A couple of years ago, my boss (dear friend), Sara, and I began "sharing lunches". We were both in the bad habit of letting busy mornings get the best of us and showing up without a lunch. This meant many "junk food" lunches or trips out for fast food. We decided that whenever we had leftovers, we would bring what we had and share with each other.
On days she forgets, I remember and when I forget, she remembers. Some days we both show up with something. Her food always looks better to me and mine to her, so we swap and eat each others food. Some days we both show up empty handed, so the occasional trip out to Wendy's remains part of the equation, but we are MUCH better than we use to be. Which leads me to this recipe:
It's not common for me to make a main dish that doesn't include some type of meat, but this pasta is hearty enough to stand on it's own with just veggies. It is so delicious! My kids request it at least once a month and it's one of mine and Sara's favorite leftover lunches.
1 pkg. linguine noodles
1 head fresh broccoli, washed and cut in florets
2 medium size carrots, peeled and cut in slices
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 container button mushrooms, washed and sliced
1 small zucchini, cut in small slices
1 small yellow squash, cut in small slices
1 small onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese *high quality Parmesan will turn out better
4 T. butter & olive oil (for sauteing the veggies)
Prepare and chop all the veggies. Try to keep things uniform in size so everything cooks evenly. Boil a big pot of water, add a handful of salt, and cook the linguine according to pkg. directions until it is al dente. Drain and set aside.
In a large frying pan, place 1-2 T. butter and a bit of olive oil and saute the harder veggies - carrots, broccoli, red pepper, and onion. Saute for 5-6 minutes, then pour on to a plate to rest. Add another 2 T. butter to the pan, drizzle in a little more olive oil and saute the softer veggies - zucchini, squash, mushrooms - until they are lightly browned and tender. Pour them out on to the plate with the other veggies to rest.
The bottom of the pan will be a little browned but that is GOOD!
Add some more butter/olive oil to the pan and saute the onion and garlic until softened. Pour in the chicken broth and simmer and stir until the broth reduces by about half and the browned bits from the pan are incorporated in the sauce. After broth reduces and thickens, add in the half & half and continue cooking until it thickens a bit. Add the grated Parmesan and stir until bubbly. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour all veggies and the pasta in to the pot and stir until everything is coated. Remove from heat. Sprinkle more Parmesan on top to serve.