Friday, June 06, 2008

Pasta Nests and Vegetables

Makes 12 servings
::~4 cups fresh cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, cut into small pieces
::~4 tablespoons butter or margarine
::~3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
::~1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
::~1/2 teaspoon salt
::~Dash of pepper (Dash - Less than 1/8 teaspoon)
::~1 1/2 cups milk
::~2 8-ounce cartons dairy sour cream
::~1 12-ounce package dried fettuccine, cooked and drained
::~2 beaten eggs
::~1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

::~::~Preheat the oven to 350. Cook the cauliflower, broccoli and carrot pieces in a small amount of boiling water for 5 to 10 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain the vegetable mixture; set aside. In a saucepan, melt the butter or margarine. Stir in the flour, shredded lemon peel, salt and pepper. Add the milk, sirring constantly, until the ingredients are well blended and the mixture is smooth. Cook and stir until the mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir the sour cream and vegetable mixture into the milk mixture. Bring the mixture almost to a boil; remove from heat. Spoon half of the vegetable-sauce mixture into a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Place the cooked fettuccine in a large bowl. Add the beaten eggs and Parmesan cheese; toss until well coated. Using a long-tined fork, twirl several strands of the fettuccine around the tines (pictured left). Using a second fork, push the twirled pasta strands off into the baking dish (pictured right), arranging the strands to form a "nest." Repeat with the remaining pasta to make a total of 12 nests. Spoon the remaining vegetable-sauce mixture around the pasta nests. Loosely cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. Bake in the 350 oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until hearted through.

Tips from Our Kitchen:
::~::~You can substitute one 16-ounce package of loose-pack frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrots for the fresh vegetables in this recipe. Cook the frozen vegetables according to the package directions until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain the vegetables and cut them into small pieces.

::~::~Half of a medium lemon yields about 1 teaspoon of shredded lemon peel.

Ana's tips:
::~::~I do use the frozen vegetables for this recipe although after they are cooked I don't cut them into small pieces and it still cooks just fine.

::~::~I don't use a 3-quart rectangular pan, I use a glass 9X13" pan ... then again, maybe they are the same thing. :)

::~::~ I honestly don't know how many nests I come up with. I just make the nests the size I want and put them in the pan until the noodles are gone. :) Maybe I come up with 12, I've never checked.

::~::~Once I twirl the pasta nests and put them in the pan I spoon the vegetable-sauce mix around and on top of the nests, just to keep them moist.

Pictures and recipe found in America's Best-Loved Community Recipes - Volume II

4 comments:

Natalie said...

I'll have to try this sometime! It looks good, and the little "nests" are so cute! :)

Ana said...

Natalie~
This is one of my most favorite of favorite things to make. It tastes good and it smells so yummy when you are putting it together. It's just all around good. :)

Katya said...

I remember these. Mmm, they were good. I hope MMTA goes well!

Ana said...

Kat~
Yes, these are amazing! :) I love them. And MMTA went wonderfully!! I'm home. :)