Pasta Toss with Broccoli, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese

From the sheer length of the title, you can tell that the fridge is in danger of overflowing. To add to the CSA and the leafy greens supplied by the exuberant picking staff (the Practical Cooks Junior), came the bounty of veggies from the in-laws coming through town. I salute their strategy—far better to tote and drop off at the midpoint than let the brie and tomatoes “ripen” unattended at home.

You Should See the Crisper Drawers

You Should See the Crisper Drawers

This meal was brought to you by “I can’t see the fridge light,” with special sponsorship from “where in the &*(^ can I put the milk?”

Fridge Surprise Pasta Toss Recipe

This definitely falls into the “guidelines” varietal of recipes. Pasta tosses were built for getting rid of as much as possible. Look for variety, strong flavors to tie the whole thing together, and attempt to use a “first in, first out” strategy, using the oldest produce first. Sauteing can greatly improve the flavor of something you wouldn’t necessarily want in raw form (like some wilty mushrooms or languishing tomatoes).

1/2 to 3/4 pound dry pasta of your choice (we used whole wheat shells)
10 ozs button mushrooms, sliced
1 bundle of broccoli, cut into florets (Brinkley Farms CSA)
1 bulb green garlic (CSA)
1 languishing tomato, diced

For the sauce:
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
a couple of ounces of local herbed goat cheese

1. Prepare the pasta according to the directions. Be sure to add  a healthy dose of salt to the water. (The Sr. Practical Cook Jr. called me on the carpet for not salting the dish enough, true story, and I promised her I would advise the Gentle Readers accordingly.)

Mushrooms, Sliced

Mushrooms, Sliced

2. Saute the mushrooms in olive oil over medium high heat. Set aside. Saute broccoli in olive oil over medium heat, with a splash of water to steam-fry it, adding the garlic at the very last minute. Set aside.

Chopping Broccoli!

Chopping Broccoli!

3. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, cook until light brown. Whisk in the milk. Stir and reduce a bit. Take off heat and add goat cheese. Stir until melted.

Tomatoes Feeling the Heat

Tomatoes Feeling the Heat

4. Drain the pasta. Put a dash of olive oil in the pasta pot and saute the tomatoes a bit. Add the other veggies, stir. Add the pasta, stir. Add the sauce and toss with glee. (Thus the name, the glee is optional, but this was pretty fast, so I hope you’re feeling some joy here.)

Fridge Pasta Toss

Fridge Pasta Toss

5. Top with more goat cheese, parsley, salt and pepper, crushed red pepper, whatever, and serve.

How do you deal with a vegetable overload?

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5 Comments

Filed under Punt!, Recipes

5 responses to “Pasta Toss with Broccoli, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Goat Cheese

  1. I like this — could I use cream cheese or feta cheese instead of goat cheese?

    • The Practical Cook

      Great questions. This would work well with cream cheese or feta (or a nice combo of the two). Perfect for that last smidge of whatever cheese you’re looking to finish off! (I’ve made sauces with cheddar, Swiss, provolone, Parmesan, you name it, everything short of pimento.)

  2. Your fridge looks a lot like mine. I’m going to do a pasta toss tonight to remedy but I have also made stock, dehydrated for later use and juiced it.

    • The Practical Cook

      I’ve never dehydrated or juiced–I like those suggestions. I’m working on freezing some for winter though! This spring has yielded a bumper crop. Hope your pasta toss turns out well!

  3. Pingback: Recipes in Review: The Top 5 Performers | The Practical Cook

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