Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Low fat spagetti primavera

















I have this Italian cook book of sunset publications sitting in my shelf for say 2 years. The one dish that has repeatedly captured me was their primavera which was said to be feasted by Botticelli models after their modelling...nice ah....but ...like the usual dishes it was prepared with butter and heavy cream.....I came up with my low fat version by substituting fiber enriched Ronzoni's thin spaghetti in a box for fresh egg pasta, whole milk and cornstarch for heavy cream.
I also threw in some my favorite vegetables. You can easily make a Vegan pasta primavera out of this but substituting milk with water/vegetable stock and 2 tablespoon plain Tofutti(soy based cream cheese). This is a very healthy dish as it has a cartload of vegetables.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
8 OZ dried thin fiber enriched spaghetti(You can use any noodle like pasta, even wheat spaghetti will taste good, 80z is half the box of pasta available in unites states)
1 cup whole milk
1 spoon cornstarch
1/2 spoon dried basil
1/2 spoon pepper
2 table spoon olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan
salt to taste

2 shallots diced
10 asparagus stalks cut into small pieces(I used frozen asparagus from Trader Joe's)
4 spring onion stalks, white green all cut into small pieces
1 orange bell pepper cut into thin strips
1/4 cup frozen peas
6 baby carrots sliced(I would suggest to omit these ..because they did not taste good in left overs...yes I ate the same thing for lunch the next day...yum)
1 small zucchini diced
1 pack Enoki mushrooms ..bottom trimmed(I got this from Asian market and since I had only this in the pantry..i used this..gave a pretty look... feel free to substitute with white button mushrooms , which was the ones used in original recipe)

Method:

Boil noodles according to package drain and keep aside
Take a wide pan. Heat olive oil in medium saute shallots when they glisten, add peppers, asparagus, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms. Saute till the vegetables are still in shape but cooked. I do it by closing it with a lid for say 3 minutes. You need to check with your cooking range though and also peek in between.... if you suspect charring, open and give a stir. Once veggies cook add peas and spring onions, basil, pepper and salt. saute for another minute.

Now mix cornstarch into the cold milk and pour it over the vegetables. On medium heat let it come to a slow boil.
Now add the spaghetti, and Parmesan mix well and serve. Note that I have used noodles and spaghetti and even pasta interchangeably for dish .

For vegan version microwave Tofutti for say 40 seconds, add vegetable stock or water and mix so they are incorporated. Add it instead of milk and let it bubble. You can adjust the amount of Tofutti as per your taste and use vegan Parmesan too.

Even though it may look daunting with lot of vegetables, it is very easy and quick. Put the noodles to boil, prepare the vegtables when the noodl es are cooking ...drian the noodles and then prepare the sauce...in this order it will come about quickly...

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