Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What to do when you are out of options ...

I was running out of things to make dinner with since it is nearing the end of the week (kind of ...) and we hadn't gone grocery shopping since Friday. I usually try to make a dinner schedule, but I hadn't really thought through tonight's dinner because I was so excited about tomorrow's! (Tomorrow is Kumo's 1st birthday so we decided to make something we could sneak at him a little. You'll see.) Anyway, I was a little short on ingredients so I had to improvise a lot. I didn't have any meat I could use, but I did have tuna in the pantry, so I decided to use that. And I always have onions and garlic and lemons in our kitchen. And I had asparagus from dinner earlier this week, and edamame in the freezer. So where to go from there ... When I added the tuna into the cooking onions and garlic, I smelled a very familiar delicious smell that reminded me of an Italian restaurant in Tokyo that my family used to go to when I was a kid. I always ordered the fettuccini with salmon cream sauce. And since I didn't have heavy cream (nor did I want to pack on those delicious but unnecessary pounds) I decided to use a little reduced fat cream cheese I had. And it worked out great! Not very reminiscent of my childhood favorite, but it worked out to be one of my new at home favorites. So here is the recipe. In general measurements.

Creamy Pantry Pasta Primavera
serves 4

1/2 lb short pasta (penne in this case)
7 stalks of asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces, cut at a diagonal
1/2 C edamame, thawed and taken out of their skins
1 can tuna
2 T reduced fat cream cheese
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 can of corn
1 large yellow onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 T butter
  1. Boil pasta according to directions, set aside. Reserve some pasta water for later.
  2. In a large pot, melt the butter on medium heat and add onions. Cook until softened. Add garlic and cook until the garlic develops a slight sweet smell instead of a strong, biting smell, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir until evenly distributed.
  3. Add tuna and cook for about 30 seconds to a minute, breaking up the pieces as you go.
  4. Add all of the asparagus except for the tops and cook until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Add pasta and stir, adding pasta water to loosen the sauce.
  5. Add asparagus tops, corn, edamame, and lemon zest. Stir everything in. Sprinkle lemon juice on top and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with crusty bread on the side.

1 comment:

Lisa Allen said...

You are so creative! Looks yummy.