Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Parti-Colored Pasta with Vegetables

I've been really digging my new cast iron wok. I used to have a wok like that when I had my first post-college apartment with my roommate Irene and we cooked a lot of stir-fries for our suppers. Until.... disaster struck. We were both at the stove, chopping and stirring, when a bolt of electricity shot out from the ring underneath the wok shorting out the burner and blasting past in between our astonished selves.

BAM! As one celebrity chef might say.

That was the end of our wokkery, as we both decided to donate the offending item to our favorite thrift shop the next day rather than risk our skins further. It was probably the fault of our cruddy electric apartment stove, but we didn't want to wok on the wild side.

Fast forward a couple of decades, and here I was, prowling yet another favorite thriftery when I saw my present wok, still encased in its original box and cuddling its instruction booklet. My heart swelled with fondness and I had to adopt it.

I have a gas stove now, so my fears of electrocution are groundless. I scrubbed it up, seasoned it well and now have a new favorite cooking pot. Woks are great for evenly distributing cooking heat and can double as a deep fryer. Mostly I use my wok for sauteeing up veggies, but they are great also for reheating and re-treating leftovers. Here's a recipe for a beautiful pasta dish that provided a refrigerator roundup of some leftover pasta and crudites. It tasted and looked so good that it will be added to our permanent recipe files.

Parti-Colored Pasta with Vegetables

2 small zucchini, ends cut off and cut into slim spears
2 small yellow squash, ends cut off and cut into slim spears
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into strips
8 oz. cooked pasta (make sure it's gluten-free if you can't eat the wheat!)
1 medium onion, sliced in half and then sliced thinly
5 cloves garlic, rough chopped
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup white wine
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crumbled

Heat oil in wok until hot. Add butter and melt. Add garlic to pan and stirring constantly, cook 1 minute. Add onions and cook another 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add white wine and cook 2-3 minutes, until liquid reduces. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring, 5-7 minutes, or until squash and peppers are crisp-tender.

Serves 4.

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