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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

food blog 2 of 3, fast pasta primavera

ever had pasta primavera? what the hell is it? well, it just a bunch of veggies and pasta. fancy name, simple dish. how simple? following my directions, you can be eating this dish in the time it takes to boil the pasta.

ingredients:
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips

  • 3 zucchinis, sliced into thick rounds

  • 1 pound greenbeans, cut in half

  • optional, i head of cauliflower, cut into bite size chunks, and a couple heads of broccoli, ditto.

  • 1 pound of pasta. i used angel hair, simply because it was the only pasta in the pantry, but rigatoni, bow-tie, fettucini, or really, any pasta will do

  • italian salad dressing. i use good seasons garlic and herb mix for a lot of cooking chores. it works really well in this dish, but any italian or similar dressing works well. i use red wine vinegar when making this, along with olive oil.
  • grated cheese. i like asiago cheese, so that's what i used on this dish. Parmesan works too.

bottom line: use the veggies that are in season. this dish changes throughout the year, depending on what we find at the farmer's market, or the local supermarket.

prep the salad dressing per label instructions:


how does this only take the time to cook the pasta? easy. first, get the water on to boil, adding a palmful of kosher salt (my favorite for cooking...no weird iodine taste to contend with) when the water starts to boil.
HINTuse a steamer pot. you know, the kind where you boil the water in a pot, with a steamer double pot on top.
prep the veggies while the water is coming to a boil.
since i used angel hair, and it cooks in like 5 minutes, i put the veggies in the steamer as soon as i got them cut up. i left them there for about 3 minutes after the water started to boil. if you use a pasta that takes 8 to 10 minutes to cook, everything goes on the stove at the same time.

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once the water is boiling, lift the steamer basket, dump in the pasta, give it a stir or two, and place the steamer back on top on the pot.

when the pasta is cooked per package directions, remove the steamer, and drain the pasta.
place the pasta in a bowl, dump in the veggies, and top with a good healthy dose of salad dressing, and toss.
plate, and grate the cheese right on top.
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time from starting the water to table, about 20 minutes. yummy. as you can see from the photo, one of my favorite condiments is
vietnamese chili garlic sauce. the one available around these parts comes from Huy Fong Foods. i use this to give the dish a big kick in the pants. it's in keeping with the calibiri style of cooking, only it's a vietnamese rather than italian seasoning. um um good. go easy on it though, unless you are a true pepper head.

as always, if you try this recipe, or it inspires you to try something different, please let me know how it turned out. i'm always looking for fresh and clever ideas to improve my own cooking skills and recipes.

for a complete list of my online recipes, follow the link here

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