Tag Archives: healthy cooking

Mixed Veggie Pasta

4 Jan

Since im like every other american, i am trying to lose weight after the new year…. lets see if it happens but i figured (duh) that you have to change what you eat for it to work. I realized, quickly, that eating baked mac and cheese, pioneer woman recipes (sorry ree!), and fast food would only make me gain weight and be a waste of my gym time. I decided to try cooking healthier, and see if my waistline smiles at me, in return.

This recipe was a quick, super easy weekday meal for those of us that work late hours and just want to lie on the couch when we get home.

Mixed Veggie Pasta

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 medium eggplant, ends removed, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 2 to 3 medium zucchini, ends removed, quartered and into small chunks
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored, seeds removed and cut into small chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut into small chunks
  • dried thyme, sprinkled throughout
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne
  • 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (a large handful) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more to pass at the table

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 450ºF

Cut a sliver off the top of the garlic head (the pointy side up) just large enough to expose the cloves. Tear off a large square of aluminum foil and place the garlic in the center. Drizzle a small amount of oil over the head and wrap the foil up around it. Place in the oven and roast until golden brown and tender, about 45 minutes.

While the garlic is roasting, cut up the veggies and place everything except the tomatoes on one or two large baking sheets (or a big roasting pan), along with the thyme.

Once the garlic has been roasting for about 15 minutes, drizzle the veggies with olive oil and season them with some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast them in the oven until soft and juicy, about 30 minutes.

Once the veggies have been in the oven about 10 minutes, place the tomatoes onto another baking sheet, drizzle them with oil and hit them with some salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss them into the oven with the other veggies and roast until they’ve burst and shriveled up slightly, 15-20 minutes.

Once the veggies have about 10 minutes left to go, drop the pasta into the boiling water and cook to al dente according to package directions. Before draining the pasta, ladle about 3/4 cup or so of the pasta cooking liquid into a large serving bowl. Drain the pasta and reserve.

Once the garlic is done roasting, allow it to cool enough to handle, then hold the head in your hand over the bowl with the pasta water and squeeze out all of the roasted cloves into the bowl. Add the tomatoes and mash everything together.

Add the roasted veggies, drained pasta, parsley and grated Parmigiano to the bowl and toss it all to combine.

Serve and Enjoy!

-M

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Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

19 Dec

I saw this recipe on the food network, one of Glada De Laurentis’s recipes. It looked so good in the pictures and the idea of making my own tortellini was challenging and exciting because i’ve never done it before. It was actually a really easy recipe! If you have the time to stand and make countless tortellini, its worth the effort.

Butternut Squash Tortellini with Brown Butter Sauce

Tortellini:

  • 1 butternut squash, approximately 2 pounds, cubed (about 3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 2 large shallots, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 4 small amaretti cookies, crushed (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 package small wonton wrappers

Brown Butter Sauce 

  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh sage leaves
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, or chopped dried cherries, or mixture of both
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

To make the tortellini, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and toss together the butternut squash, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, herbs de Provence, salt, and pepper. Now you’re probably thinking, what in the world is Herbs de Provence? Well, its a mixture of herbs commonly used in french cuisine. I found an awesome Herb de Provence Vinagrette in Publix, used it instead, and the pasta came out equally as delicious.

Bake in the oven until soft and golden, about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Cook the shallots and garlic until lightly golden, about 3 minutes.

In a food processor, combine the butternut squash mixture, the shallot mixture, and the ricotta cheese and pulse a few times to blend. Add the crushed amaretti cookies, the nutmeg, and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until smooth. The tortellini filling can be made one day ahead.

To make the tortellini, lay out wonton skins, keeping the remaining skins inside the package or under a very lightly dampened paper towel. Place 1 tablespoon of squash mixture in the middle of each skin. Dip a pastry brush in a little water and wet the edges of the skin. Gently fold the square wrapper into a triangle, making sure the edges are securely closed and there are no air pockets inside. Dampen the two bottom corners of the longest side of the triangle and gently bring them together, pressing lightly to secure. Continue until all the butternut squash mixture is used.

(The tortellini can be formed, frozen, and transferred to a tightly sealed plastic bag or container and stored for up to six months. To cook, simply toss the frozen ravioli into the salted boiling water and cook for 4 minutes.)

To complete our pasta, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the sage, walnuts and cranberries and let cook until the butter starts to brown, about 3 minutes. Turn the heat off and season with salt, and pepper.

Then, gently place the tortellini in the boiling water and gently stir. When they begin to float they are done, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, gently spoon the tortellini onto a serving platter, Top with the brown butter sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Easy… and enjoy =) I know we did!

-M