Perfect Pasta Primavera

With spring upon us and vegetable season quickly approaching, what could be better than a meal full of delicious, mouth watering veggies? Mmm, mmm, mmm!!

This enticing entree has TONS of fresh veggies in it, but beware, there are NO meat products anywhere in sight!

Cook this delightful meal and please all the vegetable lovers in your life!

Ingredients needed:
Olive Oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
½ to 1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets and stem pieces
2 carrots, peeled and sliced on the bias
2 zucchini, sliced on the bias
1 yellow squash, sliced on the bias
½ red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 package white or brown button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1 cup half and half, plus a little more for thinning sauce
1 small wineglass of white wine
Low-sodium chicken broth as needed
6-8 fresh basil leaves
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Penne pasta

In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter with 2 tablespoons olive oil.

Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes.

Now begin sautéing the veggies in batches, cooking only 1 or 2 minutes (at most) each. To begin, add broccoli and carrots to onion & garlic. Cook only for a minute, then remove to separate plate.

Add another tablespoon of butter to pan and add red pepper strips. Cook for one minute, then remove. Repeat with remaining veggies, being very careful not to overcook; veggies at this point should still be somewhat crunchy.

When all veggies have been removed and skillet is empty, pour ½ to 1 glass of dry white wine to pan. With whisk, begin to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen all the nice, flavorful bits from the bottom. Cooking over medium heat, add ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth, 1 tablespoon butter, 1 cup whipping cream, and 1 cup half and half. Add ½ cup grated Parmesan. Stir together and cook to thick, adding salt & pepper to taste. Taste sauce as you go; don’t oversalt, but don’t undersalt either!

Chiffonade fresh basil leaves, and stir into sauce. Now add all the veggies, including frozen peas, at once. Stir gently to combine; if sauce seems to thick, add equal parts half & half and chicken broth to thin. Cook over low heat until warm, just a couple of minutes.

Dump in al dente penne pasta, stir to combine thoroughly, and pour onto a large platter. Garnish
with more basil leaves, throw on some more Parmesan, and devour!

Note: This makes a HUGE batch of food, so make sure you have lots of friends/family around to help you eat it all.

Recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman

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