Thursday, 26 July 2012

Pasta... Lots of pasta.

pixlr by SashaWarner
pixlr, a photo by SashaWarner on Flickr.
Thursday night is soccer night for Nevin. Last Thursday, because I thought it would be a treat for our little budding soccer player, and because I was in a rush, I thought I'd pull out the knock-off Kraft Dinner Toy Story box of Mac and Cheese for dinner. It was a gift from his Grandma and Grandpa, and he'd been pretty excited about it. Except, here's the thing: Every time we said "macaroni and cheese," his mind said, "mmm... yummy crunchy cheese." When he shock the box, it even sounded like there was something crunchy in there.

So, imagine his disappointment when we opened the box and it wasn't crunchy cheese at all. And to add insult to injury, he wasn't even allowed to eat a bowl of crunchy pasta. The absurdity of it all was more than he could take.

He marched over to the table. He sat down. He took a swing of water. Then, with indignation, he proclaimed:

"That Sam I am.
That Sam I am.
I do not like Buzz Lightyear thingy macaroni and cheese pasta."

Literacy. Sometimes it kicks you in the... um, shins.

On the happy side of things, I made a really great pasta dish with beet greens for dinner last night. I need to remember it for next year, when the beets come around again next year, so I'm posting it for all, including my future self, to enjoy.

Pasta with Beet Greens and Mushrooms
(from the Food Network)

4 ounces dried pasta
2 cups mushrooms
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
extra virgin olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1 bunch baby beet greens (save the roots for another dish), well washed, dried and coarsely chopped
Chili pepper flakes, to taste
2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the pasta just before serving

1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente (8-10 minutes depending on the type of pasta). Set aside 1 cup cooking water. (Sometimes I need it, sometimes not, but it’s best to have some handy.) Drain and place in a large serving bowl.
2. In the meantime, in a large non-stick skillet, over medium high heat, add a little olive oil and sauté the onions and mushrooms until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms golden (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and toss once or twice, then add the baby beet greens and toss until wilted (2-3 minutes).
3. Just before adding to the pasta, add balsamic vinegar, chili pepper flakes and toss. Taste for seasoning and add to the serving bowl. Toss and add coarsely grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese and serve.

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