Cheers to Veggies!
My sister and I began purchasing our produce from a locally owned Reno company called Basket Case Organics that delivers fresh, organic, mostly local produce to our doorstep every two weeks. It is really reasonably priced ($20 for the basic basket) and generally comes with more produce then we know what to do with. Needless to say, we have become quite the herbivores lately. This recipe is a little ditty we came up with the other night after a good session of AcroYoga when we wanted something light, but filling.
Pasta with Sautéed Veggies
Makes 3 - 4 servings depending on how hungry you are...
1 16 oz box of pasta
1 shallot (I love their rich savory flavor)
2 - 3 cloves of garlic
1 small red bell pepper
1 cup broccoli
1 cup mushrooms
1 roma tomato
2 - 3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
Add to taste preference: oregano, salt, pepper
Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a large sauce pan, when water boils add pasta and cook as directed on the box. (See My Favorite Pantry Staples for my thoughts on pasta.)
Chop all produce into bite-sized pieces. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium sized skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots, cover, and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Continue to cook all ingredients with the lid on the skillet, this helps trap steam and flavor. Add garlic sauté for another minute. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Add bell pepper and broccoli, sauté for 3 – 5 min. Add a bit more olive oil as needed so the vegetables don’t stick to the pan. As the bell pepper and broccoli begin to soften, add the zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes. Let everything cook together until the zucchini, mushrooms, and tomatoes are tender. Add the final tablespoon of butter and continue to cook. The medley is done when everything is tender. The tomatoes should down a bit and the mushrooms should have released all of their beautiful juices, creating a bit of liquid in the pan.
When pasta and veggies are done, mix in the large sauce pan and serve! I like to add a bit of fresh parmesan or asiago cheese on top.
I like to try and time my pasta and veggies to be done around the same time. Generally I’ll chop my veggies first, then start the water for the pasta around the same time I begin warming the butter for the shallots. Don’t be afraid of fats like butter and olive oil, they help your body digest the great vegetables that you eat.
Finally, for the oregano, salt and pepper: I like to add these ingredients throughout the cooking process, so I’ll add a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and oregano with each round of veggies to sauté, starting with the shallots and following though till I add the final round of zucchini, mushrooms, and tomatoes. I think this helps the vegetables absorb the maximum amount of flavor. The salt helps everything release their juices and become extra tender.