Northwest NEWS

March 6, 2000

Home & Garden

Dining In: Pasta, cheese, pork for March dinners


Linguine with Vegetables

   1 lb. linguine, uncooked
   1/2 c. chopped cilantro
   1/8 c. chopped mint
   1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
   5 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
   Salt and pepper, to taste
   1 c. fresh peas
   2 cloves garlic
   1 c. sliced onion
   1 c. diced yellow squash
   1 c. diced zucchini
   1 (12 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
   1/2 c. asparagus tips
   1/2 c. diced fennel bulb

   Pesto: In a blender or food processor, pureé the cilantro, mint, Parmesan cheese, and 3 Tbsp. of oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

   Vegetables: Blanch the peas in boiling water for three minutes; drain; rinse in cold water. Heat a four-quart pot over high heat. Add the remaining 3 Tbsp. of oil, garlic, and onions, and mix well. Add the peas and other vegetables, except the tomatoes, and continue cooking over very high heat until the vegetables are tender. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Remove the pot from the heat.

   Pasta: Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain. Toss the pasta with the vegetables over low heat, mixing in half of the herb pesto mixture. Serve with a dollop of pesto, and garnish with Parmesan cheese and springs of cilantro. Each of the eight servings contains 337 calories and 11 grams of fat.

Spanish Fiesta Pork Casserole

   1 box (6.8) Spanish rice mix
   1 Tbsp. olive oil
   1-1/2 lbs. pork loin butterfly chops cut into 1-inch cubes
   1/2 c. sour cream
   2 cans (10 oz. each) diced tomatoes with green chilies
   1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, drained, rinsed
   1 c. frozen corn, thawed
   4 oz. (1 c.) shredded Mexican cheese blend
   1/4 c. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

   Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray 12x8-inch (2 quarts) baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Prepare Spanish rice as directed on package. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add pork; cook and stir 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned. In large bowl, combine cooked rice, pork, sour cream, 1 can tomatoes, half of the beans, and half of the corn; mix well. Spread mixture evenly in prepared dish. Top with remaining beans, corn, remaining can of tomatoes, and cheese. Bake at 374 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned and thoroughly heated. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving. Makes 6 servings.