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Sunday, January 8, 2012

Irish Veggie Pasta (again)

I posted this same recipe, about this same time last year. The new year always makes us want to try to eat a little more heathly, and get more vegetables into our menu.

Living in Minnesota, we don't have access to many fresh vegetables this time of year, so this is a particular challenge for us. But this recipe is a nice combination of fresh and canned, and is so flavorful you won't care if it's not "summer" fresh.

And, I have a picture this time! So try it out! Experiment with the vegetables you have on hand, we used spinach last night in place of turnip greens, and dried garbanzos (cooked before adding, of course).

The story of this pasta, is that my mom ordered pasta when we were in Ireland. Yes, I know, we thought she was crazy. But, when it arrived, it has this very unusual combination of vegetables and a spicy sauce, so I have kept it in my memory, and tried to replicate the flavor here.

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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