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Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Irish" Veggie Pasta

Since have been trying to eat a bit more healthy in 2011, I am challenging myself to use more vegetables and less fat in my cooking.

We love pasta, but coming up with a way to include this in our menu is challenging. Then I rememebered a pasta dish we had when I was in Ireland, and decided to try to recreate it. I couldn't recall everything that was in it, but two unusual items stayed in my memory: green beans and chick peas (garbanzo beans). The sauce was tomato based and slightly spicy, but it was the odd combination of vegetables that made it memorable.

Using up some extra vegetables in the refrigerator, I created this ! Ray made a really beautiful thin linguine which was the perfect match to this sauce.

Irish Veggie Pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 small red pepper, diced
2 cups beet greens (or any green) chopped
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 quart chopped tomatoes (we used home canned)
1 can chick peas (about 1 1/2 cups), drained
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 pound fresh pasta, linguine or angel hair work best
1/2 cup fresh basil, cut in thin strips
Freshly grated parmesan

Start pasta water to boil and salt liberally. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and saute garlic and onions until tender. Add red pepper and continue to saute until tender. Add beet greens, and green beans, and stir until all are tender. Add tomatoes, chick peas and spices and stir until heated through. Turn to simmer. Add pasta to boiling water and cook 2-3 minutes until al dente. Add pasta to the sauce pan, toss to combine and top with fresh basil and parmesan.

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