Super Quick Rapini and Red Bell Pepper Fusilli

I know, this is not what I had originally planned for yesterday. But this is what I truly felt like eating. However, since my son was home and he still refuses to eat any pasta that is not white (he even buys his own!), I figured I would save this for a night when I would be alone and make something that he would, if not enjoy, at least want to eat.

I was getting ready to start with my initial plan when I thought maybe I should check with him first, you know, just in case. I didn’t want to make food for 2 and end up eating alone.

So I ask: *
- Felix, are you going to eat?

Him
-
Mmmm, not sure… What’s on the menu?

Me, proudly exhibiting recipe
-
This!

Him, reading out loud
-
Korean Corn Crêpes…

Him, looking at the picture then deciding
-
Well, actually, Mom, I’m not that hungry. I’ve been munching on stuff all day, you know…

Me
-
In other words: Nope, this doesn’t inspire me at all. I’ll have a bowl of cereal or something later, when you’re not looking.

Him, grinning
-
Sounds something like that, yeah…

Me
- And I suppose a pasta dish wouldn’t sound more appealing to you?

Him
- With hay pasta? Erm… no thanks. But it doesn’t matter, really. I’ll be fine. Go ahead and make what you want for yourself.

*(of course, this entire conversation was held in French, but I kindly translated to ease understanding…)

Soooooo, change of plan! Pasta it was going to be after all!

I had a vision in my mind for this beautiful, colourful pasta dish, loaded with rapini (did I ever tell you it was one of my favourite veggies?) and red bell peppers, with a few crumbles of feta cheese.

The rest of the dish came together as I was making it. In the fridge, I had a few mushrooms that had seen better days and needed to be eaten fast, else they’d end up in the garbage. I hate wasting food, so in they went.

Oh, and I had this beautiful block of tofu to make my tofu balls later this week. Surely I didn’t need it all. Quick verification in my recipe book… yay! Only 300g are needed and I had 450g. Go for tofu. Now for pasta… what to use?

I really wanted penne but all my cupboard had to offer was fusilli. Fine. Fusilli will do.

This dish was super easy to put together. Really, it takes no longer than it does to cook pasta. And to be honest, I totally forgot to add seasoning, save for salt and pepper, but I didn’t miss it one bit. Feel free to add a few herbs, though, if you want. And this makes a huge serving. If you upped the pasta, tofu and feta cheese a bit, this could easily serve two.

Ingredients
(Serves 1-2) *use the greater quantity for pasta, tofu and cheese if making for 2

  • 85g – 150g whole grain pasta
  • 1 small onion
  • 100g button mushrooms, quartered
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ bunch rapini, stems removed, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 50g – 100g extra firm tofu, diced
  • 25g – 50g feta cheese, crumbled
  • Olive oil and lemon juice

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • While that is happening, brown mushrooms in a skillet over medium high heat. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  • When mushrooms are nice and golden, add onions and cook until they start to colour, about 3-4 minutes, stirring often.
  • When your pasta is almost done, before you drain it, take advantage of the steam coming out of the pot to give your rapini a quick steam bath, about 30 seconds.
  • Add bell pepper, tofu and rapini to mushrooms and onion mixture. Give this a quick stir and toss pasta in. Stir to combine.
  • Transfer to serving plate. Sprinkle feta cheese crumbles on top and hit with a quick squeeze of lemon juice and super timid drizzle of olive oil.

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