With the onset of spring comes fresh, new ingredients as the ground awakens from winter and gets ready for the summer harvest.
By incorporating skim milk, chicken base (found in 1 pound tub of concentrated chicken in powder or solid form) and cornstarch you cut back on the amount of fat in the dish but keep the flavor. You can substitute chicken bouillon if you do not have any chicken base, but read the ingredients and make sure the first ingredient listed is chicken, not fat, sugar or salt.
This recipe is a modified online version of pasta primavera.
Scott C. Anderson is associate food service director and chef with Shepherd University dining services in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Lite pasta primavera
1 16-ounce package multi-grain linguine
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated skim milk
1 teaspoon chicken base
1 1/4 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
1 small carrot, cut into matchstick-thin strips
2 shallots, minced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 small sweet peppers, sliced into rings
2 small plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 tablespoon fresh grated Romano cheese
1 tablespoon minced fresh flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
In a large stockpot, cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain, rinse and set back in pan.
In a large bowl, whisk evaporated skim milk, chicken base and cornstarch until completely incorporated. Set aside.
Place skillet over medium high heat, when hot, add in olive oil, toss in broccoli. Sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes, then add carrots, shallots, mushrooms and pepper rings, in that order, sautéing each for an additional minute. Stir frequently until vegetables are golden and tender-crisp.
Add milk mixture into skillet. Stir over medium high heat until it begins to simmer. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it begins to thicken. Add in diced tomato, Romano cheese, parsley, thyme, and spaghetti, tossing to coat well. Heat through and serve with toasted garlic bread.