Did you know that I went through a period of time where I was a vegetarian? Yeah, it’s true. I was not a strict vegetarian. I still ate dairy, eggs and occasionally fish. As long as the fish didn’t have a face – that I could see anyway – I would eat it. Hey, I grew up in Nova Scotia! You can not take my fish/seafood away from me!
There is a story behind why I became a vegetarian. In my college days and into my early twenties, I dated a guy who’s family owned a cattle farm. We spent a great deal of time at the farm visiting the cows and…ummm, frolicking in the fields (giggle). I had never really been exposed (giggle) to the farm life and I had a favorite cow. She was beautiful! She was all brown except for her “socks” and a gorgeous white star on her forehead. And she always, and I mean always came to the fence when I went there. I loved her! I made the mistake of making her a pet to me.
One family dinner, you can probably see where this is going, his grandfather was talking to his father about how tender the roast beef was. As the conversation progressed and it became clearer about which cow they were talking about, the color in my face begun to drain and I was slowly eating less and less. The grandfather noticed my state, asked what was wrong with me and was told about my favorite cow. I then was subjected to a berating for my “city girl” ways. I truly don’t know if eating my favorite cow or being subjected to that berating was the cause of my vegetarian lifestyle afterwards.
All that to tell you that I then learned to cook and work with a multitude of ingredients that had, up until that time, had been foreign to me. Dried legumes, lentils, which I’ll discuss another time, and vegetables. Like this sun-dried tomato pasta dish. I didn’t write many of my recipes down so I’ve stolen this one from the internet. I’ll provide a link at the end.
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 12 dehydrated sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 (8 ounce) package uncooked penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 bunch fresh spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In a small saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Remove from heat. Place the sun-dried tomatoes in the broth 15 minutes, or until softened. Drain, reserving broth, and coarsely chop.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Place penne pasta in the pot, cook 9 to 12 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
- Place the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir until lightly toasted.
- Heat the olive oil and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the garlic 1 minute, until tender. Mix in the spinach, and cook until almost wilted. Pour in the reserved broth, and stir in the chopped sun-dried tomatoes. Continue cooking 2 minutes, or until heated through.
- In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta with the spinach and tomato mixture and pine nuts. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
Now I would add chicken strips or shrimp. If I could eat again that is. One day I am going to do a post with all my favorite ice creams which is all that I can eat now. Mmmm…ice cream!
I forgot to add the reason that I often use other’s recipes. As I stated earlier, most of my recipes are not written down so I look for recipes that are close to what I used to make. Then I add notes at the end. You see, I never measured my seasonings. I would add a large palm full of this and a smaller palm full of that. It always turned out so hey, I must have been doing something right! For this recipe, I would have substituted some of the broth for cream. I loved creamy pasta dishes! Happy cooking everyone!