Green Pasta, simple way to use up leftover veggies

I always have odds and ends of vegetables and greens that I can’t throw out, just ask my husband about my hoarding problems, not even Marie Kondo can help.   So, instead I make this green pasta.  You can use any greens or vegetables you have in your refrigerator.  This pasta is simple to make and you can eat it warm or cold, you can easily double, triple, quadruple, and whatever comes after that… this recipe.  It makes a great lunch or dinner, but if you are packing it for work, make sure you have some mints, because it’s loaded with garlic.

I start by making the base sauce, more like a flavored oil.  Just one anchovy packed in oil, 2 garlic cloves and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes and lots of extra virgin olive oil (all pantry items), put it all into a small pot or sauce pan and cook until the garlic turns golden, take care not to burn it, the anchovy will just melt.  A note about anchovies, they do not smell or taste fishy and it just adds a nice savory flavor (umami).  Set the oil aside to cool.  You could just slice up some good bread and use this as a dipping sauce and call it a day… but I promised pasta… read on!


Next, trim and blanch the vegetables. I happened to have broccoli rabe, asparagus and peas.  In a medium pot, bring enough water to cook pasta to a boil and blanch each vegetable separately (for timing purposes, you don’t want to blanch peas the same amount of time as the broccoli rabe and a sure sign that a vegetable is done blanching is the bright green color) for a minute or less and plunge vegetable into an ice bath until cool, drain and blot dry.  Using the same water, add salt and cook your pasta as instructed on the package, drain and toss with olive oil so that the pasta doesn’t stick together in one clump.  I like a colorful fusilli for this, but you can use whatever you have, this is a post about using up odds and ends so if you have a little of this or a little of that, it would do as well… just be sure to check the different cooking times.


Make the pesto, this is probably the most involved of the steps, and by involved, I mean you have to drag out your food processor, but by all means use your mortar and pestle, if you want to go rogue.  I had left over kale, so I made kale-walnut pesto.  A handful of kale and another handful of walnuts, a bit of parmesan, juice of a lemon and a clove of garlic, all in the food processor, whirl whirl whirl… add olive oil, whirl some more and salt to taste.

img_3700img_3705Now put it all together… in a medium to large skillet, on medium heat, coat the bottom with olive oil, add the chopped blanched vegetables and saute until warmed through, add cooked pasta and drizzle with flavored oil, toss to incorporate.  Off heat, add pesto, add as little or as much as you like, after all – you are the one eating it, add salt and pepper to taste and a drizzle of your favorite vinegar, right now I’m obsessed with red-wine vinegar (thanks to chef Joshua McFadden, I’ve been finishing everything with vinegar… I can’t stop! And on a side note, if you haven’t picked up his cookbook, “Six Season, a new way with vegetables,”  you are a dummy, just saying.  Toss and enjoy!

Mangia, mangia…



Green Pasta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Use up bit and pieces of vegetables with this vegetable packed pasta and pesto combo
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 2-4
  • Flavored oil
  • 1 anchovy (packed in oil)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetables and pasta
  • 1 cup of leafy greens, broccolini, kale, chard
  • 1 cup of vegetables, asparagus, green beans, zucchini, bell peppers, peas, carrots, tomatoes
  • ½ lb of pasta
  • Pesto
  • 1 cup of chopped kale
  • ½ cup of raw walnuts (unsalted)
  • ½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • ¼-1/2 cup of olive oil
  • salt
  1. Flavored oil
  2. Heat small sauce pan or pot on medium heat, add anchovy filet, minced garlic, pinch of red pepper flake and olive oil, and cook until garlic turns golden, set aside to cool
  3. Vegetables and pasta
  4. Heat medium to large pot of water to boil, blanch each vegetables separately and cool in an ice bath. Once the vegetables are blanched, add salt to the same water and cook the pasta as instructed on the package. Drain.
  5. Pesto
  6. Add kale, walnuts, parmesan, garlic into the food processor and process until somewhat smooth, with the machine on, add olive oil through the feeder, add the lemon juice. With the motor off, taste and season with salt.
  7. Putting it all together
  8. Heat, medium to large pan on medium, add the chopped vegetables and saute until heated through, add cooked pasta, and toss with flavored oil. Off heat, add the pesto and a drizzle of vinegar and toss, add salt to taste.




