Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another yummy one for ya!

Many of you have commented on the recipes I've shared in the past-- letting me know you tried them, loved them and that I should share any other great ones I come across. Well, today is the day folks! Have I ever steered you wrong? I hope you're shaking your head "no"--because, boy have I got a doozie for ya!

Penne with Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes by Giada de Laurentis (aka The Big Cheese) 

A couple things. I rarely change up recipes because I tend to completely screw things up. Today however, I was brave and made a few subs/ additions.  And I am happy to say it turned out wonderfully.  Here's what I did:
  • I boiled the pasta in chicken broth. In fact, I always do boil pasta in chicken broth! Try it sometime with your Mac n' Cheese-- it will change your life. Well, maybe not--but you will definitely taste the difference! Especially with whole wheat pasta which is even more bland.  It really does help.
  • I subbed edamame for the peas (GREAT source of protein-- which is good considering this dish has no meat).
  • I added more tomatoes than what it called for (probably around 2 1/2 cups vs the 2 cups she recommended). Make sure to follow the recipe and "let them burst"... it makes all the difference in the sauce.
  • Also make sure to use thin asparagus (like it calls for).  
  • I also added sliced portabella mushrooms during the cooking process (I had them in the fridge, so I thought "What the hey?!). Turns out, they are wonderful with this dish.
My finished version of the recipe!

Ava had a picnic while watching Toy Story 3 (for the 2nd time today). Based on the smile, I am thinking she also likes the pasta (I removed the asparagus and mushrooms from hers to avoid any necessary Heimlich maneuvers)
Notice the unwanted cheese stick on the floor. She chose MY pasta over cheese! That is a definite FIRST!

I'm happy to report that she didn't leave a single noodle on her plate. This was super easy, full of fresh yummy veggies and will be a new staple in my recipe book! Enjoy!

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