Pasta seems to be more than a trendy food that is very, very popular for a short time and then suddenly forgotten. The availability of fresh noodles is certainly a treat for cooks who need to prepare a quick, delicious meal, and the versatility of pasta is endless.
If you are wondering what vegetables and seasonings to combine with some of the flavored pastas - such as tomato, spinach, carrot, and even chocolate pasta, let your own taste be your guide.
Remember how the dish will look. It should be colorful, as in the following recipe, where tomato noodles are combined with bright green broccoli.
If you can't find tomato noodles, substitute egg noodles and add some chopped tomatoes or sauteed, sliced red pepper for color.
Warm serving plates will keep the pasta hot for your guests. Serve with crusty rolls and a simple green salad. Tomato Fettuccine With Broccoli and Roquefort 1 bunch broccoli, broken into florets 1 1/4 cups heavy cream 1/2 cup Roquefort cheese, crumbled 3/4 pound tomato fettuccine 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese Salt, to taste Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Boil or steam broccoli just until crunchy. Drain immediately and refresh under cold water. When cool enough to handle, pat dry and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
To cook pasta, bring 4 quarts water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt, in large 6-quart pot. As water comes to a boil, start sauce.
Reduce heavy cream in 12-inch skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add broccoli and cook for 1 minute more.
Add Roquefort and keep simmering over low heat until pasta is done. Taste for seasoning and add salt and generous amount of fresh pepper.
Add fettuccine to boiling salted water and cook for 4 minutes, or until just cooked but still slightly al dente. Drain and refresh under hot, not cold, water so that pasta does not cool off.
To serve, place some pasta on each plate and ladle sauce on it. Sprinkle Parmesan the over top, and allow each person to toss his own pasta. Serves 4.