Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baked ramen pasta with kale

The days are long these days, very long, very full, very productive. Once I arrive at work I typically don’t get around to take a break for hours, mostly until I leave. By 4pm I might eat my home-brought lunch. By 6pm, I head back to the car or the bike and ride back home. At that point, my head feels like it ran a marathon and needs a break from all things people and computer screens or any kind of thought-provoking input. Often, I shed my work clothes, put on gym clothes and sneakers and go for a walk. Or a run. No need for music. My mind is on pause, and the body trots along, in a simple rhythm, finally pumping blood filled with large amounts of oxygen through my body.

This morning I read a study that you can offset the negative impact of sitting for 3 hours with regular short walks. (I wonder if those short walks to the coffee machine and printer count? Or more like a short trip to another building and starbucks? --- 5min walks required, so yes, maybe get the coffee at Starbucks.) – It is always a concern if there is no time for feeling playful during work, time for laughs, and all signs are towards that it is more a marathon of getting things done. Coming home so exhausted is not a good idea, it would be better to lighten the to-do list or lower the expectations, and well, live well. But then, we all think we are superwoman or superman, and quite heroic for working so hard. (when indeed it is more stupid, if you think about it).

Another trend for me is to make a big baked pasta dish in the evening with leftovers for the next evening or for lunch the next day. So good. The variations are endless.

pasta_bakeLRSJ

Baked Ramen Pasta with Summer Squash and Kale

for 2 people or 1 with leftovers.

  • 3 oz small penne pasta
  • 1/5 of a block of ramen noodles
  • 1 ts olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • ca. 2 inches of Soy chorizo (I use Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 regular tomato, diced
  • 1 summer squash, cut into rounds of half rounds
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn
  • 2-3 leaves of curly or flat kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of roasted bell pepper sauce (just 1 cup of tomato sauce)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 TB ricotta
  • some grated garlic or garlic powder
  • 2 TB goat cheese crumbles

Cook the pasta and ramen noodles in a boiling water for 8 min. Preserve some of the cooking water!

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a skillet, heat the olive oil and brown the onion, and the chorizo meat (discard the skin). Add the tomato, kale, corn, and summer squash, mix all together and saute until zuchini and kale are wilted and cooked. In a separate bowl, combine the tomato sauce, soup, worchestershire sauce, garlic and ricotta and mix well. Once the pasta is cooked, add to the pan with the tomato sauce, a few laddles of the pasta water and the oregano and taste for salt. Combine well and pour into a baking dish. Sprinkle with and distribute over the pasta. Bake for 20min.

pasta_bake_2LRSJ

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