Sunday, February 27, 2011

Confetti Capellini

It's been snowing all weekend. (sigh)

Don't get me wrong. I love snow days - waking up to whiteness and silence, watching the snow fall, being mesmerized by the starry perfection of each tiny snowflake.

But after a while you can only take so much whiteness and so much silence. So last night I decided to bring some noise into the day by having my brother over for dinner and making some colourful pasta.

I first saw this recipe for Confetti Spaghetti in a book called The Recipe Club. The original recipe calls for carrots, zucchini, olives, peppers, and ham. I didn't have zucchini and olives last night; I did have the rest of the ingredients along with cauliflower. And I didn't have spaghetti so I used capellini, which cooks faster anyway. The beauty of pasta dishes is that they are so flexible and forgiving. Use a whole red pepper if you don't have all the colours; use broccoli instead of cauliflower if you want more green. To use a favourite phrase of the late, great James Barber, "You use what you've got."

adapted from The Recipe Club
Serves 4 as a first course or 2 as a main course.

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/2 cup carrots, cut into a small dice
1/4 cup each of red, yellow, green, orange peppers, cut into a small dice
1/2 cup cauliflower or broccoli
1/2 cup cooked ham, cut into a small dice
2 cups of your favourite red pasta sauce
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
400 grams of capellini, cooked according to package directions
parmesan cheese, grated

Heat the olive oil in a small pot and saute the garlic and onions until soft and fragrant. Add all the diced veggies and ham and mix well. Cook for about five minutes.

Add the pasta sauce and mix well. Cook until heated through. Season to taste. Stir in heavy cream, if using.

Serve over capellini sprinkled with parmesan.


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