Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pasta Primavera

This dish is perfect for summer, whether it be for a little picnic outside or for a fancy get together dinner with your friends. The colors from all the veggies are so bright and although this pasta maybe be a bit simple, it is loaded with flavor.

Serves 6

* 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced thinly
* 2 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
* 2 squashes, thinly sliced
* 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
* 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin stripes
* 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin stripes
* 1/4 cup olive oil
* salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 Tb dried Italian herbs
* 1 lb bow tie pasta
* 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
* 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan cheese                                        

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

2. In a large heavy baking sheet, toss all the vegetables with the olive oil, salt, pepper and Italian herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy baking sheet and arrange evenly. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown. Stir after the first ten minutes and allow it to bake for 20 minutes total.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

4. Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture in a large bowl to combine. Toss with cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with vegan Parmesan and serve immediately.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pasta with Basil Cilantro Pesto and Peas

It's been so long since I've last blogged. I've been so busy and haven't really had time to update this. But I have a couple recipes I wanted to share with you guys. Hopefully I'll have them all up within the next few days. So basically, this recipe is from Veganomicon but I added vegan mayo and a couple other ingredients to make the pesto richer. I hope you enjoy!

Basil Cilantro Pesto
* 2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
* 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro 
* 1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
* 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
* 2 Tb fresh lemon juice ( from about 1/2 lemon )
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1/4 cup olive oil

1. Place the basil, cilantro, almonds, garlic, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and blend until pasty, scraping down the sides occasionally.

2. With the food processor on, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Blend until relatively smooth and no large chunks of almonds are left. If you don't have a food processor and are using a blender, then just add the olive oil at the end, since many blenders aren't equipped with an opening to drizzle into.

Pasta Ingredients
* 3/4 lb fusilli pasta
* 3/4 lb bow tie pasta
* 1/4 cup good olive oil
* 1 1/2 cups pesto ( see recipe above )
* 1 ( 10 ounce ) package frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
* 3 Tb freshly squeezed lemon juice
* 1 1/4 cups Veganonise mayonnaise
* 1/2 cup vegan Parmesan
* 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, defrosted
* 1/3 cup pignoli, optional ( pine nuts )
* 3/4 tsp kosher salt
* 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the fusilli and bow ties separately in a large pot of boiling salted water for 10 to 12 minutes until each pasta is al dente. Drain and toss into a bowl with the olive oil. Cool to room temperature.

2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the pesto, spinach and lemon juice. Add the mayonnaise and puree. Add the pesto mixture to the cooled pasta and then add the Parmesan, 
peas, pignoli, salt and pepper. Mix well, season to taste, and serve at room temperature.