Uncle Giovanni's Vegetable Pasta

(6 to 8 servings)

Here's a surefire--albeit sneaky--way to get the kids to eat their veggies; just tell them that you're making one of Mickey Mouse's favorite dishes. It's not that much of a stretch. We're supplying you with one of the most requested recipes from any of the Disney restaurants; it's from "Cooking With Mickey and the Chefs of Walt Disney World Resort" (Hyperion, $19.95), available by mail-order from Walt Disney World Resort, Box 10000, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. 32830-1000 or call 407-363-6200.

Chef Marianne Hunnel at the '50's Prime Time Cafe dreamed up this crowd pleaser; it works as either a main or a side dish.

1 pound penne pasta

1/3 cup olive oil

1 cup small broccoli florets

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup julienned yellow squash

1 shallot, minced

1/3 cup dry white wine

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped

1/4 cup pesto

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, over medium-high heat in a large skillet, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add the broccoli, mushrooms, squash and shallot and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are softened, about 6 minutes.

Add the white wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the tomatoes, pesto and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Transfer the pasta to individual plates and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Per serving (based on 8): 385 calories, 12 gm protein, 47 gm carbohydrates, 16 gm fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 3 gm saturated fat, 212 mg sodium, 2 gm dietary fiber


We can cook, but can we divide? Apparently not. In last week's recipe for Spaghetti Alle Olive we multiplied when we should have divided and we're not even going to discuss what we did with the decimal point. The 100 grams of spaghetti mentioned in the introduction translates to approximately 3.5 ounces not 2.8 ounces.

How's this for a plot:

It has been a bad summer for Chas Wheatley. Bodies, rather than beavers, have been found in the Tidal Basin. Wheatley, Washington's noted restaurant critic, an insecure woman with an insatiable appetite for sleuthing and anything that has been simmered, thinks she has reached bottom. She answers a personals ad and winds up with a waiter, of all things. She is accused of carrying on a steaming affair with a coffee kingpin who takes his own life. Was it good to the last drop?

The answer is in Phyllis Richman's latest mystery, "Murder on the Gravy Train" (HarperCollins, $23). Anyone who enjoyed The Washington Post restaurant critic's first crime novel, "The Butter Did It" (HarperCollins, 1997), will enjoy the tart twists and odd ingredients in her latest white tablecloth crawl. Page after page is liberally peppered with the names of Richman's favorite restaurants and layered like a lasagna with pet peeves. It's a culinary adventure with a how-to on avoiding restaurant scams. It's a good book for the beach.

Like to meet the author? Phyllis Richman will be signing copies of her new book on July 15, 12:30 p.m. at Borders Books & Music, 18th and L streets NW; and on July 22, 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW.

The Benefits Of a Good Soaking

The American Institute for Cancer Research has been urging people to take steps to reduce the possible cancer risk posed by grilled food. Precooking meat in the microwave, removing fat that causes grill flare-ups and using tongs to turn--not puncture-- meat are some of their recommendations. Now comes a tastier suggestion: New research indicates that marinating may impede the formation of the carcinogens in question. Also, meats that had been marinated in standard recipes for just 40 minutes showed the same reduction of these carcinogenic compounds as meat that had been marinated for two days.

To Do

THURSDAY: Tribute to the late George Burns--buffet cigar dinner at Lansdowne Resort. $75 includes tax and tip. 6:30 p.m. 44050 Woodridge Pkwy., Lansdowne. Call 703-729-4090.

SATURDAY-SUNDAY: Red, White and Blue--wine tastings at Berrywine Plantations. Free admission; bring your own picnic fare. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m. 13601 Glissans Mill Rd., Mount Airy, Md. Call 301-831-5889.


JULY 13-14: Bastille Day dinner or picnic cruise at Mount Vernon. Francophile Feast--private evening house tour and four-course dinner, $69.95 includes tax and tip, at Mount Vernon Inn restaurant, reservations taken for 5-9 p.m.; or cruise, house tour and French-theme picnic at the Mount Vernon Wharf, $79.95 includes tax and tip, 7-11 p.m. Southern end of George Washington Memorial Pkwy. Call 703-799-5209.

The Return of Schwartz Candies

Tragedy struck at the Schwartz Candies shop in New Hyde Park, N.Y., on Oct. 29, 1998. Owners Ira and Rhoda Boscoff were safe in their beds when the call came, the store--where they manufactured the best chocolate-covered marshmallows we've ever tasted--had been destroyed by a fire. The Boscoffs had to inform thousands of customers that there would be no Schwartz candy under the tree, in Valentine hearts or nestled in Easter baskets.

Finally there is good news to report. The store is up and running again and shipping has begun. The hand-crafted candy--a box of 20 assorted chocolate-covered marshmallows is $29.95--is as good as ever. Our favorite has a caramel bottom--$36.25 for a box of 20. Prices include ground shipping. To order call 1-800-522-2462; or write to Schwartz Candies, 31 Denton Ave., New Hyde Park, N.Y. 11040.

Add this Web site to your bookmarks:


Okay, picnickers. Curious about how long you can safely nibble on those leftover drumsticks or Mom's potato salad? Browse through this very informative list of food-schlepping safety points, which covers everything from proper packing techniques to the lifespan of takeout fare.