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Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Here’s a delicious pasta salad that was easy to adapt to nondairy. I went to my local health food store, where they sell frozen soy ravioli, but this would also taste good with gnocchi, which is usually made nondairy also. Instead of feta cheese, which was called for, I grated some soy mozzarella. The flavors blend nicely in this dish – it’s not over-powering zing; just nicely seasoned and spiced.

Spinach, artichoke, and soy ravioli pasta salad (inspired by this recipe)

20 ounces soy ravioli (I used frozen), or gnocchi

2 tablespoons oil

salt

8 ounces fresh baby spinach, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons jarred roasted red pepper, minced

1 14-ounce can baby artichoke hearts, quartered

1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced

black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, julienned

1/4 cup soy mozzarella, grated

Boil a large pot of water. Add oil and salt to water. Add ravioli and boil 4 – 5 minutes or until tender but still firm. Drain pasta and spread out on a rimmed cookie sheet to cool.

In a large bowl, add chopped spinach, red pepper, artichoke hearts, and olives. Toss.

On a cutting board, sprinkle minced garlic with coarse salt. Mash garlic with the flat of your knife, scraping back and forth until garlic becomes a paste. Scrape up the garlic paste with your knife and add it to a small jar. Add red wine vinegar, lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, thyme, and black pepper. Shake or whisk to combine.

Pour dressing over spinach. Toss well. Add cooled pasta, tomatoes, and cheese. Toss again and refrigerate until ready to serve. Makes 12 cups.

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I have found more than a few really good and healthy recipes over at the Mayo Clinic site. I turned this one into a complete meal, adding some grilled tarragon chicken that I bought at Trader Joe’s. Perfect on a hot summer evening, even if it’s not summer yet.

Dilled pasta salad with spring vegetables

For the dressing:

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons dill weed

cracked black pepper, to taste

 

3 cups uncooked shell pasta, medium-sized

8 asparagus spears, cut into 1/2″ pieces

1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes

1 cup sliced green peppers

1/2 cup chopped green onions (I used 2 scallions)

2 grilled chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces (my addition)

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, dill weed, and black pepper. Whisk to mix evenly. Set aside.

Fill a large pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to package instructions. Drain the pasta thoroughly and rinse under cold water.

In a small saucepan, cover the asparagus with water. Bring to a boil and cook only until tender-crisp, about 3 – 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

In a large bowl, add the pasta, asparagus, tomatoes, green peppers, green onions, chicken, and dressing. Toss to mix evenly. Cover and refrigerate. Serve chilled. Makes 6 main course servings.

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Colorful, delicious, fresh, fresh, fresh. Adapted by me to non-dairy. (I also left out the broccoli, which I forgot to buy!)

Pasta primavera (from Saveur)

salt

1 medium zucchini, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″ thick pieces

1 medium yellow summer squash, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/4″ thick pieces

1 1/2 cups fresh shelled green peas

8 spear asparagus, trimmed, cut crosswise into thirds

6 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

16 button mushrooms, stemmed, caps quartered

1/4 cup pine nuts

4 plum tomatoes, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

1 pound spaghetti

1 cup soy cream

1/4 cup grated soy parmesan

1/4 cup vegetable stock

4 tablespoons margarine, softened

12 – 14 leaves, basil, shredded

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute zucchini and squash until just beginning to brown, 2 – 3 minutes. Add peas, one-third of the garlic, and salt to taste, saute for 1 minute, then transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and set aside. Wipe skillet clean. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat and saute mushrooms until golden brown, 2 – 3 minutes. Add pine nuts and saute until golden, 1 – 2 minutes. Add half the garlic and salt to taste, saute for 30 seconds, then transfer to a small bowl, cover, and set aside. Wipe skillet clean. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet over medium-high heat, saute asparagus until lightly browned, about 1 minute, then transfer to a small bowl, cover, and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, tomatoes, remaining garlic, and salt to taste to the skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until tomatoes break apart and release their juice, 3 – 4 minutes. Cover and set aside.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water over high heat until just cooked through, 10 – 12 minutes. Meanwhile, boil the soy cream in a large skillet over medium-high heat until slightly thickened, 5 – 6 minutes. Stir in the parmesan and salt to taste. Drain pasta, add to skillet with cream, and cook, stirring often, until pasta absorbs sauce, 2 – 3 minutes.

Divide pasta among 4 plates. Dividing quantities equally, top paste with zucchini mixture, mushroom mixture, tomato sauce, and asparagus, in that order. Garnish with basil. Makes 4 servings.

