Pasta Primavera is a dish that consists of pasta and fresh vegetables, usually served with a light cream sauce. It is associated with spring because primavera means “springtime” in Italian and so the dish often consists of spring vegetables like peas and carrots.
For my Pasta Primavera “Summer Style” I used whatever vegetables looked fresh and delicious (in August) at the local farm stand. In my case we took a trip to Balsam Farms in Amagansett where they had an unbelievable array of every summer vegetable under the sun – literally! I love color in my food and dishes because I think the more colors you add to your diet the better nutrition you get. Plus as an artist, colors are just beautiful to me!
For the Vegetables:
About a cup of each vegetable you choose. (I like to use at least 5 – 6 different vegetables, plus some fresh herbs).
Once you have decided which vegetables you want to use, begin chopping them into bite size pieces. Almost any combination works – just pick the ones you like.
I chose; heirloom tomatoes, corn, rainbow carrots, red onions, peppers, mixed greens, & fresh basil. (I meant to add zucchini..but in my excitement I forgot to get it!) You can either saute them in a little olive oil or roast them in the oven coated with a little oil. If you saute them you can do it in batches cooking the ones like carrots first as they take a little longer than the tomatoes. Do not overcook – they should be just tender, not at all mushy. You want them to have just a little crunch. If you are adding greens (like spinach or chard), add them at the very last minute when the stove is off. They will cook enough from just the heat of the other vegetables. When everything is done, keep it all in a warm oven (not at 175) or cover on the stovetop to keep warm.
Meanwhile cook your pasta in boiling water until al dente, and set aside. You can drain it and drizzle it with a little olive oil and cover it to keep it warm.
If you choose fresh corn as a vegetable, boil it quickly until just cooked slightly (about a minute or so). You can cut it off the cob and add it to the other vegetables.
For the cream sauce:
- 1 garlic minced
- 2 – 3 TB. of butter or olive oil (or a mix)
- 1 – 2 TB. of flour
- 1/4 cup of dry white wine
- 1/2 cup of half & Half
- 1/2 cup of grated parmesan (reserve a little for the top)
- salt & pepper
* To make the sauce, lightly saute the minced garlic in the butter. Add the white wine and then the flour and whisk until smooth. Slowly add the cream and when smooth stir in the grated parmesan.
(if you prefer not to add the cream sauce, as an alternative you can use just a light vinaigrette)
Put the vegetables in a large bowl and gently mix in the cream sauce. (I like to reserve some of the cooked vegetables to add to the top, along with fresh herbs and some extra parmesan, salt & pepper before serving)
Serve the Pasta Primavera in a large serving dish. Add your reserved vegetables to the top, along with the extra cheese, salt & fresh ground pepper and some fresh herbs like basil.
Pasta Primavera is the perfect way to use up lots of fresh spring or summer vegetables. it is colorful, healthy and delicious.