Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Pasta Primavera

I love going to H-Mart, but sometimes I go a little crazy in the produce department. Last week, we ended up with bok choy, Brussels sprouts, artichokes, sugar snap peas, Asian eggplant, and two bunches of Chinese broccoli, but had no real plan on how to use these goodies before they went bad.

We had some leftover roast chicken in the fridge that I needed to use, so I figured a pasta dish might be the way to go. Of course the mere mention of pasta always turns Mr Minx on, so I couldn't change my mind. In the end, I decided that an Asian-style peanut sauce might work well on pasta with some of the veg. Kinda like a pasta primavera, only not at all Spring-like.

Pasta with Peanut Sauce

1 bunch Chinese broccoli
2 6" long Asian eggplants
1 tablespoon brown sugar
soy sauce
canola oil
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
4 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes (or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 carrot, julienned
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
1 lb pasta of your choice

Slice broccoli stems into long diagonals; roughly chop the greens. Blanch stems and greens separately in boiling salted water until the stems are tender but still crunchy (about 3 minutes) and the greens are bright green. Cool broccoli down in a large bowl of ice water. When cooled, drain thoroughly, squeezing water out of greens. Set aside.

Cut off stem end of eggplants and slice into long diagonals about 1/2 inch thick. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat and add a bit of cooking oil. When pan is very hot, toss in eggplant and cook for 4-6 minutes, until beginning to soften. Add brown sugar and stir to coat. Dribble in a few teaspoons of soy, turn the heat to medium, and cover pan. Cook an additional 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more soy if the eggplant seems dry or is sticking to the pan, until the vegetable is soft and brown. Move from pan to a bowl and set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain off all but a few tablespoons of water and leave in pasta pot.

While pasta is cooking, make the sauce. In the large pan used for the eggplant, sauté sliced onion over medium-high heat with a bit of oil and a pinch of salt until wilted and just beginning to brown. Add chicken stock. With a fork, stir in peanut butter until well incorporated, then add honey, hoisin, vinegar, and pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and taste for seasoning; add soy sauce if needed. Stir in sesame oil, then add carrots, cooked broccoli stems and greens, eggplant, and chicken, tossing well to coat. Cook for a minute or two to warm the chicken through.

Add sauce and vegetables to pasta in pot and stir well to coat.

Serves 4-6

Posted by theminx on Minxeats.com.