Hi everyone, hope you’ve been having a great week! This week I’m a bit noodled-out. Sunday night I made whole wheat linguine with mussels, garlic and roasted tomatoes and then Monday night I had vegetable pad Thai for dinner. Last night I decided to be extremely boring and have chicken with BBQ sauce and a baked potato, but that’s another story.
Despite those past meals, I still wanted pasta for dinner tonight. Over the summer I came to appreciate a simple bowl of pasta with tomato sauce while interning for Lidia’s Italy. I was working in the office at Felidia so the pasta was always fresh, but I still learned some tricks of the trade while making dry pasta for Lidia’s booth at the Fancy Food Show:
Lidia told me to use some of the starchy pasta water in the sauce in order to combine the pasta and sauce (to do this don’t drain your pasta; use a spider to scoop it up and keep the water), and to always cook pasta al dente. Salt your water, finish with olive oil and you’ll be good to go.
When adding vegetables to the mix, I’ve found that slicing your vegetables evenly helps to keep the texture uniform. For example, the mussels and grape tomatoes I had on Sunday were similarly sized, and my favorite parts of pad thai are the stringy bean sprouts, long spring onion and shredded carrots.
Tonight I decided to use white button mushrooms and one zucchini stalk with the pasta. I thinly sliced the mushrooms and zucchini and cut the zucchini into half moons in order for the slices to resemble the mushrooms. Just a drop of vegetable oil in a pan on medium heat will do because once the vegetables start to sweat there will be enough liquid to go around. I cooked the vegetables in the pan for about 10 minutes, added the pasta to the pan with some pasta water and then topped everything with extra virgin olive oil and a bit of goat cheese. Simple and veggie-filled:
If you’re making an Asian stir-fry with soba noodles slice everything into matchsticks, or chop peppers and tomatoes into cubes for a chunky sauce. What are your favorite vegetables to add to pasta? I love eggplant and plum tomatoes!