Pasta with Creamy Veggies and Pine Nuts
Do you like counting calories? If so, then this dish is for you: There are more calories here than you can shake a stick at. You can count them all day long! I have no idea just how many, but it really doesn't matter if all you currently want is a delicious pasta meal that will find approval all around.
If you are watching your weight, then this is probably not your best choice – unless, of course, you feel like indulging a bit. Your picky eater should love it – just like everyone in my family does. Obviously, this dish is also mostly beige – making it perfect for our purposes on this site.
Next, there are plenty of vegetables nicely embedded within the sauce – making it easy to present them to your picky eater, but also making it very easy to pick them out should your difficult eater refuse to eat them. In the end, this dish tends to make everybody happy.
Even better, you don't need to stick too closely to any of the quantities I suggest. If you like your sauce a bit more liquid, simply add a bit more milk or cream. You like the flavor of tomato? Add more tomato paste. Dislike pine nuts? Use fewer or skip them altogether. You can really play around with these ingredients to make the dish just the way you and your family like it!
I have been making this dish for about 20 years or so and have changed very little since my first endeavor into making Pasta Primavera. I've played around with the consistency of the sauce, but my original version still stands the test of time. I suggest you start with the quantities I have provided – and make adjustments later on to suit your preferences. Remember, this dish is about you and those you cook for – it needs to appeal to the recipients!
To top it all off, this beige recipe is super easy to make, takes around 20 minutes to complete, and is utterly satisfying.
½ lb. Penne.
scant 1/2 cup Pine Nuts.
1 cup Carrots, julienned.
1 cup Yellow Squash, halved and then thinly sliced.
1 cup Zucchini, halved and then thinly sliced.
2 Tbs. Olive Oil, divided.
1 Tbs. All-Purpose Flour.
1 Tbs. Tomato Paste.
½ cup Heavy Cream.
½ cup Whole Milk.
1 cup Parmesan, grated.
Let's get started:
Heat a large pasta pot with salted water over high heat.
Add the pasta, stir a few times, and cook until al dente (mine tends to take about 12 minutes).
Put a small pan over medium low heat.
Add the pine nuts.
Shake and stir constantly until the pine nuts turn nice and golden. Pay close attention to them – they
Once the pine nuts have an appealing color, make sure to remove them from the pan. If you leave them, the remaining heat of the pan will continue to brown and eventually burn them.
Put a large pan over medium heat.
Add 1 Tbs. olive oil and let heat up for a minute or so.
Add the julienned carrots.
Stir until coated with oil.
Saute for about 1 minute.
Add the yellow squash and zucchini.
Stir and saute, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes or until the vegetables start to brown.
Remove the vegetables from the pan.
Add 1 Tbs. of olive oil to the pan.
Add 1 Tbs. of flour.
Stir and integrate until you have a thick paste (it's like making a roux, just with olive oil).
Add the milk and the cream.
Stir until the roux has dissolved.
Add 1 Tbs. of tomato paste.
Stir and integrate the ingredients.
At this point, you will notice that the sauce starts to get thick rather quickly. If it is too thick for you,
add a bit more cream (or, if you feel guilty, you can also add more milk).
Add the vegetables.
By now, your pasta should be al dente.
Drain and add the cooked pasta to the pan with the cream and vegetables.
Add the grated parmesan.
Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Add the toasted pine nuts.