Make dinner tonight, inspired!

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? This is your place for quick and healthy meal inspirations. Here you'll find recipes for seasonally focused dinners, desserts, breakfasts, and everything in between.

My cooking focuses on the freshest ingredients prepared in a simple and careful way, to highlight their uniqueness. My own diet is primarily vegetarian, but does include sustainable fish and seafood, and is gluten free.

Thank you for reading. I look forward to sharing some of my favorite recipes with you!

25 February 2010

Penne with Baby Greens, Sundried Tomatoes & Chevre

Dinner tonight is super fast. In fact, it may just be one of the fastest dinners I make. I reserve this one when I know I'm going to have a crazy and day and I need to have dinner cooked and on the table within 30 minutes flat. Yes, this is truly a '30 minute meal'.

I don't eat a lot of pasta. I'm somewhat 'wheat intolerant' so pasta is one of the hardest things for me. Although I do try to avoid it altogether, sometimes there's just nothing more satisfying than a proper bowl of noodles. I've found some good Spelt and Farro pastas at natural foods stores which are easier for me to eat and they still taste quite good. Vita Spelt makes a few good ones and there are several Italian brands that are harder to find but also quite delicious. Of course, use any variety of regular pasta you enjoy, if you don't suffer from the same issue as me.

I think you'll enjoy this dish. It's part salad and part creamy pasta dish. It's equally as good cold as it is warm and is light enough to be enjoyed when the weather is warmer too. This is a great recipe to have in your arsenals for those busy weeknights where a super simple but super fresh meal is in order.


Penne with Baby Greens, Sundried Tomatoes, and Chevre:
Yields 6 generous servings:

1# Penne Rigate or other tubular pasta
2, 5 oz packages 'Spring Mix' baby salad greens, pre washed
5 oz Chevre
2 TB Kalamata Olives, pitted and roughly chopped
3 oz Sundried Tomatoes packed in olive oil, roughly chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup Parmesano Reggiano, grated
2 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1) Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Add a generous pinch of salt and return to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, empty the bagged salad greens into a large serving bowl. Chop the sundried tomatoes and the olives and sprinkle them over top. Crumble the Chevre over top as well. Toast the pine nuts and grate the Parmesan and set aside.

3) When the pasta is ready, drain it, reserving about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the hot pasta to the serving bowl, on top of the lettuce mixture. Drizzle the olive oil over top and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Toss the whole thing together. The heat of the pasta will wilt the greens and melt the cheese, making a creamy sauce. Add a the parmesan cheese and a bit of pasta water if the dish seems a little dry. When all the ingredients are well combined, sprinkle the pine nuts and bit more Parmesan over the top and serve.

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