Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day Plus One

I had to work last night, so Steve and I exchanged gifts while I was home in the morning and skipped the candlelit-dinner-for-two thing.  I think this way was nicer, especially since last year Al's Upstairs' limited Valentine's Day menu had no veg-friendly entrees and I had to talk them into making me a plate of pasta alfredo (or something similar).

Tonight I was off, so I had time to whip up a pasta dish similar to the one on p. 76 of the January-February issue of the Vegetarian Times.  (I'd post the link, but they haven't put it on their website yet.)  Their recipe called for baby spinach and asparagus, but I substituted kale because I had (actually still have) it in abundance.  What I made was basically this:

Black Pepper Linguine with Garlicky Kale and Chardonnay Sauce

Cook 4 ounces of pasta according to package instructions (this is enough for two and you can pretty much use whatever you've got; in VT they used fettuccine).  Drain and set aside.

For the sauce: Puree one cup raw cashews and one cup water in a food processor until smooth.  Simmer one cup of Chardonnay in a small saucepan until it has reduced down to 1/3 cup.  Mix in the cashew cream, one tablespoon of nutritional yeast, one tablespoon lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  If the sauce comes together before the pasta or the kale, keep it on low heat and add water as needed to keep it from drying out.

For the kale: Heat one tablespoon olive oil in large saucepan or pot over medium heat.  Add about 4-5 cups of chopped kale plus two cloves garlic (chopped) and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until wilted (or slightly more than wilted).

Once everything is ready, toss the pasta in about half of the sauce, put it on two plates and cover each bed of pasta with half the cooked kale.  Ladle 2-3 tablespoons more sauce over the kale and serve.
In a couple of days I'll do my first 20-mile training run since the foot injury resolved that forced me to take most of January off from running.  Here's hoping I'm still around to tell the tale, and later to tell the tale of when I ran the Columbia Marathon...

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