Mean, Green, Eating Machine

Author: Codi Hale 

Well folks, Halloween is over. All the spirits have left, all the pumpkins have been carved, and the ghosts and goblins have begun to plan their scares for next year. That does not mean the fun is over though!

Fall is a fantastic time to eat rich, warm, yummy food. For me, that means pasta. So let’s explore some delicious veggie pasta ideas, shall we?


Nothing says warm and delicious like a creamy pasta sauce, so try out this Creamy Fettuccine withBrussels Sprouts and Mushrooms.

[taken from]

  • 12 ounce(s) whole-wheat fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cup(s) sliced mixed mushrooms, such as cremini oyster, and/or shiitake
  • 4 cup(s) thinly sliced Brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon(s) minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup(s) dry sherry (see Tips & Techniques), or 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 cup(s) low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoon(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup(s) finely shredded Asiago cheese, plus more for garnish
  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, return to the pot and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and Brussels sprouts and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms release their liquid, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sherry (or vinegar), scraping up any brown bits; bring to a boil and cook, stirring, until almost evaporated, 10 seconds (if using vinegar) or about 1 minute (if using sherry).
  3. Whisk milk and flour in a bowl; add to the skillet with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, about 2 minutes. Stir in Asiago until melted. Add the sauce to the pasta; gently toss. Serve with more cheese, if desired.
…Or you could go for a slight variation of the classic alfredo and change it up with different greens! This Alfredo with Sun-Dried Tomato and Veggies looks like a good start to me.
[taken from]
  • 8 ounces  dried fettuccine
  • 1/2 cup  dried tomatoes (not oil-packed), chopped
  • 4 tablespoons  butter
  • 1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 4 ounces  fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 4 ounces  fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 1/2 cups  fresh broccoli florets
  • 8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups  milk
  • 1/2 cup  finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups  milk
  • 1/2 cup  finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons  finely shredded lemon peel

1.Cook pasta according to package directions, adding dried tomatoes the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and return to saucepan; keep warm.

2.Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove vegetables from skillet; set aside.

3.In same skillet melt remaining butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Gently stir in pasta and vegetables. Stir in additional milk to reach desired consistency. Sprinkle with lemon peel and additional shredded Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 (1-1/2 cup) servings.


If you are feeling like letting the oven do the work for you, try this Cavatappi with Fontina and Fall Veggies. It is similar to a Baked Ziti or lasagna; in other words, it’s delicious!
[taken from]
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large red bell pepper, julienned
  • 2 medium zucchini, julienned
  • 2 medium carrots, julienned
  • 1 1/2 pounds cavatappi or other tubular pasta
  • 6 cups bechamel sauce
  • 1/2 pound, plus 1/2 cup fontina, grated
  • 1/2 pound, plus 1/2 cup aged gruyere, grated
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tablespoon tabasco sauce
  • 2 cups plain breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • kosher salt to taste
  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and saute the vegetables in the olive oil until just cooked through, about 3 minutes, and set aside.
  1. Cook pasta to al dente, drain and return to pot.
  2. While pasta is cooking, gradually whisk half a pound of grated fontina, half a pound of grated gruyere, half the thyme leaves and the tabasco sauce into bechamel in a large saucepan over low heat until smooth and creamy.
  3. Preheat oven to 375F.
  4. Mix breadcrumbs, melted butter, remaining thyme and reserved 1/2 cups each of fontina and gruyere in a medium bowl.
  5. Pour bechamel over pasta, add vegetables and beaten egg and stir gently to thoroughly combine. Add salt to taste.
  6. Spread pasta evenly in a large casserole or baking dish, then sprinkle evenly with breadcrumb, herb and cheese mixture.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until breadcrumbs are browned and crisp.
  8. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving.
This is more fresh take on a pasta dish, it’s a pasta mixed with green! Experiment with this lovely little Fall Orzo Salad, taken from
  • 2pounds butternut squash, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • 1/4pound orzo
  • 2ounces Maytag blue cheese
  • 1/4cup oil (scant)
  • 1bunch fresh sage leaves
  • Fresh cracked pepper and coarse kosher, sea, or alder salt
  • 1bunch watercress, arugula, or any microgreen
  • 1ounce roasted pepitas
  1. If you didn’t purchase the precut butternut squash, then peel and cube the squash. If you did purchase the precut squash, give it a good rinse and pat dry.
  2. Drizzle the butternut squash with a good quality oil. Salt and pepper to taste. If you have some smoked salt (like alder), you can substitute a pinch of it for regular kosher salt.
  3. Arrange clusters of sage on top of squash. Reserve 2 to 3 sage leaves. If you don’t have fresh sage, you can substitute some dried “rubbed sage” — sprinkle liberally like salt.
  4. Bake at 450 F for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on your cube size) or until golden caramelization and deliciousness occurs.
  5. Cook orzo according to package directions. At my farmer’s market there is a vendor that sells an “autumn blend” of tricolor orzo. Boil in approximately 4 cups salted water for 15-17 minutes (normal orzo will probably take much less time — check your package to be sure). Drain and chill.
  6. Combine cooked butternut squash, pepitas, and orzo and toss. (The leftover oil in the roasting pan will serve as your “dressing” — use leftover oil in pan to minimally coat orzo). Personally I don’t think you need any acid (like lemon or vinegar) because of the “tang” of the blue cheese — but if you are omitting the cheese, you may want to try a few splashes of a good balsamic vinegar.
  7. Add crumbled blue cheese (or feta or chevre or omit cheese) and choice of greens. Add a few chiffonaded strips of fresh sage as a garnish.
I hope you enjoy this fresh take on classic pasta dishes. Maybe one looks like tonight’s dinner?
Remember: “Prevention is better than the cure.” – D. Erasmus