Sunday, July 6, 2008

Going Green!


Heaven-on-a-plate... seriously!
(Unfortunately my blurry photo does not do it justice... still trying to figure out a new camera!)

Meatless pasta dishes like this were a gateway drug for me transitioning from sort of omnivore (chicken and fish) to pretty much full-time vegetarian! heh...
Once I get back from England, I'm giving up fish, too. I just have to have my last decent plate of fish and chips and then I can completely cross over to the dark side. ;)
Hubby actually predicted today that I'll be vegan in the next couple years. I doubt it - I just love cheese way too much! And I just don't know what I'd do if I was denied my Cherry Garcia! ;) I do love vegan cooking and baking (in case that isn't obvious) but I'm not sure I could go full-time vegan.

This has a really wonderful *kick* to it from all the garlic and the little sprinkle of red pepper flakes. I am a huge garlic fan but if you're not, you can always cut back a little! I highly recommend leaving all the cloves in, though...
The wine and lime flavours also shine through - don't worry, the garlic is not so much that it over-powers them. I used spinach in place of arugula (trying to use up what we have) but any green leafies will be good in this dish.

My favourite thing about this dish, though, is how healthy it is even though it seems so sinfully delicious! :)
Let's see... we've got calcium in the spinach (not to mention iron, beta-carotene, and fibre!); all the wonderful omega fatty acids in the avocado; the antioxidants and cholesterol-lowering powers of the garlic; and the calcium, vitamin A, and cancer-fighting properties of broccoli.
Dang! Give this dish a cape and some tights - it's a super-hero! :)

Here's the recipe so you can experience it for yourself!

Pasta Della California
(yes, I was singing "California Dreaming" the entire time I was making this... and then for whatever reason, as I was eating it morphed into "Hotel California"... shut up!)
I just have to share this great quote about this recipe from the book Veganomicon. It's too wonderful not to...
"If we said in the title that this was pasta with avocado no one would take us seriously, so instead we call it Pasta Della California. Anything with avocado in it can be called 'California,' right?"
Since I live in California, pasta with avocado is absolutely not unheard of but the whole "oh, it has avocado! Let's call it California!" bit killed me... it's so true...

Serves 2

Ingredients:
1/4 pound spaghetti, linguine, or angel-hair pasta
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 tbsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic
A bit of grated lime zest (use an organic lime so you don't end up with *poison pasta*!) - I used the zest of about half a lime
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
1/8 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. sea salt
A good bit of freshly-ground black pepper
2 cups chopped, loosely-packed spinach (or arugula)
1 avocado, sliced and cut into chunks

Method:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and prep all your other ingredients while the water boils (this cooks so quickly!) Once the water boils, add the pasta and cook according to the package directions. When there is about 3 minutes left on the pasta, add the broccoli and cook with the pasta.

2. Meanwhile, heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, lime zest, and red pepper flakes. Gently heat, stirring often, for about 2 minutes (watch it - be careful the garlic does not burn!)

3. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil so the wine reduces (2 minutes or so). Add the broth, lime juice, salt, and pepper, and bring back to a boil. Once the sauce is boiling, lower the heat to a simmer. Add the arugula or spinach.

4. Remember to add that broccoli to the pasta! :)
Once the pasta and broccoli are done, drain them both in a colander.

5. When the arugula/spinach is wilted, add the broccoli and pasta to the skillet. Use a pasta spoon to toss it around and make sure everything gets covered in the garlicy goodness! Cook about 3 minutes longer, stirring often. Add the avocado and turn off the heat. Gently toss the avocado in with the pasta and veggies, being careful not to squash it.

6. Serve with a couple good grinds of black pepper. Spoon the leftover garlic sauce over the bowls of pasta.

Reference:
Pasta Della California from the book Veganomicon.

1 comment:

Joelen said...

I don't think I've ever added avocado to a pasta dish, so thanks for inspiring me! In fact, you could even submit this recipe to the California Food/Wolfgang Puck blogging event I'm hosting (and maybe even win the giveaway prize too!) Details are in my blog and recipe submissions for this blogging event are being accepted through this Saturday, July 12th!