Jun. 18th, 2008

sylke: (sushi)
The husband really likes fat in his meals. Enough so that he gets actually grumpy when I make tasty but low fat dinners. He apologizes for it, he feels bad that he can't have the meals I want to cook without feeling satisfied, but the emotional change in him when he just puts a big ol' pat of butter on bread after a lowfat meal is astounding enough that I'm willing to try and find a compromise: healthy ingredients, but with at least some forms of fat for his sake.

Tonight's dinner was Pasta Primavera. Three sources of fat: olive oil, butter, and half-and-half to help form a "light" cream sauce. Relatively speaking, of course. Hey, at least it wasn't like an Alfredo. Despite feeling like I messed a few things up, it came out pretty tasty and satisfying, and I feel like I at least fed the boy his vegetables. This is how I actually made it tonight:

1/2 bunch young/thin asparagus, cut into ~2" pieces
1 yellow squash, cut into slices
1/2 zucchini, cut into spears
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, cut into thin, 2" slices (kind of like julienne but without the last cutting step)
linguine (maybe a half-box equivalent, we used handmade pasta from Rome [NY])
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 cp half-and-half
basil
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, medium-high. Sauté the garlic until it just starts to color, about one minute. Assume the water for the pasta is on the verge of boiling because it looks pretty close. Add all the veggies and the butter, season to taste with S&P and basil, and sauté until tender-crisp, about 10 minutes. Realize you were way off on the water, and start to accept that dinner's not going as planned. Pull out meat thermometer to test pasta pot, realize water is still 20 degrees shy of boiling. Pout. Add the half and half to the vegetable pan, let simmer, covered, for another 5 minutes. Decide the water's close enough now, and add pasta. Uncover vegetables, simmer sauce for another 3 minutes to reduce. Turn off burner and hope the sauce will thicken a bit as it cools because it's gonna be another 10 minutes at least on the pasta. Tell yourself that the squash doesn't really look that overcooked. Drain pasta when cooked al dente, plate pasta, then spoon veggies and sauce over pasta. Combine remaining pasta and veggies/sauce into one bowl now that it all will fit. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over each dish. Realize that actually, the squash doesn't taste nearly as overcooked as you feared. Post to LJ with the recipe as a personal reminder after husband proclaims, "This is pretty good, we can do this again sometime."

NOTES:
Butter can probably be reduced to 1 Tbsp without a notable loss of flavor. Cook carrots and asparagus for 5 minutes before adding the squash, or cut all the squash into spears because the circles cook very quickly. Try a half cup of half-and-half next time instead, there was a lot of "saucy juice" left over, but the boy really enjoyed having extra sauce on his, so maybe that's not such a bad thing to add for his sake.

And don't start the vegetables until the water is honest-to-God boiling because that big pasta pot full of water takes like 20 minutes to heat up even at high heat. You'd think you'd have learned that by now, sheesh.

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