Saturday, March 10, 2007

Whole wheat pasta with cauliflower sauce, red chard, roasted carrots and chick peas

Last Friday at work I was doing the boring job of reoragnizinging and moving aroung the files in our 17 file cabinets at work. This mindless activity gave me ample time to envision new recipies in my mind, extra inspired, because I knew the boyfriend was coming down for the weekend. I knew I had at home a full head of cauliflower that I had bought earlier in the week with the intention of making Rachel Ray's califlower pasta sauce, but I wanted to do something different with it. Take it to a new level some how. I took inspiration from a variety of places. On my break yesterday I was browsing food blogs, and found the exciting Mashed Potatos with Kale and Olive Oil from 101 cookbooks.

This inspired me to try adding some sort of sauted leafy green to my otherwise brown whole wheate penne and califlower sauce. I've been intreagued by Chard for awhile, and decided that this was the time, Red Chard it was. Next, I decieded this meal needed some protein. My first htought was some sort of Quorn, or other fake-meat product, but I've been trying to stear clear of those lately, and come up with more natural ways to get protein. Listing through the protein sources I had on hand, chick peas, whcih I have an over abundence of, seemed the best fit. After that, the rule of threes just seemed to demand carrots.

1 head cauliflower
6-8 stems rosemary
1 lb. whole wheat penne (or other pasta)
1 can (2 cups) veggie broth
1 bunch chard (I used red chard)
1 cup baby carrots, cut into 1/4 inch chunks
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
a few handfuls parmesean
3 cloves garlic
1 red onion, chopped
Olive oil

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, prep and chop garlic and onion. Heat a deep nonstick pot, and coat bottom with Olive Oil. Saute garlic for 3-5 minutes, then add onion, and continue sauteing - more minutes. While garlic and onils are cooking, core, and remove the leaves from the cauliflower, and chop. Also take the rosemary leaves off of the stem and chop, reserving 1/3 of rosemary. Add cauliflower, 2/3 of rosemary, and veggie broth to pot, cover, and cook 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350. Rinse and chop red chard. cut off and discard the very ends of the stems, and remove, and reserve the rest of stem.

Chop red chard stems into 1/inch pieces, and add to drianed chickpeas, and chopped carrots, and reserved rosemary. Coat with olive oil in a baking dish, and bake 20 miuntes.

Wilt chard in a covered pot on low to medium heat. Mash cauliflower sauce with a potato masher in pot. Slowly stir in small amounts of cheese at a time, so that it incoporates. Drain chard, and add chard, baked veggies, and pasta to sauce in the sauce pot. Top with parmesean