Saturday, October 25, 2008

Blushing Penne

I have been away from home all week visiting family. We’re on a little Fall holiday. Unfortunately, it means that I have fallen behind on my blog. On the upside, I had the opportunity to cook for a wider base of critics (my parents, sisters, and their families) this week. AND for those of you that are getting tired of viewing the dinners that I create on my Pfaltzgraff Jamberry motif plates, you can look at my mom’s dinnerware in these pictures. Look- when I registered for our wedding gifts 6 years ago, I had no idea I'd be taking daily pictures of my everyday plates. If any of you were dying with anticipation for my Blushing Penne recipe, I am sorry to have kept you waiting.

I love this pasta recipe because it is so easy to make. The flavors from the parmigiano-reggiano cheese and the herbs combined with the creamy texture and blushing color make such a simple recipe "fancy"... for lack of a better word.

If you’ve never used parmigiano-reggiano cheese before, you’re in for a treat. Parmigiano-Reggiano has a sweet-nutty flavor and crumbly texture that is a favorite of both cheese lovers and connoisseurs. This cheese has significantly more flavor than regular parmesean, so you can use less of it and conserve calories.

I begin by boiling the water for the penne. Then I melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet. I toss in about a cup of thinly sliced onions and cook them until golden brown. Then I add basil and thyme and cook for another minute or so.

Next, I pour in a cup of half and half and ½ cup of white cooking wine.

Now here’s the blushing part: 1 tablespoon of tomato paste.
Stir it in.

Stir the rest of the half and half with 2 tablespoons of flour until smooth. Add the mixture to the sauce. Also add ½ cup of the parmigiano-reggiano cheese. Cook until thickened.

Now you’re all ready to drain the penne and toss with the sauce. Top it with more of that delicious parmiggiano-reggiano cheese and it’s ready to serve!

Last night I served the Blushing Penne to my family with a plain old lettuce salad graced with celery, dried cherries, and a crisp, slightly tart sliced apple. Oh, and of course, pasta’s good buddy: garlic bread. You've gotta have garlic bread!

Blushing Penne
1 package (16 oz) penne pasta
1 cup of thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups half and half cream, divided
½ cup of white cooking wine or chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons flour
½ cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
Cook penne according to package directions. In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook onions in butter 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add thyme, basil, and salt, cook 1 minute longer. Add 1 cup of cream, wine, and tomato paste. Cook and stir until blended. Combine flour and remaining cream until smooth; gradually stir into onion mixture. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes until thickened. Stir in ¼ cup of cheese. Drain penne. Toss with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

1 cup= 336 calories, 10 g fat, 46 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber. WW points: 7

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Krista, I just made this for dinner tonight! It was sooo good! I had some leftover rotisserie chicken from the other night, so I chopped that up and added it into the sauce. Very good!

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