/3 cup bread crumbs

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Fresh Parsley


Slice each chicken breast the long way, ending up with 8 thin pieces from the 4 breasts.

Boil the spinach for several minutes and drain.

Chop the spinach and blend with the Dijon mustard.

Spread this mixture over the top of the chicken pieces.

Roll each of the chicken pieces and pierce with a toothpick.

Place the chicken in a casserole dish with the chicken stock, olive oil and white wine.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs mixed with fresh parsley over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Pasta Primavera


1 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 medium zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup peas

1 yellow pepper, sliced into ½ inch strips

2 teaspoons Olive oil

1 lb whole wheat rigatoni or other pasta

Pomodoro sauce (full recipe)


Boil salted water for pasta.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place all the vegetables except the cherry tomatoes (including onion, zucchini, mushrooms, peas, and yellow pepper) onto a baking sheet.

Salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil.

Broil the vegetables at 400 degrees until almost tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the cherry tomatoes to the vegetables and broil for another 2 minutes.

Add pasta to the boiling water.

While pasta cooks, heat pomodoro sauce in a large sauce pan.

Add the broiled vegetables to the pomodoro sauce and stir slightly.

Two minutes before the pasta is done, remove from boiling water and add to pomodoro sauce, along with enough pasta water to keep the sauce liquid.

Stir and simmer over low-heat until the pasta is tender.

Salt and pepper to taste, if needed.


This recipe can feature almost any vegetables that are in season.

Pomodoro Sauce


2 Tbsps olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1 16-oz can whole Italian tomatoes

1 tsp Sicilian oregano (optional)

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon Pepper


Heat olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat.

Crush two garlic cloves with the heel of your hand, Add to olive oil and sauté until golden brown.

While the garlic browns, pour the tomatoes into a bowl. Squeeze with your hands to break the tomatoes up.

Once the garlic is browned, add tomatoes and their juice to the sauce pan with the garlic.

Add salt and pepper and oregano (if using).

Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, adding water to keep the sauce from becoming too thick. Note: Pomodoro sauce should be a rich red color. If it turns brick red, it's too thick.

Additional salt and pepper to taste, if needed.


For convenience, make up a large batch and freeze smaller portions in freezer bags