Posted by: zhak39 | September 13, 2008

Penne with Light Cream Sauce, Escarole and Pine Nuts

One of the marvelous things about ‘trattoria’ dining is that the name of the dish is the recipe. It’s a method of cooking that relies on combining just a few ingredients well. Helen has become a fan of these simple and elegant dishes after spending six weeks with mom and dad this summer.

It’s midweek, work is hectic, school is busy. We need a simple, nourishing, easy and healthful dinner. Here it is. Put on water for boiling penne. Dice a vidalia onion. Pick through and rinse 1/2 head of escarole and tear into small pieces. Just before the water boils heat a touch of olive oil in saute pan. Put pasta in boiling water and stir until it comes back to a boil. Put escarole in a steamer and cover. Add chopped onion to the oil in the saute pan and stir until it is softened. Add a dab of butter and let melt. Stir in a tablespoon of flour (don’t let it burn). Pour in some vegetable broth and stir with a wire whisk until smooth and slightly thickened. Turn off heat under escarole. Drain pasta and set aside. Turn down heat on sauce and stir in fat free half and half. Don’t let this boil as it will separate, it just needs to heat through. Pour into a gravy boat and set aside. Rinse out saute pan and put back on the burner on medium high. Put in a dab of olive oil and when it is heated add a hand full of pine nuts. Stir as they toast and remove from heat.

Put pasta on individual plates. Pour over light sauce and stir so the pasta is coated. Fork over steamed escarole and top with toasted pine nuts. If you wish, serve with grated cheese.

This is so good, you just won’t believe it.

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