Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Recipe: Pasta Primavera

I made this recipe the other night and was reminded once again of how much I love it. My mom used to make it when I was growing up, and it was always a family favorite.  It is a simple, vegetarian dish that is a nice change from meat and potatoes.  And I think it could be easily "veganized" by using vegan cream, vegan Parmesan and Earth Balance in place of butter.
The creamy, delicious onion/garlic/mushroom/tomato sauce
First start by melting 2 Tbsp.of butter in a large pan over medium high heat.  Add a medium sized onion (chopped), 2 garlic cloves (minced), and 8 ounces of sliced button mushrooms.  Next add a half teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and let these ingredients cook down a bit. The onion will become translucent and tender, while the mushrooms will turn a nice golden brown (about 8 minutes).  To this mixture add one can of diced tomatoes, juice and all.  Then pour in a cup of heavy whipping cream.  Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and set it aside.  We'll come back to this delicious pink, creamy mixture soon.
Pasta and green veggies all cooked together
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 12 ounces of fettuccine pasta..  Add 2 Tbsp. salt and 2 Tbsp. pepper (I know that sounds like a lot, but it is really necessary to season the pasta).  Let the noodles cook for about six minutes, then add a pound of chopped fresh asparagus.  Yes, add the asparagus to the boiling pot of pasta.  You can cook the veggies and the pasta all at once!  Genius!  Let the asparagus cook one minute, then add 1 cup chopped zucchini. Let it cook about 2 minutes, then add a cup of frozen peas.  Allow another minute or two of cooking time to pass, then drain the pasta and veggies.  Return them to the pot and then take your mushroom and onion mixture that you set aside earlier and add it to the pasta and veggies.  Pour in 2 Tbsp. of fresh squeezed lemon juice, a 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and a Tbsp. of chopped fresh basil.  Give everything a good stir to combine, and serve with a big slice of crusty bread and some more Parmesan cheese on top.  It is so, so good!  I think a light meal like this is perfect for a summer night.  

The two dishes before being combined.  I forgot to take a photo of the final product because we ate it up too fast.  You'll just have to make it to see for yourself! 

PS--I picked out the asparagus because I don't like it.  Mike loves it though, so I am a good wife and include it.  I have substituted fresh green beans, though, and it is good either way!


Rachel said...

do you use Earth Balance? I'm impressed you knew what the vegan replacement was called cause I had no idea!! oh, and it sound YUMMMY!! can't wait to give it a try!

Jacquelyn said...

Still one of my favorites, thanks to you! :)

Emily said...

I don't use Earth Balance, but my parents always did. I just happen to know several vegans and I've picked up on some of the replacements! :)
Also..not sure why the last part of this post is highlighted. Hmmmm....

Susan Struck said...

That looks delicious!