Friday, February 29, 2008

Blushing Penne Pasta

Prep/Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings

1 package (16 ounces) penne pasta
1 cup thinly sliced onions
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups half-and-half cream, divided
1/2 cup white wine or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided

Cook penne according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onions in butter for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the thyme, basil and salt; cook 1 minute longer. Add 1 cup cream, wine or broth and tomato paste; cook and stir until blended.

Combine flour and remaining cream until smooth; gradually stir into onion mixture. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Drain penne; toss with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Tips and Tricks
Since my family has a hard time eating pasta leftovers, I made half the box of pasta and the full amount of sauce. This worked out well, because the leftovers seemed to absorb a lot of the sauce. I also used whole wheat pasta.
Make It Healthier
Use whole wheat or whole grain pasta. Use unsalted butter or trans-fat free spread. Omit salt. Use fat-free half and half.
How Kids Can Help
Pour pasta into water. Measure spices.

Nutrition Facts
One serving: 1 cup Calories: 336 Fat: 10 g Saturated Fat: 6 g Cholesterol: 34 mg Sodium: 445 mg Carbohydrate: 46 g Fiber: 2 g Protein: 12 g

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