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Fresh vegetarian dish for Summer – tri-colour vegetable pasta in pesto sauce

Tonight I really want to cook something light and vegetarian. Well, actually I have tried to eat less meat and would love to go for more vegetable dishes, not saying that I am turning into a vegetarian or even vegan, but I don’t mind to do that one day. No matter I am going to be a vegetarian or not, for sure I think I would love to cut down the amount of meat that I am going to consume. Maybe it’s good to have meat once or twice a week, the rest of the time is just vegetarian. Therefore, instead of Green Monday, I should do Meat Monday ūüėČ

Today I decided to cook a pasta dish, and I am thinking to make again our own pesto. I did it in the past, but it is really good if we just stop buying those ready made from the bottle and just doing our own ones. More fresh and healthy for sure! Well, definitely taste much better!!! To make our own pesto, you need a lot of green herbs, you can come up with your own combination, as long as you love the taste. If you would like to follow my version, here you go! I was using basil, two kind of parsley, the continental one and the curly one, coriander and garlic, I love spicy, so I would like to add red chilies, and I also love to add some parmesan cheese.  You can omit the chili and cheese if you prefer not spicy, but I think the cheese touch is great. Then, add around 100ml olive oil and season with some salt and pepper, and some fresh squeezed lemon juice. That touch is more like a chimicurrri sauce, but I love the touch of acidity to keep it really fresh! Place everything in a food processor and blend everything together. Now you have your own pesto ready, you can store them in the fridge for a week if you could not finish it in one go.

For the pasta, this time I bought something organic, from this Italian brand Tarall’Oro. It is Torchietti, but you can also cook with fussili or penne. Cook the pasta with the cooking time according to the package, on the other hand, get the vegetable ready. Heat up the pan with olive oil, and then put the sliced garlic and chopped onion into the pan. Saut√© them until they start to turn soft, then add the chopped zucchini and yellow pepper into the pan, fry them until they turn brown. Place the halved cherry tomatoes into the pan one minute before the dish is done, fry quickly with the tomatoes, season with salt and switch off the fire I also love to add more chili but this is totally optional. You can choose other vegetable, but I think it is very nice to have three bright colours in the dish, and these three ingredients go well together.

When the pasta is ready, drain the water with the strainer and mix them well into the vegetables. Then add few tablespoons of pesto sauce into the pasta and keep mixing until you feel it’s enough. You can serve the pasta with some extra shredded cheese, and a touch more pesto. Garnish it with some parsley or basil.

I think this is really yummy and fresh for Summer time!

 

 

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Refreshing spaghetti with lemon, prosciutto and arugula – perfect for Summer!

Continuing my Summer dishes idea for hot Summer here in Hong Kong, I was thinking to cook a simple but refreshing pasta. Pesto pasta could be a good option, but seems too regular and kind of boring. Trying to get some inspiration… ¬†browsing on internet to see if there is anything to reference to? Found this recipe, spaghetti with lemon! This is quite new to me, I would never think of doing pasta like this, maybe I should give it a try.

The ingredients are pretty simple, spaghetti, lemon, prosciutto, arugula, parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, red chili and butter. First of all, you can start with boiling a big pot of water, and get ready for cooking the spaghetti. While waiting for the boiling, let’s¬†get the lemon ready, get some lemon zest from one lemon, then get the juice out of it. Take another lemon or half lemon, depends on how much acidity you want to add to your dish, cut the lemon in slices. When the water is up to boil, add salt and cook the spaghetti according to the cooking time on the package, then drain them but save some pasta water for later. Put all spaghetti back to the sauce pan, pour some pasta¬†water into the pasta and add butter, a bit of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, minced garlic and some red chili or red chili flakes, give it a good mix, and feel free to add some pasta water if you feel is needed. Then, add lemon slices, prosciutto, parmesan cheese and chopped parsley into the spaghetti, and finally mix them nicely, then serve them with a touch of parsley on top as garnish.

My husband think this dish is a bit too sour, you definitely can adjust the dish with the amount of lemon juice and lemon slices to make it less sour. But I kind of love the freshness from the lemon, especially for Summer time!