Comfort foods are a nostalgic, sentimental food choice that is found to be satisfying on an emotional and physical level. They are often eaten as an emotional response during times of anxiety, depression, bereavement, or guilt. Most of my personal comfort food choices include copious amounts of carbohydrates. Scientifically speaking, carbs increase serotonin levels and produce an immediate calming feeling. Personally speaking, carbs take me back to my grandmother’s kitchen where food was nourishment for the body as well as for the soul.
Pasta Primavera is the best of both worlds. By combining hearty vegetable choices with a healthy whole-wheat linguine, we can treat our taste buds to an explosion of flavor with the added zing of emotional support that comfort foods are best known for.
- ¾ pounds of whole-wheat linguine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
- ½ pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 1 cup low- sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup low-fat (1%) milk
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into strips with a peeler (about 2 cups carrot ribbons)
- ½ cup (1 ½ ounces) grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup shredded basil
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente according to the directions on the package.
- Before draining, reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Cook the garlic, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute.
- Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the asparagus, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
- Cook, stirring until softened, an additional 5 minutes.
- Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute more.
- Add the chicken broth, milk, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the carrot strips.
- Toss the pasta with the vegetables and sauce, adding the pasta water, if necessary, to loosen the mixture.
- Serve garnished with the Parmesan and basil.
Source: Elli Krieger, So Easy