Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Penne with Pesto Cream Sauce & Sautéed Vegetables

When I arrived home from a weekend trip, I discovered that my vegetables were on their last legs, and my pesto cream sauce needed to be used ASAP! Well, I also wasn’t feeling very inspired, so everything went into this pasta dish. In spite of this, I am happy to report that it turned out quite well, and the sauce was surprisingly light and wonderful for the warm spring evening.

Pesto Cream Sauce
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4th teaspoon coarse sea salt
1/8th teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
2 Tablespoons prepared pesto
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Reggiano

Mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on medium low heat. Stir constantly until thickened. Set aside.

Pasta Instructions
17.6 ounce (500g) bag penne pasta
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pound Asparagus, rough ends removed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
2 ½ cups chopped leeks (See notes for cleaning)
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 cup reserved pasta water
½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 cup shredded Parmesan Reggiano

Cook penne pasta according to package directions in heavily salted water. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water toward the end of cooking, then strain the pasta.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat until shiny. Add the garlic and sauté for about 10 seconds. Then put in the asparagus and a pinch of salt & pepper and cook for 1 minute. Next, add the leeks and heat until softened slightly and warmed through, stirring occasionally for about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the fresh tomatoes. Stir to combine.

In a large bowl, toss together the pasta, vegetable mixture, pesto cream sauce, reserved pasta water, ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt, lots of fresh cracked pepper to taste, and the Parmesan Reggiano. Serve immediately.

Notes: If you’ve never cleaned leeks before, there is an instructional video at: http://video.about.com/frenchfood/Cleaning-Fresh-Leeks.htm.

Recipe by Laura Flowers


Patricia @ ButterYum said...

This looks fabulous!

Jackie said...

oH,this looks delicious~~I will have to try this recipe! I'm a sucker for veggies & pasta!
Thanks for sharing!!!

Mary Bergfeld said...

I love pasta and rice for just such reasons. It takes so very little to make them shine. This one twinkles.

Heather said...

What a lovely springtime dish, and a great way to enjoy the season's vegetables.

Pink Little Cake said...

Looks delicious, by the way I made penne pasta with the garlic cream sauce that you posted last week. It was yummy and very easy to make.

The Cooking Photographer said...

I am glad to hear that!

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