Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas Pasta

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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.

Christmas Pasta

Ingredients:
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

Directions:

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.

17 comments:

Martha said...

Mary -- what a great dish -- and it does look so Christmasy! I, too, usually have all those ingredients on hand. I'll certainly keep this recipe on file!

Maria said...

I love the Christmas colors in this dish!

Pam said...

How do you make pasta, peppers and peas look so darn beautiful? You are very talented Mary - it looks fantastic!

biz319 said...

Oh, that looks so good!

Definitely on the list of things to make!

Mary said...

biz319, welcome! I hope you'll come often.

Cathy said...

Beautiful dish, Mary. And so colorful for the holiday. Your guests must feel like they've been invited to a special feast.

Katherine Aucoin said...

Thus pasta looks so festive and delicious. I've made a similar pasta dish, I think I'll add the peas next time for the color and texture.

The Blonde Duck said...

That is such pretty pasta!

Ruth Daniels said...

Definitely festive. Thanks for sharing a great idea for those unexpected dinner guests with Presto Pasta Nights.

Melissa and Zack said...

Oh, isn't this the pasta you made for me when I was not eating meat?

Mary said...

Yes, Melissa it is. I've changed the technique bit, but it's the old Christmas standby.

Argus Lou said...

Oh, this is so pretty. Yes, very Christmassy indeed. Happy holidays to you and yours!

Gloria Chadwick said...

Mmmm, your pasta looks so delicious... very festive and Christmas-y.

Mary said...

Argus Lou and Gloria, Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll come often.

Peter M said...

I once had to endure being "treated" to just a quiche & salad for 4 people!

I should email this link to my friend so that they don't leave guests hungry!

Anthony said...

Hi Mary,

Thanks so much for this! Not only is this a real eye-catcher, but it is absolutely delicious! I make fresh pasta and did it with fettuccine, and it still looks and tastes wonderful! This will definitely become a holiday (and non-holiday) favorite for me! Merry Christmas!

Anthony said...

Hi Mary,

Thanks so much for this! Not only is this a real eye-catcher, but it is absolutely delicious! I make fresh pasta and did it with fettuccine, and it still looks and tastes wonderful! This will definitely become a holiday (and non-holiday) favorite for me! Merry Christmas!

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