Monday, February 14, 2011

Romantic Dinner

This pasta primavera was very satisfying,
without being too filling. We didn't miss the
Parmesan cheese at all! On the left side of the
plate we have a roasted fennel. We found it a
little fibrous. Perhaps if it were baked in an
iron pot; and I think I didn't cut the pieces small enough. Overall, the flavors of each dish worked well together. I gleefully cleaned my plate, then waddled off to my dance class, which weighed me down quite a bit. Meanwhile, my husband was left with the dishes...So much for romance!
This is what happens when you've been married a long time.

Romeo's Primavera Pasta

6 ounces fettuccine
1 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons instant vegetable bouillon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces sweet potato(one small one), peeled, cut into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
3/4 cup of cashews, chopped or halved
1/4 cup fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon of dried
1/4 cup fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile stir together in a small bowl the water, cornstarch and bouillon. Set aside.

Preheat over medium-high heat a large skillet or wok. Pour olive oil into pan and fry garlic for 15 seconds. Add asparagus, sweet potatoes, and onions. Stir fry for 2-4 minutes. Add nuts, herbs, and pepper and cook another minute until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetable mixture from pan.

Stir water mixture and add to pan. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly, about 3-4 minutes. Return vegetables to wok and toss to coat with sauce and heat through. Spoon over hot cooked pasta. Makes 4 servings.

Juliette's Fennel Roast

1 1/2 pounds fennel bulbs (tops are too fibrous)
6 shallots, peeled and chopped
1-2 apples, peeled, cored, sliced thin (green or tart variety)
Salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 tablespoons olive or grapeseed oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove outer layers of the fennel bulbs if they seem old or tough. Cut bulbs in half lengthwise and cut crosswise in 1/4-inch slices. Put them into a large casserole or iron skillet. Add chopped shallots and apples to the dish. Toss together with salt and pepper, then drizzle oil over the mixture. Roast uncovered for 20-30 minutes until the fennel is very tender. Serve while hot.

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