April 07, 2005

Let's get cookin'

It's spring. The dogwoods and wisteria are all in bloom, and that nasty pine pollen has coated the town of Chapel Hill in a post-victory yellow dust. Blecch. I need to wash my car.....

Anyway, one of the things I love in the spring is a good pasta primavera with all of the veggies and herbs that are just starting to come in fresh. Here's a wonderful recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. It's great because you use packaged pasta and refrigerated alfredo sauce (makes it super quick!)

Rotini and Sweet Pepper Primavera

14 oz Asparagus spears
8 oz dried rotini or gemelli (I prefer gemelli)
1 large sweet red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup halved baby pattypan, or chopped summer, yellowneck, or zucchini squash (I like to use a mix of them)
1 10 oz container refrigerated light/low fat (or regular if you like) Alfredo sauce
2 Tbsp snipped fresh tarragon or thyme
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

1. Snap off and discard woody bases from asparagus spears. Bias-slice (diagonally) asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding asparagus, sweet bell pepper and squash too pasta for the last 3 minutes of cooking. Drain, return pasta and vegetable mixture to hot pan.
3. Meanwhile, for sauce, in a small saucepan combine alfredo sauce, tarragon or thyme and red pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat about 5 minutes or until heated through. Pour sauce over pasta and vegetables; stir gently to coat. If desired, garnish with fresh herbs and/or grated parmesan cheese.

prep time:20 minutes start to finish, serves 4.

Posted by caltechgirl at April 7, 2005 05:39 PM