Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Weekday Vegetarian

Homemade pasta with Brussels sprouts and toasted pecans.

I’ve always wanted to be a vegetarian, but I just can’t picture myself having my last cheeseburger ever. A few weeks ago, Trevor shared the concept of a TED talk he’d heard. Basically, you become a weekday vegetarian, but still eat meat on the weekends. He said he wanted to try it. And it was something I could get behind, too. We’d be eating more healthfully, saving money, reducing our environmental impact and giving way less money to companies that treat animals inhumanely. And I’d never have to completely give up cheeseburgers.

Spicy cauliflower pasta
We had already incorporated many vegetarian dinners into our repertoire, but it’s been a challenge to find more tasty meatless meals. The Moosewood New Classics cookbook has been our go-to book. But I was getting a little tired of it, so I started looking through my other cookbooks that weren’t necessarily vegetarian. In our giant Pasta cookbook, I found a spicy cauliflower pasta. With homemade noodles and Persephone golden cauliflower, it was a keeper.

My Martha Stewart New Classics cookbook had a section on meatless main dishes and number of tasty soups and pastas that fit into our weekday needs. Trevor filled in at Hollywood Farmers’ Market on Saturday, so we’re stocked with lovely fall produce from Persephone, including my favorite, Brussels sprouts. Martha had a wonderful recipe for Brussels sprouts with walnuts and pasta. Since Trevor can’t eat walnuts we used toasted pecans instead. And I out Martha-ed Martha by using homemade fettuccine instead of store-bought, dried pasta.

For the pasta, the Brussels sprouts are cored and then the leaves are pulled off. They are sautéed in butter with red onion and garlic. Fresh sage and thyme added even more fall flavors to the mix. Then the pasta is added to the Brussels sprouts and it’s topped with browned butter, pecans and grated cheese. (I used less butter than called for – ½ cup plus 3 tablespoons.) We used Parrano cheese instead of Parm. I served it slices of wheat baguette, roasted Persephone delicata squash, and Trevor’s Persephone mixed greens. It was unbelievably good. Probably one of the best meals we’ve had lately — vegetarian or not.


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