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Old 03-27-2005, 05:44 PM   #1
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Pasta Primavera

I love Pasta Primavara. I just made it yesterday, however, it wasn't exactly on the light side. I used half & half and butter. Can anyone make suggestions on how I can make this lighter.

Basically I just sauted in EVOO, garlic, red pepper flakes, s & p, an assortment of vegetables I then added about 1 cup half and half and several tablespoons of butter and tossed it with some cooked pasta. I then topped it with fresh parmesan cheese (zested).

Also.........I love rice and would like some ideas on what I can do with it, while keeping it lite.

Thanks

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Old 03-27-2005, 06:31 PM   #2
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Can't help you on the primavera front, but for rice dishes I can.

One of my favourites is to put oil in your wok, toss in some rice and saute until golden. Then add either some pork strips or some chicken strips and quickly saute them. I also add red pepper strips, onions, and mushrooms at this point. Once everything is sort of parcooked I pour in some chicken broth and turn the wok down to simmer. When everything has been absorbed I sprinkle a little soy sauce over it, toss, maybe add some water chestnuts and serve. Mmmmmm.
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Old 03-28-2005, 02:55 AM   #3
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Simple Sizz .. leave out the cream and butter. Pasta Primavara is just basically the "vegetables of spring" served over pasta. It seems to have two paths ... one with the butter and cream sauce, one without. Make your usual recipe and you follow one path .. leave out the butter and cream and you're on the other path.

Rice, like pasta, has a bunch of options. I bet if I started I could write over 30-pages on rice recipes, without looking in my recipe collection or a cookbook. Depends on the rice, and what you add to it. Just for example ... if you cook your rice in chick or beef broth, it's going to taste different than if you cooked it in water. If you saute some diced onion in EVOO or butter and then sauted the rice in it before adding the liguid, you get another layer of flavor. Adding herbs and spices takes it to another level ... and adding meats and sauces ... another level. Long grain rice cooked with broth gives one flavor and texture ... short grain rice (like aborio) cooked for about the same time, with the same ingredients but with a different technique, you get Rissoto.

Pasta and Rice have to be two of the most versitile foods in the world. They absorb flavors and you really can't mess them up unless you burn or over-cook them.
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:44 AM   #4
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but i like the cream and butter...........how else could i get a creamy consistency with less fat?

Thanks for the tips on the rice.............I'm going to buy some different varieties and experiment. I had long grain wild rice with herbs a few months ago for the 1st time and I love it.

I could eat pasta and rice almost daily...........don't know if thats a good idea though when your trying to eat healthy.....think I'll have to do some research on that one.
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Old 03-28-2005, 10:04 PM   #5
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The only thing I can think of is to add some low fat cheese to add creaminess.
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Old 03-29-2005, 06:10 AM   #6
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Sizz, what about using fat-free evaporated milk as the base for your sauce?
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Old 03-29-2005, 09:51 AM   #7
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Somewhere at home I have a recipe for pasta with a creamy sauce that gets its base from low-fat cream cheese. I'll dig around and see if I can find it for you.

I also saw once a recipe for fettuccini alfredo that used pureed white beans as the base of the sauce. We're talking A LOT of beans, though!
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Old 03-29-2005, 10:27 AM   #8
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Mudbug.........wouldn't the evap. milk give it a sweet taste though?

No white beans please.............
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Old 03-29-2005, 10:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzlininIN
I love Pasta Primavara. I just made it yesterday, however, it wasn't exactly on the light side. I used half & half and butter. Can anyone make suggestions on how I can make this lighter.

Basically I just sauted in EVOO, garlic, red pepper flakes, s & p, an assortment of vegetables I then added about 1 cup half and half and several tablespoons of butter and tossed it with some cooked pasta. I then topped it with fresh parmesan cheese (zested).

Also.........I love rice and would like some ideas on what I can do with it, while keeping it lite.

