Monday, May 18

Good Eating Monday: Italian Veggie Pasta Side

Well, today I decided I was going to cover one window with plastic insulation wrap. 
A flaw insulated window glass has is it occasionally looses it's air pocket. So the center bay window in our bedroom isn't doing what it's supposed to anymore. Seeing condensation between the panes isn't a good thing. 
So, Ace Hardware sells Window Insulation Kits that contain two-sided sticky tape & plastic that you cut out 2 inches wider then your window, stick to the tape and run a hair dryer over it to tighten it up. (Applied to interior side of window.)
Once done, it works perfect and since I don't open that window, I can leave it there. I noticed the bedroom felt cooler almost immediately after I got it up. 

Today's Good Eating recipe is a pasta side-dish I created to go with our grilled pork chops that used up 2 cups of plain, cooked pasta I had in the frig.
I call it, "Italian Veggie Pasta."
The main thing about this side dish is you want more veggies then pasta, that way you get a lot to eat, but not all the calories of eating straight pasta!

This recipe is a stove-top skillet side dish designed for already cooked pasta. I prefer to use veggie pasta, especially the Ronzoni Garden Delight Trio Italiano, which has shells, twists & penne pasta, but you can use any you like.
I'm listing what I used since I have Zucchini in my garden, but you can use any veggie combination you prefer in roughly similar quantities. (Broccolini, by the way, is the side-shoots the grow on a Broccoli plant once the central head has been harvested. Grocery stores sell broccolini in bunches.)

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced (= about 1 tsp)
2 cups plain, cooked veggie pasta (left-overs are great!)
1 - 1 1/2 cups sliced zucchini
1/2 cup broccolini heads
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 cup sliced baby portabella mushrooms
1/2 cup frozen pepper strips, coarsely chopped
1 to 4 Tablespoons your favorite vinaigrette type Italian Dressing, depending on taste & quantity of veggies/pasta.

In a skillet on medium high heat add olive oil. Let oil get hot, then add minced garlic to the olive oil. Saute 15 seconds allowing garlic flavor to infuse into the oil, then add your cooked pasta. Stir to coat.
Now add your veggies working from veggies that are denser and take a bit longer to cook (like carrots, if you're using them) to veggies that cook quickly, like onions, peppers & mushrooms.
Since everything on my recipe list cooks easily, I added the zucchini & broccolini first, sauteed it a few minutes, then added the peppers, onions & mushrooms and sauteed until the onions were transparent & mushrooms tender.
Finally, add the Italian dressing, stir in, allow to heat 3 or 4 minutes, then serve.
This can serve two people generously or a smaller portion for 4.
We split this Italian Veggies Pasta side between us to have with our thin-sliced grilled pork-chop. I'm trying to eat smarter and this huge spread of delicious veggies and pasta made me feel satisfied while still not being calorie heavy.
What's your favorite kind of pasta?
Eat up, me hearties yo-ho!

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