27 May, 1989

Pasta Primavera

Thoughts of Spring and delicate combinations of tender, new vegetables... 

There's lots of fresh vegetables to cut here. Once the dish is started, it moves pretty quickly and timing is important because you don't want soggy vegetables or pasta. You definitely want to do all the prep work ahead of time. I've updated this post to link to articles and videos to help you get started. I learned several things about cleaning and storing fresh vegetables and hope you do, too. 



Pasta Primavera ingredients (18)
Makes 8 servings
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion (Vidalia, if you have it), diced small
1 large clove garlic, minced

1-lb. fresh asparagus (about 9 to 12 spears, depending upon size), reserve tips and cut diagonally into 1/4-inch slices
1/2-lb. fresh mushrooms, sliced thin
1.5 cups small cauliflower florets
1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin (about 1/8-inch) discs 
1 carrot, sliced into thin (about 1/8-inch) discs

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup Chardonnay
2 Tbsp fresh basil chiffonades (or 2 tsp dried basil leaves); see technique for cutting chiffonades via Fine CookingThe Kitchn or The Pioneer Woman.

1 (3-oz) pkg prosciutto, chopped
5 green onions, chopped or thinly slice according to personal preference
1/4 tsp ground white pepper

For serving
1 (16-oz) pkg fresh fettuccine (dry works but you need to adjust for its longer cooking time) plus other ingredients the package directs for cooking it
Dash of kosher salt
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Garnish
Fresh basil sprigs
Asparagus tips (reserved from above)


Pasta Primavera directions
Get ready
Assemble ingredients. Clean and cut vegetables; then, measure liquids. 


Boil water for pasta
If you are preparing more than one batch of this recipe at a time, be sure to read the directions on the pasta package to see whether it's best to prepare your desired quantity in more than one pot.

Fresh pasta cooks quickly. Cooking times vary. Follow directions on the package to prepare the fettuccine al dente. Ideally, you want the pasta to just finish and drain as soon as you sauce the vegetables.

General pasta tips
  • Fresh fettuccine usually cooks in two to four (2 - 4) minutes. 
  • For this dish, that means you'll probably want to start cooking fresh fettuccine when you add the liquids to the vegetable mixture. Check cooking time on your pasta package and have boiling water ready. 
  • Before adding fresh fettuccine to boiling water, gently shake the pasta loose.
  • When you add pasta to boiling water, stir and begin timing. Overcooked pasta is mushy and will definitely detract from Pasta Primavera (or any other pasta dish). 
  • Reserve a little of the pasta water in case you need it to help mix the sauce with your noodles.
  • Use a colander to drain cooked pasta well. Then, return it to the pot.

Once the fettuccine is cooked, toss it immediately with the sauced vegetable mixture, coating evenly. (If needed, add some pasta water, a little at a time, to help coat distribute the sauce.)  


Sauté aromatics and stir-fry fresh vegetables
When the pasta water is boiling, melt 3 Tbsp butter in a large skillet. Sauté onion and garlic in melted butter. 

Add asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini and carrot; stir-fry two (2) minutes, or until crisp-tender. Reserve several pieces of asparagus tips, mushrooms and zucchini for garnish.


Prepare sauce and combine with vegetables
Combine liquids (whipping cream, chicken broth and wine) and the basil chiffonades. Stir into vegetable mixture. 

If cooking fresh fettuccine, add it to your boiling water now.

Bring sauced vegetable mixture to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and cook three (3) minutes. (Meanwhile, is the fresh fettuccine ready to drain now? Yes? Drain. No? Keep close eye on it.)

Into the sauced vegetable mixture, stir in the chopped prosciutto, green onions and ground white pepper. Cook one (1) minute more. (Fresh fettuccine should be cooked and drained now.)


Combine cooked pasta and sauced vegetables
Pour the combined vegetable and cream mixture over the pasta and toss to coat evenly. If needed, add some of the reserved pasta water, a little at a time, to help distribute the sauce.

Add the grated Parmesan cheese, and a dash of kosher salt to taste.

Garnish with reserved vegetables and basil sprigs. Serve immediately.

Pass a bowl at the table, family-style, or plate individual servings according to your personal preference.





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Page Last Modified 14 May 2016

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