Friday, February 12, 2010
A short lesson in French Cooking
French cuisine can be intimidating. Just thinking about all the steps involved in Bouillabaisse preparation makes me want to take a day off. But the everyday French "style" cooking can be simple, inspiring, and economical. Step one: open your fridge and see what you have. Step two: decide what to make (can be daunting)
Here is my take on it, inspired by the latest issue of Vegetarian Times:
Pasta and Roasted Vegetables with White Wine Sauce
(ok, this is not a traditional French dish, but the cooking style is) This dish is Vegan if you skip the parm at the end.
Fresh vegetables - whatever you have: sweet peppers in any color, asparagus, mushrooms (I used shiitakes), Brussels' sprouts (just love them), baby artichokes, zucchinis or yellow squash, eggplant, onions, garlic, tomatoes. Any combination! About 4-5 cups
Herbs: parsley, basil or cilantro - chopped.
1 box of pasta
2-3 Tbsp of Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop all your veggies up to fill a large roasting pan, spreading it thin, add salt and pepper to taste, add 2-3 Tbsp of Olive oil, mix it well and bake for 20 minutes in the oven preheated to 400 degrees. Stir, then add chopped tomatoes, if using, and bake another 10 min.
Meanwhile make pasta - any pasta you like will do. Cook according to directions, drain well and transfer back to the pot.
Remove the roasting pan from the oven and transfer the veggies into a dish. If you using herbs, you can add them now. Deglaze the pan for 5 min. with 1/2 cup of white wine. You can do it on the stove or, if using a Pyrex pan, in the oven. Then add 1/2 of cooking water from pasta. Add the wine sauce to your vegetables, mix well, adjust the seasoning and add to pasta.
Serve with grated Parm or Romano cheese.