Super Delicious (and simple to make) Pasta con Vendure
This is a dish that I served to our staff at work yesterday. I was trying to use up some vegetables because we are closed for the first week of January. It's really just a more complex version of any of the aglio e olio dishes I've posted here before. But before I start the recipe I have to qualify some of the ingredients...most are out of season, which is unlike me when I cook at home. But this was at my place of employment where we are primarily a banquet house, meaning what I purchase and serve is dictated by what the customers request. Unfortunately, to many, everything is always in season (it's always overflowing in the supermarket isn't it?). OK, sorry for the brief rant, I'll get back on topic about the actual recipe. Anyhow, and as aforementioned, this is basically a version of an oil and garlic style pasta dish...but with more stuff in it...mainly how it was seasoned.
Here's the ingredients I used (but you can adapt this to any ingredients...especially more seasonal vegetables), they're listed in the order of application...
Olive oil, onion, carrot, sweet red pepper, garlic, crushed hot peppers, fennel seed, saffron threads, smoked paprika, white wine, chicken broth (you can use vegetable broth if you want to keep it vegetarian), kosher salt, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, cooked whole-wheat penne rigate, grated Manchego cheese (proportions are up to you; the more vegetables the better...and I use lots of garlic and hot pepper).
This is how to make it...
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, carrot, and sweet pepper; cook it until it begins to brown. Add the garlic, crushed hot pepper, and fennel seed; cook a couple minutes longer, making a sort of sofrito. Then add a small amount of smoked paprika and a few saffron threads; cook just a minute longer to bring out their flavor. Add some white wine and allow it to evaporate for a few minutes as it cooks, then add an equal quantity of broth. Season the liquid with kosher salt, and while it is boiling add the tomatoes and asparagus. Stir and cook the vegetables for a couple minute, until some of the liquid evaporates and the vegetables are al dente. Stir in the pasta and allow most of the remainder of the liquid to absorb into it. Toss with the cheese just before serving.