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Pasta Primavera with Sun Dried Tomatoes

The broth left over after simmering the vegetables makes a flavorful base for a delicious sauce.

4 cups chicken broth
1 ounce dried wild mushrooms (shiitake, porcini, crimini, etc.)
12 sun dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
1 large carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
8 ounces snow peas, trimmed
12 ounces piece pasta such as rotini, ziti or penne
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 whole yellow or red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons butter
╝ cup heavy cream
4 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta al dente; drain and rinse

Bring broth to simmer in a medium saucepan. Rinse the mushrooms under cold water and add, along with the sun-dried tomatoes, to the broth; simmer until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and tomatoes to a plate to cool.

Add carrots and peas to broth and cook until crisp tender, about 3-4 minutes. Using slotted spoon remove veggies to a plate; reserve broth.

Slice the tomatoes and mushrooms.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion and sautÚ until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic and sautÚ an additional 4 minutes. Add in the remaining cooked veggies, combine well and remove from heat.

Add the cream to the reserved broth and heat over low fire. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan and whisk in the flour until smooth and free of lumps. Spoon the butter and flour roux into the broth and cream mixture to thicken (adding the roux a spoonful at a time allows you to thicken the sauce to your liking). Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes if desired.

Return the skillet of veggies to low heat, add the pasta and toss well until heated through. Add the sauce and Parmesan cheese and toss to coat.

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