Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Roasted Garlic & Spinach Pasta

Well, today's lunch might not have been the wisest thing to bring on Valentine's Day because it's loaded with garlic, but it's oh so good. I got an urge yesterday evening to make some kind of pasta dish for dinner, but I wanted something a little bit different. I really like making pasta for dinner because it always means that there will be plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day. And that was definitely the case with this dish, which I just made up as I went along. I think I'll just call it Roasted Garlic & Spinach Pasta.

First, I just cooked some Whole Wheat Penne Pasta in some salted boiling water for 12 min and then dumped it into a strainer. Then, after making sure all of the water was out of the pot I cooked the pasta in, I put that same pot back on the stove and poured in 1/3 cup of Olive Oil. I meant to use just plain old Olive Oil, but then I remembered that I had a small bottle of Olive Oil infused with Basil up in the cabinet that came in a bag full of gourmet food items that my boss got me for Christmas (and YES she did make sure that everything in the bag was vegan). So I ended up using the Basil Olive Oil. Once the oil was heated up I dropped in a couple of heads of garlic, yes HEADS not cloves. I broke the heads apart into cloves and peeled and chopped them up into pretty good bite-size pieces before adding them to the hot oil. I cooked all of that garlic until it was nice and sweet and brown. YUM!

Then I threw in some Roasted Red Peppers that I had sliced up, along with some Pine Nuts that I had toasted in a dry pan. And to finish it all off, I poured in a whole bag of fresh Baby Spinach leaves and wilted them down. Then I just poured all of the Whole Wheat Penne Pasta back into the pot and stirred it all together. Needless to say, this tastes delicious and it made TONS of food.

To go along with my pasta I brought some Steamed Mixed Vegetables which just came from the freezer section of the local grocery store. I've had salads the last couple of days, so I wanted to bring something different today. And, as I mentioned once before, my favorite way to do these vegetables is to just put them in the lunchbox while they are still frozen and then just let them thaw out on their own. There is an ice-pack in the lunchbox carrier, which keeps everything cool, but the veggies will thaw out before lunchtime. Then I just give them a quick minute or so in the microwave and they are nice and steaming hot while still remaining crisp & brightly colored, just the way that I like them.

I also toasted up a couple of pieces of garlic toast by just spreading some Earth Balance on some whole wheat bread, sprinkling it with garlic salt, and then popping it in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes. That left no room for dessert today, but with all of that pasta, I don't think I'll need any.

So there's lunch for Wednesday. It was super easy to prepare and it kinda' makes for a fancy lunch.

Thanks for stopping by and I'll see everybody tomorrow.



Tracy said...

Holy Garlic, Batman! Two whole heads? At the very least, you know you'll be vampire-free this Valentine's Day! :0)

shebytches said...

I LOVE garlic and also tend to get a bit crazy with it! And really, as tracy said, it will keep the vampires away, and people trying to give you extra work...

kennyboy said...

Garlic is my friend.

Melanie said...

ok, this is something that i keep having a hard time with. how do you do the pasta so that by lunchtime it hasn't absorbed all available moisture and just become sticky and dry? am i just not using enough oil, or what?

today we're having hummus on low-carb tortillas with spring salad mix and slices of red pepper; black olives, black sesame cubes (little snacky things in the bulk bins at Natural Foods), roasted cashews and tamari almonds. I'm loving this stickblender with the miniature food processor attachment! it's perfect for whipping up small batches of bean puree and such. I can't believe it has enough power to do that, but it really does.

Oh, by the way - It dawned on me later that you had mentioned wanting the Chocolate Cake variety of soap, but they don't carry that one at Natural foods. They only have 4-5 of the 29 varieties I make. If you want the Chocolate you'll have to come by my shop on Oakland Avenue sometime. It's in the building that Seafood Blues used to be in before they went out of business.

kennyboy said...

Maybe I have too much oil then? It really didn't get dry & sticky. Hmmmm...

I know EXACTLY where your store is. I have seen it, it just didn't dawn on me that that was you. I will definitely come by.