Pasta Primavera

Friday night is a night where we all like to hit the town, but not for me tonight, as it just too hot in the ATL. Food is my passion so cutting up vegetables is what I had in mind while sipping on a glass of Cabernet. I really like this recipe, as it gets me to eat asparagus. Not too many recipes can do this, as the right combination of flavors, such as sweet red peppers, has to meet the asparagus just right for me to gobble it up. Well, that is exactly what I did because this was a tasty, light prelude meal to a fabulous weekend. Be sure to top with freshly grated parmesan cheese as the nutty, salty flavor brings all the other flavors together.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper, cleaned, seeded and cut into strips (6 ounces)
  • 1/2 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup sliced button mushrooms (4 ounces)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in 1/4 (6 ounces)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock*
  • 1/2 cup 1 percent milk
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached wheat flour, or all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • l cup carrots, peeled into ribbons
  • 3/4 pound whole-wheat linguine
  • 1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves (optional)
  • 1/4 cup shredded basil leaves (optional)
Preparation
  •  Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Cook garlic until soft, about 1 minute. Add peppers and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
  • Add mushrooms, asparagus and tomatoes and cook until softened, an additional 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute more. Add chicken stock, milk, salt and pepper and bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook until liquid has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in carrot strips.
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  • Toss pasta with vegetables and sauce. Add pasta water, if necessary, to loosen mixture. Serve garnished with Parmesan, parsley and basil.

*You can use chicken broth but the flavor will not be as strong and the sauce will not be as thick, but it still will be yummy.

Servings:  2 cups per serving. 4 servings.
Calories: About 500 per serving.

Original recipe cited from Foodnetwork.com, Ellie Krieger.

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