Monday, May 31, 2010

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

With lots of fresh veggies to use and fresh butter on hand pasta primavera was a natural choice. The alfredo sauce comes from PASTA by Williams-Sonoma, the rest was improvised on the spot.

Makes ~ 6 servings

1 1/2 cups heavy cream
7 tbsp unsalted butter
6 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 lb fettuccine
1 bunch swiss chard
2-3 small green onions
1 head broccoli
1-2 tomatoes

GRATE Parmesan (if not already grated)
WASH all veggies
ROUGHLY CHOP swiss chard, separate stems from leaves
CHOP broccoli, onions, and tomatoes, keeping separate

BRING a pot of water to a boil

BRING cream and 5 tbsp butter to a boil in a large saucepan
REDUCE heat to low
SIMMER for 1 minute
ADD Parmesan and whisk until smooth
REMOVE from heat and season to taste with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. (About 1/4 tsp each works for me)

MELT 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet
ADD swiss chard stems, onions, and broccoli
COOK 2-3 minutes until beginning to soften
ADD swiss chard leaves, cook until wilted (2-3 minutes)
REMOVE from heat

SALT boiling water
ADD pasta
COOK until al dente
DRAIN pasta
PLACE in a large bowl
POUR on sauce
ADD vegetables
TOSS well
TOP with chopped tomatoes and additional Parmesan cheese


My Thoughts
1. This is not a difficult recipe but it does require having lots of things going on in the kitchen at once. If you don't have someone to help you, prep as much as you can in advance (measuring out precise amounts, etc) so that you can move things along as smoothly as possible. You can run many of these things in parallel, depending on your comfort level in the kitchen.

2. You can easily swap in other vegetables or add cooked chicken to alter this dish.

3. You can also steam your veggies and add them in once the sauce is cooked. An easy way to do this is to place your veggies in a microwave safe bowl with some water at the bottom. Microwave uncovered for about 30 seconds and voila! steamed veggies.

4. The cream sauce does not reheat particularly well, so this is best served immediately.

5. For a little extra flavor, add minced garlic to the butter and cook for 1-2 minutes before sautéing the veggies.

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