Monday, February 25, 2008

Book Review Number 9, "Pasta Verde"

Before I get into my book review, I want to ask you all if you have ever heard of Jean-Christophe Novelli ? A friend of mine said he is the Emeril of the UK ? I hate to say this, but I have never heard of him. He is quite a handsome dude! Nice website. Let me know!

Last week my contribution to Holler and Lisa’s new monthly challenge “No Croutons Required” was a soup adapted from “Pasta Verde” by Judith Barrett. If any of you have not checked out “No Croutons Required”, please hop on over to Lisa’s Kitchen to check out the roundup of vegetarian soups. I believe there were over 70 entries! How fun!

This week my book review is on “Pasta Verde” by Judith Barrett. She co-authored “Risotto” which is a wonderful book and I know a few of you have it in your collection. I will review “Risotto” in the future. Judith’s “Pasta Verde” has more than 140 vegetarian recipes for pasta sauces, soups, salads and baked pastas using all shapes and sizes of pasta paired with the freshest veggies such as asparagus, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, and squash. To enhance her sauces Judith recommends using fresh herbs such as basil, rosemary and sage, all of which can be easily grown in pots! I found that a number of Judith’s innovative pasta recipes are ones that whatever you bring home fresh from the grocer or, even better, the farmers market can be made quickly and easily. My kind of cooking! I highly recommend Judith’s book for healthy, easy to prepare and affordable vegetarian pasta recipes!

Chapter 1 – The Main Ingredient – Pasta! She talks about pasta’s past, dry pasta, fresh pasta, cooking and serving pasta.
Chapter 2 – The Pasta Pantry – Judith talks about olive oil, Parmesan Cheese, Vinegar and Herbs
Chapter 3 – Pasta and Vegetable Sauces. She includes in this chapter flavored pastas, roasted vegetable sauces, tomato sauces, mushroom sauces, sauces with truffles and sauces with pesto Chapter 4 – Pasta Soups
Chapter 5 – Pasta Salads
Chapter 6 – Baked and Filled Pasta with Vegetables. She includes lasagna, cannelloni and ravioli
And her last Chapter 7 is Heart Healthy Low-Fat recipes for pasta and vegetables
She covers it all!

Besides the soup that I adapted from her book that you can find in my previous post, I adapted another recipe from her 1st chapter on vegetable sauces with pasta.

I turned her “Spaghetti Primavera” into my "Linguine Primavera".

Blanch these veggies for about 2 minutes in boiling water and then into an ice bath to stop cooking, drain well
2 cups broccoli florets
1 zucchini cut into 1 inch pieces
6 stalks of fresh asparagus cut into one and a half inch pieces
1 cup of green beans cut into 1 inch pieces

Here us the rest:
¾ cup of frozen peas thawed
1 can of diced tomatoes drained well
olive oil
2 cups of thinly sliced mushrooms
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 leek cleaned well and finely sliced
1 cayenne pepper chopped or dried pepper flakes to taste
1 small bunch of fresh parsley finely chopped
1 tablespoon dried basil or about 6 fresh leaves finely chopped
¼ cup of toasted pine nuts
1/2 lb. dried linguine
½ stick of butter
2 tablespoons of vegetable broth
About a ½ cup of cream
½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese

After you blanch your veggies, take a nice glug of olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add your leeks and garlic, sauté for 2 minutes then add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook for about 5 minutes. Add your hot pepper and parsley and cook for 2 minutes, then pop in your tomatoes and basil. Cook for about 10 minutes to get all the flavors mixed. Now add your green veggies that you had put aside, plus the peas, and heat through.

Meanwhile, cook your linguine till al dente and drain. In the same pot add your butter, cream, broth and cheese. Cook over medium heat till the mixture is smooth and a bit thick, not soupy. Reduce the heat to low and add your pasta back in tossing quickly to blend. Add your veggie mixture and pine nuts, toss until all is warm. Serve in warm bowls. You can pass extra Parmesan at the table if anyone would like.

I served country Italian bread along side with bowls of fruity olive oil for dipping. And last but not least by any means, we had a wonderful Sauvignon Blanc to accompany all. I will tell you about the great wine I served later this week!



Peter M said...

Primavera pasta is such a liberal dish to make...know one will know you cleaned out the fridge!

Gloria said...

What's beautiful cook'book Debs, I love it.xx Gloria

Lucy said...

Light and lovely!

So many books, so little time. This one sounds delightful, Deb. Must check out that handsom man you link to - I've no idea who he is..

Bellini Valli said...

Looks as though Pasta Verde is giving you lots of inspiration Deb :D I haven't heard of Jean either. At one time I thought the Food Network featured the same stars in every country at least in Canada & the States..but not so. Jean has a cookery school that sounds fascinating to me :D

Anonymous said...

Primavera sounds Spring might actually arrive soon. Looks good, Deb :)

TopVeg said...

Looks delicious!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Deb -- that looks like a tasty pasta dish and the book sounds pretty appealing, too. Plus, with the herbs beginning to start looking good again (granted, the weather is a bit nicer where you are ;-) ), this is just the kind of dish to start ringing in the season. You can also add me to the list of people who have never heard of Jean...

Shayne said...

this gives me an idea I will make a pasta dish with some of the laft over turkey that I made last night. oh it is goign to be good.

winedeb said...

You are correct Peter as primavera is one of those "creative" dishes!

Thank you Gloria, you would love it!

Hi Lucy! You are right on the so many books, so little time. I say that statement using recipes instead of books!

Hi Valli! I thought he school sounded interesting too!

Hey Maryann, it is such a nice fresh springy dish! It won't be long now!

Thanks for stopping by TopVeg!

Hi Mike, yep, it is warm this way - a bit too warm for this time of year, buy hey, I am not complaining!

eatme_delicious said...

Mmm linguine primavera! Yum. Thanks for the cookbook recommendation. I'm always on the lookout for vegetarian cookbooks. doesn't seem to have that one in stock right now though unfortunately.

Lannae said...

Your pasta looks yummy, and I do love asparagus with pasta. I also applaud your substitution to linguine because in my mind the linguine shape is more fun. And lastly, I got a great chuckle over your last comment over at Thyme for Cooking, and your luggage filled with 18 wine bottles! It must have been heavy. I am a bit jealous I cannot do that this time for my trip to France next month.

Johanna said...

your pasta looks so good that I would love a bowl of it right now - thanks for the review of an interesting sounding book

sher said...

Oh, it looks fabulous!!!

Shaun said...

Deb ~ I am surprised that someone would compare Jean-Christophe to Emeril. Jean-Christophe seems mellow, controlled and more artistic. I love seeing him on tv, though I don't know if he has his own show. I like his interprations of French dishes for English appetites. He adds lovely touches, and he presents in a way that is thoughtful and elegant, often showing up the slapdash approach of Antony Worrall-Thomson, the host of one of the shows Jean-Christophe regularly appears.