Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spring Veggie Penne "Alfredo"

Sometimes a meal is so good that you decided the recipe must go on the blog, even though it is a crazy Tuesday night, your DSLR camera battery is dead, and you have exactly 12 seconds to finish eating dinner before your wild two year old demands he is "all done." So you whip out your cell phone, put your plate on the floor in the only place of the house that has any natural light available, tell your dog to scoot, and snap the world's most blah picture of this amazing pasta dish!  I have missed out on blogging lots of amazing recipes because I didn't have the opportunity to photograph the dish. I always tell myself, next time I will make sure to plan better, but that hardly happens. So I am putting my perfectionism away and posting this recipe for you! 

This pasta was so delicious and creamy but also very fresh and full of wonderful spring flavors. The sauce is reminiscent of an alfredo but has far less cream and butter and cheese in it than a traditional alfredo sauce.  It still has a great silky texture that coats the pasta nicely but doesn't feel too heavy and it tastes amazing too.  As always, feel free to change out any of the ingredients - use different shaped pasta, use a different combo of vegetables, add a protein if you wish - just customize away until the recipe suits your preferences.  Another huge plus for this recipe is that it took less than 20 minutes to make!  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.  Let me know if you try any other combos of ingredients that work well together! 
Spring Veggie Penne "Alfredo"

2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 green onions, sliced
1 sm red bell pepper, diced
1 cup asparagus pieces, 1" pieces
1 cup quartered baby portabella mushrooms
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups low/no sodium stock of your choice
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Fresh parsely or basil, optional
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb box Penne pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt the water, cook the pasta for one minute less than the box's instructions for al dente, and drain well.  While the water is coming to a boil, prep all of your veggies. Then, heat the butter and olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or saucepan.  Add the veggies, season with salt and pepper to taste, and cook for about 10 minutes or until veggies are just tender.  Stir in the flour, cook for one minute and then whisk in the stock.  I used chicken stock because that is what I had on hand but veggie stock would work great too.  Let the sauce bubble for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens slightly.  Stir in the cream, the parmesan cheese and the cooked pasta.  Let this bubble away for about 2 more minutes until the pasta is cooked perfectly.  Serve with additional grated parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs, if desired.