Friday, March 19, 2010

Lunch at Pasta Pomodoro

I had lunch today at Pasta Pomodoro with my friend, Jane. We've eaten there a few times because it's close to her house, quick and convenient. I tried the Verdure today. It is basically roasted vegetables. I added farro and chicken from the menu and it was delicious. It would so easy to make to home and you could make it seasonal. Today it included broccoli, zucchini, brussel sprouts, asparagus and sun dried tomatoes. I don't always like sun dried tomatoes but they really added something to this dish. My sister, Lindy, commented that I usually undercook vegetables in the CA way. I guess I haven't cooked for her in a long time because my favorite way to cook vegetables is to roast them. Here's my basic technique.

Roasted Vegetables:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Suggested vegetables but feel free to substitute-
green beans
brussel sprouts
zucchini or squash

~ 2 tablespoons or to taste sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 or more tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
kosher salt and pepper

chopped cooked chicken or turkey

Chop your favorite seasonal vegetables into bite size pieces. Toss with a tablespoon or two of olive oil, chopped garlic and sun dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Put in shallow pan like a jelly roll pan. Roast for about 15 minutes. Stir, flip and turn the vegetables so that all sides of the veggies can carmelize and cook thoroughly. You can add more oil if the vegetables seem too dry. Roast for another 15 minutes and check to see if all the vegetables are cooked through. The vegetables in the middle of the pan might need to come out to the edge and the ones on the edge might need to go in the middle. How the vegetables cook will depend on your oven and how you like them cooked. I like the vegetables soft and browned.

While the vegetables are cooking cook the farro according to the instructions on the package. Cooking them in chicken or vegetable stock will make them richer without added fat.

Once the vegetables and farro are cooked toss together with the chicken. Taste and add more salt and pepper or olive oil and garlic if necessary. If you like things spicy add red pepper flakes.

I love one dish meals and this is a good one. You could also substitute other grains or rice or pasta and be creative with the protein as well. Tofu or goat or feta cheese would taste good too. Also smoked chicken or turkey or even sausage would be delicious. All you need to complete the meal is some crusty bread or maybe a fruit salad in the summer. Of course a glass of wine would really complete the picture.


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