Thursday, April 7, 2011

Uber-Antioxidant Pasta

There are days when all I want is to "taste the rainbow," so to speak -- and I ain't talkin' Skittles.  I'm talking veggies.  Loads of colorful, happy veggies.  Today was one of those days.  After I came home from work, I began scouring the fridge to see what kind of veggies were there for the taking. 

And, wouldn't you know it, some bell peppers and spinach were right there. 

Now, I may be so flippin' Irish that my gene pool doesn't go beyond the English Channel, but for some reason, Italian cooking makes tremendous sense to me.  And one of the things I've learned about Italian cooking is that bell peppers and spinach each make for one fantastic pasta dish. So, given the voracious veggie cravings, I decided to just combine the two.  If each one enhances pasta on its own, why not do both?  Go big or go home, I say.

I got my ingredients:
1 1/2 C GF pasta
Canned, fire-roasted tomatoes (I'm ashamed to admit that I don't make my own pasta sauce...hey, I'm a lazy mofo)
2 bell peppers
3 shallots
1 C spinach
6 cloves of garlic (I'm of the opinion that one can never have too much garlic in a dish, so I use a lot -- but you can adjust it to your preference)
2 T olive oil
1/4 t red pepper flakes (they can be potent, so go easy on 'em)
Salt and Italian seasoning to taste 

I chopped up the shallots and the garlic, and then I sauteed them in the olive oil while the water for the pasta got a-boilin':

Whassup, dude! We're shallots! Hey, is it hot in here?

Then added in the peppers and the tomatoes once the shallots had gotten soft...

Ooooh, the steam looks all ghostly and whatnot.

While the pasta cooked, I added the Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and salt. Once everything is mixed in, let the veggie mixture simmer for about 15 minutes. You'll need to add water periodically -- or the occasional dash of red wine, which gives it depth but is a purely optional ingredient -- to make sure it doesn't simmer down to nothing, before adding the spinach:

The spinach wilts quickly, yielding a pan-o-veggies that looks like this:

We're wiiiiillllltiiiinnnnng!
Then drain and mix in the pasta, garnish with nutritional yeast, and enjoy!

In the words of Homer Simpson, "Mmmm. Veggies and pasta. Gaaaaahhh."

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