OK, so I know pasta primavera is one of the easiest dishes known to man, but I honestly had never made it nor seen it made until about a month ago. I had a bunch of veggies laying around, and didn't feel like making a stir-fry, so I searched the blogs for an appropriate recipe. I ended up combining the things I liked from 3 or 4 different recipes.
I started by chopping the veggies:
As you can see, I chopped mushrooms, carrots, red onion, asparagus, snow peas, broccoli, yellow bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and garlic. The longer-cooking foods (carrots, asparagus) I blanched before the actual cooking. In the process of cutting these, I discovered that I'm horribly slow with a knife! I know Sam is planning to take knife wielding classes, and they would probably be a good idea for me as well, though I may have to wait until after graduation.
Once I chopped my veggies, I cooked the pasta and kept it in the pot with a little of the cooking liquid and some olive oil to prevent congealing. Meanwhile, I heated up some olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan. I started with the garlic, and then added ingredients in reverse order of anticipated cooking time (onions, carrots, asparagus, and mushrooms, followed by peppers, then broccoli, and finally the snow peas and sundried tomatoes). This only took a few minutes, and when done, I added the pasta, and then mixed it all together with some black pepper and the cherry tomatoes. It looked something like this:
Finally, I finished it off with a little Parmesan cheese and topped it with some chicken I'd grilled. The chicken was marinated with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, with a little garlic, oregano, and rosemary.
We made a lot more pasta than we needed, but fortunately, it reheats very well, so we had the leftovers for dinner a few days later, with some more grilled chicken breasts (this time I replaced half the vinegar with lemon juice for a little softer flavor).
We also had what was left of a bottle of Stephen Vincent's "Crimson" with the original dinner (we'd opened it the night before to drink with a little manchego cheese that caught our eye). This is one of our favorite all-purpose wines. It is a Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon blend, and is typically around $10-12. While it doesn't go well with everything (I think the manchego cheese was not the best match), it does do well for most dishes. The Syrah helps it to match with a wide range of dishes, and the cab gives it enough backbone to stand up to steak. I would imagine that this wine would age well, but we've never been able to keep a bottle around long enough! We've picked up a case of it, though it is earmarked for our wedding reception.