I'm a vegan, my husband is not. But he's half Greek and loves Mediterranean food, a lot of which is vegan. He's the cook, I'm the sous chef, an acceptable arrangement as far as I'm concerned. The other night, he made a recipe from Vegan Italiano by Donna Klein, one of our favorite vegan cookbooks and cookbook authors. We both loved it and fought over the leftovers. The lemon really kicks up the flavor.
Gemelli with Asparagus and Pine Nuts
1/4 C. pine nuts
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 # asparagus, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
12 oz. gemelli or other short tubular pasta
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 Tsp. coarse salt
1/4 Tsp. lemon-pepper seasoning
(We cut the amount of pasta in half and increase the asparagus and the garlic. It's not a cake, so you can adjust it to please yourself. We like lots of garlic and more vegetables than pasta.)
Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Immediately, remove from skillet and transfer to a small bowl; set aside.
Return the skillet to medium heat and add the oil. Add the asparagus and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the asparagus is slightly tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and return to the pot. Add the asparagus and garlic mixture, the reserved pine nuts, lemon juice, salt, and lemon-pepper seasoning. Toss gently to combine. Serve at once.
Makes 4 to 5 main-dish or 8 pasta-course servings
Calories: 437 Protein: 14g. Total Fat: 13g. Cholesterol: 0 Carbohydrate: 67g. Fiber: 3g. Sodium: 263mg.