Sunday, June 24, 2012

Summer Pasta Delights

Why, hello there! I really have no excuse for not posting recently, other than vegging out and enjoying my summer. But, I do have some delicious updates to pass along! Even a recipe or two! Let's start with my latest purchase from Vegan Cuts.


I bring to you: Parmela, the most recent addition to the world of vegan parms. It boasts an impressive natural ingredients list which lend that authentic parmesan bite. Vegan Cuts was offering a great price on two shakers a few weeks ago and I couldn't resist!


First, the classic marinara atop al dente pasta had to be attempted. Is there any other way to really test a vegan parm's authenticity? The taste was different than my usual sprinkling of nooch, yet satisfying. The stuff did have a bit of a bite, but not in the distantly familiar way original parmesan does. It was different, it was tasty - it's a great addition to my growing spice cupboard. I might prefer Parma! brand, because that's what I'm used to, although my testing did not stop here!


Next I topped my favorite pasta dish with Parmela: Creamy Miso Alfredo. This dish begs for another layer of bite to match the most subtle pungent miso undertones. This was a better match and is something I will try again. I am most looking forward to reusing the adorable shakers, too! (Nerd.)


My pasta fever did not end there - oh, no. After visiting my first farmer's market of the season (YAY) the need to use up some rainbow chard and garlic scapes blossomed into a spicy soba noodle dish, which I will share with you:

Soba Noodles with Swiss Chard and Garlic Scape Pesto

2 bundles of soba noodles
1/2 bunch of Swiss chard, chopped
3-4 cups of fresh spinach
6-8 garlic scapes, chopped
2-3 T toasted sesame oil
2 T soy sauce or Bragg's
2 T sesame seeds
1 t red chili flakes

1. Boil water for soba noodles. Cook and set aside (soba noodles cook very quickly).
2. Heat pan to medium low with 1 T of toasted sesame oil. Add chard and soy sauce/Bragg's and toss frequently.
3. In a food processor pulse garlic scapes with spinach. Slowly add remaining sesame oil, scraping down sides, until you have a fragrant pesto.
4. Once chard is wilted in the pan, remove from heat and add to soba noodles in a large bowl. Toss with pesto. Plate and top with sesame seeds. Serves 3.

If you haven't cooked with garlic scapes, I highly recommend it. They look like thick chives with a small bulb at the end and are *very* garlicky - a little goes a long way, so this pesto isn't for the weak! What are your favorite impromptu farmer's market meals?