Chicken Diablo


The inspiration for this recipe came from the prepared hot foods section at my local Whole Foods.  You can use skin-on, bone-in chicken for more flavor (you need to increase the cooking time – use a meat thermometer to ensure doneness).

Chicken Diablo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 4 chicken breast or 8 chicken thighs, season with salt and pepper
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1 bell pepper (any color), sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can of roasted tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. In an oven proof, oiled pan, brown both sides of the seasoned chicken pieces on med-high heat - remove from pan and set aside (it will not be cooked through- just getting color on it)
  3. Add a little more olive oil and add onions, peppers, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and stir up the browned bits, cook 4-5 minutes, until onions wilt but not browned
  4. Add the can of tomatoes and stir, taste for seasoning, add salt as needed - it may also need a little water/stock, simmer on medium for 3-4 minutes
  5. Add the chicken and the juices back into the pan, and cook in the oven 20-25 minutes
  6. Check for doneness with meat thermometer - register 165 or when pierced with a knife and the juices run clear, finish with your favorite finishing salt and drizzle of a fruity olive oil


Royal Cuisine in Seoul, Korea


While I was in Seoul, Korea, I had the opportunity to “experience” Royal Court Cuisine.  Royal Court Cuisine is the style of cooking that was reserved for the King and Queen, their families, and the royal court during the Joseson Dynasty (1392 to 1910). Traditionally, twelve dishes are served along with rice and soup.  Food is served in Bronzeware and strict rules regarding how each dish is placed on the table is observed.

Royal Cuisine uses various cooking methods that showcase and celebrate fresh seasonal ingredients and local specialties.  Only the best ingredients available is used including seafood, meat, vegetables and grains.  In the past, Royal Cuisine was strictly reserved for the Royal family and the court.

Currently, Royal Cuisine can be enjoyed by everyone and Chef’s prepare each dish as closely as possible to the meals of the court as prescribed in written texts of ancient literature.  Each dish is elaborately made and much thought is put into the ingredients to preserve the authenticity of the past.  Utmost care is given to the presentation of each dish according to the recipes that have been inherited and handed down over the generations.

Seokparang Restaurant is one of seven restaurants that correctly represents Royal Court Cuisine (according to KoreaTourism Organization)
Seokparang is housed in Prince Daewongun’s traditional villa
The place setting
The place setting
Towels to clean our hands before the meal
Towels to clean our hands before the meal
Menu for October 31, 2015
Menu for October 31, 2015
Bronze Serviceware
Two sauces; mustard and soy
Two sauces; mustard and soy
Traditional porridge to whet the appetite and prepare for the meal
Traditional porridge to whet the appetite and prepare for the meal
Gujulpan consists of eight vegetables and meats and thin wheat pancakes for wrapping
Gujulpan consists of eight vegetables with thin crepes
Seafood salad
Seafood and pear salad
Cold noodle and vegetable salad
Cold noodle, vegetable and seaweed salad
Vegetable and meat pancakes
Zucchini and eggplant pancakes (jeon)
Grilled Abalone
Grilled Abalone
Braised pork belly on a charcoal pit - one of my favorites
Braised pork belly on a charcoal pit
Prawn with roe
Prawn with roe and black sesame
Grilled beef and mushrooms
Grilled marinated beef and mushrooms with Gingko seeds
Napa cabbage salad - very tasty, another one of my favorites
Napa cabbage salad
Seafood soup
Seafood soup
Rice and soup
Rice, soup and five side dishes
Noodle with seafood broth
Noodle with seafood broth
Crispy dates with fresh ginseng and honey
Crispy dates with fresh ginseng and honey and rice cakes
Korean pear
Sweet rice tea - served cold
Sweet rice punch flavored with ginger and cinnamon (sikhye) – served cold


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