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Rainbow Fusilli Primavera

I just about fell off my chair when I was reading my April issue of The Food Network magazine this past week.

You see, they had identified this dish you see before you as "kid food."

Kid food?  

I'm pretty sure those green things will turn away most children. And the red peppers? hilarious.

Yes, I fully understand there are perfect children in existence that will eat everything and anything you put in front of them. To their parents I say: enjoy it while you can... some of them eventually grow away of it. At least that's what happened to my little guy. How's that for hasty generalization, eh?

He used to eat everything - including the non-edibles. But for what seemed as quickly as overnight, he hated everything I put on his plate - things that he'd never turned his nose up to. I've been feeding him a wide variety of food since he was very little, and he completely built up my self-esteem in the "my perfect child eats everything I give him" department. Now, we almost get verbally assassinated in what I'm positive are filthy profanities in toddler-speech every time we try to feed him something new (especially if the new ingredient (usually a veggie) was hidden in a sauce or sandwich). Not to mention redecorate the walls and carpet after meals from flying food (totally thought we were past that phase). 

We're working on it. I'll never stop, though. Never surrender! (for my Galaxy Quest fans).

So, to the mighty Food Network which I love (and miss since we cancelled our cable channels), I strongly object to the label you have given this dish. Kid food? Maybe the older-types. Certainly not the wee little ones - well, at least not mine.

I LOVED this stuff! It was amazing for lunch, dinner, and lunch again the next day! Ryan wasn't too keen on the veggies (kid at heart, maybe?). The vegetables were cooked just enough to not be crunchy, but still had a slightly crisp texture. 

The sauce isn't thick at all, but dresses the salad perfectly. Also, don't omit the red bell pepper - it was my favorite part of this dish by far. All the colors made this little primavera so gorgeous! I could see this filling the "take to work for lunch" role very well - cold or warm, it fits the bill. 

Plus, YOU get all the benefits of eating broccoli, carrots, bell pepper, peas, parsley, and I'm pretty sure the tricolor fusilli noodles were made with tomato and spinach. Go team.

Rainbow Pasta Primavera
Makes about 4-6 servings

12 oz tricolor fusilli
1 C broccoli florets
3 carrots, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 C frozen peas
4 T cold unsalted butter 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 C low sodium vegetable broth
ground pepper
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese 
2 T chopped fresh parsley 
Juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the label. In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add in the broccoli, carrots, bell pepper and peas. Reserve 1 cook of the cookin water, then drain the pasta and veggies. Return them to the pot. Don't tell the cops.
2. While pasta is cooking, make the sauce - heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until very fragrant and soft. Add in broth, 1/2 t salt and some pepper to taste. 
3. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter until melted and sauce has thickened.
4. Pour sauce over pasta. Add cheese, parsley, and fresh lemon juice. Cook over low heat until cheese melts. Add enough of the reserved pasta to loosen up the sauce. Season again with salt and pepper if you wish, and top with more cheese. 

Recipe source: Food Network Magazine, April 2013 Issue


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