As double-edged swords go, dairy products are certainly a delicious option. For instance, high milk consumption has been linked to reduced risk of colorectal cancer, while it has also been associated with increased risk of prostate cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Dairy products are full of calcium, protein, and B vitamins, while also being a substantial source of fat.
This week’s recipe for creamy pasta primavera is both healthy and delicious. It was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Life is a combination of magic and pasta.
Lynne Kasper, Bon Appétit (May 1979)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (canola oil can be substituted for part of the butter)
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 pound thin asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices
- ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 6 ounces cauliflower, broken into small florets
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch rounds
- 1 small carrot, halved lengthwise and cut diagonally into ⅛-inch slices
- 1 cup whipping cream (to decrease calories, substitute additional chicken stock for part of the cream)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried (fresh basil is highly recommended, and available pretty much all year round)
- 1 cup frozen tiny peas, thawed, or fresh young peas (frozen tiny peas tend to be sweeter than fresh peas from the market. If using peas from your backyard garden, shell just before using and add with the asparagus)
- 2 ounces prosciutto or cooked ham, chopped (prosciutto is more traditional)
- 5 green onions, chopped
- Optional: 1 pound cooked shelled shrimp
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound fettucine or linguine, cooked al dente and thoroughly drained
- 1 cup freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
- Heat a large deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add butter, onion, and garlic, and sauté until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Mix in asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini, and carrot (and fresh peas if using ) and stir-fry 2 minutes. (At this point, remove several pieces of asparagus tips, mushrooms, and zucchini and reserve for garnish.)
- Increase heat to high. Add cream, stock and basil and allow mixture to boil until liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Stir in peas (if using frozen), ham, and green onion (and shrimp if used) and cook 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add pasta and cheese, tossing until thoroughly combined and pasta is heated through. Turn onto large serving platter and garnish with any reserved vegetables. Serve immediately.
In May 2012, this 3-decades old recipe (from an article entitled Pasta Pronto) was the most requested from the Bon Appétit archives.