Sometimes the simplest things are the most elegant. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that a recipe doesn’t need to have a lot of ingredients or a lot of complicated steps to be amazing, in fact sometimes it’s the most basic things that are the most delicious! Pasta with vegetables and garlic cream sauce is so delicious and flavorful, it’s hard to believe that you can put it together in no time at all. Not only that, but it’s also a great place to hide leftovers!
We are part of a produce co-op, and I sometimes get a few extra veggies or end up with something I’ve already got at home. Often I have the a few odds and ends in the fridge left over from making a salad, or I find that I’m one zucchini short of a side dish (yep, that describes me pretty well some days). I’ve found some fun ways to use up these “bonus veggies”.
When I end up with extras…often summer squash, bell peppers, tomatoes…I chop them up with an onion and toss them together. They go in a storage container in my fridge, ready to use at a moment’s notice. This way, I find that I use them up quickly rather than forget about them and let them sit in the back of the fridge and shrivel up. Suddenly, they’ve gone from produce to convenience food! Breakfast? Saute the veggies in a touch of olive oil, and make an omelette or frittata. Lunch? Sprinkle the veggies over a bed of greens and add a dash of your favorite salad dressing. Dinner? Fresh veggie pasta with garlic cream sauce!
For this easy pasta dish, you’ll need a mixture of your favorite fresh organic vegetables…I love the combination of summer squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, red and green bell peppers, red onion and fresh basil. If you happen to have something else that sounds good…leftover chicken, beef, or seafood…go ahead and get that out too! You’ll also need some organic cream, vegetable stock, fresh organic garlic, butter and extra virgin olive oil, and of course your favorite kind of pasta. I use organic rice spaghetti, but you can use whatever you’d like.
Start by tossing your fresh veggies into a pan with a splash of olive oil. Saute them until they are soft (I like mine just a tad underdone). Set the vegetables aside, now you’re ready to make the sauce!
This sauce is deliciously creamy, but it doesn’t require any flour or starch to thicken. This makes it a great choice for those who are gluten free. And it’s so easy! Melt a little butter in the pan with some olive oil, then saute the garlic in it until it’s transparent (don’t let it brown, it will get bitter).
Add a cup of vegetable stock, then two cups of organic cream. Bring it to a boil, and then just let it simmer until it thickens! It’s that easy. Toss in a handful of grated organic Parmesan cheese if you’d like, and then toss the noodles, sauce and vegetables together and serve. So simple, healthy and good!
- 2 or 3 cups of chopped organic vegetables...tomatoes, red onion, fresh basil, mushrooms, summer squash and sweet peppers are great. Leftover cooked chicken, beef or sea food are also nice additions.
- ½ tablespoon organic, grass fed butter
- ½ tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
- 4-5 cloves organic garlic, peeled and pressed or minced
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 cups organic, grass-fed whipping cream
- ½ cup grated organic Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 16 ounces of your favorite pasta
- Wash and chop the vegetables, then saute them with a splash of olive oil in a pan over high heat until they are crisp-tender. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set them aside.
- In the same pan, add the butter and olive oil. Saute the garlic in the olive oil and butter, until transparent (don't let it brown, or it will be bitter).
- Add the vegetable stock to the garlic in the pan, and then the cream. Bring to a simmer, add the cheese and then simmer the sauce continually until it reduces by half and becomes thick. You'll need to stir the sauce fairly frequently, to prevent it from sticking to the pan and burning.
- When the garlic cream sauce starts to thicken, start the water for the pasta boiling and cook your pasta according to the package directions.
- Drain and rinse the pasta. In a large bowl, toss the pasta, vegetables (and any cooked meat you want to add) and the sauce together.
- Store leftover pasta in an airtight container in the fridge.
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Do you have a favorite go-to pasta recipe?