Friday, April 24, 2009

Light and Easy Pasta Primavera

We're halfway to next week's scheduled organic produce pickup, so we'd better continue with our new-found healthy eating. I know I've already lost a couple pounds!

This dish is reminiscent of my college days. One of the dorm cafeterias had a pasta station. Students could order an endless combination of veggies: peppers, mushrooms, olives, onions, carrots, broccoli, etc.

I had a couple very ripe tomatoes and a red pepper that needed to be eaten today. Kaylee and I just had two delicious helpings of this healthy, meat-free, veggie-packed pasta dish. Feel free to vary the ingredients with whatever you have on hand. Believe me... with all the fresh flavors, you won't miss the meat!
1/3 pound dry pasta
1 large ripe tomato, chopped
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup broccoli florets
2 green onions, diced
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup half and half
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Cook the pasta to al dente, per box instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining.

While pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan. Saute the tomatoes, bell pepper, and broccoli for about two minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for three more minutes, stirring frequently. Allow the tomatoes to soften, and the juices to start to evaporate, forming a thick sauce. Add the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce, and stir in the herbs. Reduce the heat to low, and stir in the half and half, and the cooked pasta. Season with salt and pepper, and cook for one more minute. Serve immediately, topping hot pasta with Parmesan cheese.
Enjoy :)

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