Foodie Blogroll

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pastina with Peas an Carrots


I like a nice creamy pasta and my daughter is just starting to like sauces on things...mind you she's a good eater, but she just wasn't a sauce eater. I remember my sister getting her kids to eat broccoli or other veggies by putting a cheese sauce on it, or ranch dressing on potatoes or chicken so they would eat it. Maranda never dipped her chicken strips in honey mustard, BBQ sauce or anything (she never liked chicken nuggets) no mayo on her sandwich. She liked her veggies steamed nothing on it, even her rice just plain steamed rice. The meat was always well seasoned because that is the way I always made it for her, so she never liked the kids meals everything was so plain (unless you dipped or sauced). She is getting better (still prefers steamed veggies without anything) at trying things with sauces on it. Anyway enough about my healthy eater...on to the creamy pasta.
I saw Giada De Laurentiis do this on Food Network and it looked simple enough for one of those quick mid-week meals. I changed it slightly just to add a little kick to it, with some chipotle powder (you know my latest favorite add in) and some tarragon (I'm surprised it wasn't sage...that's my other latest craze, I mean I've been adding it to everything!!) I used a shallot instead of onion. Other than that it was pretty close...except for the pasta. I couldn't find pastina if my life depended on it, so I used again, what I had on hand...some farfallini, then I discovered I didn't have enough so I added all the little bits of pasta I had left over. So I guess the title is a lie! So mine is called Mixed Pasta of Whatever You Have Left in Your Pantry with Peas and Carrots. Edited to add: The day after I finally found some pastina, I found it at Walmart of all places!

Ingredients:
•1/2 pound (8 ounces) pastina
•2 tablespoons olive oil
•1 shallot, finely diced
•2 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
•1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
•1 cup frozen peas
•1/2 tsp chipotle powder
•1/2 tsp tarragon
•1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
•1/2 cup (4 ounces) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
•sprinkle of red pepper flakes (to taste, you can omit this)
•sea salt
•2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Method:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta water.


In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the carrots, stock and seasoning, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the peas to the pan and cook for 2 minutes until the peas are warmed through and the carrots are tender. Stir in the cooked pasta. Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheeses. Stir until the mixture is incorporated and forms a sauce. Season with salt, to taste. Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with chopped basil.
I probably topped mine with some grated asiago and a little more herbs, knowing me. If you feel you have to add meat I suppose you could and some cooked chicken or diced ham or sausage, or maybe shrimp. It's easy and kid friendly! Hmmm...maybe a little dill?


This is joining
My Meatless Mondays