Friday, March 9, 2012

Farmer's Market Pasta and a Special Announcement

This is another easy dish I prepared earlier this week.  It's a great vegetarian meal.  You won't miss the meat! 

Farmer's Market Pasta

Before I get to that, I have a special announcement; two actually. 

First, Dan is doing great with his weight loss goals.  I've told you he is a sugar addict.  He's trying to break himself of that vice.  He has been exercising and eating right - even outside of my charge.  He's lost three more pounds.  Please cheer him on to reach his goal. 

Side note:  I've lost more weight, too.  In fact, look for a special post next week from me where I show you how much I've lost in the last 8 months just by eating healthy and exercising.

Now for the BIG news:   

Dan participated in the Beringer Great Steak Challenge in Napa in October.  Yes, I am lucky; Dan cooks, too.  He is a great home cook and an excellent baker.  I don't bake so that works out well. 

We are under a strict confidentiality agreement as to the results.  But you can watch for yourself on the Cooking Channel.  Here is the schedule for the east coast.  Consult your local directory and listings for times in your area. 

Times are subject to change:

April 10, 2012 9:00 PM
April 10, 2012 1:00 AM
April 14, 2012 4:30 PM
April 15, 2012 7:30 PM

Now for today's easy recipe:

Farmer's Market Pasta

Serves 4

1/2 pound Penne or whole wheat Penne, cooked per package directions
1 ladle of the starchy cooking water from pasta, reserved
2 tablespoons light olive oil or canola oil or a blend
Crushed red pepper, to taste
2 cups sliced white or baby Bella mushrooms
1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine or low sodium chicken broth*
Sea salt, to taste
1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts (packed in water, not oil)
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1 tablespoon cold butter
2 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced into quarters and cut in half
Fresh chopped parsley (optional)
Grated Parmesan cheese, for passing at the table (optional)

Cook pasta per package directions.  Drain and keep warm.  Reserve one ladle of the starchy cooking water.

In a large skillet, add oil and crushed red pepper.  Cook pepper for about two minutes until the aroma releases. 

Add mushrooms.  Cook for three or four more minutes. 

Add garlic and broccoli.  Saute broccoli for two or three minutes.  Be careful to make sure that the garlic does not burn as it will turn bitter.

Add lemon juice and stir. 

Add wine or broth and salt.  Bring to boil and reduce to simmer, about three minutes until broccoli just starts to get tender. 

Add artichoke hearts, goat cheese, the reserved cooking water and the butter.  Let water reduce, about one or two minutes. 

While the water is reducing, slice the tomatoes (no need to seed), and toss them into the pot with the other ingredients.

Give the pasta and vegetables a light stir to blend in the goat cheese.

Top with parsley and Parmesan cheese, if using.

Now that's a simple, tasty meal!

*If using broth instead of wine, reduce the amount of salt.

See you soon!  ;.)
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