Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Pasta Primavera

Yes, I am quite aware that it is Autumn and not Spring.  Try telling that to my vegetable garden.  Really, most of the vegetables used in a classic Pasta Primavera are late-summer veggies like yellow squash and zucchini (both of which I am not using today because I don't like them).

Pasta Primavera is all about the veggies rather than the sauce and cheese.  They are there for accent.  I'm following Giada's lead and roasting everything except the tomatoes.  Her sauce is also lighter than some of the others I found.

I was surprised to find out this dish is an American invention and less than 50 years old.  Kind of like chop suey, which doesn't exist in China.

This was the first time I used the julienne inserts on my mandoline.  It was both fun and terrifying.  Those things point up!  Wore the chain-mail cut resistant glove for this one.  I got some lovely sticks of veggies for the carrots and eggplant that would have taken forever by hand.  The rest I did the old-fashioned way, to give my blood pressure time to return to normal.

3 medium carrots, peeled and julienned
1 medium eggplant, julienned
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 onion, halved and sliced thinly
1/4 C olive oil
*1 Tb Italian seasoning (yay!)
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb pasta of choice
*1 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
parmesan cheese for garnish

1.  Preheat oven to 450º and start boiling a large pot of water.  In a large bowl, toss veggies except for tomatoes in olive oil and spices.  Spread evenly on a baking sheet and roast in oven until tender, stirring every 10 minutes.  It will take 20 to 30 minutes total.

2.  After first stir, start cooking the pasta.  When done, drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid, and rinse.  Return pasta to the pot and add a touch more oil to keep it from sticking together.

3.  Add roasted veggies to the pasta.  Once combined, add tomatoes.  Slowly add some of the reserved pasta water until it no longer appears dry.  Serve, topping with a small amount of parmesan.  Don't drown out the taste of the veggies.

Serves about 6

Difficulty rating :)

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