Friday, May 4, 2012

In the Kitchen: Pasta Primavera

I am a bit ashamed it has been so long since I have done one of these food posts.  However, I do have a delicious pasta dish to share with you! It is one of my favorites and is a a perfect spring/summer dish as it tastes so fresh and light. 

Here we go!

Pasta Primavera 
(adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

For this recipe, the idea is to use any fresh vegetables you have on hand. In the cookbook, it suggests asparagus, zucchini, mushrooms, and peas. I had broccoli and peas, so that is what I used. 

What You Need:
3 tbsp. butter
Some vegetables, good options are: asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, broccoli, peas. (make the amount of vegetables you will need to feed however many you are serving.  I think the cookbook suggestions are a little too much for the amount of sauce this recipe makes, especially the peas. It calls for a cup and that is way too many) For example, Tyler and I used about 15 or so broccoli florets and about a 1/4 cup of peas and that was plenty.
2 garlic cloves
salt and pepper to taste
1 can diced tomatoes (I used crushed because that was what I had on hand)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup minced fresh basil (this really is a must, but if it is the dead of winter or you just don't have any around, add about a 1/2 tbsp into the cream and tomatoes, so the basil flavor is infused with the sauce)
1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
About a 1 pound of pasta
Grated parmesan cheese (for serving)

Start boiling your water for the pasta.

Melt 1 tbsp. butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Add one of your vegetable choices--lets say its broccoli ( they are all cooked one at a time) to the pan. Cook until just tender and place in a bowl. Add more butter and repeat with all the vegetables, putting all of the vegetables in the same bowl each time you finish cooking them. If using mushrooms and peas, sauté the mushrooms, and at the last minute add the minced garlic and peas and cook for 30 seconds before removing to the bowl of already cooked vegetables. I really hope I am making sense. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

Next, using the same frying pan, add the tomatoes with their juice and the red pepper flakes (if you don't have any fresh basil, this is where you would add about 1/2 tbsp of dried basil). Simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes. The mixture should thicken a bit. Add the cream and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat and cover. 

After, you have cooked, drained, and rinsed the pasta, return it to its pot or a large serving bowl. Stir in the vegetable mixture, tomato-cream sauce, basil, and lemon juice. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a lot of shredded parmesan cheese! 

Enjoy and let me know if you liked the recipe!


  1. Replies
    1. I must tell you I made this for the missionaries the other night and they loved it!!! I made a side salad and garlic bread and they scarfed it all!

    2. Thank you! I am so glad you liked it!

  2. We made this for dinner tonight and it turned out awesome. Thanks Elizabeth!