Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tristan's Pasta

T-Licious Pasta

My big boy is my pasta maniac. He likes any kind of pasta providing it has balsamic vinegar and olive oil on it. I make sure to have some on hand all of the time. I've been pushing the boundaries lately by adding garbanzo beans or white beans. He has taken to adding olives, nondairy rice cheese, garlic granules, and pepper. He says he is o.k. with the beans. Lucky for me the beans have a really mild flavor and absorb the balsamic vinegar he so loves. His pasta is a simplified version of Helane's Pasta. I omit the tomatoes, vinegar, and fresh garlic.

1 1/2 cups of favorite pasta already cooked
2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 kalamata olives sliced
sprinkle of granulated garlic
sprinkle of pepper
1/8 cup nondairy cheeze shreds (e.g. Soyco "Rice Cheese')

I started adding spinach this weekend. I took 5 small leaves, and I mean small, of baby spinach and finely chopped it as if it were basil. Then I threw it in. "Mom, I'm not really fond of the spinach." After a brief discussion of how minuscule the pieces were he agreed to eat it.

Here is the crutch: He loves pesto pasta, but doesn't want pieces of green anything in his food. Now that he is 11 I'm hoping to expand his horizons. I know, you're thinking "Pesto is green". Go figure. Like I said, picky boys. I haven't started on the four year old.

Welcome to My Blog Helane's Pasta

Helane's (aka Mom's) Pasta Salad

My mom practically begs me to make this salad for her. She may randomly call and say," If i buy all of the ingredients, will you make this for me?" My response - "Always and with pleasure."

I started making this pasta about 10 years ago. I found the recipe in "Vegetarian Times" magazine. I've since lost the copy of the magazine but the basics are etched in memory:

One bag spiral pasta (12-16oz)

6 tomatoes cut into skinny wedges and seeds removed
2 cloves garlic
12 basil leaves cut into slivers
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 Can of cannellini or great northern beans drained

3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp of olive brine (this is the juice from the olives)
salt and pepper to taste

Follow cooking directions for the pasta. While pasta is cooking start cutting up the tomatoes. I cut them in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut small wedges from the halves and add to large bowl. You'll need a big bowl because after the pasta is done you'll be adding all of the other ingredients. Chop the basil into strips. Take the leaves and stack several up on top of each other. Roll the stack of leaves like you're rolling up a burrito. Now cut the leaves. This will create small slivers. Add basil to bowl. Mince the garlic and slice olives and add to other ingredients in bowl. Finally, add beans, olive oil, vinegar, and brine. This can marinate while the pasta finishes. Drain the pasta and rinse to cool a bit. Now add the pasta and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.