Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A Recipe // Summertime Garden Primavera

Because it was to be our very first summer at our new house, we decided against planting a garden for a variety of reasons.  First, we thought we better focus on growing a lawn before a vegetable garden.  And second, we needed to live here a summer to get a feel for logistics.  Where will the kids play catch?  Where should the swing set go?  Where will we get the most sun?  Needless to say, we missed our garden a lot this summer, missed the satisfaction of growing our own food and the challenge of keeping it healthy and thriving throughout the summer months.  

We've been making due with frequent Saturday morning trips to the Farmer's Market, and were giddy when my brother's girlfriend's mom, who runs a substantial Farmer's Market business, sent Katie to our house with a box full of colorful vegetables last weekend.  I always love the challenge of finding new recipes to use up the produce before it goes bad, and love a good end-of-the-week stir-fry or primavera that uses just about anything.  So in case you have found yourself in that end-of-summer garden slump, with tomatoes coming out of your ears and no more ideas for those peppers, here is a delicious pasta recipe that is about as good the next day as it is the night you serve it.  

Garden Primavera // 

1 lb. pasta (I used penne noodles)
4 tbs. butter (I always use real butter)
3 tbs. olive oil
1/2 of yellow onion, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced (or a couple of heaping spoonfuls of that minced garlic you can find in your local grocer's produce aisle
4-6 cups of vegetables, depending on size

***For this recipe, I used one head of broccoli (chopped), a bunch of mini carrots (thinly sliced), one medium zuchini (sliced and halved), two small summer squash (also sliced and halved), and a red bell pepper, thinly sliced.  You could also use asparagus, mushrooms, other peppers, etc., pretty much whatever you have on hand.  The amount of veggies doesn't really matter, but you may want to adjust the amount of sauce you add in later.

The Sauce:

1/4 cup of dry white wine (I used chardonnay)
1/2 cup of chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
5-6 basil leaves, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas (if you don't have them, don't sweat it)

1.  First, prep your veggies.  Set aside. 

2.  Heat 3 tbsp. butter with 3 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for a minute or two, until they start to turn translucent.

3.  Start to throw in your vegetables, starting with the ones that will take longer to cook.  I threw in my broccoli and carrots first, cooked for a few minutes, then added my squash, zucchini, and pepper.  After they are cooked, transfer the veggies to a plate.

4.  Add pasta to slightly salted boiling water and cook to al dente.

5.  To make the sauce, pour 1/4 cup white wine into the skillet.  Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, and the remaining 1 tbsp. butter and scrape the bottom of the skillet to pull up the flavor left from the veggies.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until the liquid starts to thicken.

6.  Add 1 cup whipping cream and 1 cup half-and-half.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add chopped basil and frozen peas, and stir.  Dump veggies back in the sauce and heat on low until your pasta is cooked.

7.  Drain pasta and throw in the skillet (if there's room!).  Mix pasta, veggies, and sauce and top with more parmesan, salt, pepper, and basil.    

Bon Appetite!  


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