Zucchini pasta with salad and crusty bread

My parents were visiting this weekend, so of course I wanted to make dinner for them one night! We started off Saturday by going to the farmers market and exploring around. Going to the farmers market with my mom and dad is much more amusing than going on my own!

After perusing the farmers market, I decided to make pappardelle with slow roasted zucchini sauce and a salad with tok choy (yes, tok choy, not bok choy). We also went to an Italian festival that afternoon where we picked up a nice loaf of ciabatta bread to go with dinner.

I started off the pasta sauce by slicing the zucchini into very thin rounds, and tossing it in a pan with olive oil, vegan butter, and lots of minced garlic. Then the zucchini cooked down for a long time….it gets kind of ugly but super tasty.

While the zucchini was cooking, I used the tok choy and a minced red pepper to make a yummy salad. This was made much easier by my mom volunteering to clean and destem the tok choy. I also decided to mix up my own dressing with some Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, lime juice, Persian lime olive oil, and salt and pepper.

Once the zucchini had cooked down and the pasta was cooked, I added a little rice vinegar to add a little tang, then tossed in the cooked pasta. Lots of freshly chopped parsley got mixed in for a nice pop of freshness and greenness. Then, dinner was ready to serve! It was a fun dinner to linger over, especially with some Railyard that was fetched by Jon and dad from one of our favorite breweries, Wynkoop Brewery.

My favorite dish was actually the salad–I think tok choy is one of my new favorite greens! Plus, it was fun to have my parents visiting to top off our 2 weeks of family fun. 🙂

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Tomato garlic soup with homemade pasta bits

Jon sure is spoiled! Last night he got homemade soup that included homemade pasta. Of course, he was spoiling me by doing all the cleaning. 🙂

I started off by making the pasta dough in my trusty Kitchenaid mixer. I mixed semolina flour and salt with some olive oil, and then added water until a nice dough was formed. Then, I put the pasta roller attachment on the Kitchenaid and started rolling out the pasta sheets. I was actually making pasta for dinner last night and an upcoming dinner later this week, so the first half of the dough got sliced into long noodles and put aside to dry.

I have often made this soup with orzo, so I decided to slice the rest of the dough into small triangles, squares, and similar shapes. I left the sheets fairly thick, and used my ravioli roller to slice up the dough.

While the pasta bits were drying, I started the soup by mincing lots of garlic…like, really a lot (more than 1 head of garlic!!) and then sautéing the garlic over low heat in a little olive oil. I added in the Aleppo pepper, thyme, and parsley, and then veggie broth, and them left the broth to simmer for about 30 minutes.

When I started the water for the pasta, I also added peas and diced tomatoes to the broth. After everything was cooked and super fragrant, the soup was ready to serve. I put some of the yummy pasta bits in the bottom of each bowl, topping it with the broth. It is a yummy and light soup that doesn’t taste like it has that much garlic in it! Really!

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Falafels with Cucumber Salad and Rice

Perhaps I should have called this the green dinner, as everything ended up being green! I started off the falafels in the Cuisinart with garbanzo beans, parsley, onions, garlic, and some flour to bind everything together. Once the falafel mixture was ready, it went into the fridge to sit for awhile.

While the falafels were resting, I started the cucumber salad. First I peeled the cucumbers and chopped them up. I added just a tiny bit of chopped onion to add some heat, then lots of lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, salt and pepper.

I decided to bake the falafels rather than frying them, so I placed scoops of the falafel mixture on a baking sheet and sent them into the oven. While the falafels baked, I started the rice cooking in veggie broth and some lemon juice. When it finished cooking, I mixed in lots of lemon zest and parsley. By now the falafels were done baking, and though they weren’t quite as crispy as when they are fried, I felt much better about eating them!

Everything was delicious (and green tasting!), and a little bit of chili-garlic sauce on the top added a nice bit of spice.

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