All posts tagged pasta

  • orzo with mixed vegetables

    orzo with mixed vegetables

    I’ve been slipping in my meal planning. My mind has been on other things, like preparing for another cross-country move. Honestly, there isn’t much I really need to do another couple months, but it’s easy to get distracted looking at apartment listings and adding restaurants to an already unwieldy spreadsheet. And so, after spending who knows how long getting lost on Google street view, obsessively checking Walkscore, and reading Yelp reviews for grocery stores (yeah, I’m a very cool lady), I feel a rumbling in my stomach and realize oh yeah, what’s for lunch?

    I long for spring, you know real spring. Not the kind of spring where it still snows, but the return of bountiful produce — fiddlehead ferns, fava beans, watercress, and fresh peas. Until then, I’ll continue stocking up on frozen vegetables. Which is still pretty okay, because this was orzo dish was really tasty. And it lasted us three lunches, which gave me time to go back to reading Yelp reviews… and playing 2048.

    Orzo with Mixed Vegetables

    1 pound orzo
    2 tablespoons butter
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 cup vegetable or chicken broth, or water
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    2 1/2 cups mixed vegetables (I used a mix of corn, carrots, peas, green beans, and edamame)
    1 tablespoon mix of dried herbs of your choice (basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, etc.)
    cayenne pepper, to taste
    salt & pepper, to taste
    1/4 cup parmesan cheese
    1 teaspoon lemon juice
    2 tablespoons pine nuts

    In a large stockpot, cook orzo according to package directions. Drain, and set aside.

    Melt butter in the stockpot over medium low heat. Once melted, add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring frequently. Add the broth and mix in the tomato paste. Toss in the vegetables and cook until heated through. This should only take a few minutes. Once the vegetables are ready, add the herbs, spices, salt, pepper, and parmesan and mix. Now add the orzo to the pot and mix thoroughly. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and the pine nuts. Keep on the stove a few minutes longer until heated through, stirring frequently. Add more salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

    Serves 6

  • pasta with arugula pesto and artichokes

    pasta with spinach and arugula pesto

    One of my favorite things about cooking is that it can seem like something of a superpower. Before I learned how to cook, I’d open the fridge and rummage through the cupboards and often end up frustrated, reaching for whatever was most convenient. I try to keep the pantry stocked with staples like canned goods, pasta, and frozen vegetables, so that when mealtime rolls around and I don’t have a plan, I can whip up a tasty dish with ease. We had some leftover spinach and arugula and inspired by an arugula pesto recipe from Kitchen Treaty, I set out to make pesto.

    Since arugula has such a strong flavor, the lemon juice and cheese help balance out the flavors. If the arugula taste is still too strong for your liking, add some more dried herbs, lemon juice, and parmesan until you get a good balance. I didn’t have any on hand at the time, but sundried tomatoes would be an excellent addition to this dish.

    Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Artichokes

    2 cups arugula
    1 cup spinach
    2-3 cloves garlic
    1 teaspoon dried herbs of your choice (I used basil and thyme)
    cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
    salt & pepper, to taste
    1/3 cup nuts, I used a mix of pine nuts and pecans
    1/2 cup olive oil
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/4 cup parmesan cheese
    1 16 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
    1 pound farfalle or pasta of your choice

    more pine nuts, for serving
    more parmesan cheese, for serving

    In a medium to large stock pot, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and cook according to package directions.

    Meanwhile, start the pesto. Pack spinach and arugula into a food processor, drop in the garlic, dried herbs, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper, add the lemon juice, parmesan, nuts. Pulse while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. Give the pesto a taste and adjust to your liking. If you find the pesto is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water.

    When the pasta is ready, drain it and return it to the pot. Mix in the artichokes and pesto, ladle into bowls and serve with extra nuts and cheese.

    Serves 4-6