cook fresh food. be sassy.

Posts tagged as la finca

Vegetables with Pasta

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 25, 2009 at 6:33pm

So, as I mentioned yesterday, I had a cooler full of fresh, delicious CSA veggies to work with for dinner tonight.  I opted for pasta, tangled with ribbons of collards, fennel, and spring onions, as well as bites of zucchini (the zucchini was not from my veggie share – it was just chilling in the fridge, biding its time, waiting for a veggie dish needing some moisture and the ability to absorb the flavor of garlic, yeah).  But really, any tasty combination of vegetables would work – choose what you like.  I had intended ziti or penne – the thickness stands up nicely to a coarse “sauce” – but when I opened the cupboard, alas, the thickest, heartiest shape I could find was linguine, so linguine it was.

I seared the veggies on the grill, chapa-style (yes, again – what can I say, not heating up my kitchen is a nice thing in the summer).  Wait, I should back up – I started by searing two slices of bacon, chopped.  When it was crisp, I removed to a large bowl and then added the ribbons of collard greens and zucchini to the pan (and drippings).  Collards are tougher than, say, spinach or chard, so need a longer cooking time and some moisture (zuchhini adds quite a bit of moisture, but I added a few drizzles of water as well) to achieve truly tender.  Make sure to add a sprinkle of salt as you stir.  When both achieved melty and lightly charred, I added a clove of minced garlic, stirred it around a bit, and then transferred the whole pan to the bowl with the bacon (toss, toss).

I then added a couple of teaspoons of olive oil to the hot pan, then stirred in the fennel and onions (and a sprinkle of salt) and saute-seared them until also lightly charred.  I scraped them into the bowl with the bacon, collards, and zucchini, added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, a crumble of Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste, and the veggies were ready to toss with pasta.

Here’s how to finish – cook pasta (1/2 lb. to serve 3-4) according to package directions until al dente.  While the pasta cooks, in a small skillet, saute one clove of minced garlic and 1/2 tsp. of red pepper flakes in 1-2 Tbsp. of olive oil, until garlic is just barely colored.  Remove from heat.  Just before draining the pasta, reserve 1/4 c. of the pasta cooking water.  Drain the pasta, return to the warm pot, and toss with the garlic/oil, reserved water, and salt and pepper to taste until “creamy” (the starch in the cooking water creates a bit of a “sauce”).  Toss in the vegetables and an additional grating of cheese to taste.  A shower of freshly minced herbs would be nice.  I use probably 2/3 veg to 1/3 pasta – a perfect opportunity to enjoy a small taste of pasta (no more than a couple of ounces) with lots of delicious vegetables (go whole-wheat pasta if your family won’t revolt – mine, sadly, would/has).

Enjoy thoroughly.

20.21 = 0 dinner

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jul 24, 2009 at 5:33pm

I’d say I made a lovely dinner tonight with the bounty of La Finca CSA produce I received yesterday (fennel, dill, broccoli, collards, onions, carrots, strawberries), but no.  Not after a late, bountiful lunch at 20.21 with John and Nathan, followed by a not-digestif-enough walk through the Sculpture Garden and the Walker’s permanent exhibit.  We shared juicy, pork-filled potstickers; sticky, spicy chicken lettuce cups; chewy noodles studded with silky beef short rib pieces, crunchy bok choy, mushrooms, and asparagus; and spicy-sweet calamari salad.  Mmm, all so good that we’re all still stuffed.  And so, the veggies will have to wait for tomorrow night.

Except the strawberries – the strawberries are gone baby gone…

Stay tuned for what I’m thinking will be a pasta for tomorrow’s din – I’ll likely saute a bit of pancetta, then the fennel, collards, and onions (separately, chapa-style on the grill) and toss it all with ziti, a handful of fresh herbs, and a generous grating of Parm.  A nice way to eat lots of delicious veggies, with a small amount of pasta.