Ah, pasta. Simple and quick, it is a staple of most households these days. Add to that the fact that it doesn’t require turning on the oven, and its appeal widens on a hot day like we’ve been having around here lately. These days, pasta is usually served with the obligatory jarred sauce, heated in a pan or in the microwave or maybe just poured directly on to the pasta and given a quick heat in the pasta cooking pot.
I don’t remember the last time I bought pasta sauce. I know that when I did it was because I had a coupon and the sauce was probably buy one, get one free, so I probably paid something like $0.88 for it. The problem was that up to that point I had been making my own sauce for quite some time, so the jarred sauce just didn’t taste right. It sat in my fridge until it grew fur….a lot of fur.
That’s the problem with cooking things from scratch, and cooking at home all the time. I was tweeting back and forth with another local blogger one day recently about how restaurants, no matter how good they are, just don’t seem as good anymore, now that we are from-scratch fanatics. That may sound self-righteous, but I promise you that if you try cooking at least 90% of your meals at home you will find out that it’s just the plain and simple truth. Philip and I always laugh that often we go out to eat to remind us why we do most of our eating at home….and anytime that I buy processed foods these days, I remember why I cook most things from scratch. Totally worth it.
Lest you think that I’m a slave to my kitchen…it’s just not the truth. I have too many other things going on in my life to spend every waking minute cooking. And sure, there are plenty of nights that cooking is the last thing I want to do (well, getting on the treadmill is probably actually the last thing, but cooking is a close second). Nights like that, it’s handy to have recipes like this in my back pocket. Homemade alfredo is so easy and so much better-SO much better-than jarred. When you have some simple, fresh additions, you can whip up a delicious, restaurant-quality (or better than restaurant quality!) meal with no tears shed.
Summer Vegetable Pasta with White Wine Cream Sauce
|Prep time||50 minutes|
|Cook time||20 minutes|
|Total time||1 hours, 10 minutes|
- 1 Small eggplant
- 1 Medium zucchini
- 1/2 Medium onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup dry white wine ((I used Chardonnay))
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8-10oz linguini
- parmesan cheese (I used Parmigiano-Reggiano)
- 1 Medium tomato (diced)
- 2 tablespoons basil (cut into chiffonade)
- salt & pepper (to taste)
The 50 minute prep time includes 30 minutes of inactive prep time when the zucchini and the eggplant are draining!
|About 30 minutes prior to beginning cooking, cut the eggplant and zucchini into thin slices lengthwise. Salt on both sides and set on a cooling rack over the sink. Turn after 15 minutes (this will draw excess moisture out of the veggies as well as draw out the bitterness that eggplant can have). Let stand for a total of 30 minutes, then rinse and dry with paper towels.|
|Cook the pasta according to package directions. Preheat the olive oil in a medium-sized skillet. Chop the onion and cook, stirring often. After you add the onion to the pan, combine the cream and the butter in a small skillet/sauté pan and allow to simmer until reduced to a thick, creamy sauce, about 15 minutes.|
|Dice the zucchini and eggplant and add to the pan with the onion. Cook until it begins to soften, then add the white wine and allow to reduce. Pour the cream sauce over and mix thoroughly. Stir in desired amount of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Salt and pepper to taste.|
|Drain the cooked pasta and toss with the vegetable cream sauce. Divide among bowls and top with diced tomatoes, basil chiffonade, and more grated cheese.|