Monday, July 11, 2011

Pasta Primavera with Pesto

From the same magazine as the chicken and asparagus stir-fry.

2 cups fresh broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 lb. sugar snap peas, sliced in half
8 oz. dried spaghetti
1 cup prepared pesto
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 medium carrots, trimmed, peeled and coarsely grated
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Drop the broccoli and peas into the boiling water; cook until bright green and tender, about 1 minute. Transfer vegetables with a slotted spoon to the ice water to stop cooking. Once cooled, drain.
2. Stir the pasta into the boiling water. Cook according to package instructions. Drain pasta and transfer to a large bowl. While pasta is still warm, add the pesto and toss until combined.
3. While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and cook 1 minute. Add the broccoli-peas mixture, carrots and a pinch of salt. Cook veggies until warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add them to pasta mixture and toss. Then add cheese, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Chicken and Asparagus Stir-Fry

Pulled this out of a magazine. Tyler especially liked it.

1 lb. chicken breast cut into 1-inch chunks
3 scallions, thinly sliced, tops reserved
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped, divided
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch, divided
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. dark sesame oil
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
3 tbsp. peanut oil, divided
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. hoisin sauce
3 tbsp. chopped roasted peanuts
Cooked rice for serving

1. In a medium bowl, toss chicken with the sliced scallions, half of each the garlic and the ginger, sugar, soy sauce, 1 tsp. cornstarch, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and 3/4 tsp. salt. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. In a bowl, whisk together 1 tsp. cornstarch and 3 tbsp. water. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add 1 tbsp. peanut oil and heat until shimmering. Add the asparagus and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in remaining garlic and ginger, 3 tbsp. water and 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, as needed, to keep skillet from becoming completely dry. Transfer veggies to a plate.
3. Return skillet to stove top and warm the remaining 2 tbsp. oil. Add the chicken in its marinade and red pepper flakes. Stir-fry until nearly cooked through, about 2 minutes. Stir in the hoisin sauce and asparagus. Give the cornstarch slurry a quick whisk and add to the pan. Simmer stir-fry until thickened, about 2 minutes. Toss in peanuts. Taste and adjust seasoning; serve over rice and garnish with sliced scallion tops.

*I only put in 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes and it was plenty for me. Tyler probably could have handled the 3/4 tsp. , so if you like it spicy put it all in. This has tons of flavor with all the fresh ingredients.
** they also said you could swap in broccoli instead, one head, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces.