Thursday, March 4, 2010
Fresh Vegetable and Parmesan Fettuccine
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of a small red onion - sliced or chopped, however you prefer it
3 garlic cloves - finely chopped
a handful of fresh oregano - coarsely chopped (or about a tablespoon of dried oregano)
a handful of fresh Italian parsley - coarsely chopped
1 medium bell pepper (I prefer yellow but any will work)
about 3/4 cup of a dry white wine (you can also use the cooking sherry found in the salad dressing aisle, I used a Chardonnay)
about 4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese
a few dashes of chili powder
fresh ground black pepper
a dash of garlic salt
2 good handfuls of fresh spinach
freshly shaved Parmesan
fettuccine (really any pasta will work)
Start by drizzling a couple tablespoons of oil into a large frying pan. If you didn't use enough, you will soon know to add more and can do so without any harm done. If you used too much... well, you can't use too much olive oil so don't fret, you didn't ruin anything! Now, add your onion, garlic, oregano, parsley and bell pepper to the pan. These ingredients are called your aromatics. Saute until onion starts to soften. Pour your wine down over the pan, this is called deglazing your pan. Deglazing simply means pouring cold liquid over a very hot pan, loosening up those yummy little brown bits that get stuck to the bottom, that's where all the flavor is! Anyway... back to it... let your wine and aromatics simmer for a few minutes and then add your Parmesan. Sprinkle in your chili powder (a little goes a long way), salt, pepper and garlic salt. Once your sauce gets a nice creamy texture, add in your fresh, chopped spinach. You just want it to wilt so remove the pan from the heat. Spoon mixture over a nest of fettuccine, sprinkle with shaved Parmesan and serve!
Now... there is a LOT of room for creativity here! For some variation... here are some suggestions...
Try adding some fresh basil and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Saute some diced chicken or shrimp with your aromatics.
Add some broccoli, diced zucchini and matchstick carrots.
Add a can of diced tomatoes after you deglaze the pan with the wine.
The possibilities are endless!! Enjoy!