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Pasta with Vegetable Ragu
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3 quarts water
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2 inch dice
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots or white onion
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons thyme
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 cup Chicken Stock (see page 225)
3/4 cups Tomato Sauce (see page 222)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound pasta-spaghetti or spaghettini
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan set on high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Cook the asparagus, succhini and squash for 3-4 minutes, until well browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the remaining olive oil to the same pan. Cook the garlic, shallots or onion, red pepper flakes and thyme for 1 minute, until the garlic and shallots or onion begin to brown. Return the cooked vegetables to the pan and stil well. Pour the wine into the pan and boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 4-5 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta in the boiling water until just tender. Drain the pasta well and return it to the pot. Pour the sauce over the pasta and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the cheese and the butter, if you wish. Sprinkle each serving with the chopped basil.
For a more elegant presentation, toss the pasta with just three-quarters of the sauce. Top each serving with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the basil and cheese.
Wine Suggestion - Chardonnay
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