Green

12 Sep

PastaThe end of the summer is near, I can see it in the leaves on the trees. They are turning ever so slightly brown (and red and gold). There is a little bit of a chill in the air, and the neighbours had a fire last night for the first time. I smelt it when I went outside onto the porch in the evening. The sun drops so fast out of the sky … it is dark before 7pm. These little indicators of the season changing makes me want to hold on to the lush greenness of summer for a just a little bit longer…

And so tonight, in defiance of autumn and winter, of the changing of the season, I made green pasta. Simple, vegan, and so deeply green. It was good. And it was fast to make. I used green spinach fettucini to augment the green … Use whatever green you can find, or like best, but I have a particular fondness for broccoli and zucchini, so that is what I used.

This recipe serves 4, but feel free to double or halve it. Use the best produce you can find – organic everything if you can afford it. Serve parmesan on the side, but know that it will make the meal vegetarian rather than vegan. And hold off on the urge to add lots herbs or some ricotta or a touch of cream. This works because it is so clean, tasting of green, and of the lasting sunshine of summer.

If you dont have any pasta in the house, but still want to make this dish, it would be wonderful served with rice, quinoa, couscous, noodles, or even with some yeasty brown bread. Its very adaptable!

You will need:

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into chunks
  • 3 – 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 – 15 cloves of garlic, sliced fine (yes you read that right!)
  • 1/2 – 1 cup flaked almonds
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp red chili flakes (depends on your propensity for heat)
  • 1/2 tsp salt plus more for pasta and to taste
  • 1 zucchini
  • Approx 250 – 300 g dried pasta (I used spinach fettucini)

In a large pot, bring salted water to the boil. You will use this pot for making the pasta later, so have a handled sieve ready.

Chop the broccoli into edible chunks, and throw it in the water. You want to boil it until it has lost its snap, and when you bite into it, the broccoli is creamy. This can take anywhere from 7 – 10 minutes (sometimes more) depending on how thick or thin you have chopped the broccoli, as well as what kind of broccoli you are using, and its freshness.

In a non stick pan, over medium low heat, saute the sliced garlic until soft. This can take a while. Be patient. This is the basis of the pasta sauce, and its imperative you dont let the garlic burn. Lower the heat if you think it needs it. This can take you up to ten – 15 minutes, so prep your other ingredients while you wait.

Once the broccoli is to your liking, drain it from the water using a handled sieve. Leave as much cooking water as you can in the pot, and put the broccoli in a small bowl and set aside.

Add the red chili flakes and salt to the garlic in the pan, and stir. Raise the heat a little and add all the almonds. Keep cooking while you slice or chop your zucchini. I like it halved, and then sliced. Add the zucchini to the pan, and raise the heat to medium high. Stir well, and keep stirring. You want the zucchini to soften a little bit, and burn around the edges. The almonds will follow suit.

Meanwhile, add a bit more water to your boiling pot if you think it needs it, and bring it to the boil again. Add the pasta, and cook to al dente.

Add the broccoli to the zucchini in the pan, and stir well. Taste for heat and salt. You might want to add a few tablespoons of the cooking liquid from the pasta directly to the broccoli/zucchini in the pan.

Once the pasta is cooked al dente (I always check a few minutes before the stated cooking time on the box!), use a mug and save a bit of the cooking liquid. Drain the pasta, and pop it right back into the pot. Pour the contents of the broccoli/zucchini pan over, and mix well. You can add a little more of the pasta cooking water if you like, but it shouldnt be that neccessary. Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

Serve with parmesan on the side. Enjoy!

7 Responses to “Green”

  1. Bistro Gerard September 13, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    Looks delicious and wonderfully healthy! I love broccoli pasta, but have never thought of making it with spinach fettucine – what a brilliant idea!

    • delectableblog September 13, 2010 at 2:56 am #

      It was wonderful… being half Malaysian, we upped the chili portion, but somehow the almonds smoothed out that fiery kick… Healthy, vegan, and ever so green 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and reading! 🙂

  2. goddessmoments September 13, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    I need you to come home soon! Am all longing hunger like Ana now! xox

    • delectableblog September 13, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

      Oh love… Am still here a month! But bake the zucchini bread it will fill the longing places 😉

      • Mariana September 13, 2010 at 3:43 pm #

        Well, I am going to have to make some of this pasta up for myself. This dish I can definitely handle cooking 🙂 yummy. Meanwhile, am still full of longing hunger!

      • delectableblog September 13, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

        Yay Ana! Its goooooood. The chili makes it totally sedap 😉 Cant wait to cook for you x

  3. Mariana September 13, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    I can’t wait for you to cook for me either!! 🙂 xxx

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: