Sunday, May 20, 2012

Lite Summer Pasta Primavera

I love pasta (I know SHOCKER!) and I love fresh veggies.  However, big Italian meals tend to heat up the kitchen and the house so much – plus anything with “cream sauce” in the name is high in fat!  Which in the winter is great, warm house – stick to your ribs food - but in the summer in Tennessee – is AWFUL!  So, what is an Italian gal to do to enjoy her pasta in the spring & summer of Tennessee?
I came up with the below recipe to make a healthy non-cream version of pasta primavera.  It uses less heat... no heavy cream sauce.  
Instead we have w hite wine, butter and olive oil reduction type sauce.  The fresh veggies are nice and crisp and the reduction sauce really brings out the crisp flavors of both the veggies and the pasta, you won't even miss the cream – I promise!  
The tomatoes I have to pay special homage to here because they come out SO AWESOME in the sauté method of cooking...The grape tomatoes cooked this way are a great alternative to the all day simmering sauce you would normally make in the winter months.  They just explode with flavor in your mouth (if I do say so myself).  I can't even describe accurately the pop and flavor that you will get with these.  If you love tomatoes – you will be in heaven.  If you are “iffy” on the subject – you will be a convert.  If you don't like tomatoes – why are you reading my blog?????  LOL!
In fact, I will be hosting a fundraiser ladies' evening in my house benefitting the American Heart Association in July and I think I will be serving this meal.  It is easy, quick and I think that would be a great way to share a meal with my gal pals and to benefit a great cause.  Plus, it will keep the house cool, is a healthy meal and tasty to boot 
12 grape tomatoes
1 zucchini cut in half length wise, & then sliced into little half moons
1C fresh green beans, cleaned & rinsed
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts - cut into bite sized pieces
2T olive oil
1t garlic powder
1t onion powder
1T butter
1/2C white wine
S&P to taste
1/2 box of Whole Wheat thin spaghetti - cooked as directed on box ( you can use a whole box – the sauce and veggies go a long way)
Here is after I have put everything back together to toss in the reduction.
In a large sauté or fry pan put olive oil ver medium heat. Put in the chicken & season with garlic & onion powder & S&P. Cook until Noel longer pink (about 5-7mins). Remove with a slotted spoon to another bowl. Put in the zucchini & cook about 5mins (will get a little brown) and remove with slotted spoon to bowl with chicken. Put in the butter & swirl until melted but don't let it burn. Then pour in wine & scrape pan - simmer about 5mins. The put in the tomatoes & cook about 5mins - some might burst but that's ok. Put in the green beans & heat them up -about 2min. Then pour the chicken & zucchini back in the pan & heat everything through. 

Once everything is combined & heated - pour over pasta & serve.

I couldn't get the color right on the photo but it does make a fun presentation!
Serving Size: About 1 1/2 scoops with pasta spoon 1 1/2 to 2 cups of everything mixed together.  Number of Servings: 5

Nutritional Info
Servings Per Recipe: 5
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 355.4
Total Fat: 8.9 g
Cholesterol: 28.1 mg
Sodium: 117.8 mg
Total Carbs: 50.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 8.9 g
Protein: 19.0 g

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