Welcome!

Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not MY recipes, just a compilation of great veggie food I've found from all over the place, usually tweaked just a little. It's intended to be a reference you can consult again and again rather than a daily inspiration. After more than 25 years of being a vegetarian, I know what tastes good.
Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Spring's A-Coming Pasta

I made a delicious pasta dish last night, right off the cuff. All I knew was that we were going to have pasta and that we were in the mood to eat some REAL vegetables. Like, from the produce department, not from a can or frozen or from a jar or what-have-you. Now, the ingredients may sound kind of run-of-the-mill, but the end result tasted really great. I'm going to tell you how I did it, but you can do it your own way. Want to see fresh peas or asparagus in the veggie mix? Wish there were more carrots and less broccoli? Go for it!

about 1.5 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow or white onion, cut into narrow wedges
2 carrots, peeled and julienned
1/2 lb. broccoli florets, broken into smaller florets if they are large
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 t. salt
lots of freshly ground pepper
2 T. pesto (or if you have some fresh basil from last season that you've processed with olive oil and frozen, that's perfect, too...The pesto will determine if this dish is vegan or vegetarian, so pay attention to the pesto ingredients.)
1 small tomato, cut into narrow wedges
12 oz. fettucine (I used fettucine, because that's what I had on hand, but I think a short, chunky pasta like penne or farfalle or rotini might have been even more appropriate, based on the size and shape of the vegetables.)

Start a large pot of salted water to boil on the stovetop. When the water comes to a rolling boil, cook the pasta according to package directions.
Cover the sun-dried tomatoes with boiling water in a small bowl to reconstitute them. Set aside.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Bust the onion wedges into individual layer-pieces. Add the onion, carrots, and broccoli to the olive oil along with a generous grinding of black pepper. Sauté for 5 or 6 minutes, then add the chopped garlic and the salt. (I know. It's a lot of salt. What can I say?) You can add more ground pepper, too. I added it periodically, throughout the cooking process. Continue to sauté until the onions are transparent and the broccoli and carrots are tender-crisp. Test the texture of the veggies by biting a broccoli floret and a carrot piece to make sure it's the way you like it.

Once you've achieved the best veggie texture, stir in the pesto. Drain the sundried tomatoes (You can freeze the tomato water in ice cube trays and use it in a soup some other time.) and add them to the veggies. Also add the fresh tomatoes and, if you want, more pepper. Toss and continue cooking until the new ingredients are warmed through.

When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and toss it immediately with the vegetable mix. It serves about 4 people for a main dish. I served it with garlic toast, red wine, and cold green tea.

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