Do you have those days where you look into your fridge, see plenty of good ingredients but still draw a blank on what to make for dinner? No? Just me? Oh well. I had one of those experiences recently when I checked the fridge, saw a multitude of delicious veggies, but still couldn’t figure out how to bring them all together. Enter penne primavera. This dish is a perfect opportunity to get a few extra servings of vegetables into your meal while allowing you to use up those veggies that are sitting in your crisper drawer.
Penne (For two hungry people, I used 1/3 to 1/2 a box of penne.)
Any vegetables you have around – I used broccoli, carrots, red peppers, and asparagus
Red onion – about 1/3 of a cup
Garlic – 3-4 small cloves
Chicken broth or stock – 1/3 of a cup
Butter – 1-2 tablespoons
Cream – 3/4 cup
Parmesan cheese for garnish
A poultry rub of your choosing
Cook the pasta according to the package directions, making sure to drain it while it is still al dente.
Chop the red onion and garlic and sauté them over low-medium heat until they start to soften.
Chop the vegetables and add them to the garlic and onion mixture. Start with the broccoli and carrots, letting them cook until the carrots soften slightly. Then add the red peppers, allowing them to cook 3-4 minutes. Finally add the asparagus. The key is to add the vegetables from largest (or the veggies that require the longest cooking time) to the smallest and to only cook them until they are softened but still retain some crunch. Add the chicken stock or broth at the end of the cooking to give the vegetables a little extra flavor.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the cream and allow it to heat up, but make sure it doesn’t boil.
Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and toss with your favorite poultry seasoning. I made a seasoning mixture of onion powder, garlic power, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper. Make sure, if you are making your own seasoning, to add salt because, if you’ll notice, we haven’t added salt anywhere else in the dish. The contrast of the well-seasoned chicken will marry well with the creamy pasta and vegetables.
Combine the pasta, vegetables, and cream mixture. Top with the chicken and grated parmesan. Serve hot.
Have you ever made penne primavera? What are your favorite vegetables to have for dinner?