Thursday, June 23, 2011

Week 2 (Part 2): Pasta With Spinach and Peas; Sesame Noodles With Radish

Kit and Caboodle cannot live on salad alone. For that, we have pasta.

Fortunately, it's hard to go wrong with vegetables and pasta. We combined peas and spinach (both from this week's share) to make a Spring-y alternative to red sauce. Meanwhile, we used up a new bunch of CSA radishes in an Asian-inspired side dish to accompany grilled chicken and grilled romaine.

Pasta With Spinach and Peas
(Inspired by many recipes. I don't care for creamy sauces, but you could easily substitute heavy cream for the quarter-cup of water.)

1 pound dried pasta, any shape (I used penne)
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces fresh spinach leaves, washed well, roughly chopped if large
1.5 cups shelled fresh peas
1/4 cup water
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook and drain the pasta as usual. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large skillet with a lid over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sauté the garlic for about a minute (do not let it brown), then stir in the spinach in two or three handfuls, letting it wilt a bit between additions.

When all of the spinach has wilted (this takes just a couple of minutes), add the peas and water (or cream, if desired). Cover the pot and simmer the vegetables for about 3 minutes, or until the peas are tender. Remove from heat, then add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the vegetables over the pasta. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

Sesame Noodles With Radish
(Adapted from The Boston Globe Magazine)

1 package (about 13 ounces) whole wheat or "whole grain blend" linguine
3 Tbsp sesame oil, divided use 
2.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2.5 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1.5 tsp sugar
6 to 12 radishes, cut into short matchsticks (about 1.5 cups when sliced)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips
2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
5 scallions, thinly sliced

Cook the pasta as usual in a large pot of boiling water. Drain the noodles and rinse them with cold water until they are cool to the touch. Drain again thoroughly. Place the noodles in a large serving bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and toss to coat.

Whisk the remaining sesame oil with the vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add the dressing to the noodles, along with the radishes, cucumber, sesame seeds, and scallions. Toss well and serve.

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