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meatless monday: radicchio feta pasta

April 12, 2010

Last week, San Francisco declared Mondays in the city “meat-free” as part of an effort to encourage a healthier and more sustainable approach to eating.  I’m always amazed at the response food can rouse out of people.  Comments on article covering this ranged from praise to people countering the act with declaring their own McDonald’s Mondays.

I’m not a vegetarian, far from it.  I grew up in a Polish/Mexican household in Chicago–meat isn’t a food, it’s a religion.  However, I am someone that worries that our relationship with food has turned dysfunctional–my grandmother still believes that “grilling the fat off steak” makes it a lean meat.

Regardless of whether the motivation is from a health, environmental or karmic standpoint, I like the idea of a designated day to refrain from meat.  I doubt it will always be Monday, but I will commit to featuring a vegetarian recipe on Mondays, starting today.  I hope you enjoy.  If not, don’t worry, there will be plenty of meat-laden recipes soon enough.

Pasta with radicchio and feta
serves 2-3 as a main, 4 as a side (easily doubled if you need more)

KC note: the amount of red pepper flakes used in this recipe yield a rather spicy pasta.  If spicy isn’t your thing, I bet rosemary would make a lovely substitute.  Same with feta…not your thing?  Sub in goat cheese, might even be better.

Ingredients:

  • 250 grams whole wheat pasta or 1/2 box of whole wheat pasta
  • 1 head of radicchio, chopped
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 ounces/115 grams feta cheese, crumbled

Directions

  1. Chop radicchio.
  2. Add butter and oil to pan over medium heat.
  3. Add chopped radicchio to pan and cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. About halfway through, add salt and red pepper flakes.
  5. Cook down until radicchio is fully wilted.
  6. Add radicchio and crumbled feta to cooked pasta and toss until thoroughly combined.

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