Reading on the Metro Led to Dinner

…those of you in the DC Metro area know that train ride into or home from work can provide you with lots of time for rumination, and if you’re really lucky it can even lead you into inspiration for dinner, when your planning time at home has been taken over by all the other tasks vying for your attention ….

Thank goodness I remembered to put my new Eating Well in my briefcase because I had plenty of time to browse on my way home. In the back of my head, I knew that I needed to use the butternut squash and the cauliflower in the fridge, and so I was quite pleased to see the Braised Winter Vegetable Pasta in the Healthy in a Hurry section.  Our variation was not vegan, nor vegetarian, because we used chicken broth and added in some ham for seasoning, but it turned out quite tasty.  Even the older boys who proclaimed — “We don’t like cauliflower” — devoured their bowls quickly.

Our version is below:

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pot big enough for pasta.  Add 1 small onion diced, 1/2 cup of good ham diced, and 1 teaspoon of drided, rubbed sage.  Stir until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes.

2. Add 4 cups of chicken broth, 1 cup of dry white wine (okay I used a sweeter wine than perhaps was envisioned in the recipe, and added an extra cup of broth to cover); bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then add 8 ounces of whole-wheat pasta (we used rotini), 2 cups of bite-sized cauliflower, 2 cups bite-sized butternut squash cubes, salt and pepper to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is not quite tender, about 10 minutes.  Then Eating Well recommends sitrring in 1 10-ounce bag of frozen lima beans — we didn’t have any, but we did have a box of frozen peas, so we added that to the pasta – veggie – broth mix.

Then, the steaming bowls were topped with grated Fontina cheese, and rapidly consumed by all (except the Picky Eater, of course, her pasta was plain with cheese).


2 Comments to “Reading on the Metro Led to Dinner”

  1. This is a great family-friendly veggie chili recipe. Family-friendly because it makes a ton. I usually don’t like veggie chili, but this recipe has become a staple. My tip is that you need to add a bunch of chili powder to make it extra tasty, and do get quality canned tomatoes (e.g., Muir Glen).

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