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Refrigerator Vegetable Pasta: A quiet welcome back

June 13, 2007


I thought that after a week away from my kitchen, I’d want to create something elaborate. But that week away was full of family, noise, parties, music, and food food food. Both of my brothers are great cooks, and Saturday’s party for Patrick’s graduation involved piles of souvlaki, homemade tzatziki, pita, chips, salsa, cookies, crab dip, cheesecake, more cookies, more salsa…beer…more beer…I can’t go on. I got back to Boston and the thought of going shopping, planning meals, and eating more food just seemed daunting.

But a lady’s still gotta eat. So I kept it simple. I rooted around in the crisper for leftover vegetables and, with very little thought, and even less time, put together dinner. Nothing special, but full of enough vegetables to help me detox after a week in San Diego. I could probably could have done something a little more interesting, but that would have taken effort and energy, which I am still lacking.

There is nothing special about this, so I’m not going to elaborate much. I found broccoli, cauliflower, chopped up peppers (or sweet chilis, actually, which my brother noted when I was home), and some grape tomatoes in my refrigerator. You can use whatever you have. If you have cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower and broccoli, you might want to blanch them for a minute or two in the pasta water.

Just heat some oil in a large skillet. Saute some shallots or onions, and a large cloves of garlic, minced, for a couple minutes. Add some red pepper flakes, and saute for another minute or so. Add your vegetables, and saute them all together for a minute. Then add about 3/4 of a cup of vegetable or chicken stock. Put a lid on the skillet for a few minutes to steam up the vegetables, then remove it and turn the heat up, so the stock comes to a big angry boil. Cook it for about five minutes, to thicken the stock a little bit and reduce it. Then put it over some pasta. Voila. Easy peasy dinner. Maybe sprinkle some cheese and oregano on it. Or fresh basil. Or olives. Or capers.

More vegetables

Eat it and feel a little bit virtuous.

I did make a Spinach Crab dip for my brother’s graduation party, but sadly took no pictures. It is a recipe I got from PJ’s Oyster House in San Francisco. I still need to tweak it a little to make it closer to what I actually remember eating in the restaurant, but when I do, you will certainly see it here.

While I didn’t get any pictures of the massive amounts of food at the party, I did take many pictures of my brothers playing music. They are two talented young menfolk. Here is one of the bands they play in:


My brothers are the two white guys, playing guitar and keyboards. I don’t even like reggae and I was dancing. Thanks, mom and dad, for putting on such a great party, and for generally being awesome in every way.

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