Quick, good-for-the-family dinners are something I’m always on the lookout for.  I truly enjoy cooking and time consuming, complicated recipes don’t deter me but they very seldom find their way onto our weeknight meal plan.  When Cooking Light has a 20 Minute Meal feature you can bet that I’m paying close attention.

This recipe for Linguine with Two-Cheese Sauce is incredible! Or so the family says.  I whipped it up for them last night after a ridiculously hot 3 mile run before I jumped in the shower and headed off to a girl’s night out dinner and a movie.

Linguine with Two-Cheese Sauce

Adapted from Cooking Light (link above)


  • 8 ounces uncooked Dreamfields linguine
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated hard italian cheese, divided (I used parmesan)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese


  • 1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.
  • 2. While pasta cooks, combine milk, 2 teaspoons basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl; stir milk mixture with a whisk.
  • 3. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add flour to pan, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk mixture; cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and add 1 1/2 ounces grated cheese and mascarpone cheese to milk mixture. Add cheese mixture to pasta; toss to combine. Sprinkle with remaining 4 teaspoons basil and remaining 1/2 ounce grated cheese.

At a hair over 300 calories per serving this dish has a truly indulgent taste.   You can almost be fooled into thinking you’re eating a much more calorie laden alfredo pasta dish.  I whipped up a batch of sauteed garlicky shrimp and steamed green beans to make it a more complete meal.

The last minute invitation to girls night out meant that my only option for my run yesterday was to hit the pavement in the neighborhood as soon as I got home.  It was 96* with a heat index of 100*.  I was thisclose to running in just my shorts and a sports bra but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I threw on a tank with a built in shelf-bra so that I was only wearing one layer, filled up two bottles of the four bottle fuel belt, strapped on my Garmin and headed out the door.

When I say the heat makes me slow, I mean SERIOUSLY slow.  I can run a sub-30:00 5K when it’s not sweltering outside.  I would say about 1/4 of the last mile was walking.  I had originally planned 4 miles but after 2  miles I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  So I settled for 3 and called it good.

I also ate not-so-healthy Italian food for dinner and stayed out until midnight knowing good and well I had to be up at 5:30 this morning.  No early workout here.  Hopefully I’ll get a lifting session in tonight and I have a 10 miler planned early tomorrow morning when the heat index isn’t in the triple digits.

Have a great weekend everyone!