Monday, August 20, 2012

Healthy Easy Pasta With Vegetables

A guest post by Finn the Cooking Assistant (aka the dog picker)

One reason I love summer isn't because of the naps in the sun or the incredible amount of summer vegetables, but pasta ends up on the plate a bit more often now. Sure it's loaded with carbs, but come on, humans are overly fanatic over no-carb everything, and they're still overweight.  What's up with that?  (Could it be too many people are in denial about fast food burgers???)  Plus pasta is one of the quick dishes the Lady prepares.

Sadly though, this weekend recipes were made behind closed doors.  The Lady claimed I'm a pest, that I steal food, but who's the one who opens the refrigerator door and asks me to point out the carrots? "Let's check the refrigerator for carrots," she says. Even once invited me to help myself!  Thought it was funny.  Hahaha. "Watch him do it again," she'd said to the Man.  The randomness of human decisions never ceases to amaze me, but as I pondered this on Saturday, I was shown the door.  "Get out! The kitchen is closed," the Lady said as she pulled the screen across the doorway.

Like it's some signature recipe she's afraid I'll steal.

But I'd seen the treasures that came from the market--peppers, melons carrots, zucchini and greens.  And melons.  Haven't sniffed them since last year.   The Lady had declared she wasn't buying many peppers this season, "They're up to $6.99 a pound," she'd whined. But there they were--peppers (I guess red though they looked more greenish to me)  from River Farm, too!  I'd pay any price for peppers, but I have no pockets for change.  I love peppers, and summer squash--don't get me started.

Last year's prices for peppers at the markets 
Sometimes I can make off with a carrot or two but sadly this wasn't one of those days.

Love the smell of summer squash.  I've stolen a few from the garden this season.

Well, did you expect me to be good?  Patty pan squash--another summer weakness for me.

While she was at the market, I investigated this book that she brought home last week.  Inside a Dog's Mind--really?  Do they really want to go there?  Like accessing a sports fanatic's mind during a football game. It may turn out not be all that interesting.  It's funny how badly humans want to know what's going on in a canine's head.  Why do dogs to this or that--all the conjectures, even in the supposedly nonfiction more "scientific" books make me laugh (inside, of course, since dogs don't really laugh--or do they?)

It was easy to leave the book and investigate market bags when the Lady arrived home.  Just about everything but the pickles, olives and pasta from this recipe came from the market.  

Check it out.  Then make your own easy version.  The secret is garlic and balsamic vinegar.

Beat the Heat Easy Basil-Vegetable Pasta 
(Serves 2 or 3)

2 cups pasta (shapes such as bowties or curls)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 cups summer vegetables, cut or diced in small bite-size pieces (peppers, zucchini, cauliflower, carrots, romanesco, onions)
2 or 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
4 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped
Handful of basil, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Handful of chopped arugula
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup small dice marinated tofu (optional)
Shredded cheese (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add a teaspoon of salt and pasta.  Cook according to directions.  Drain and rinse with cool water.

2. Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Add oil and vegetables.  Stir and cook until they soften, adding a little water, if necessary to keep them from sticking.  

3. Add the tomatoes, basil and balsamic vinegar.  Cover and simmer for another 5 minutes or until tomatoes soften to desired consistency. Stir in arugula until it wilts, then season with sea salt and pepper to taste.   Stir in tofu or top with cheese as desired.

I love my job!!!  Bone Appetite!


Torviewtoronto said...

combination looks wonderful

Anonymous said...

Love your recipe for pasta with vegetables! It looks very delicious!

I'm surprised your dog will eat squash! Mine would turn it down and wait for something tasty that's not a vegetable.

Stopping by your blog from Whole Foods Wednesday (I posted #61 Mango, Banana and Chai Tea Smoothie).


Amber @ The Cook's Sister

Debra Daniels-Zeller said...

Hi Amber--I love Whole Foods Wednesday. I'll check out your Chi Tea Smoothie, it sounds delicious! I think most dogs wouldn't care much for squash, but hound dog love everything. I used to have a German Shepherd long ago who didn't eat like the hounds. The standing joke is "What won't Finn eat?" Nothing alcoholic, I think.