While I was gone last week, our air conditioner decided it didn’t really want to work and didn’t really need to work, so it was just going to…lay down on the job and not work. That was fine last week when it was cool, but the temps have gone back up this weekend and it’s been hot. The open windows and ceiling fans just aren’t cutting it.
As a result, I’ve tried to stay far, far away from the kitchen. I mean, I go to grab a bottle of water or a bowl of salad or something, but I’ve been avoiding the stove and oven like the plague. I had chips for dinner a couple of nights, that’s how desperate I’ve been.
I really blew it when I went shopping, though. I bought all these fresh veggies, some of which I don’t care for raw. Which means, of course, that I have no choice but to bust out a heat source. And I’m fairly certain that my forehead is not an acceptable one, despite the fact that I think I could have fried an egg on it earlier, it was so hot in here.
I wasn’t sure what I was willing to slave over the fiery inferno of my stove to make tonight until I stumbled across a blog update and knew what I had to do. It involved a few choice swear words at the mounting temperatures in the house, but the end result? Totally worth it — I promptly went out on the back deck, where a nice breeze was blowing and I could breathe without searing my lungs, and chowed down.
The sauce is light and really allows the flavor of the veggies to stand out. The tomatoes in particular reached out and grabbed me with every bite, which is almost miraculous given the often-flavorless tomatoes you get in stores so much of the time.
Confetti Pasta, modified from a Stephanie Cooks Original (scaled to serve 1)
Whole wheat thin spaghetti
1/2 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, diced
1/5 pound asparagus
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/5 each red, yellow and orange bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and cut remaining stalks into thirds. Start your pasta and put the butter in a small pan to heat. Then add the garlic and asparagus, followed shortly by the peppers (if you like your peppers soft, add them in at the same time as the asparagus); cook until tender and remove vegetables from pan.
In a small bowl (or in my case a coffee mug), combine the chicken broth, onion powder and flour; stir or whisk until no lumps remain. Add the liquid to the pan, stirring, until thickened. Toss in the cooked pasta, the cooked vegetables, the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and half the Parmesan cheese. Mix and cook for about three minutes.
Remove from the pan, dish up, and top with the remaining Parmesan.