Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Recipes that my Daughter Likes: Pasta Primavera

Someone shared this heart-healthy recipe at work. I thought it looked good, so I tried it at home. My daughter loved it and requested it on occasion thereafter. Last summer she was at home after graduating from college and about to start graduate school out of state. I promised to prepare the dish before she made the 12 hour trek to her new school. Actually, it was on the night before her departure that I made the pasta primavera again.

I had been bummed out four years earlier when my little girl went off to college, but it seemed that after four years of college I was better adjusted to the fact that she was growing up and moving on. It seemed that way, but then there were those tell-tale feelings that could be touched upon in ordinary conversation.  As I was getting the kitchen ready for dinner preparation, my daughter was packing things up for her trip the next day. “It won’t be long now, will it, Dad?” I thought to myself, “No it won’t be long before my daughter makes the big move away.” Then I realized that she was talking about dinner – it wouldn’t be long before dinner was ready. I chuckled inside at myself and told her it wouldn't be long.  She went ahead with her packing and then left to put a few things in the storage facility.

As I was putting the finishing touches on the pasta primavera, my wife came in and said, “You know she’s gone, don’t you?” I was thinking, “I am well aware that my daughter is actually leaving – she’s moving on to the next chapter in her life; she is leaving the nest for good, she's really gone this time…” Then I realized that my wife was talking about the fact that she had gone over to the storage rental facility. I took a deep breath and laughed at myself again, but I knew that these were signs that part of me was having difficulty with the changes ahead. I had full confidence in our daughter, but I would miss these days of having her home.

So we had a great dinner and the next day my daughter and I were on the road. I travelled with her on that first trip and helped her to get settled into her new digs at grad school. Here is the recipe for the pasta primavera that we enjoyed that night:

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package fettuccine
  • 1 teaspoon margarine
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of ground red pepper
  • 3 small carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
Directions:
Cook pasta in a large Dutch oven according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well, and set aside.

Melt margarine in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic; sauté until tender. Add broccoli and next 7 ingredients; cook, uncovered, over medium heat until vegetable are tender. Drain.

Add pasta to vegetable mixture in skillet, and cook until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat, and transfer to a large bowl. Add parmesan cheese and sour cream, tossing lightly to coat. Yield: 8 (1 1/2-cup) servings.

Nutrition facts:
Count 1 serving as: 2 Vegetable, 1 Starch, 1/2 Meat/Dairy, 1 Fat
Per serving: Calories 221 Fat 7g Sat Fat 4 Protein 12g Carbohydrate 28g Fiber 3g Cholesterol 44mg Sodium 579mg

 (Note: I did not use a Dutch oven; I just used a large pot to cook the pasta. I also omitted the garlic due to family preference.)




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