Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter green pasta recipe

Box day! This week: canned tomato sauce (or maybe crushed tomatoes?), potatoes, carrots, two small celeriac (I must figure out something to do with celeriac other than soup!), brussels sprouts, onions, cabbage.

Pasta is my fallback comfort food, so in the rush to get the groceries bought and the box picked up, and everything put away (Ria helped by putting all the potatoes and carrots into the crisper bins in the fridge and then proceeding to take them all back out and put them back into the box) I chose the quick and easy route. But - mmmm! tasty. And it used up most of the leftovers from last week's box - mushrooms and kale. The acorn squash still lurks.

1 onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
1 T olive oil, plus a little more
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
8-10 brussels sprouts, quartered
1/2 cup kale, sliced
1/4 c cream
1/4 c mozzarella cubes
2-3 T pesto
4 c whole wheat penne
salt & pepper
Saute the onion in a bit of olive oil in a large frying pan or wok. Add the garlic, mushrooms, green pepper, and sprouts, and stir fry until the sprouts are bright green. Meanwhile, cook the pasta. Distract your one-year-old with a story-book on the floor of the kitchen floor for a few minutes while everything is cooking. Just before the pasta is done, toss the kale into the pasta water and cook for a few minutes more. Pour about 1/4 c of the pasta water into the pan with the vegetables; add the pesto. We made pesto last summer with the abundance of basil Taproot gave us, then froze it in ice-cube trays, but store-bought would work as well. Drain the pasta and kale; add to the pan. Stir in just enough cream to make a smooth sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste, and just before serving, add the mozzarella cubes, so that they melt a bit but people still get lovely chunks of mozzarella in a few bites. Pick the brussels sprouts and mushrooms off the floor and feed your one-year-old more penne sans vegetables.

After dinner, Kenneth tried out a new gadget he got for his birthday. We started making our own pasta a couple years ago - I know, it's a bit excessive, but it tastes really good. (Don't worry - the pasta I used in supper was store-bought.) For his birthday he asked for a ravioli maker, and my sister and brother-in-law managed to find one on Amazon. We also tried out making pasta dough in the breadmaker (it seems to have worked really well, and it's way easier than by hand!). So we made ravioli tonight - half stuffed with the leftover squash, leek and blue cheese mixture Kenneth made last night, and half stuffed with Taproot spinach frozen from the summer mixed with homemade ricotta (I make it when our milk goes off, which it's been doing alarmingly often lately - it doesn't taste like store-bought ricotta, but it's good mixed into things). The ravioli mould worked like a charm. We'll keep you posted on how they taste! We feel very artisanal and domestic with so much homemade stuff - and a little sheepish, to be honest - but we have fun.


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