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In our efforts to save some money we decided to cook at home a couple nights. This time, it was my version of tapas with a vegetarian twist. Tapas in Spain are generally made with some kind of meat and cheese placed on sliced baguette. Other tapas may be various types of marinated olives, small bocadillas (sandwiches), and especially along the coast, small seafood plates. Paella (seasoned rice with seafood and other meats) is a typical dish here as well; I’m sure there are tons of variations, as everyone makes it differently. I have yet to experience Paella here.

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Anyway, with a baguette and a couple of vegetables in the house, I threw together a simple tapas-inspired dish; or what we from the U.S. call an appetizer.

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Caramelized onions and fresh arugula atop sliced baguette smeared with some jarred pesto. Cheap and delicious.  [Sauté your onions over low heat for about 20-25 minutes for caramelization.]

And it was a perfect accompaniment to our pasta dish made with the remaining pesto and sautéed onions, peppers and zucchini.

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Pasta and Vegetables in Pesto

1/2 lb pasta (whole wheat if you have it, any shape you like), boiled and drained

1 small onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

2 large handfuls arugula

2 TBS olive oil

¼ cup pesto

Salt and pepper to taste

-In a large pan, sauté onion, pepper and zucchini in olive oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

-Toss in pasta and pesto; stir to incorporate all parties.

-Add in the arugula and turn off heat. The residual heat will be enough to slightly wilt the arugula. We don’t want any overcooked, slimy greens here.

 

Serves: 4 – 1 cup servings

Calories: 273 Protein: 6g Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 3g Carbohydrates: 3g Fiber: 2g

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