Creamy Vegetable Pasta Primavera (with shrimp, steak, chicken, etc)


I am writing this post under an extreme case of jet lag. I got into Thailand last night, was wide awake the entire night, and hit the gym by 3:45 AM.  I am killing some time before my next meeting by writing about the incredibly delicious dinner my husband and I made last week. That's right, I am giving him partial credit. He suggested we make some sort of creamy pasta with tons of vegetables, and top it with steak and shrimp. It all sounded great until he said 'topwith steak and shrimp.' That sounded awful busy to me, with the cream, pasta, all the vegetables etc. However, as a gal who loves a cooking challenge (and a dinner thumbs up from her husband), I agreed and went to the grocery store. We love what happened here. John claimed it was one my best ever (though you may find that comment on a few of my recipes, so take it with a grain of salt)....but I concur. This was dang good.

Recipe
Sauce
Pasta
One of the keys to making a good vegetable primavera is to not let the vegetables get too overdone. I ensured this by lightly sauteing them in batches. I heated a tablespoon of olive oil with a tablespoon of butter over medium heat. First, I added the onions and cooked for about 10 minutes.

Then, I removed those and lightly cooked the asparagus, about 3-5 minutes. I then cooked the mushrooms about 5 minutes, then the tomatoes just until done. Transfer all the remaining vegetables to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium-low.

Meanwhile, prepare the pasta, drain and set aside.

Pour 1/2 cup dry white wine in the sautee pan to deglaze. Add 1 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Whisk to combine, then bring to a low boil and let reduce...about 10 minutes.  
Add the heavy cream and milk. Bring the sauce to a low boil and let it thicken for about 15 minutes.  Add about 1/4 teaspoon pepper. 
Whisk in the 2 tablespoons cream cheese and 1/2 cup grated parmesan. Combine thoroughly and remove from heat. 
Stir in plenty of fresh parsley and the oregano (or basil would be awesome!). Mix in all the vegetables and pasta. If the sauce is too thick for you, feel free to add another splash of milk.


We topped ours with grilled shrimp and filet mignon...but chicken would be awesome too. For the grilled shrimp, simply toss peeled shrimp with olive oil, salt & pepper, and grill on each side for about 3 minutes. I don't know how to grill the filet. My husband did that.
  Here they are hanging out together by the fire (it was a chilly night)...
And getting a little cozier...
Top with plenty of parmesan and enjoy!

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