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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Pasta

Chris and I decided to celebrate our Christmas together this past weekend.  It was just easier since we will be spending Christmas with my family.  We tossed around a few ideas on what I would make for dinner and in the end, pasta won out.  Now I know this isn't a traditional Christmas meal, but Chris and I are making our own traditions, so how can that be bad, right?

The basic idea for this recipe came from:
1. The movie The Holiday staring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law and Jack Black
2. From my true arch nemesis Rachel Ray

The Holiday is one of my all time favorite movies...and it's the perfect time of the year for it because it happens to take place around Christmas and New Years.  It's a wonderful little romantic comedy and I'm not going to get too much into it otherwise this post will last until next year :)  Long story short, there are at least two references to "Christmas Fettuccine" throughout this movie.  They never really give you a description of it, but from what I can make out, it's just fettuccine alfredo.  Simple enough.

My arch nemesis has a recipe for Christmas pasta which I have stumbled upon a few times in the last year or so.  I took her recipe out and saw all the ingredients that went with it and though... hhhhmmmmm... I could make this just as tasty but not have to break the bank on all the ingredients.

So the idea was born and the recipe was created....take the simple idea of fettuccine alfredo and mix it with an ingredient slimming version of arch nemesis' Christmas pasta... and Viola!  Christmas Pasta alla Jenn!!!  This was the perfect meal for us.  The alfredo sauce was decadent and flavorful.  The red peppers, zucchini, and parsley added the "Christmas" color was amazing!

Christmas Pasta
Printable Recipe 
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 pint heavy cream
1-2 cups freshly shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large or 2 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and diced or sliced
2 small red bell peppers (or 1 large one will do), thinly sliced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1 lb angel hair pasta

In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat.  Add the flour and stir to combine.  Let cook for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in the heavy cream.  Sprinkle in cheese a little at a time (the more cheese you add the more parmesan flavor you will get) until melted and smooth.  Season with garlic salt and pepper.  Let simmer on very low heat until thickened. (Do not let this boil or you will get a grainy sauce)

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  Add the oil into a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the peppers and saute for 2 minutes.  Add the zucchini and saute another minute or two or until the veggies are to your liking.

When the sauce is ready, add the chicken and vegetables to it.  Toss in the parsley and pour sauce over pasta; toss to coat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Enjoy!


Michael Toa said...

The Holiday is one of my favourite holiday movies too. I have Rachael's book for Christmas Pasta but not yet attempted to make it. Yours looks delicious. Happy Holidays! :)

Big Dude said...

It looks like a delicious meal and the addition of the peppers and zukes surely made it health food. I love Alfredo. Have a Merry Christmas.

Yenta Mary said...

That is festive and gorgeous, and a perfect Christmas tradition for a girl who has Italian blood in her! And all those vegetables counter the butter and cream ... :)

Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

Merry Christmas! The pasta looks so good, love all the veggies in that yummy alfredo sauce. YUM!!!! Your arch nemesis is also highly annoying LOL, but she does have some good ideas every now & then LOL. My nemesis is Sandra Lee. Don't even get me started on that woman, it'll ruin the holiday spirit LOL :)

StephenC said...

I'm with Andrea, both on the fact that the "nemesis" does have some good ideas, and that Sandra Lee is appalling. Still, your Xmas pasta does sound YUMMO! LOL

SnoWhite said...

Tasty and festive! Thanks for a fun {non-sweet} recipe today.

Pam said...

I am loving that pasta... perfect for your Christmas celebration.

Mary said...

I love the colors in this pasta. I also have one that I make every year. It has been very well received. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Jennifurla said...

Lovely colors here, looks quite refreshing and delish. Merry Christmas to you

Jane @ Going Jane said...

Mmmm...looks fabulous as usual and very festive! And you are right...there is definitely something to be said for making your own traditions! :)

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

This looks amazing Jenn! And the fact that RR is ALSO my arch enemy makes this wonderful Christmas post all the more special. Merry Christmas my foodie soul mate! I hope you have a wonderful time with your family and am so happy you guys took some time to have Christmas to yourselves first;) We're doing that tonight with some fillets!

Cheeseboy said...

Food inspired by a movie? I dig it.

Hey, we made the eggnog bread and it was incredible! Thank you!

Chris said...

Colorful, gorgeous, and the flavors work. Hell yeah what a great new tradition! Bookmarked this one.

Anonymous said...

me encanto la receta xke otra cosa pudiera sustituir el pollo