True story: this summer I went on a number of dates with guys I met online. Two of the guys bragged about their cooking skills so I asked them if they had a signature dish or style. Both responded, and I quote,
“If I had a girlfriend, I would sautee some veggies in a white wine sauce and serve it over pasta.”
What the heck? Is there a manual on what to serve your hypothetical girlfriend?
Anyways, this weekend I needed to use up the last of a bottle of white wine so I decided to make my own version of this mystical recipe.
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 cup white wine
4 oz shredded parmesan cheese
8 oz whole wheat pasta, cooked
1/2 lb steamed vegetables (frozen works well)
Salt to taste
In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, heat olive oil. Add garlic and cook until soft, about 2-3 min. Whisk in flour and cook until lightly golden and smells toasty, about 2-3 min. Whisk in milk and stir constantly until mixture is thick, about 2-3 min. Stir in wine and cheese until cheese is melted. Fold in pasta and vegetables until evenly coated, then adjust salt to taste.
Lately I’ve been going through a wee bit of a pizza fixation. But eating that much pizza even with whole grain crusts can’t be all that healthy, plus cranking my oven up to 500 F at the end of a hot day is sometimes a bit much. So in order to enjoy those pizza flavors, increase the vegetable quotient, and avoid heating up my entire house, I came up with this pasta salad recipe. I should warn you that my pasta salads tend to be heavier on the salad and lighter on the pasta, so if you want a more traditional dish, double the amount of pasta. Also, for you meat eaters out there, this would be really tasty with pepperoni or prosciutto. The banana peppers give it a little bit of a kick, but if you want more heat, try peperoncinis. Not a fan of any amount of spiciness? Use 2 tbsp red wine vinegar instead.
Pizza Pasta Salad
- 6 ounces short pasta (like penne) cooked and cooled
- 1 large tomato diced, or 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 4 baby zucchini or squash, thinly sliced (you want the smallest squash you can find)
- 1 medium or 1/2 large red onion, diced
- 6 ounces mozzarella, diced or shredded
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup pickled banana peppers, drained & chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh oregano or 1/2 tbsp dried
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Allow to refrigerate for at least one hour before serving so flavors can meld. Serves 4 as a main dish, 8 as a side dish.