Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pasta Primavera

A meatless pasta with green veggies in a basil sauce.


I had a huge bag a broccoli florets in the fridge.  Guess where they came from....that's right Costco.  My husband and I have been eating tons of broccoli lately because we have been dipping it in blue cheese dressing.  We've used other vegetables too but broccoli is our favorite.  I was doubtful we would be able to get through the whole bag but we did.  After a week we only had 1-2 cups of broccoli left and we were out of blue cheese dip. 

Trying to use the last of the broccoli I remembered a recipe I saw for pasta primavera.  It being a very green pasta I decided I could use the broccoli in it.  I also had some celery, frozen peas, 2 small tomatoes, and a little leftover bruschetta.  Any good pantry has pasta in it and I had the bow ties so I decided on them.  The only thing I had to buy specifically for this meal was the basil.  I used Thai basil because it is much easier and cheaper to get here and I don't think the flavor is too different. 

This is a great pasta full of vegetables.  You can use just about any green vegetable you have in it.  The more veggies the better.


Ingredients:

Modified from Food Wishes Video Recipes:  Pasta Primavera

2 cups small broccoli florets
1 cup celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup bruchetta, optional (it was leftover)
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan
1 bunch basil
1-2 cloves garlic
1 14 oz can chicken broth (or vegetable broth to make this vegetarian)
1 pound pasta, slightly under cooked
salt and pepper to taste

Blanch the basil leaves (this helps lock in the beautiful green color) by dunking in boiling water then cooling in ice water.  Place the basil leaves, 1-2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil and half a can of chicken broth.  Puree until combined and smooth, set aside.

Heat a large saute pan over medium low heat.  Add olive oil and onions and sweat for about 5 minutes or until soft.  Then add the celery, broccoli and peas and rest of the chicken broth. Simmer for another 5-10 minutes until soft (add salt and pepper to taste).  Last, stir in the tomatoes, bruscheta, and half of the basil mixture.  Cook for a few minutes longer until tomatoes are soft. 

Meanwhile cook your pasta, any variety will do, in boiling, salted water and drain.

Remove the saute pan from heat and add in the pasta.  Stir and mix well then add the rest of the basil sauce and the Parmesan.  Mix again and cover for at least 5 minutes.  The pasta should absorb most of the liquid (I over cooked my pasta and it didn't absorb much liquid so my pasta sauce was kind of runny but it still tasted fantastic).

Makes 4-6 servings.  Serve topped with more Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.  Enjoy.


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