Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Aunt Melanie's Pasta

Our first CSA box arrived just before our road trip to Florida.  I had to figure out what to do with all of the fresh produce - some of it I was able to freeze, some I gave away and some I brought with us since we were bringing along a cooler and food for meals along the way.  I brought the salad greens and some pac-choi along with us hoping to use it when making meals for our family and grandpa during the week.  Unfortunately, grandpa ended up in the hospital before I was able to make him dinner.  Before we left, Ryan's dad and uncle (and their spouses) came down to be with grandpa in the hospital.  Instead of going out for dinner the last night we were there we ended up raiding the fridge and pantry and making whatever we could think of.  Left-over ribs, salad, and Aunt Melanie's pac-choi pasta dish were a few of the items on the menu.  It turned out to be a lovely meal and I have since made the Choi Pasta for our family - guessing mostly on what the ingredients were.  We served it with a side salad of some salad greens, tomatoes, white beans, Kalamata olives, salt and pepper then drizzled olive oil over the top.  Even the kids loved it!  The result is as follows...

Choi Pasta

1/2 Onion (chopped)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic (lots)
2-3 bunches of Choi/Chinese Cabbage (such as Pac-Choi, Joi Choi or Bok Choi)
1- 2 Tablespoons Capers
1/2 lb Pasta (we used farfalle/bow tie)
1-2 oz Parmesan, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Begin by heating a pan over medium heat, add EVOO and chopped onion when pan is hot.  In another pot boil water and a sprinkling of salt for pasta (about half a box should do it), cook according to package directions.  While the onion is cooking, thoroughly wash the choi and chop.  When the onions have softened and are starting to brown, add garlic - crushed or sliced and quickly add wet chopped choi and cook until wilted.  Season choi with salt and pepper, add capers and more EVOO - enough to coat pasta.  When pasta is done cooking, run it under cold water to stop it from becoming mushy.  Add the pasta to the pan with the choi and stir until ingredients are fully mixed.  Top with grated parmesan.

Side notes:  I had some garlic scapes, so I chopped those up and added them with the onions then added some crushed garlic (at least three cloves).  You may want to try adding some toasted pine nuts to this dish for a little more protein.  I thought it would go well with it, but have not tried it.

For a printable version of this recipe, click on the recipe title above.

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