Monday, August 31, 2009

Pasta Primavera

A family favourite. This recipe was sent to me by a friend back home . There are doubts as to whether this recipe is Italian or an American creation but the Italians have been using vegetables in their pasta for decades. It first appeared in American cook books in the '70's which is where the name gained popularity but I have no doubt that the origin was Italian.

6 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 cups plum tomatoes, chopped, peeled, and seeded
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups porcini or button mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 cup asparagus tips, blanched in boiling salted water for 4 minutes
1 cup broccoli florets, blanched in boiling salted water for 4 minutes
1 medium zucchini, quartered, cut into 1-inch lengths, and blanched in boiling salted water for 4 minutes
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed in boiling salted water
1 cup heavy cream
2/3 cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for garnish
2 tbs butter
1 lb spaghetti
1/2 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
2 tbs basil, chopped

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat.
Add tomatoes, half of the garlic, and a pinch of salt and cook until tomatoes have rendered their juice and begun to color, stirring or tossing occasionally, about 4 to 8 minutes.
Set aside and keep warm.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat and sauté the mushrooms with half of the remaining garlic and a pinch of salt until they've given off most of their water and are browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Set aside, season to taste, and keep warm.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat in a large sauté pan, add remaining garlic, and cook the blanched vegetables until they've taken on a little color but are still firm, about 5 minutes.
Set aside, season to taste, and keep warm.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, reduce the cream by half in a pan large enough to hold the cooked spaghetti, stir in the Parmesan and butter and turn the heat to low.
Cook the spaghetti.
When the spaghetti is 1 or 2 minutes shy of al dente, drain and transfer it to the pan with the reduced cream to finish cooking.

To serve:
Transfer the spaghetti and cream to a warmed bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients and bring it to the table, with the reserved tomato sauce, mushrooms, sautéed vegetables, and the pine nuts each in separate bowls.
Toss the spaghetti first with the mushrooms, then the vegetables, then portion it into warmed pasta plates.
Garnish each plate with toasted pine nuts, 2 spoonfuls of tomato sauce, a pinch of basil, and freshly grated Parmesan, with salt and pepper to taste.


  1. This spaghetti will become my favourite too, thanks for sharing!

  2. The epitome of comfort food. I love it.

  3. Yummy, vegetarian pasta dishes are my favourites. I will definitely be trying this out as soon as possible.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Visit We Are Chefs

All the recipes here have either been sent to me, adapted by me or found on the web. If I know the source I always give credit to the author/website. If you know of a source I may have missed please let me know.