Monday, March 20, 2006

Penne with creamy veggie sauce

I got home today my mind made up to eat some pasta. I love pasta in all shapes, sizes and forms. I looked around in the kitchen and started gathering up all the ingredients that remotely looked like they could go in with the pasta. I then remembered that the ingredients I had on hand closely matched to the ones in a Rachael Ray pasta creation I watched 3-4 weeks ago. Armed with the penne in the cupboard, fresh veggies and cheese in the refrigerator, Rachael Ray's recipe pulled up on the computer I made a replica. I did make modifications to this recipe - added different veggies, added in some cottage cheese, changed the pasta to penne (since that is what I had on hand) etc.

Since a good amount of veggies went into making this dish, I though this could make a worthy entry into Sweetnicks ARF/5-a-day Tuesday.

  • 1/2 pound or 8 oz penne rigate/campanelle/cavatappi pasta
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup sliced protobello mushrooms
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp dried basil or about 1/2 cup of fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp or more, red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup of part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, EVOO
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Saucepan - to make the pasta
  • Stockpot to boil the pasta
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, toss in the pasta, add a little salt and cook according to the package directions. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
  • Put a large skillet/saucepan on medium heat, add the 1 tbsp EVOO to coat the pan.
  • Add the onions and garlic and saute for a minute on medium-high heat.
  • Add the mushrooms and yellow pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped spinach and heat through until it is wilted through. Add the roasted red pepper. Add salt and pepper, stir. Transfer the veggies onto a plate.
  • Put the same saucepan on the stove, add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and butter. Add the flour and stir for a couple of minutes to make a roux that will help thicken our white sauce.
  • Add the vegetable stock and the milk. Bring it to a boil. Add the italian seasoning, the dried basil leaves, red pepper flakes, nutmeg. The white sauce will now start to thicken. Add the ricotta and cottage cheeses, stir so the cheese melts. Add the reserved pasta water. Add the veggies back in so they heat through.
  • Mix the pasta with the sauce.
Serving Suggestion: Serve with grated parmesan cheese on top.

Tips: This makes about 2-3 servings. This recipe can be easily doubled.


Saffron said...

yumm.. I love pasta with white sauce. I don't add any stock or cheese in my version. I'm sure it is even more creamy and delicious with those additions.


Kitchenmate said...

I love pasta, and i love watching Rachel Ray doing wonders in those 30 mins. Pasta tempts me to try with cheese and looks delicious:)

Santhi said...

I like pastas of all kinds. but always cooked by someone else. :):)
May be I coax hubby dear to make it for me.....:):):):):):)

Sumi said...

Even I love pasta of any form, Usually I make them once in a week for dinner.I always use the store bought pasta sauce to make it quick.But your version seems to very interesting and with lot of fresh veggies.would definitely try it.

Luv2cook said...


I make my own veggie stock with end of the week left over vegetables. Usually freeze it up for later use. So I kind of add it as a replacement for water in a lot of dishes. You could add water instead of the stock.


I am not a HUGE fan of Rachael Ray but do like some of her quick recipes. I just don't like certain things about her.


Good luck coaxing the husband :-p.


I never bought the store sauce until now. I feel it is very easy to make the sauce, so never bothered. Please try it and let me know how it came out.

RP said...

I love pasta and always look for different ways to prepare it. This looks delicious. Will try out soon.