Thursday, December 11, 2008
I know it's happened to you. Folks invited for a drink stretch cocktails into the dinner hour, leaving you to puzzle how a meatloaf will feed ten people. I'm a pro in the "loaves and fishes" department. I might deconstruct the meatloaf and turn it into chili mac, but I'd be even more likely to make a dish we call Christmas pasta. My pantry and refrigerator are stocked with the few staples required to pull this off because unplanned dinner guests are no strangers at our table - especially at Christmas time. The pasta is simple to make and the colors give it a holiday feeling. It's a great addition to a buffet table or covered dish supper. There's only so much that can be said about peppers, peas and cream, so, rather than embroider something so basic, I'll simply say it's delicious and move on. I'm sending my recipe to Mary of Baking Delights who is hosting this week's Presto Pasta Nights a blogging event sponsored by Ruth at Once Upon A Feast. This is a nice recipe to have on file.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 large onion, sliced
2 large red bell peppers, julienned
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 cups half-and-half or light cream
3 large eggs, beaten
1 pound penne pasta
1 to 2 cups frozen petite peas, thawed
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 to 1 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Bring 6-quarts of well-salted water to a rolling boil.
2) Heat olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add onions and peppers and saute until tender. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat. Stir in parsley. Set aside.
3) Heat half-and-half in a microwave on HIGH power for 1 minute. Whisking constantly, add to eggs. Set aside.
4) Cook pasta in boiling, salted water per package instructions. Drain in a colander. Add pasta, peas and basil to sauteed vegetables. Toss to combine. Add egg-cream mixture and Parmesan cheese. Toss and serve immediately. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.