the pasta playground

June 17, 2013

orecchiette

I’m obsessed with this combination:

  • orecchiette pasta (I only buy De Cecco after reading long ago that it’s the highest-quality dried pasta outside of Italy.  And it really does have a perfect bite given how reasonably priced it is.)
  • a scattering of pine nuts (dry-fried in a pan until lightly browned)
  • a bunch of baby broccoli, washed and chopped
  • really good pesto (I have my NY spots as I find it makes more sense — time and cost-wise — than making my own)
  • a shake or two of crushed red chili peppers
  • crumbled in sheep/goat feta (Roussas brand from Greece is my pick)
  • coarse kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

There’s no need for detailed instructions here: just add the broccoli a minute before the pasta’s cooking time is up, drain, and mix in everything else.  Seriously addictive stuff.

This is the first time I’ve ever posted anything with dairy or wheat on here. When I first started Green Appetite back in 2009, I decided to only include vegan, gluten-free recipes — because I didn’t want my recipes to exclude anyone.

But here’s the deal: this site is about creative ideas to get more veggies into your day, not an attempt to get you to take things out.  Pasta is a great playground for veggies, and you’ll notice I have more veggies than pasta in this picture.  But you could also use quinoa instead and/or leave out the cheese.  And of course if you’re doing that, you’ll also want to make sure your pesto is dairy free.  By the way, that’s a good way to make sure store-bought pesto is the real deal: authentic pesto should not contain cheese to begin with.  Mangia verde!

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