Sunday, March 18, 2012

Zucchini- Mushroom Pasta

Hello friends!!

I can’t believe how fast time is flying by! I was trying to add in a few last winter-ish recipes for you guys before I realized that spring was already here! I guess it’s safe to say that this is first “spring recipe” which only means summer is near by! Whenever I hit up my grocery store(s) I always try to buy as many fresh vegetables vs. the frozen kind. I have nothing against frozen vegetables and still buy them occasionally. After all, I do throw them into a pot of rice here and there. But, I just prefer cooking various dishes with fresh vegetables. Whether it’s roasting broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus, I always find a way to cook them with meals. Considering that at the moment I am buying and cooking food for one person, it’s really hard to not let food go to waste. About two weeks ago, I noticed that I needed to use up the remaining bits and pieces of vegetables I had chillin’ in my fridge. The first time I made this pasta, I used ingredients like butter and whipping cream to make a traditional cheese sauce to accompany this pasta….. and it was gooood! But, considering that I cook for myself and end up eatin’ leftovers, I can’t eat pasta with an extremely heavy cheese sauce all the time. I made this pasta two other times because I knew it had potential. The second time, I tossed the pasta and the cooked down vegetables with olive oil and grated parmesan cheese and that was just as good! However, I kept thinking about this pasta and the cheese sauce. J I thought, maybe I can make this sauce a little lighter by using different ingredients. Now I’m not saying this sauce is fat free; considering that butter and flour are used in this recipe. But the sauce is a little lighter by using 1 or 2% milk and a little less cheese. I figure we’re eating mostly vegetables so throwing on a lighter cheese sauce won’t hurt, right? Besides, with the arrival of this new season, I’m sure we will all be active in this warmer weather, and cooking more with fresh ingredients!

Zucchini- Mushroom Pasta
Serves 4


2 small zucchinis
1 leek ( onion may be used in replace of leek)
1 ½ cups of chopped mushrooms
1 small tomato, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoon of olive oil
3 tablespoons of butter
1 ½ teaspoons of all purpose flour
1 cup of 2% milk
½ cup of parmesan cheese
1 dry bay leaf
½ a box of bowtie pasta (wheat bowtie pasta can be used as well)

Directions:

  1. Begin by cooking pasta according to the box and add in the dry bay leaf into water. Also, cut leeks length wise then roughly chop. Place chopped leeks into a bowl of water. 
  2. Cut and clean zucchinis however you like. I like cutting them length wise then cutting them in half pieces. Also, clean, slice or chop mushrooms and tomatoes.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a pot at medium heat.
  4. Drain the leeks and pat dry using a paper towel. Add leeks to the pot and stir.
  5. Let leeks turn color before adding in the zucchinis and mushrooms.
  6. Add in minced garlic, salt, and pepper to the mix.
  7. Add in tomatoes and let vegetables cook until fork tender. Remove from heat when fully cooked.
  8. Drain pasta and set aside
  9. In a medium size pot melt 3 tbsp of butter and stir in 1 ½ tsp of all purpose flour until a lightly brown paste has formed.
  10. Slowly add in 1 cup of 2 % milk and stir.
  11. Add in ½ cup of parmesan cheese and stir mix.
  12. Stir mix occasionally and let sauce come to a slight bubble. (should take about 8 minutes) Add in salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Mix pasta and sauce first, and then add in vegetables. Serve with grated parmesan cheese on top.

Source: L.Chavez. Sweet,Spicy,and Sassy Original

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