Pasta with Vegetables in Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce

by elleryturner

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus.  Sometimes life just gets in the way of cooking fabulous healthy food, uploading pictures, and writing witty and educational posts about said fabulous food.  I’m not apologizing though (just explaining).  After all, I have a full-time job.  Of people who blog AS their full-time job?  I’m jealous.  Of people who have a full-time job and keep a full-time blog?  I’m suspicious.  We all know what you’re really doing in that cubicle…  My suspicions aside, as my first post back in action, I bring you a delicious pasta dish!

I’ll be the first to admit – there’s nothing terribly inspired about pasta with vegetables.  But you know what?  Sometimes, I’m just not inspired.  So shoot me.  However, it’s my opinion that nothing makes a better comfort meal especially when you coat it in a creamy, tangy, garlicky sauce.  And before you point out that anything with “cream” in the description is bound to be bad for you, this one is not so!  And it involves ingredients you most likely already have in your fridge and pantry.  So next time it’s raining out, you’re too lazy to put on a pair of real pants, or you’re still hungover at dinnertime – all extremely valid reasons for not leaving the house – let this be your go-to meal! 

Pasta with Vegetables in Garlic Parmesan Cream Sauce   (serves 4)

2 cups uncooked whole-wheat pasta

3/4 cup butternut squash, diced

1 1/2 cups grape tomatoes

1 cup broccoli heads, chopped

3/4 cup sliced mushrooms

4 kale leaves, torn into pieces

1 garlic clove, minced or crushed

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 cup chicken stock

1/4 cup low-fat milk

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350.  Place tomatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 20 minutes.

Step 2: Pre-heat saute pan to medium, drizzle in olive oil, and saute vegetables.  Whatever vegetables you’re using, add those that will take slightly longer first.  If you’re using the exact vegetables here, saute squash and broccoli for 5 minutes.  Add kale and mushrooms, saute for 5 more minutes.  Turn heat down to low.

Step 3:  While your veggies are cooking, bring a big pot of water to a boil, add pasta, and cook according to package directions.

Step 4: While the pasta boils, heat butter in a small saucepan on the stove on medium/medium-high.  Add garlic to melted butter and let simmer until fragrant – about 1 minute.  Whisk flour into the butter and garlic and let cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently.  I used whole wheat flour – if you use white, your mixture will be a little lighter.

Step 5: Whisk in chicken stock and bring to a boil, boiling for about 4 minutes, whisking frequently.  Once your sauce has started to thicken, add milk and cheese, and let boil for a minute or two more – continuing to whisk frequently.  Add salt and pepper to the sauce.

Step 6:  Strain cooked pasta and place into a bowl.  Add sauteed vegetables and roasted tomatoes.  Pour sauce over the top and mix together, topping off with a little more salt and pepper and sprinkle of parmesan.  Serve and enjoy!

This recipe, like every other recipe on here, can be fully manipulated to suite your particular tastes (or whatever you have on hand).  Feel free to swap the wheat flour for white, any of the vegetables for any others, the low-fat milk for something a little richer or add some chicken, sausage or shrimp if you’re feeling particularly carnivorous. 

This recipe is just about as whatever’s-in-your-kitchen friendly as you can get.  Friendly just like me.  Unless you pretend to have a full-time blog and full-time job.  Whatever.