Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Creamy Tomato Pasta Primavera

I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone that one of my favourite topics to talk about is food. Anyone who has ever spent more than 10 minutes with me would know this. My interest in discussing all things food related becomes especially apparent when standing around for hours on end doing aaaaabsolutely nothing. So all of my coworkers at the patisserie I was previously working at would be very familiar with these food discussions. One foodie talk in particular stands out in my mind. I asked one of my coworkers Saxon, a trained chef, what some of her go-to dishes were after coming home from a long day at work. She began to enthusiastically describe her Pasta Primavera in a Creamy Cheese Sauce. That was it. I had to make it. There was only one problem, I had been convinced for quite some time that I had been cursed with the inability to make a successful cream sauce. Time and time again I had attempted to make a roux which would hopefully develop into a smooth and thick cream sauce, only to result in utter failure. So Saxon went through her step by step guide on how to make a successful cream sauce.

How to Make a Successful Cream Sauce
1) Use equal parts fat and flour.
2) Do not walk away from cooking roux.
3) Always add either hot cream/milk to hot roux OR cold cream/milk to cold roux.
4) Do not add the cream/milk all at once. Add a little at a time, allowing each bit to thicken before adding more.
5) Give the sauce time to simmer, thicken and develop flavour.

That night I came home super excited to try out Saxon's cream sauce. I have to admit, I was skeptical that it would work considering my past failures, so I decided to make a bit of a rose sauce just in case it didn't work out. I went through her tips step by step, adding in my own little touches along the way and, to my amazement, it worked! My Creamy Tomato Pasta Primavera turned out incredible! I actually had this as my dinner three times that week I loved it so much!

Great big thanks to Saxon for teaching me how to make a successful cream sauce, for keeping me semi-sane at work, and for all the hard work you do! I hope you're finally receiving the credit you deserve.

bow-tie pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp flour
1 cup cream
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic, pureed
1 onion, chopped
broccoli (stem and head), chopped
red pepper, chopped
cherry tomatoes, halved
snow peas, cut into thirds
frozen peas and carrots
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup equal parts fresh basil, parsley, rosemary, and chives, chopped finely
parmesan cheese
a pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

1. Heat milk and cream over the stove or in microwave until warm to the touch. Set aside. In a medium pot, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and flour on medium-low heat, stirring the mixture constantly.

2. Once flour and olive oil have come together and turned slightly golden, add the warm milk and cream a little bit at a time, allowing the mixture to thicken slightly before adding more.

3. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

4. In a large pan or pot at medium heat, cook 1 tbsp olive oil with garlic and onions. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened.

5. Add the vegetables and saute until cooked but still slightly crisp. Add the tomato sauce and fresh herbs, stir and cook another 5-7 min.

6. In a separate pot, cook pasta according to directions on the package.

7. Combine the tomato sauce and vegetable mixture with the cream sauce. Grate over desired amount of parmesan cheese and sprinkle over red pepper flakes.

8. Toss pasta with sauce and vegetables, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Listening To:
Tokyo Police Club - Bambi

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Diana Mieczan said...

I love pasta:) Sounds,great

Yet said...

how yummy!! Look delicious!