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PASTA PRIMAVERA - (vegetarian dairy dish)

Prepare 4 components separately. 

VEGETABLES
Boil until al dente in large pot of water:
1 to 2 heads of broccoli - cut into flowerets and stems chopped fine,
1 pound asparagus - cut into bite size pieces,
3 - 5 medium zucchini - cut into bite size pieces.
Lift vegetables out to another container, reserve water.

TOMATO/MUSHROOM/GARLIC/PEPPER/BASIL SAUCE
Sauté in 1/4 cup olive oil
1 whole head of garlic - minced - until just tan, don't burn.
Add 2 - 4 one pound cans of chopped tomatoes - include juice.
Add about 1 - 2 pound chopped mushrooms.
Add pepper - black - about 1 tablespoon. 
Add cayenne pepper - about 1/4 teaspoon.
Add about 1 cup of fresh basil - chopped or sliced in strips.
Simmer until mushrooms are well cooked.

CHEESE SAUCE
Melt 1 stick butter in microwave.
Add 1 pint half and half.
Heat to steaming or boil.
Add 1 - 2 cups grated Parmesan and/or Romano cheese.
Stir until cheese is melted.

PASTA
Break 1 - 2 pounds Linguine into thirds.
Cook in the same water as vegetables (add more water if needed)
until al dente.

Combine all 4 components together.  Serve with grated cheese.
This is a double batch, serves 8 - 12 people.
Freezes well in individual portions. Microwave on defrost first then heat.
Single Person's Version Momomom - while I love your recipe, it contains a few more ingredients than I allow in my kitchen at any one time. And it has several steps. So here's the consummate bachelorette's version.

This recipe requires twelve minutes at the most to prepare, and uses a minimum amount of stuff that will later require washing.

Note that steps 1 - 12 take place in rapid succession. Be prepared to spend at least 10 minutes focused on the preparation of the meal.

Ingredients:

Pasta (preferably the "soft" kind that you find in the refrigerated section - this stuff only takes 45 seconds - 3.5 minutes to cook.)

Vegetables (Whatever is in the vegetable drawer. Or wherever in the refrigerator. Broccoli works very well.)

Sauce - You can buy these in plastic containers next to the pasta, or in jars and cans in another area of the grocery. Whatever - every type of sauce is available. Get the smallest portion of sauce & pasta & veggies you can because chances are they will go bad before you use all of them.

Steps:

1. Fill a pot with water and shake in a little salt. Cover. Set on burner and turn burner on to High.

2. Slice the veggies. Do this on the counter top. No use messing up a cutting board 'cause you'll just have to wash it later.

3. Pull out the amount of pasta you plan on using.

4. Place veggies and pasta in the bowl that you will eat from (if you use a bowl - you can also eat this straight out of the pot).

5. Read pasta package to determine amount of time required to cook. Set a timer accordingly.

6. Read directions on sauce. If it needs to be warmed, place in a small dish and microwave for correct amount of time. For pesto sauce, simply put container on the range top near the burner. It is not really necessary to heat other sauces if you put them immediately on hot pastas.

7. Once water is boiling well, dump in pasta and veggies. Immediately press Start on the timer you set earlier.

8. Stir pasta & veggies until timer goes off.

9. Walk pot & cover carefully to sink. Place cover mostly on pot so that there is just a crack on the lower side. Invert to drain water off of veggies & pasta. Be careful not to loose any of the stuff down the sink and not to scald yoursself with the steam.

10. Put veggies & pasta in bowl (if using a bowl).

11. Put sauce over veggies & pasta.

12. Sprinkle on some parmesan cheese if 1) you have some and 2) it hasn't gotten moldy.

13. Take bowl (or pot if that's what your using) to favorite chair in front of TV. Remember to take a beer, (a napkin), and a fork and spoon with you.

14. Eat up!

15. Wash Pot, Utensils, (Bowl if you used it) before you go to bed (no use encouraging insects to live in the kitchen - right?).

Isn't it wonderful that all sorts of foods have been made eaiser to prepare? Sauces in jars - so wonderful!!

The Pasta Primavera Incident

Scenario: Bunch of guys that know each other from high school, sharing an apartment during college. It is the first time all of them are living on their own.

GW(a geeky type, yet 6'10", 200 lbs.) - just got back from buying groceries. He is putting them away.

JK (long hair, glasses geeky type) - "Why did you buy those cooking apples?"

GW is putting away a bag of apples he had bought, they are kind of on the small side, prompting JK's comments. JK means "baking apples". GW thinks "cooking" like most other people think. He notes this in his memory banks.

A few hours later, me and JK come back home, early dinner time.

me - notices weird odor. Pasta-ish, yet with a hint of apple pie. "uh oh."

JK and me notice GW cooking. Pasta Primavera - with slices of apples.

JK and me - "What the fuck are you doing?"

GW - "He said they were cooking apples."

JK "I meant, for like baking. Apple pies, apple strudels, etc. etc."

me - immediately determines the mix-up, due to JK's imprecise use of language, and GW's total lack of common sense. There is now Apple Pasta Primavera.

ALL are thinking, "hmm, I wonder if GW's stumbled onto something...a new taste sensation..."

GW takes a fork-full. He eats. He chews. He stops chewing. He spits it out.

me - intrigued, takes a sample. I eat. I chew. I spit it out.

We all agree to keep mentioning this incident to GW for the remainder of his life. JK promises to use the term "baking apple" instead of "cooking apple" in all future conversations.

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