Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Pasta Squared?

Trader Joe's makes a lovely lemon pepper pasta that really tickles my tongue. It has a bit of a kick and really good lemon flavor. It stands alone with just a little garlic and olive oil, but the other night, I really wanted to make a one-pot sort of meal.

My problem is that I don't really like long pasta shapes. These aren't bad because they're so wide, but spaghetti and linguine just leave me cold. I don't like to work that hard to keep my food on the fork. That's the sad truth. But since I don't use them often, I don't really know how to make veggies work for the shape. I mean, it seems silly to have long, wide pasta hanging out with chunks of broccoli or even onion. So I browsed in the fridge, saw my friend the zucchini, and decided that I could mimic the shape of the pasta and avoid all the angst.

Using my beloved Messermeister veggie peeler, I shaved the zucchini into long strips about the width of the pasta. I added them to the pot when the pasta had just about a minute left to cook. In the meantime, I had sauteed some garlic and capers in olive oil, added heavy cream and some finely chopped oil-cured black olives, and reduced that down a bit. I tossed the pasta/zucchini in the sauce, added a bit more salt, and served it up with some grated parm. It was very tasty.

Now, this dish still doesn't win any big awards for veggie-rich meals, but we did plan to have bowls of berries for dessert, bringing in a good serving or two of fruit. It just never materialized, however. Such is life sometimes.

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