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a year of greener thinking

Pasta with Broccoli, Edamame and Walnuts

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The most difficult time of day for me to eat healthily and cheaply has always been lunchtime. Not only can it be difficult to gin up the energy to actually pack your lunch the night before, if you are not a morning person, it also can be difficult to remember to bring that lunch with you the next day. (Sometimes the problems are even bigger. Yesterday I left my apartment without my backpack.)

Not so this week. Thanks to the Moosewood Restaurant, I’ve been dining like a champion on this simple and healthy pasta recipe. (I’ve also been packing my lunch in glass containers, which will undoubtedly prove catastrophic when I drop it someday, but, for now, is a handy way to avoid BPA. You can read more about BPA’s potential health risks here.)

Pasta with Broccoli, Edamame and Walnuts, adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant’s Simple Suppers cookbook

  • 3/4 pound chunky whole-wheat pasta
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 4 cups bite-sized pieces of broccoli
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnts
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano (optional)

1. Bring a large covered pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet on low heat. Add the garlic and cook for a minute. Add the broccoli with about 1/2 cup of the hot pasta cooking water, turn the heat to high, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the edamame, salt and herbs. Continue to cook until the water evaporates and the broccoli is crisp, tender and bright green, about five minutes. Remove from the heat.

3. When the pasta is done, drain it. In a serving bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture, the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, and the toasted chopped walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with grated cheese if you wish.

Soundtrack: The Avett Brothers, I and Love and You

Lessons learned: Although I increased the amounts of vegetables and herbs in the original recipe, I would add even more broccoli and basil next time I make this dish. I also think I used slightly less olive oil than the recipe states.

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