Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Cabbage and Pasta

OK, so now back to vegetables. The bagels were a fun little break, but January is all about the vegetable food group. Recently I read that if you make these 4 changes you can add 14 years to your life: 1) quit smoking 2) exercise regularly 3) eat 5 servings of fruits or vegetables daily and 4) drink alcohol moderately. I thought it was interesting.

I've already quit smoking, although I crave my cigarettes daily, like I have for 4 years. I dream about them. But smoking is bad. So I don't start back up again. I'm starting to get back Into exercise, although when Nora Jones came on in spin class this morning it was a little frustrating. I really really like Nora Jones, but she doesn't hype me up to pedal faster up an imaginary hill. She's good music to go downhill on the other side of that imaginary hill with your feet sticking out yelling WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! (Spin class is the same as "indoor cycling". It's basically pedaling up and down imaginary hills when the leader tells you to and there's loud music. Basically aerobics on a stationary bike.)

But I digress, as for #4.... I'm not very good at drinking. I used to be great at. I was fantastic at it. I could drink like a fish and not be sick the next morning. I could hang out with my guy friends and drink beer all day long while watching football. Ah the good old days. College. Now, I'm lucky if I don't have a hangover after 2 drinks. So pretty much I only drink about 2 times a month maybe. Can we call that moderate? hmmmm. Maybe I need to drink more often...

So let's up our vegetable consumption. Tonight's lovely vegetables are savoy cabbage and haricots verts, or as they're known in Nowhere, Ohio, frozen petite green beans. This is again from February's Bon Appetit. I Love this issue!! The only small ooopsy daisy I made was that I made the entire package of pasta. But really I thought it still tasted great. I think if I had only made half the package that it would be overpowered by the sauce and the cabbage.

This was a really good, different use of pasta. It tasted green. I was impressed at how fresh and delicious it tasted using for the most part a winter vegetable as a main ingredient. I used anchovy paste instead of whole anchovies and squeezed out 3 squeezes that looked like they were the size of anchovies. I'm not always frugal, but that was a $3 savings to buy the paste instead of the whole anchovy fillets. And the Parmesan mixed in is really essential because of its saltiness.

Multi-Grain Pasta with Sicilian Salsa Verde, Cabbage, and Haricots Verts

1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
3/4 cup fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
6 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp drained capers
3 anchovy fillets (or 3 anchovy sized squirts of anchovy paste.)
3 garlic cloves, chopped, divided
6 cups thinly sliced savoy cabbage
3 cups frozen haricots verts thawed (about 1/2 a bag)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, puree parsley, 4 tablespoons oil, capers, anchovies, and 1/3 of chopped garlic in food processor.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add cabbage; saute until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add haricots verts and remaining garlic; toss 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup cheese pasta, parsley mixture, and 2/3 cup pasta cooking liquid. Toss until sauce coats pasta, adding more pasta cooking liquid if dry, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve, passing remaining 3/4 cup cheese separately.


glamah16 said...

I made those changes but the wieight still came on. I crave them too(the cigs) but my life is so much better with out them. I didnt realize the 'See and be seen gym' I belonged to really made a diffrence until I quit last year. But if anything I can taste my food more and love my veggies. A sign of age is that we cant drink like we could. But its also our healthier bodies not allowing us to.

Deborah said...

This sounds very interesting - not a combination I would have thought of, but I want to try it!! I have some green cabbage in the fridge right now, I wonder if that would work?

Mrs. White said...

Me and cabbage have a funny relationship - depending how it's cooked I can either love it or hate it. It's the same with brussels sprouts. But this recipe looks interesting; I would have never thought to pair cabbage with pasta. I may have to experiment...

Anonymous said...

Amazing how 4 little changes could have such a huge impact on your life span.

I agree, Nora Jones is not spinning material! Gimme something with a beat.

Ari (Baking and Books)