Category Archives: elbow pasta

Minestrone with Arugula

Another soup, but this one has fresh arugula, which made it that much more delicious!  I’ve never actually thought about putting arugula into soups, or pasta (as we have done here with the No-Cook Spaghetti Sauce), but it’s a great idea.  It gives the soup a different dimension.

Choosing arugula is also showing how much I cannot wait for spring…which I think is almost here.  I think everyone is ready for the warm weather, for fresh vegetables and fruits.

The Penn Quarter Farmers Market had its opening day 2 weeks ago.  Granted, it’s still the end of winter so there aren’t too many fruits or vegetables there just yet.  Although, we’ve gotten some fresh eggs both weeks.  It’s easier to get up in the morning when there are scrambled or fried eggs waiting to be made.

Minestrone with Arugula
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times Magazine

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes
14-oz vegetable broth
1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
3 cups of fresh arugula, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, shredded (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Over medium heat, cook the onion, celery and carrots until vegetables are softened.  Then, stir in tomato paste, paprika, and bay leaves.  Cook for 1 minute, making sure the vegetables are covered with the tomato paste.  Add the can of tomatoes with the juice, broth, beans, macaroni and water.  Heat to a boil, and then cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.

Add arugula into each soup bowl, and pour over the soup.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.

Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese

When it gets cold outside (such as right now!), I crave creamy, warm foods.  I have come across a number of recipes which include cauliflower in the macaroni and cheese.  I do have to say, after trying this- you don’t feel like you’ve eaten lots of veggies.  But, it was tasty- and great for a lunch that will warm you up!

Cauliflower Mac ‘n Cheese
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook

2 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
1 lb cauliflower, chopped into pieces
8 oz elbow pasta
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp nutmeg
black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp red pepper flakes

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a square baking dish with butter.  Bring  a large pot of water to a boil, and salt the water.  Put the stock with bay leaves in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  Turn off the heat when the broth is heated.  Cook the cauliflower in the hot water until it is tender, about 20 minutes.  Scoop the cauliflower out, and transfer to food processor.

Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until soft.  Drain it and rinse it, and put it into the baking dish.

Remove the bay leaves from the stock.  Carefully, process the cauliflower with the veggie broth, add the oil, cheese, mustard, nutmeg and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Pour the sauce over the pasta, toss and spread the mixture evenly in the dish.  Sprinkle with the Parmesan and bread crumbs.  Bake until pasta is bubbling and the crumbs turn brown, about 20 minutes.  Serve hot.