Page 8-The Michigan Daily -Weekend etc. - February 6, 1992
The pastabilities continue - with vegetables
He sat down on the couch, ner-
vously brushing the lint from his
necktie. He hadn't worn a tie in a
long time, but then again, he hadn't
beeni invited over to a woman's
apartment for dinner in a long time
either. Actually, never.
"Would you like some wine?"
she said, interrupting his thoughts.
"I'd love some," he said. "Can I
give you a hand with anything in the
"Just relax, " she said as she
turned on the stereo and turned
down the lights. "Dinner will be
ready in a few minutes."
Thus begins the second leg of our
journey into the wonderful world
of pasta. Last time I briefly dis-
cussed some techniques for making a
great pasta and sauce dinner; this
week, we'll look at some different
ways to make some interesting al-
ternative hot pasta meals guaranteed
to impress even that anxious young
man in the story above.
As I said last week, one of the
greatest things about pasta is the in-
credible variety of noodles. While
it's always important to select the
right pasta product for the meal in
question, when one is not working
with a thick dark sauce, it's critical
to use a noodle that looks cool and
Ziti and rotini are always good
choices; the ziti's streamlined shape
and pointed ends make any meal
look sharp. And squiggly rotini -
especially the ones that come with
red, green anti white noodles - will
dress up any new idea to come out of
This column will explore some
basic ideas in ,vegetable-pasta com-
binations. The pasta and vegetable
stir-fry (recipe at right) calls for
ziti noodles, but feel free to try
something different - this dish
would be completely different, but
still excellent, with spaghetti or
linguine noodles. Some of my best
creations with pasta have happened
when - for creative and/or practi-
cal purposes - I have tried a differ-
ent pasta in a traditional dish.
The recipe I have featured calls
for fresh vegetables. This can pre-
sent an obstacle to the inexperienced
and practically broke student chef;
they both require a lot of prepara-
tion - both in cutting and cooking
the veggies in question. And in these
late winter months, fresh vegeta-
bles can be fairly costly.
just like your cauliflower.
A better technique in preparing
these pre-packaged combinations is
BY DAN/EL POUX
steaming them. Find a large skillet
with steep sides and a tight-fitting
lid. Fill it with a half-inch of water,
and add a bit of lemon juicew- it
gives the veggies a great flavor, and
you don't have to salt them.
Spread the vegetables around in
the skillet, put the top on, and crank
up the heat. When you notice that
asparagus, but I broadened the spec-
trum of ingredients for several rea-
sons - most importantly, aspara-
gus can be difficult to find and ex-
pensive this time of year. Try it
with broccoli, cauliflower, mush-
rooms, pea pods or zucchini, or a
combination of all of these. Be cre-
Depending on the vegetables you
use, a bottle of white wine or a not-
so-dry red - maybe a blush or a
Beaujolais - would wash those
noodles down very well.
If you are under 21, or don't
drink wine, then grab a two-liter of
Sprite or Faygo Rock-and-Rye. If
it's meant to happen, then the blood
alcohol content of the couple in
question should have little effect on
One could serve French or Italian
bread with this dish, but the pasta is
already a big source of carbohy-
drates, so you really don't need it.
And since it features lots of veggies,
a salad or side dish would be
superfluous. Use your own
judgment, and let me know what
you come up with.
Well, I've done all I can; the rest
is up to you. Just remember - re-
lax, and be yourself. I'm sure that
she was very impressed that you
PASTA AND VEGETABLE STIR-FRY
4 cups uncooked pasta (ziti or rotini look great, but feel free to
4 cups vegetables of your choice (broccoli, mushrooms, pea pods, etc.)
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
Prepare pasta as directed on container. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in
skillet, and season with garlic. After garlic has been sauteing for a
minute, add vegetables in order -crunchy ones like broccoli first, so
they can cook for awhile, then the softer ones, like mushrooms, that only
need a few minutes. When vegetables are finished, toss together with
pasta and all other ingredients in a shallow bowl. Garnish with parsley
flakes, lemon wedges, or maybe some thin slices of peppers.
While it's always important to select the right
pasta product, when one is not working with a
thick dark sauce, it's critical to use a noodle
that looks cool and tastes great.
wore a tie.
He tore a chunk of French bread
from the loaf; and wiped the last of
the olive oil sauce from his plate.
"That was incredible," he said.
"I ate so much, I don't-think I can
"You better be able to move, be-
cause you're doing the dishes, " she
said with a smile.
He laughed as he went into the
kitchen, rolling his sleeves up.
Things were really going great. He
turned the hot water on, and began
to scrub the plates and silverware.
"The dishes can wait," she said,
as she walked up behind him in the
cramped kitchen. She put her hands '
on his shoulders, turned him
around, and kissed him hard on the
mouth. The embrace continued, as
the sink slowly overflowed, and the
soapy water began to drip onto the
f Y .' III ODa :J% ']06f L6.3f C
There are ways to get around this
dilemma, however. The packages of
"Oriental" or "California" mixed
vegetables in the grocery store's
frozen foods section are fairly good
substitutes. These mixes are pretty
cheap, and recent nutritional re-
search has indicated that the flash-
freezing procedure that these com-
panies use ensures that these vegeta-
bles retain most of their vitamins
One word of caution, however.
Unless you like your broccoli flow-
erettes soggy and flavorless, make
sure you don't overcook them.
Boiling them in a large pot usually
means that the veggies lose most of
their good flavors and colors, and
you end up with your carrots tasting
steam is escaphng from under the lid,
turn off the stove and let the veg-
etables steep for a few minutes. The
vegetables will be hot and cooked
just enough so that they are crunchy
but not raw.
This recipe originally called for
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February 11 &12,1992