Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Simple family vegetarian meal - green pasta

Gratuitous pretty broccoli pic :-)

Another popular simple vegetarian meal here is a tasty green pasta, full of yummy healthy goodies. You can add a handful of nuts for texture and crunch (and protein), or leave it out. I sometimes serve this dish with a bean salad to up the nutrient content of the meal, and of course crusty bread makes a welcome addition.

For the kids I usually take some of the vegetable mixture and blend it with a stick mixer before stirring in the pasta. Less asthetically pleasing but makes the kids happy without being obviously heavily laden with broccoli: "I love the green pasta mum!"

Zucchini, broccoli and green olive pasta

400g spaghetti (or other pasta)
1 medium head of broccoli
3 tblsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
4 medium zucchini
1 cup green olives, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup of toasted almonds, skin on or off
Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, to serve

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Salt the water to your taste (I add about a tablespoon), then add spaghetti. Cook until about 2 minutes before suggested cooking time is up, and at this point add the broccoli so that it cooks in the pasta water. Finish cooking then drain and set aside (reserve a little of the cooking water to use later).

Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan to medium heat, then add olive oil and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Turn heat down to low, add grated zucchini and cook until it is starting to soften.

Add green olives and almonds if using, then pasta. Toss it all together thoroughly. Add a little of the reserved cooking water if the mix needs loosening a little.

Serve with grated parmesan and sprinkle with some fresh parmesan.

Serves 4-6

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