Farfalle with My Favorite Color Sauce and Roasted Vegetables
If you can’t tell what color the sauce is from this picture, here are a few clues:
As far back as I can remember my favorite color has been green. There isn’t really an explanation except that looking at green makes me happy. One of my best memories from my wedding day is walking down the stairs in my parents’ home to a sea of green dresses worn by my bridesmaids! I don’t just like green, I love it. Both consciously and subconsciously I choose to surround myself with green. As I was snapping photos of this meal, all of my green things sort of jumped out at me. I knew I had an affinity for the color, but, yikes! Even my three soap dispensers, napkins, place mats, measuring cups, and oven mitts are green!
As my mother-in-law put it, and I agree, this dish is very pretty. The smooth green sauce over a bed of farfalle (bow tie) pasta studded with (red) roasted tomatoes and (more green) asparagus makes for a lovely presentation. The flavor is great too. I created this recipe to be healthy and flavorful. It seems too often that pasta is smothered with thick cream and butter. That is not the case here. The sauce is a puree of peas, olive oil, fresh basil and some pungent parmesan, which makes for a delicate, smooth, and tasty sauce that is not rich with dairy. In fact, there is only one cup of cheese over the two pounds of pasta.
- Using a different pasta shape than you would ordinarily use adds interest to a dish. Choosing new pasta shapes is an easy way to spice up an old favorite. Check out these recipes: Papparadelle, Orecchiette, Gemelli, Orzo, Buccatini–they are all fun shapes to try! If the selection at your local grocer is sparse, stop in a specialty shop, like an Italian market. You are likely to find an array of new shapes and sizes.
- Eliminate chicken and replace chicken broth with vegetable broth to convert this to a vegetarian recipe.
Farfalle with My Favorite Color Sauce:
- 2 pounds farfalle (bow ties)
- 2 pints grape tomatoes
- 2 bunches green asparagus
- 3 glugs of olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1-16 oz. bag frozen peas
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- a handful of fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 chicken breasts (seasoned generously with salt and pepper, grilled, and cut into 1-inch pieces)
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Fill a large pot with salted water and place on stove to boil. When water is boiling add farfalle and cook according to package directions.
Slice grape tomatoes in half and place on baking sheet cut side down. Drizzle with a glug of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 12-14 minutes, or until just soft. Remove from oven and set aside. Leave oven on.
Cut off the tough ends of asparagus and throw away. Cut asparagus into 2-inch segments and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with a glug of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Turn oven off.
In a large skillet or saucepan warm a glug of olive oil over low/medium heat. Add minced shallots. Cook until shallots are soft. Add peas to pan and combine with shallots. Cook peas for just a minute–just until they are warm and slightly soft. Remove from heat.
In a blender or food processor combine pea/shallot mixture, 3/4 cup olive oil, 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup chicken broth, basil leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Puree mixture until smooth.
In a large serving bowl, combine cooked pasta, roasted tomatoes, roasted asparagus, and chicken cubes. Pour sauce on top and gently toss to coat.