Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quick Dish: Where's Waldo Pasta

After a fun filled Sunday of working on my AC unit, condensation pump, climbing in the attic, making a trip to Lowe's, making 3 trips to Home Depot, rewiring the new condensation pump, and taking apart my front door lock I was finally able to get to the important stuff ... like grilling.

I've heard that kids don't like vegetables (maybe it is a rumor because I have not read a fancy-pants-university study about it) but chefs on TV say that if you mix veggies into a dish kids will unknowingly gobble it up.  And I don't remember when TV has EVER lied to me.  So I created the below mad scientist concoction I happily call Where's Waldo Pasta.  It is a healthy dinner plus a fun game.

Dad: Jimmy, can you find the mushroom? 
Jimmy: (search through pasta) There it is!  Wow, what a great game!  And delicious!

What?!  Your family doesn't live in Mayberry and you don't go fishin' at the fishin' hole?!  Gee golly.

As I was saying...

I grilled asparagus, a red pepper, a mushroom pouch, and a garlic pouch.  Be sure to grill and clean the red pepper properly.  The mushroom pouch included a cup of sliced mushrooms, one tablespoon of unsalted butter and a dash of salt.  Other ingredients included broccoli, cherry tomatoes cut in half, chiffonade of fresh basil, a wedge of lemon, really good olive oil, and fresh parmesan.  I added the fresh broccoli to the pasta water as the pasta was almost done (about 30 seconds).  This takes some of the crunch out of the broccoli and showcases the bright green of the vegetable.  Additionally, the pasta water adds a bit of salt to the broccoli.

I used wheat spaghetti noodles for the dish.  Mix the cooked noodles with the chopped up vegetables.  Drizzle with olive oil (probably 2 tablespoons), squeeze the lemon wedge over everything, sprinkle a little sea salt, and add cheese to the top.  I also had some herbed chicken grilled so I added that to the dish.  It was so delicious that as I'm writing this post I'm licking the bowl.

I'm a huge fan of vegetables, but the grilled vegetables almost mask the fact that this dinner is 85% vegetarian.  And to top it all off, I found each ingredient during dinner.  Take that, Waldo!

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