healthy hearts

Yesterday, Zavino participated in Jefferson Hospital’s Fourth Annual Heart Health Day.  It was our first time as a featured restaurant, and I went with our Executive Chef to help distribute samples of our heart healthy pasta salad (created specifically for the event).   The event was held at King of Prussia mall, and Tim Spinner of Cantina Feliz and La Calaca Feliz (translated, it means the Happy Skeleton ~ the skeleton, I learned, is one of several characters in a very popular Mexican card game) did a cooking demonstration with former Eagle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter.  (Despite not being an Eagles fan, I am a huge football fan, and Mr. Trotter was really funny, good -natured and generous in his attitude and demeanor thoughout the event).  Watching the crowd’s faces as Chef Spinner pulled a huge octopus out of cambro and dropped him into a pot of hot water was priceless, as was watching Jeremiah Trotter’s face as he assisted in making and then tasting each dish.

The entire event reminded me that the food business can be pretty cool.

Since we handed out hundreds of menu cards generously printed by Jefferson Hospital, I thought it would only be fair to share Chef Carlos Aparicio’s Heart Healthy Whole Wheat Pasta with Grilled Veggies on my blog.  So, here goes!

For the Pesto:

2 c. fresh basil (picked leaves)

1 c. baby arugula

1/2 c. grated Parmesan-Reggiano

1/2 c. EVOO

1/3 c. Toasted Pine Nuts

3 medium sized Garlic cloves

1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

1.  Place all ingredients in blender or food processor.

2.  Blend for 2-3 minutes, adding a little extra olive oil if it’s too thick.

For the Pasta:

1 lb dry whole-wheat penne (or other pasta)

1 c. small chunks of sundried tomatoes (keep separate from all othere veggies to incorporate at the end for garnish)

1/2 c. small diced Asparagus

1/2 c. small diced Zucchini

1/2 c. small diced Yellow Squash

1/2 c. small diced Cauliflower

1 bunch Swiss Chard (washed and cut in small pieces)

10 leaves Basil Chiffonade (for garnish)

What to Do:

1.  Cook pasta for about 10 minutes in boiling water. Drain & reserve.

2.  In a big pot of boiling water, blanch all veggies except Swiss Chard.  (Blanching = leaving veggies in water no more than 45 seconds).  Remove from water.

3.  In a stir fry pan, add EVOO and garlic (diced) over medium heat.

4.  Saute all veggies (after being blanched) for about 2-3 minutes.

5.  Add salt & black pepper to taste.

6.  In a large bowl, combine pasta and veggies, adding pesto and basil chiffonade.

7.  Garnish with small-diced sun-dried tomatoes (add extra pesto and pine nuts for extra creaminess & flavor).



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