Most of the pasta meals I eat these days are vegetarian, because I love the texture of crisp vegetables against lovely al dente pasta. Plenty of cheese completes the picture.
• 500g dried fettuccine
• ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
• 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
• 1 small brown onion, finely diced
• 1 cup small broccoli florets
• 6 asparagus spears, cut into 5cm lengths
• handful of green beans, trimmed
• ½ cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
• salt, to season
• ½ cup chicken stock or water
• 150ml thickened cream
• 1 cup baby spinach leaves
• handful of torn basil leaves
• ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
• freshly ground black pepper, to serve
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the fettuccine according to the packet directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a very large frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the garlic and onion are softened, fragrant and slightly browned. Add the broccoli, asparagus, beans and peas and toss to coat in the oil. Season well with salt, add the chicken stock or water and simmer for a few minutes until the vegetables have just softened. Add the cream and stir to combine.
When the fettuccine is al dente, set aside ¼ cup of the pasta water, drain the pot and transfer the pasta straight to the vegetable mixture. Add the spinach leaves, basil and the ¼ cup parmesan and mix very well, until the creamy sauce coats the pasta and vegetables. Serve with black pepper and additional parmesan cheese.