Monday, February 18, 2008

Tonight's Dinner: Pasta Primavera

Vegetarianism has descended on my kitchen again because I am too lazy to cook/buy meat and eager to use all the vegetables I have in my fridge. Tonight's dinner is pasta primavera, which can be made in about half an hour if you have some vegetables handy!

Pasta Primavera
12 oz linguini or any kind of pasta you want to use

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 orange or yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 head broccoli, cleaned and cut into bite size florets
1 cup baby tomatoes, halved
2 cups baby spinach, washed

1/3 cup heavy cream (or 1/2 cup half and half. I happened to have left over heavy cream)
1 cup chicken broth (or water or white wine. I only had water today but it was fine.)
1/3 to 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 - 3 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs (or seasoned Italian bread crumbs)
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or use dried. I happened to have fresh)

Boil a large pot of water and cook pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta (do not rinse).

In a large sautee pan over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions, sprinkle with some salt, and cook until translucent and slightly brown.

Add sliced bell peppers and sautee until peppers are nearly done.

Add broccoli florets, stir to cook for about 3 minutes or until almost cooked.

Add the cream, chicken stock, and thyme to the pan with the vegetables and bring mixture to boil. Add baby tomatoes and spinach, stir to combine until spinach is wilted. Add the parmesan cheese and stir until incorporated. The sauce will be thin. Add bread crumbs to thicken the sauce to your liking. Salt and pepper to taste.

Add the pasta into the sautee pan and cook it with the sauce over low heat for one to two minutes until sauce and pasta is well combined.

Serves 4.

p.s. You might want to add more cheese or bread crumbs depending on your liking. The types of vegetables are flexible. These are just what I happened to have. I think the onion and bell peppers are pretty essential to the flavor.

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