Fresh-Herb Pasta Primavera
- 8 ounces dried penne pasta or mostaccioli
- Parmesan Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped red sweet pepper
- 1/3 cup sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup dry sherry or chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 1/2-3 cups assorted vegetables such as shelled English peas, sugar snap peas, 2-inch asparagus tips, green beans, chopped zucchini and sliced baby carrots
- 1 cup lightly packed mixed fresh herbs such as oregano, lemon thyme, summer savory, and Italian flat-leaf parley, snipped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- Fresh herb sprigs (optional)
- In a 4- or 4-1/2-quart Dutch oven, cook pasta in 2 to 3 quarts lightly salted, boiling water until the pasta is tender, but still firm. drain well.
- Prepare the Parmesan Cream sauce. Return pasta to the Dutch oven, and stir in Parmesan Cream Sauce.
- In a large skillet, cook red pepper and green onions in sherry and olive oil, uncovered, 3 to 4 minutes or until tender.
- Add vegetables, herbs and cumin to the skillet. Cook, uncovered, 2 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
- Gently stir vegetables and cherry tomatoes into the pasta mixture in Dutch oven. Toss until just combined. Spread in an ungreased 13x9x2-inch (3-quart rectangular) baking dish and set aside.
- Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree oven about 20 minutes or until heated through. Garnish each serving with an herb sprig, if you like. Makes 6 servings.
Parmesan Cream Sauce
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 3/4 cup grated parmesan or Asiago cheese
- freshly ground pepper
- Remove from heat. Stir in the 3/4 cup grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese and freshly ground pepper. Makes 2-1/2 cups.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Add 2 cups low-fat milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more.