Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Quick and Healthy Pasta Recipe
I found this lovely recipe for Lemon Fettuccine with Broccoli and Pancetta "croutons". I wanted to make it healthier and vegetarian so I used whole wheat pasta and substituted smoky tempeh strips for the bacon. I cut the tempeh strips into 1/4" to 1/2" pieces. I left the butter out entirely and only used olive oil. Olive oil has a low smoking point so I added the tempeh pieces to the oil immediately and cooked it over medium/medium high heat.
I chose to substitute spinach for the broccoli. I like spinach better and thought it would be great with the lemon. It was:) I also added red bell pepper strips for added color and flavor. Fortunately I planted some thyme this summer. The fresh flavor was delightful but I'm sure you could use dried instead. I would cut it back to a 1/2tsp for the dried thyme.
Finely grated lemon peel.
I wash the lemon thoroughly under running water and grate the peel first.
I don't like using my grater. Instead I prefer this peeling tool. I use short strokes, making 1/4" to 1/2" little strips. This is so much easier than trying to get those tiny bits of peel out of the grater. After grating the peel I slice the lemon and squeeze out the juice.
Despite the initial dismay of my family over the axing of the bacon, the final result was given a "thumbs up" by all.
What is Tempeh
If you are not familiar with tempeh, it is similar to tofu in that it is made from soybeans. It is different from tofu in that it is made from whole soybeans. This gives the tempeh a different texture and different nutritional quality. I like to use it when I want a firmer, 'meatier' composition.
Here is some more detailed information if you would like to know more.