Thursday, August 16, 2012

Veggies in Cream with Pasta

' Tis the season for harvesting your garden, and searching out what's in season from your local farmers markets or roadside produce stands. And almost any you can get on sale can go into my latest scrumptious recipe, Veggies in Cream with Pasta.


Picked up a fresh ears of corn from the roadside stand on the way home from work? Are your farmers market rickety folding tables creaking under the weight of carrots and other root vegetables? Did you just get back from foraging in the dank corners of your secret forest floor hideaways for exotic local mushrooms? My garden is bursting at the seams with fava bean pods -- those shelled beauties are going into my next Veggies in Cream with Pasta for sure.


Use what you got, what's in season, and on sale for this rustic pasta dish. When you braise the veggies in cream to tenderness, you know it will taste great. And finish it all off with a few tablespoons of dried or fresh shaved parmesan. I've been finding cream and whipping cream at my local 99c only Store, so you will be seeing a few more recipes using rich sweet dairy.


The latest 99 Cent Chef entree is simple and to the point, and I hope you will enjoy the harvest of fresh flavors in my Veggies in Cream with Pasta.


Ingredients (1 to 2 servings)
  • 1/4 to a 1/3 package of pasta - about 4 to 6 ounces. I used wheat spaghetti, but you can use any favorite pasta.
  • 1/2 cup of cream - whipping cream or half and half. Okay to use whole or low fat milk.
  • 2 cups total of chopped veggies - I used carrots, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, squash and bell pepper. It's okay to use any veggies you have on hand. Add or subtract from my list -- make this recipe your own!
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic - from jar or fresh
  • 2 tablespoons of shaved or dried parmesan cheese - optional.
  • 1 tablespoon oil - for sauteing veggies. Use a favorite flavorful one.
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water for boiling pasta

Directions
Chop veggies into bite-sized pieces. You can use almost any you have on hand: cauliflower, peas, spinach, plus the ones listed above. (Carrots can be pre-cut, or just slice up one whole carrot.)


Start water boiling for the pasta. Okay to pre-cooked pasta as well. Add pasta about the time you start cooking the veggies. Cook until done then drain. I used wheat pasta this time and was impressed with the texture and taste.


Add one tablespoon of oil to pan, over a medium heat. I cooked the onion, carrots and mushrooms for a couple of minutes first, as they take longer to cook through -- then added the rest. Saute and stir veggies for about 3 - 5 more minutes. The veggies will finish cooking once the cream  (or milk) is added.



Add half a cup of cream (okay to substitute with whole or low-fat milk.) Bring liquid to a low simmer and cook until veggies are desired tenderness. I cooked mine for about 3 more minutes - I like a crunchy texture. If you like them well-done then cook more, but you may need to add more liquid the longer you cook it all.

Add dried parmesan cheese (or fresh shaved) to cream sauce just before serving. If you have a large saute pan you can add the pasta into the cream sauce -- otherwise just pour on the sauce, with veggies, over the cooked pasta.

 Hindsight
I sauteed all the veggies together, but you could steam the most crunchy and longer cooking ones first, to desired tenderness. Kind of depends on what veggies you have on hand.

Some tender greens and veggies like fresh spinach or green peas can be added during the last couple of minutes when the cream is added -- they will cook fast enough.

3 comments:

JustWalt said...

Thanks. I enjoy your style and the fact that, like me, you frequent 99Cent Only stores. I'm bummed because that store quit carrying the cream cheese I used to develop my cheesecake recipe.
And I'm glad that, like me, you use the $1 parmesan from 99Cent Only too.
If you ever want to check out my blog you can find it at http://www.cheap-bastid-cooks.com

JustWalt said...

I love your penchant for 99Cent Only stores. It's how I came up with my cheesecake recipe (although the graham cracker crust came from Dollar Tree). And like you, I'm not too proud to use the parmesan from the 99cent store.
Thanks.
If you ever get a chance, check me out at http://www.cheap-bastid-cooks.com
We have a similar philosophy.

Xenia G. said...

Yum! Glad the 99 Cent store featured your blog on Facebook today!

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