Friday, June 13, 2008

Most Amazing Vegetarian Spaghetti

The day before the grooming appointment! Little girl dog is always talking back!

Oh don't give me that sad puppy dog look! It doesn't work!

I can't even believe it is raining again. Thunderstorms even. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that tomorrows weather is good for our bride------ bless her heart. Seems she is having a few issues with her future father in law (who also happens to be marrying them in his church). Personally I'm thinking it might not be such bad karma to kick this patoodle in the butt with a pair of really pointy shoes.

It is a great afternoon to stay out of the rain and in the a/c (bless a/c) and whip up some great food. I'll need to stock up on a really good dinner because tomorrow, after my breakfast of toasted mini-wheat and vanilla soy milk is gone there may not be real food in many hours. (How sad is that?) I'll be shutting down the computer, as in turning it OFF and wandering up to the sewing room for the afternoon, having a nice meal to look forward to at the end of a Bliss Slice will be fabulous!

Okay, so the recipe is a composite (tried and tried again) of a few interesting recipes, with a few twists of my own. The result? Spaghetti so amazing you won't believe it---- and vegetarian to boot!

Veggie Panko Spaghetti

  • 2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs (in the Asian aisle) No substitutions!
  • 1 pound of excellent 'local' spaghetti (you can use dried if you can't find fresh) I've made my own for this dish and while it is quite nurturing, good local pasta does the trick for me
  • 1/2 cup+ of really really really good quality olive oil -- I find that I might need a bit more oil, depending on the dryness of the Panko and how many veggies you use
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips (I like to use a mix of red and yellow peppers if I have them both)
  • 4 nice fat cloves of garlic
  • 8 shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 small bunch of thin asparagus, break off the tips and cut in half lengthwise
  • *other veggies you have fresh, beautiful and on hand
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • a pinch (or to taste) of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
In a lovely deep skillet, heat up about 5 tablespoons of the oil (don't let it get too hot) and toss in the panko breadcrumbs. Move them around until they have crisped nicely. Remove to cool.

Start a big pot of boiling water for the pasta, add a tablespoon of kosher salt. Put the pasta in to cook for the recommended time.

Into the pan, add another few tablespoons of the olive oil and add in the red pepper, the shallots, the garlic and the asparagus tips. Saute until things are nicely done, a bit crisp but soft and the shallots translucent in color. Add the red pepper flakes towards the end of the cooking time. Remove from the pan.

When the pasta is al dente, drain well.

Add the final bit of oil (2-3 tablespoons) to the pan and heat gently. Add the well drained pasta and toss until lightly shining with oil. Now tumble in the remaining ingredients; the veggies, the toasted panko and the parmesan.

I like to garnish with some fresh chopped parsley and a bit of extra grated Parmesan.

Serve right away to very lucky guests! Serves about 4 with a nice green salad and some crusty whole wheat bread.

Have a great weekend, I'll be back next with Knitting Bride!


Jenny Girl said...

My dog always tries to use the cute sad face or the jedi puppy mind trick on me. They are adorable.
And the recipe sounds great. I love pasta, just about any kind any way.

melissaknits said...

fine...torture me with pasta...