PREP TIME: 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 35 minutes
3/4 lb linguine, preferably whole-wheat
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1/2 lb thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup low-fat (1%) milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 large carrot, peeled and ribboned (use a peeler to create long, thin strips)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded basil
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Before draining, reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften,a bout 3 minutes.
3. Drop in the asparagus, tomatoes and mushrooms,a d cook until tender. Stir in the flour; cook for one minute more.
4. Add the chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the liquid has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in the carrot strips.
5. Toss the pasta with the vegetables and the sauce, adding the pasta water, if necessary, to loosen the mixture. Serve garnished with parmesan cheese and basil.
PER SERVING: 480 calories, 11 g fat (3 g saturated), 610 mg sodium, 10 mg cholesterol
Ideas for picky eaters: If your kid won't go for all the elements tossed together, put aside some cherry tomatoes (quartered) for her to munch on, then serve the pasta noodles with a little butter or olive oil and parmesan.