Spaghetti Primavera

Monday, 8 August 2011
I'm back!  Various things have made it clear to me that I wanted to return and so here I am.  I've decided I'm going to shift the focus a little to cooking in general.  Whilst Baby-Led-Weaning is frankly amazing, little D has gone beyond those early forays and is a fairly confident eater these days.  He recently worked out how to use a spoon for soup.  I couldn't be prouder. 

What I may comment on is his response to food and I hope as he gets older, the help that he gives me making food. 

All that said, in honour of returning to my blog, I'm going to share my attempts at Spaghetti Primavera.  I am not sure where this recipe came from I'm afraid.

First of all, here are the ingredients -

200g spaghetti
75g frozen peas
160g cauliflower
2 carrots
1 obscenely large courgette (or two smaller ones)
Half a stock cube
200g creme fraiche
1 garlic clove
2 small onions

a) Points of note already - I could not get over the size of the courgettes in Sainsburys today.  I've never seen courgettes so huge. 
b) 30g of full-fat creme fraiche (have to use full fat for the littlest one) has 91 calories.  That means this is hardly diet food.
c) that's a purple cauliflower.  I'd heard of purple potatoes and purple sprouting broccoli and even purple carrots but I was a bit thrown by the cauliflower.  Fact is, it's much the same as 'normal' cauliflower, it's just a different colour. 
d) I use low-salt stock because of the small one.  One of my aims at some point this summer is to make my own stock.  I'm a little excited by this. 

Preparation -

Chop the cauliflower into small florets and blanch in water for five minutes.  If you have purple cauliflower, it might end up looking a bit like this -

I have to say, a lot more aesthetically pleasing than purple potatoes. 

Chop the onion and garlic.  Chop the carrot and courgette into matchsticks.  I am not good with instructions like this - I would rather be given precise sizes.  However, there you have it.   Matchsticks.  With your stock cube (or if you are ahead of me, your homemade stock), make up 200mls of stock.

Saute the onion and garlic for a minute. 

I'm sad to say that this is not my beloved wok.  As you will soon see, that was a bit of a mistake. 

Add the courgette and carrot.  In this size and shape of pan it is really difficult to stir.  You should continue to saute this for around 2-3 minutes.  However, becuase my 'matchsticks' were a bit more like fingers and the pan wasn't really heating everything quickly enough, I left it more like six.  Whilst this is happening, put on your spaghetti.  I tend to use quick cook spaghetti, meaning I only need five minutes. 

After this, add the vegetable stock, creme fraiche, peas and cauliflower.  Heat through for a further three minutes. 

Yes, I've provided you with a picture of cooking spaghetti.  Just in case you've never seen it before. 

At this point, the recipe I have calls for 75g of parmesan to be added to the sauce and given a minute or two to cook in with the rest of the ingredients.  Thanks to a mixture of disorganisation (I didn't put parmesan on the shopping list this week...) and a bit of a shock at the calorie content in creme fraiche, I skipped that. 

Drain the pasta.  Combine with the sauce.  Serve. 

As you can see, my presentation skills need a bit of work.  I then used a fairly good dose of black pepper and sprinkled some of that 'Italian grated cheese' on the top.  

I think that this worked okay as a recipe.  The actual parmesan would probably have made it better.  It worked reasonably well though.  I need to work on cutting up the carrot into smaller pieces - it was a little crunchier than I would like.  Also, I am particularly bad at mixing noodles/spaghetti into sauces.  Spaghetti loves to stick together, it doesn't fancy being mixed with that other stuff...

This made two reasonably sized plates, a smaller bowl for the littlest and probably two or three more small portions for freezing - so probably would serve four. 

Tentatively recommended.  I might give it another go in the future. 

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