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I saw this first in Chow.com, and adapted it to be nondairy. Also used this whole grain pasta, which I love, and used canned artichokes, which is probably a travesty compared to the beautiful photos of the artichoke preparation on the Chow.com site. But I made this after work, was tired and hungry, and I thought it came out delicious anyway.

Pasta with pesto, asparagus, and artichokes

For the pesto:

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed

1 medium clove garlic, minced

1 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup packed fresh Italian parsley leaves

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup grated soy parmesan

For the pasta:

8 asparagus spears, tough ends removed

3 tablespoons olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 12-ounce can artichoke hearts, packed in water, drained and halved

10 ounce dried pasta, long strands

soy parmesan, for serving

For the pesto:

Place the pine nuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment and process until finely ground, about 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a rubber spatula. Add the salt and pepper, garlic, basil, and parsley; process until pureed, about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

With the processor running, slowly add the oil in a thin stream until incorporated. Add the parmesan and pulse a few times to incorporate. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper, as needed.

For the pasta:

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus and blanch til crisp-tender, about 30 seconds. Using tongs, remove the asparagus to an ice water bath to cool. Keep the pot of water at a boil for the pasta. Transfer the asparagus from the ice bath to a cutting board. Using a vegetable peeler, shave each spear lengthwise into thin strips, then cut the strips in half crosswise. Place in a bowl and set aside.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups pasta water, then drain the pasta.

Return the pot to medium-high heat, and add the pesto, 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, and the asparagus strips. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta, toss to combine, and bring to a simmer. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

I served this in an attractive plain white bowl, and garnished the top with the artichoke halves, sprinkled with soy parmesan.

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The perfect spring soup, for when it’s not quite warm but it’s definitely greening up outside. Delicious.

Springtime minestrone (modified from Eat, Live, Run blog)

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 leek, sliced thin

1 quart chicken or vegetable stock

1 bulb fennel, chopped

1 cup small pasta (alphabet or orzo is good)

1 can cannelloni beans, rinsed

1 large bunch rainbow chard, roughly chopped

1/4 pound sugar snap peas, chopped in half

1 cup frozen green peas

a few slices jarred chile pepper, chopped finely

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

grated soy parmesan for serving

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large pot or dutch oven. Add the leek and cook for 5 minutes, until the leek is bright green and soft.

Add the stock and the pasta and bring to a simmer. Let cook for another 5 minutes and then add the sugar snap peas, chard, beans, salt and pepper. Simmer for only a couple of minutes before adding the chile pepper, peas, and mint. Continue cooking until pasta is just tender.

Ladle soup into bowls and serve with the soy parmesan. Makes 4 servings.

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Another great after-work quick and delicious dinner. Good enough for a buffet or luncheon, too.

Penne with roasted vegetables (adapted from Cafe Fernando blog)

3 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon salt

1 eggplant, cubed

12 grape tomatoes, sliced in half

10 ounces mushrooms, sliced in half

1 bell pepper, coarsely chopped

freshly ground black pepper

6 tablespoons olive oil

10 ounces penne pasta

2 ounces grated soy parmesan

Roughly chop the garlic cloves and sprinkle them with salt. Mash them with a fork to create a fine puree.

Toss the vegetables with garlic, black pepper, and 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl and spread them in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast in a preheated 400 degree F. oven for approximately 30 minutes or until the edges of the eggplants start to caramelize.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. When veggies are nearly done, cook the pasta according to package instructions, til al dente. Drain.

Return the pasta into the pan and toss with the cooked vegetables and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Top with soy parmesan. Makes 2 servings.

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Nothing to me is more comforting than mac and cheese. I’ve tried my hand before at nondairy adaptations (here, here, and here) with much success. When I saw this recipe, I knew I’d be trying it. This was very very good.

Creamy macaroni and “cheese”

8 ounces regular pasta, any shape

3 cups Daiya style shreds

3 tablespoons vegan butter

2 cups unsweetened soy/or rice milk product

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup vegan parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain thoroughly when done. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare the cheese sauce while oven is warming. In a small pot melt the butter. When melted, add the pepper and nutritional yeast. Stir in the milk product. Add the cheddar, and cook over low/medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Stir in the macaroni and mix together. Transfer to an 8×8 casserole dish. Top with the bread crumbs and paprika. Bake for 15 minutes uncovered, or until the cheese is bubbling and top is starting to brown.

Remove from oven and top with the parmesan just before serving. Makes 4 servings.

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