{thirsty thursday} — pasta primavera w/ a local oktoberfest lager

18 Oct

if you’ve been a reader for a bit, you probably know by now that i do not often cook pasta.  i am getting better, but for the longest time it just seemed like i couldn’t make a decent pasta dish to save my life.

mostly, i just throw together stuff in my fridge and call it a “primavera” — and i’ve been on this kick where i just make my own sauce fresh every time i make a pasta dish or spaghetti squash dish.  i’m all about things in one pan… make it easy!

so, here’s what i used up :

– spaghetti noodles {just use a whole bag and have leftovers!}

– zucchini {chopped}

– shitake mushrooms {chopped}

– cipollini onions {peeled and chopped}

– few cloves garlic {peeled and chopped or grated}

– 3-4 small vine-ripe tomatoes {quartered}

– spinach {about a cup}

– juice of a lemon

– fresh grated parmesan cheese

have you met cipollini onions?!  they are so delicious!  i think they make excellent caramelized onions, which is what i did with this dish.  they must have a short season, because i don’t often see them until around this time of year, but they are hit or miss at the markets.  grab some up if you can!  aside from a good ol’ texas sweet onion, these are my favourite!

add the chopped cipollini {any onion will suffice, but i prefer sweet} and a couple tablespoons of good organic butter or EVOO to the pan and saute on medium heat.

as they begin to caramelize, turn down the heat and add in a little water to deglaze your pan… be careful though, it will splatter!  cover them or use a guard and/or stand back!  that’s why i move the heat down to low…

add in your chopped garlic and cook that down a bit… you can always add in water or veggie stock to keep from sticking…

in a stovetop pan, cook your pasta noodles according to the package…

back to your sauce pan, toss in your chopped zucchini and cook that down…

next to jump in are your mushrooms… cook them down…

toss in your tomatoes… let them cook for a good bit… we almost want to stew them…

squeeze in the juice of one lemon and squish your tomatoes with a fork to release the juices…

before draining your pasta fully, reserve one cup of the starchy cooking water from the pan.  as racheal ray convinced me, this helps to “marry” the sauce together with the pasta… it really has made all the difference in how my pasta dishes turn out… the trick is remembering to reserve the water before you dump it all out.

so, just toss that in with the sauce and simmer…

i threw in a few sprigs of fresh oregano from my backyard

and at the last minute, i threw in some spinach and wilted it down…

top with fresh grated parmesan cheese — mmm, it’s pretty and delicious! oh, and i don’t use whole wheat pasta.  i simply don’t like the texture and i figure i get enough whole grains throughout my diet in other ways.

i washed it down with an octoberfest lager from bristol brewing company. definitely a good hearty lager with a balance of caramel flavour in the body and an earthy undertone.  clean finish that lingers just a bit… a true octoberfest style with a little more fullness in the body… it went well with the easy pasta dish.

cheers!

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5 Responses to “{thirsty thursday} — pasta primavera w/ a local oktoberfest lager”

  1. Our Growing Paynes October 18, 2012 at 11:31 am #

    I’ll have to try those onions. I sometimes have trouble getting a good carmelization on the onions.

    Like

  2. trialsinfood October 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm #

    looks like a pro made that. 😉 beautiful and yummy looking!

    Like

    • cooking with audrey October 18, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

      wow, thank you so much!!! that is quite a compliment. i have to say, it WAS pretty yummy! thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  3. anthony0358 October 19, 2012 at 11:21 am #

    see all that color, that is what makes a great meal!

    Like

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  1. {flashback friday – these are a few of my favourite things} | food & foto - December 5, 2013

    […] pasta primavera with fresh-grated parmigiano reggiano […]

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