Saturday, November 8, 2014

Seasonal vegetables with sourdough pasta


We are trying to eat more vegetables in delicious ways and have been experimenting with veggie pastas.  There are lots of great recipes out there and this one is a combination of several MJ came across, blended with her mother-in-law’s traditional way with vegetables and pasta and our own preferred way of doing things.  We love to include caramelized green onions, lemon, parsley and thyme.  In season, we prefer fresh tomatoes to canned.

After some experimentation and final success, we will add it to the family regulars.  It does take a bit of time puttering around and being happy to chop and watch.  Just the ticket on a dreary November day.  Of course, we know you will all put your favorite cooking touches on it if you try it.

To begin, we were lucky to get some lovely and tasty fresh tomatoes from not ‘too far away’.  Not local (and not as good as end of summer ones), but close enough to taste really terrific.

Also, recently we discovered sourdough pastas and have been trying those. They seem to have a bit of tang and we like them a lot.  The one we chose is a sourdough that includes semolina and quinoa. It’s very tasty.  But this recipe should be good with whatever pasta you prefer.

This is great if you have some leftover roasted vegetables. As a rule you would find a serving or two of sweet potatoes or cauliflower in our fridge.  
For 4 – 6 servings, all you need is:
3 cups chopped fresh or roasted vegetables (we always have some) – we used
4 cloves of finely chopped garlic
¼ cup EVOO + 2 tablespoons
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
Two tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or two teaspoons dried) or whatever herbs suit you.
3 green onions, sliced – green and white parts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pinch cayenne
S & P  
Fresh Parmesan cheese (or grated, if that’s what you have).

All you do is:
MJ here. I admit, I was listening to an interested radio program while this was all getting done. It’s easy, but unfolds over a bit of time.

If you are roasting veggies, do that ahead of time.  We had these sweet potatoes ready to go.

Chop your veggies, except for tomatoes. For this we used zucchini, roasted sweet potatoes and yellow peppers.  Next time, we’re adding mushrooms.
Mix your chopped garlic, ¼ cup EVOO, and chopped parsley.  Marinate for a while (15 minutes plus). We think the longer the better.
While the veggies are marinating, in a large pan (or large pot), sauté the green onions over medium/low heat in the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, until nicely softened, about 20 minuted.
Add the rest of the veggies and marinade to the pan with the onions. Add lemon juice and cook on medium to low heat until nicely softened.  Fifteen or twenty minutes.

Chop the tomatoes while veggies are cooking. We removed the seeds, but you must suit yourself.
Add the tomatoes and cook until thick.   Stir in the S & P, thyme, and pinch of cayenne.  

By this time, our kitchen was full.  Victoria had dropped in. Her dad was hovering by the stove, three dogs were milling around underfoot – all drawn by the terrific aroma.  So we put on the water for the pasta while the tomatoes were cooking.  

We were very taken by this sourdough pasta that we found at the local natural foods market. We like the little bit of tang of the sourdough, but any pasta would do,  Just cook according to package directions and your own taste.

Top your cooked pasta with the sauce and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (or whatever you like topping your pasta).  We think it might have looked prettier if our platter hadn't chosen to look invisible! Never mind.  It was dynamite, if we do say so ourselves and it looked good 'in person' as they say,

By the way, leftover sauce is even better on day two, but you knew that.   While we’re talking, what do you like to add to your pasta sauce?   Have you tried sourdough pasta?

Victoria Abbott is the mysterious collaboration between the artist and photographer Victoria Maffini and her mother, the mystery writer, Mary Jane Maffini.  Strangely enough, their three book collector mysteries, The Christie Curse, The Sayers Swindle and The Wolfe Widow all contain Siamese cats as well as the little pug, Walter.  The next two will as well!



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  1. "By this time, our kitchen was full. Victoria had dropped in. Her dad was hovering by the stove, three dogs were milling around underfoot – all drawn by the terrific aroma. So we put on the water for the pasta while the tomatoes were cooking..."

    And THAT's the joy of cooking!

    (Marc and I have never had sourdough pasta--but we can't wait to try it now. Sounds like a fantastic pairing with your seasonal veg and pasta recipe.) Thanks for sharing with us, and...

    Have a delicious weekend,

    ~ Cleo

    1. You too, Cleo! I have learned a lot about 'eating with joy' from you.



  2. I have never heard of sourdough pasta. I will be on the lookout for it now! This sounds lovely. We usually switch to the little cherry tomatoes for winter. For reasons we don't understand, they seem to retain flavor better than their larger counterparts.

    1. You're so right, Krista. We're about to make that annual switch too. We're lucky enough to have a hydroponic operation a couple of miles from us where they produce grape and cherry tomotoes all winter. Otherwise they're coming by truck from California and Mexico.



  3. What a great idea.
    I'm coming over to raid your 'frig. if you always have roasted veggies in it!
    I, too, will now be looking for the sourdough pasta. Good tip.

    1. Hope you find it and like it, Libby! It's always good to hear from you.



  4. Oh, I wish, wish, wish I could have sourdough pasta. That's the ONE thing I miss being celiac, sourdough bread. I cannot duplicate it. Sigh. But the rest of this dish would work super well on my gluten-free pasta. Can't wait. Thanks for sharing!

    Daryl / Avery

    1. Daryl - we found it while exploring gluten free opportunities. When it turned out I didn't need to be gluten free, we were hooked on this wonderful little shop - within walking distance. There are such super gluten free versions that I was thrilled. Not sourdough though.