When two of my interests collide, I couldn’t be more ecstatic. So last week while I was flipping through the pages of The Week news magazine, I found a recipe that I knew I had to try based off of the 1970s New York restaurateur Sirio Maccioni’s famous concoction originally served at Le Cirque. The classic dish – Pasta Primavera.
What better way to welcome spring than to make a comforting pasta dish full of vegetables and enormous flavor?
Key Things To Keep In Mind:
*Add the vegetables you want. You don’t have to use all that are listed below. My first attempt did not include peas or zucchini and it was still magnifique!
*A meal that is delicious warm or cold served for lunch the next day. Oh, and the mushrooms . . . delish!
*Add a glass of chardonnay for an amazing middle of the week meal that is sure to impress.
- 1 1/2 cups plum tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup asparagus tips
- 1 medium zucchini cut in 1-inch strips
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
Sauce & Finishing Touches
- 1 lb dry spaghetti (whole wheat)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan
- (optional) 1/2 cup pin nuts, lightly toasted
- 2 tbsp basil, cut into a chiffonade
Making the Sauce:
1. Heat olive oil in sauté pan over high heat. Add tomatoes (canned or fresh), garlic and pinch of salt. Cook until tomatoes have rendered most of their juice and gained color, about 10 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
Making Vegetable Primavera:
1. While bringing a pot of water to boil, heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in sauté pan over high heat. Add mushrooms, half the garlic, and pinch of salt. Toss to coat mushrooms. Moderate heat and sauté until mushrooms have given off most of their water and are nicely browned, about 8 minutes. Set aside and keep warm.
2. Salt boiling water generously. Blanch broccoli, asparagus, and zucchini for 3 minutes, then add peas. After a half-minutes, strain veggies and plunge into an ice bath. Heat remaining oil over medium heat in sauté pan, add remaining garlic, and cook vegetables until they gain a little color and are still crunchy. Set aside and keep warm.
Putting it All Together:
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, salt well and add pasta. In a wide pan over medium heat, reduce the cream by half; add butter, Parmesan, and salt to taste. Drop heat to low. When pasta is a minute shy of cooked, strain and add to cream to finish cooking.
2. Transfer pasta and sauce to a warmed bowl and bring to the table, with remaining ingredients in separate bowls. Toss pasta with vegetables (including mushrooms), and divide onto plates. Garnish with pine nuts, 2 spoonfuls of tomato, and a pinch of basil. Add Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.