I have to be honest. There is no recipe for this dish. There’s not even a name for it. It’s that simple and that versatile, and hard to pin down. It’s really a matter of opinion, and available ingredients and feel.
There seem to be people who really prefer written recipes. They want a detailed recipe with measurements and exact baking times. I get this. I really like a recipe. One time I asked my mom for a broccoli cheddar soup recipe and she handed me a page that had a collage of 3 different broccoli soup recipes taped to one sheet of paper! It overwhelmed me. I needed ONE. The perfect one, preferably. To which she replied, “Well, really the one I make is more of a combination of #1 and #2, and then when I don’t have all of those ingredients, I use the #3 (and tweak it a little)!” Clearly, written recipes are sometimes the way to go.
In An Everlasting Meal, (which I mentioned a couple of weeks ago), the author Tamar Adler writes about using our senses to assist in cooking. She talks about using your sight, taste, touch, smell and hearing in the kitchen. She writes,
“You must taste and taste. Taste everything and often. Taste even if you’re scared…
Listen as though you could cook something just by hearing it…
When you touch the food you cook, you develop intelligence in your fingertips. I cook mostly with my hands: they’re calibrated, by now, to turn things at the right moments, to choose correct amounts of salt.”
Dave has been urging me to post this “recipe”, because he thinks it is such a winner, and wants YOU to make it too. I have hesitated because it feels too loose of a recipe to write out. And it doesn’t even have a name – as I have changed the name of the dish each time I’ve made it, depending on what ingredients I’ve used. It can be served hot or cold or room temperature. That makes it confusing as to whether it is a side dish, or pasta salad.
So, live in freedom, make it like you want and call it what you like.
Use your senses to make this recipe your own. Roast the vegetables to where they look, smell, and feel right. Cook the pasta until, when touched or tasted, it feels done. Add dressing and seasonings to your taste buds’ liking, add more veggies when your eyes tell you it looks balanced.
make a meal out of it,
top it with a piece of meat or fish and call it a pilaf,
serve it chilled and call it a pasta salad,
or eat it with a fork out of the bowl before bedtime and call it Dave’s Late-Night Crave.
|tortellini & bow tie version|
|roasting other veggies|
|chopped spinach (which when incorporated shrinks into tiny pieces)|
|orzo with different veggies|
7 thoughts on “That Yummy Vegetable Pasta Thing”
I've been ruminating over a similar idea ever since I picked up my CSA share on Saturday. Your dressing suggestion sounds perfect!
I'm with Dave – this stuff was so delicious that I could eat it right from the fridge, too! I made it last night for dinner – orzo, leftover chicken, yellow squash, spinach, tomatoes, feta. It was the perfect way to use up a bunch of stuff in my fridge. SO GOOD! 🙂 I knew I could count on you to help me with a pasta salad!
Yay! Success. So glad! I crave it. Don't you love making something irresistible out of a few things you have on hand?!
Hi Julie! I think you know who I am (Martha Austin White's daughter) – anyway, just wanted you to know that we made this tonight, roasted veggies with fried eggs two nights ago, and the vegetable chili last night (including the corn cakes) and all were big hits. You and I have very similar tastes and values when it comes to food, and I'm always looking for new meals. Thanks for the recipes!
Courtney, OF COURSE I know who you are! I love it!
I am so honored that my recipes have been used in your kitchen so much lately! How great that we have similar tastes/values in the kitchen. I would love to talk more sometime about recipes and get ideas from you too! Thanks for the encouragement!
Okay, I know I commented on this two years ago, but I have to say that I use this “recipe” ALL the time! I usually add shredded chicken and call it a meal. And I have only made it with orzo – because I made it that way and loved it, so now that's what I expect it to be. But, seriously, this is a TRIED AND TRUE recipe! Thanks for blessing our family through food, Julie! 🙂