I’ve really been getting the hang of working full time…and it’s only 2 more weeks before I go back to my slacker life of working from home. I’ve got my daily routine pretty much set and I’ve discovered that when I don’t have too much freelance work to do in the evenings, I pretty much have my old life back. It’s a good feeling even if it only means that I now have time to cook proper meals, tidy up my desk space and make it to the gym. I don’t want to spend my precious evening hours searching for recipes or running out to the store to get ingredients so I just fell back on the old standbys. However, a trip to the farmer’s market this past weekend gave me some new inspiration and so far, I’ve been cooking up a storm!
Sometimes the most comforting food doesn’t end up looking so pretty, but when you can turn a few ordinary ingredients into a colourful dish full of texture and flavour, well, you’ve pretty much got it made. Tonight’s dinner had colour, texture and flavour to spare. It not only was easy on the eyes but it’s simple to prepare on the most hectic of days. Substitute ingredients as you wish.
1 400g bag of spinach & cheese ravioli (frozen)
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 red pepper, sliced thinly
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large handfuls of green beans, broken in half
3 T olive oil
1 t chili flakes
1 large pinch of dried basil
salt & pepper
1. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package instructions in salted water. Shortly before the pasta is finished cooking, add in the green beans and cook until bright green and tender-crisp. Reserve some of the pasta water for the sauce, but drain the pasta and beans and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, in a large cast iron pan, heat olive oil and add garlic and onion until translucent and fragrant. Add the celery, red pepper and zucchini along with the red pepper flakes and basil. Add salt and pepper. Stir about for a couple of minutes until the vegetables soften slightly. Add in the ravioli and green beans along with some of the reserved pasta water (a quarter of a cup should be good, but add more if necessary). Toss everything about and serve with a bit of grated parmesan cheese.