Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Green Summer Spaghetti with Vegetables


Last week I woke up with a thought of the fresh vegetables with slightly creamy spaghetti. I know all the foodies have dreams about food...we can smell it in our dreams, don't we? 
After our typical mid morning breakfast we went grocery shopping for ingredients that I needed. Even though my husband had to go to work that night, I had a pleasure enjoying it all by myself. 
While I was watching the sunset from my dining room going down behind the highest hill, which seemed not that far away looking with my naked eyes, each bite of this pasta was amazingly delicious. 
Kids were of course, having way too much fun at the pool with my in-laws, so I had an evening all to myself. It is nice from time to time just to have those kind of calm dinners to enjoy and collect your thoughts. Some girls/women love to go and have a massage, some maybe pedicures, or go dancing, but I just love to have peaceful evenings without anybody disturbing me...and I feel grateful that I can have those moments every once in a while.
For today's dinner idea I have just what I was dreaming about --spaghetti with vegetables. It is meatless, reduced in fat, full of nutrition but still I felt like it was comfortably hugging my stomach. It is probably the most basic dinner that you can make in very short period of time. While I was putting all the veggies in the pan to stir-fry, the aroma was just incredibly pleasant, making me even more hungry. I make this often, and usually without sauce because it is quicker, and of course sometimes I really don't want to eat dairy, which is crazy considering how much I love cheese but... 
I did a photo-shoot and then my dinner made it to the table. Let me show you how to do it so you can enjoy it too!

YOU can check one my favorites: Spaghetti aglio e olio



Serves 2-3
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Ingredients:
  • Spaghetti 
  • 1 Tbs. Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 Green Onions
  • 1 cup Fresh Broccoli, florets
  • 1 cup Fresh Asparagus, chopped
  • 5 Mushrooms
  • Sprinkle of Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt + 1 tsp. for the water
  • Dash of Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. Dry Italian Herbs {mix}
Sauce:
  • Drop of Olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 fresh Basil, minced
  • Sprinkle of dry basil
  • 1 cup half & half {or heavy whipping cream}
  • Dash of Salt and Pepper/or to taste
  • 1 Tbs. Parmigiana Cheese
  • 1 Tbs. all purpose Flour
  • Handful Mozzarella Cheese
Garnish:
  • Fresh Basil
  • Spring Onions, thinly sliced
Directions:
  1. Boil salted Water and drop the pasta in; while pasta is cooking start preparing vegetables.
  2. Wash all the vegetables first and smash the garlic, chop the green onions, chop the asparagus into 1 inch, cut broccoli florets separating it from the root, and slice mushrooms. 
  3. Pour the oil in the pan and start with putting first garlic and green onion slices; stir-fry for few seconds. Add asparagus, broccoli and mushrooms.( you can cook asparagus and broccoli until tender in the hot water if they are not very young) 
  4. Season the vegetables with salt, pepper, sprinkle of red crushed pepper and toss in bit of dry herbs; Stir Fry for next 2-3 minutes, then cover and leave it aside.
  5. Once the pasta is done drain it and drop in the pan with vegetables;cover. 
Delcious homemade Green Summer Spaghetti with Vegetables
  • If you are VEGAN or do not eat dairy, then just add everything except the sauce and use egg free pasta, or gluten free, whatever your diet requires. Toss veggies and pasta a bit over the high heat with olive oil, garlic and herbs and you are good to go!
Sauce:
  1. In a cup or a bowl I like to add 5 Tbs water with 1 Tbs. Of all purpose flour to make it extra smooth before putting it in the saucepan; mix it until smooth and lump free, set aside until ready to be used. It is also similar to Roux but fat free. 
  2. In a saucepan, add pressed garlic with olive oil. 
  3. Let the oil get infused with garlic;
  4. Add both dry and fresh basil; stir
  5. Pour in half and half {or heavy whipping cream}
  6. Season the sauce with salt and ground black pepper. 
  7. Add Parmigiana Cheese and pour on top slowly and a little bit of the time smooth flour + water mixture; stir until it is combined well; you do not have to pour all the mixture if you see it's thick enough, because it can get really thick and you would need to pour more milk, or half and half/whipped cream to make it thinner. 
  8. Once your sauce is completely combined turn off the heat, add mozzarella cheese and stir in. 
  9. Pour the sauce over the pasta and vegetables, little bit at the time.
  10. Garnish the spaghetti with fresh basil and extra spring onions if desired
This can be served hot or warm!

*Notes: 
  • You can place it in the fridge in airtight container. Use it in the next 2-3 days. 
  • Measuring pasta is not all that hard, hold it in between the index finger and the thumb making a circle around the pasta. For each adult consider a portion about the size of a nickel. For the larger appetite makes a portion of either 2 nickels or a quarter.
  • I don't like heavy sauces, nor to see the sauce dominate the pasta so I just use for this portion for two in the pan probably 1/2 ladle of sauce just to give me that extra creaminess.
Thank you for stopping by today and come back soon!

Your friend,
Sandra 

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