Quick Dish | spicy veggies + shells


posted by on Cooking for 1, healthy, leftovers, pasta, portions, Vegetarian

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spicy shells + veggies

Last year, I made a major announcement on my Twitter account that I’m proud to confirm still rings true.

This is meant to be a quick + easy dish that’s easily customizable and the perfect comfort dish during a busy work week.

As always, make this recipe yours. Don’t like spicy? Skip the cayenne. Want protein? Add some cooked, ground beef, pork or sausage! I even topped mine off with a little shredded cheddar cheese. The key is to use the flavors you love + use what you’ve got!

ingredients needed
What you’ll need:

  • 2 teaspoons of powdered bouillon (I use chicken in this but I love the vegetarian kind too) or 1 Knorr cube.
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon oil (use canola or another high heat oil like avocado – The Spruce has a great article on smoking points of cooking fats + oils)
  • 1½ cups dried, medium pasta shells
  • 1 bunch of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
    (I insist on fresh spinach in this, but if using frozen, thaw and drain enough for about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup of chopped carrot
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • dried parsley
  • garlic salt
  • lemon pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • sea salt + fresh black pepper
  • a wok or sauté pan

In a medium size pot, add 2 cups of water and dissolve 2 teaspoons of bouillon. Bring the water to a boil over medium to medium-high heat.

reserved pasta water

Add your medium pasta shells and cook about 10 minutes or according to package. About 5 minutes in, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water to use later. A small glass pyrex liquid measuring cup is perfect for this.

Meanwhile, in a wok or sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon oil and add your onions and carrots. Heat over medium-high heat and season the veggies with lemon pepper, garlic salt + cayenne.

adding fresh spinachOnce the veggies have cooked down and the onions are fragrant, add all of the spinach and the ½ cup reserved pasta water.

Drain your pasta and add to the wok/sauté pan and season with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Taste as you go. Need more spice? Add more cayenne or maybe even some Sriracha! Top off the pasta with dried parsley and mix well.

pasta and veggiesContinue to cook on medium heat, mixing until some of the liquid cooks down. Serve in a bowl and top off with shredded cheddar cheese (if you wish).

This makes 2 servings, unless you are bird like as I am! I had enough for 1 serving and 2 small lunch size servings as leftovers.


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