FoodStory

Writing about what feeds me.

MacGyver Pasta


Yes, this is what I do.  I do it big.  I raid my fridge and my cabinets and just throw together a tasty, healthy, CHUNKY VEGETABLE & TOMATO PESTO CREAM SAUCE to go with some Omega-3 fettucine.  Sorry, no pics of the process cause who has time for snappin photos when you’re improvising, right? haha Actually, I almost didn’t even bother to run upstairs to get my camera, but I decided I should snap a pic in case it turned out pretty good.  And it did. =)

Ingredients:
– Extra virgin olive oil
– half red onion, diced
– 4 cloves garlic, minced
– half green bell pepper, chopped
– 2 zucchinis, halved lengthwise and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
– approx. 1.5 cups of mushrooms, sliced
– 2 vine red tomatoes, coarsely chopped
– full head of kale, ribs removed and coarsely chopped
– small can of tomato paste (no salt added)
– approx. 1/2 cup of store-bought pesto sauce
– pepper and chili flakes
– grated parmesan (some fresh and some pre-packaged)
– approx. 1/4 cup half & half cream

** Most of these proportions were based on what was available and the fact that I wanted to use up all my veggies.  Cooking cream could be used as well, I am sure.

Process:
– Boil pasta, strain and set aside after tossing it in a little olive oil
– While pasta is cooking, heat a large pan and add about 2 Tbls olive oil
– Brown chopped onions (5+ minutes)
– Add minced garlic and stir for a minute or two
– Add chopped bell peppers and stir for about a minute
– Add zucchini and mushrooms and mix well for a few more minutes
– Throw in tomatoes and stir
– Add kale and mix until wilted
– Add tomato paste and no more than a can’s amount of water. Use your discretion: you don’t want it to be watery, but you don’t want the ingredients to burn.
– Mix in pepper and chili flakes to taste, as well as pesto and parmesan cheese (I used no more than about 1/2 cup or so)
– While mixing everything together well, lower heat before adding cream.  If using an electric stove (as most people do here in Canada), allow time for ranges to cool down and temperature to actually lower.
– Stir until everything is combined well and remove pan from heat.

Now – here is what I learned that the Italians do.  This, to me, makes a difference in how the pasta tastes and, quite frankly, how it looks – presentation is key oftentimes!

– Heat a little olive oil in a pan.
–  Add about a ladleful of Chunky Vegetable & Tomato Pesto sauce and allow it to heat up a little.
– Toss in about a handful of pasta and start mixing.
– Add more sauce.  Mix.
– Toss in more pasta.  Mix again.
– After all pasta, sauce and veggies are well combined and everything is heated through, transfer it right into a bowl.
– Sprinkle on some chili flakes and more parmesan if you’d like.

Bon Appetit!

NOTES:
Please keep in mind that at the time I was improvising this meal, I had RUN OUT OF SALT.  That is why I used so much pesto sauce.  It’s also the reason I even bothered to add cheese to the dish while it was cooking.  Normally I would save parmesan for a garnish or to be used at the individual diner’s discretion.  Nevertheless, it worked out and the pesto flavor was magnificent, especially in combination with so many varying flavors of vegetables involved.

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This entry was posted on April 5, 2012 by in Culinary, Improvised, Italian, Vegetarian and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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