Thanks
I never used butter. I've always used "maionese" (sorry I don't know english term) and just a little bit of oil of olive for the pasta. I use vinegar vegetables, cheese and ham.
You could use rice too or you could use tomatoes with basil and maionese. It's very fresh. I always eat it during summertime or when I have a party.

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Old 03-29-2005, 10:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzlininIN
Mudbug.........wouldn't the evap. milk give it a sweet taste though?

No white beans please.............
Evap milk isn't sweetened. Condensed milk usually is (the can reads sweetened condensed milk). Just read the can carefully to make sure that it isn't sweetened.
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Old 03-29-2005, 10:49 AM   #11
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Sizz, I just remembered this recipe! It used to be one of my favorites, but DH isn't big on a lot of the veggies in it so it's not in my rotation any more.

I always used more parmesan cheese (probably more like 1/3 c) and subbed low-fat cream of broccoli soup for the cream of celery.

It's not like true alfredo sauce but it's a nice, creamy, cheesy substitute.

Garden Vegetable Twist


1 c chopped broccoli
1 c thinly sliced carrots
1 tsp dried basil leaves, crushed (or use Italian seasoning)
tsp garlic powder
1 (10 oz) can reduced fat Cream of Celery Soup
1 c skim milk
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan, or more to taste
2 c cooked corkscrew pasta, cooked
2 c cubed cooked chicken, optional, or other veggies in its place (I never used meat, just added lots more veggies, including zucchini, squash, red onion and peas)

In skillet over medium heat, in 1 Tbsp olive oil, cook veggies with basil and garlic powder until tender, stirring often.

Stir in soup, milk, and cheese. If too thick, add a little more milk. Add pasta and chicken. Heat through, stirring often.
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Old 03-30-2005, 12:57 AM   #12
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Thanks everyone........I'll give your suggestion a try!
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Old 03-30-2005, 06:36 PM   #13
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I used to have a low-fat alfredo recipe but I'm afraid I've lost it - I do remember it had low fat or fat free cottage cheese, so I found this one on cooks.com for you:

Pasta Primavera 1 c. low fat cottage cheese
1 tbsp. lemon juice
8 oz. thin spaghetti
1 tbsp. oil
1/4 c. scallions, chopped
1/2 c. onions, chopped
1 clove garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
2 c. mushrooms, sliced
1 c. green pepper, sliced
1 (10 oz.) broccoli, steamedMix cottage cheese and lemon juice. Set aside. Prepare spaghetti according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet and saute scallions, onions, garlic and season with black pepper for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and stir 1 minutes. Add green pepper, carrots and broccoli and stir for another 3 to 4 minutes. Set aside. Toss hot spaghetti with cottage cheese mixture and top with sauteed vegetables. Yield: 4 servings.
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Old 03-30-2005, 08:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SizzlininIN
but i like the cream and butter...........how else could i get a creamy consistency with less fat?
That creamy texture you're looking for comes from fat. Ironically, 1 cup of heavy cream (36% fat) which seems to be the classic recipe probably has less fat than 1 cup half-n-half (18% fat) and "several tablespoons" of butter (80% fat)!

You've gotten several "alternatives" that sound good.

Here is my secret to being so thin and trim (ROFL) - I don't worry about rich dishes with the taste and "mouth feel" that makes me enjoy them ... I just spread them out and don't eat them very often.

It's one of those, "Everything in moderation" things.
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Old 03-31-2005, 09:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
- I don't worry about rich dishes with the taste and "mouth feel" that makes me enjoy them ... I just spread them out and don't eat them very often.

It's one of those, "Everything in moderation" things.
My sentiments exactly, Michael!!!
I like to choose about 1-2 days/week where I can just eat whatever (especially cream sauces) for dinner and the rest of the week's dinners are pretty healthy. Also, if you are exercising regularly, one cream sauce is not going to do much harm
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Old 03-31-2005, 01:31 PM   #16
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Thanks guys! I knew I could count on your advice.
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