New Castle News

Lugene Hudson

June 15, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Lighter fare great during summer months



Cook bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Cut bread into 1⁄2-inch cubes. Toss bread with 2 tbsps. of the olive oil. Cook in a frying ban over medium-high heat, stirring often, until golden.

Tear lettuce into pieces. Cut tomato into thin wedges. Crumble bacon.

In a small jar, shake together vinegar, 1⁄4 tsp. salt and 1⁄8 tsp. pepper until salt dissolves. Add remaining 3 tbsps. oil and shake again to combine.

Toss together lettuce, tomato, bacon, onion, cheese and dressing. Top with croutons.



  • 3 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 6 ounces)
  • 8 oz. fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced into 1⁄4-inch rounds
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or 11⁄2 tsps. bottled minced garlic
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed, cut in half
  • 8 oz. dried no-yolk pasta


  • 3⁄4 cup fat-free milk
  • 2⁄3 cup nonfat or low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1⁄4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese (about 1 oz.)
  • 2 tbsps. chopped fresh basil or 2 tsps. dried, crumbled
  • 2 tsps. dry sherry (optional)


2 tbsps. grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

Freshly ground pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, pour enough water to come slightly below bottom steamer basket. Bring water to a boil. Place steamer in saucepan, being sure boiling water doesn’t touch steamer. Layer broccoli, then mushrooms, then zucchini in steamer. Steam, tightly covered, for about 3 minutes or until just crisp-tender. Set aside.

Heat a large nonstick skillet or nonstick wok over medium high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat bottom of skillet. When oil is hot, add garlic. Sauté for one minute, stirring frequently.

Add tomatoes and sauté for two minutes, stirring frequently, until tomatoes are slightly cooked but not wilted. Set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well.

In a blender or food processor, combine sauce ingredients. Process until smooth.

Pour sauce into a small saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warm, two to three minutes.

In a large serving dish, stir pasta, vegetables and sauce to coat well. Top with 2 tbsps. Parmesan and pepper.

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Lugene Hudson
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