Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pasta Primavera

Tonight's dinner was Pasta Primavera from the Pioneer Woman   . This is a great recipe to use up lots of fresh and frozen veggies. I used a combination of onions,garlic carrots, broccoli and peas. I only had dried basil so that is what I used. The result was a great veggie pasta. I can't wait to try it with the original ingredients and fresh basil YUM !!! This was surprisingly easy  and very tasty even with the substitutions I made . Experiment with the veggies you have on hand.
Pasta Primavera  (printable version)
  • 1 pound Pasta (I Like Penne)
  • 1 cup Bite-sized Broccoli Pieces (up To 1 1/2 Cups)
  • ½ whole Onion Diced Finely
  • 3 cloves To 4 Cloves Garlic, Chopped Finely
  • 2 whole Medium To Large Carrots, Sliced On The Bias (diagonally)
  • 2 whole Medium Zucchini, Sliced On The Bias (diagonally)
  • 1 container (about 5 Oz.) White Button Or Baby Porcini Mushrooms, Roughly Sliced
  • 1 whole Medium Yellow Squash (optional)
  • 1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced Into Strips
  • 4 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup Whipping (heavy) Cream
  • 1 cup Half-and-half
  • 5 leaves Basil (or More To Taste), Plus Extra For Garnish
  • ½ cups Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cups Frozen Peas

Preparation Instructions

First, prep the vegetables. Chop the broccoli into bite-sized pieces, about 1 to 1 ½ cups worth. Dice half a yellow onion. Chop 3 to 4 cloves of garlic. Slice carrots on the bias (diagonally), and do the same for the zucchini and yellow squash. Roughly slice the mushrooms and slice the red pepper (seeded) into strips.
Heat 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic together and cook for a minute or two, until they start to turn translucent. Then throw in the broccoli. Stir, and add in the carrots. Stir it around, and PLEASE, PLEASE cook it for only a minute, tops. Transfer the mixture to a plate. Add in the red pepper strips. Stir them around for a minute or so, then transfer them to the plate.
Add pasta to slightly salted boiling water and cook to al dente.
Add a tablespoon of butter to the skillet. Add squash and zucchini, cook for less than a minute, then transfer to plate. Cook mushrooms for a minute or two (add salt to taste), and again transfer to the plate.

To make the sauce, pour ½ cup chicken broth into the skillet). Add ½ cup additionalchicken broth, a tablespoon of butter and scrape the bottom of the skillet to pull up the flavor left behind by the veggie cooking. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the liquid starts to thicken.

Add 1 cup whipping cream and 1 cup half-and-half. Measure out ½ cup grated Parmesan; add to the skillet. Add salt and pepper to taste. Chiffonade 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves and add that to the sauce; stir.

Dump veggies and mushrooms into the sauce along with ½ cup frozen peas right out of the freezer. Add pasta al dente and stir. If the sauce seems a little thick, or if there doesn’t seem to be enough sauce, add a good splash of chicken broth and a little more half-and-half. Top with more Parmesan, salt, pepper, and basil to taste.

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