Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vegetable Pasta with Lemon Cheese Sauce.


200 gms Ziti or Penne pasta
1 tsp olive oil
¾ cup onion
150 gms button mushrooms
1 stalk broccoli
1 tbsp butter
4 cloves garlic
½ cup vegetable stock
1½ tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup Milk
½ large lime
¼ cup Cheese (white)
1 cup tomatoes
Salt & pepper
Red pepper flakes
2 sprigs each of fresh basil & thyme

How I cook the Pasta:

1.     Place a large pot of water on the stove over medium heat for the pasta.
2.     When the water has come to a boil add some salt and the pasta.
3.     Time the pasta for a couple of minutes shy of the package directions and keep checking the pasta to see when it is al dente.
4.     When the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander and set aside.

How I cook the Vegetables:

1.     Heat a heavy bottomed vessel over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and add the onions. Once the onions are tender, add the sliced mushrooms.
2.     When the mushrooms have released their liquid and are browning, add the broccoli and garlic.
3.     Add the thyme sprigs and some salt and pepper.
4.     Pour the stock and reduce heat to medium-low, and the vessel cook with the vessel partially covered for roughly 10 Min or en broccoli is tender.
How I make the White Sauce:

1.     In a large saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Wait until it’s nice & bubbly, and then sprinkle the flour over the butter. You might want to take it off the heat at this point, until you can get it all mixed together and scraped off the bottom of the pan. Return it to the heat and cook for a full minute, being careful not to let any area of the bottom of the pot alone for too long, as it will burn
2.     At this point you can start adding your warm milk a little at a time. Add a bit, and then stir until it’s fully combined. Then you can add some more.
3.     Warm milk added a little at a time ensures you don’t get any lumps in the sauce.
4.     Keep adding milk until you reach your preferred thickness, the thicker the sauce the richer your dish will be.
5.     We zest the lemon half into the white sauce, and squeeze the lemon (straining the seeds) in as well. Take off the flame and let it rest. Adjust the salt & pepper also.

Combining the dish:

1.     We pour the lemon sauce into the simmering vegetables.
2.     Add the cooked pasta. Add the chopped tomatoes and tear in the fresh basil.
3.     The pasta is tasted for salt and pepper and re-seasoned.
4.    Serve topped with red pepper flakes and more cheese.

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