Pam and I have a lot in common. She makes beautiful food; I make a lot of food. She takes beautiful pictures. I take pictures. She names her food for the ingredients; so do I. See? Just like twins, right?
But this dinner had too many ingredients for me to figure out how exactly to name it. "Pasta Primavera Chicken Alfredo"? "Chicken Alfredo Pasta Primavera"? "Pasta Primavera with Extra Crap Thrown in"? You see the dilemma. In any event, this is what I served the last night that my son and his girlfriend were here. I'm not gonna lie; this was a lot of food. I'd suggest everyone with a normal sized household cut it to 1/3 of what I list (other than the sauce, because there's nothing wrong with plenty of sauce), since 7 of us couldn't come close to finishing it.
PASTA WITH TOO MANY INGREDIENTS
3 pounds Mini Penne
3 carrots, sliced thin
1 pound frozen broccoli florets
1 pound frozen cauliflower florets
1 cup frozen corn
2 pounds cooked chicken, chopped into 1/2" cubes
3 cups milk
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup cold milk
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup butter
20 turns fresh ground pepper
10 shakes garlic powder
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup parmesan
Bring the salted water for the pasta to a boil; add the carrots and cook for 2 minutes. Add the pasta and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the remaining veggies and cook for 9 minutes. Drain in a colander. While this is cooking, heat the chicken, a task for which I find the microwave wonderfully suited. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat the 3 cups of milk to a simmer, and add the cream. Whisk the cold milk and cornstarch, and whisk this mixture into the hot milk. Cook until the sauce thickens, add the pepper and garlic powder (yes, I count the turns and shakes; I count everything). Cut the butter into chunks, and whisk into the sauce. Add 1/2 cup of the hot sauce to the beaten eggs to proof, then turn the sauce down so it's just below the simmer, and whisk the eggs and parmesan into the sauce. Whisk until smooth, stir in the warm chicken chunks, and hold over low heat until the pasta's done. After draining the pasta, return it to its pot (or a serving bowl, if you're really fancy), pour most of the sauce and all of the chicken over the pasta, stir well and serve. Pass the remainder of the sauce.
This is a great fast meal, and using only one stockpot plus one sauce pan is a bonus (you really don't want to see my dirty dish pile after I've cooked a meal). But, unless you want to reheat and eat this for a week, cut the quantities down - a lot! The picture above is the bowl of leftovers - no one wanted to wait to eat!
And look at these big fat robins who were camped out on my lawn this weekend! They were about 300 feet from the house, and this picture was taken with a zoom lens. But if I could see them clearly from that distance, those suckers must have been massive! Anyway, they're a welcome harbinger of spring!