Tuesday, March 1, 2011

CSA 28: No Guilt Pasta

Last night was pasta again, but this time no guilt. Along with the standards of [high protein] pasta, tomato sauce and grated cheese, I included my seasonal veggies. One red turnip was chopped and boiled with the pasta and a serving of curly leaf kale and baby spinach was mixed into the sauce. I also threw in some not so fresh herbs that were in the fridge too, since they really needed to be used.

I tossed the kale into the boiling water for the last minute of the pasta & turnips cooking. Stirring the pasta and vegetables, it looked so fresh and tasty - I considered for a moment not adding tomato sauce, of just enjoying it as it was. But no, it needed the tomato.

I realized then, in my reaction, the importance of preserving summer fruits. I had so many tomatoes last season and I didn't learn to can, which bothered me (and is certainly on next summer’s agenda). But no worries, Classico (one of the few sugar free commercial pasta sauces out there) is readily available in nice reusable mason jars, so I can still grab some of summer, albeit a bit processed. Winter vegetables are so repetitive, so slow cooked, so starchy, so solid.  Even winter greens like kale, is a tough, heavy duty vegetable compared to
delicate summer produce.  Summer vegetables are lighter, fresher, juicier. After weeks of turnips and potatoes and beets and carrots and sweet potato, I wanted a vegetable that started off squishy.

Plus adding tomato sauce adds healthful bulk to the meal, making it heartier, and more filling while adding nutrients.

I mixed the pasta, the veggies, the sauce, some herbs, and some freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese into one big jumble. It was delicious.  And easy.  And carried no guilt over the huge pile of vegetables in my ‘fridge.

No Guilt Pasta
1 serving pasta
1 turnip, chopped
Bunch of curly kale, stemmed & chopped
Handful baby spinach
Herbs (thyme, sage, parsley)
Salt & pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
Fresh grated Parmigiano - Reggiano cheese

Boil pasta and turnip in lightly salted water. When they are just about done, add the kale so it gets about a minute or two to boil. Strain. Add sauce to the pot, over low heat. Add herbs, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer. Mix in pasta and veggies. Mix in cheese. Serve.

1 comment:

  1. Sweet, colorful, heavy, root veggies help you understand why fresh, bitter greens of early spring were so treasured.

    The offered a wonderful contrast--Soon, soon there will be fresh bitter greens.
    (you can reuse the jars--but be sure to buy fresh lids--and if you keep home made sauce in fridge or freezer, you don't really need to do a full processing (boiling the sealed jars under water to vacuum seal them)

    full processing is hot work--but it does make veggies shelf (vs fridge) storable.

    High acid foods (tomatoes) are the easiest to can.