Pasta primavera is one of those dishes that is all about Spring. Primavera is Italian and it refers to spring. It is a dish filled with all kinds of Spring vegetables, it’s light, and you can eat it all on its own or as a side dish to something else. You can add chicken, shrimp, or another meat too if you wish, but the focus of the dish is on the fresh vegetables that are used and not so much on the sauce or the meats. It can be made with a light creamy sauce, like an Alfredo sauce or it can be made with olive oil. I switch it up and make it both ways. Either way, you want to use a light sauce, not a heavy sauce. The vegetables are the stars here. You can mix and match your vegetables too. Whatever kind of vegetables you like will work just fine. For me, this is very easy since I LOVE all vegetables.
The fame of pasta primavera traces back to Maccioni’s New York City restaurant Le Cirque, where it first appeared as an unlisted special before it was made famous through a 1977 article in the New York Times by Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey which included a recipe for the dish. There are at least three people who claim to have created the famed pasta primavera dish, so no one really knows who gets the credit. All we know is that it is delicious and is enjoyed by everyone, all over the world.
I used my leftover mostacelli or penne pasta this time. Normally I would use fresh herbs, but since I did not have any this time, dried herbs work just as well.
Cooked pasta of your choice
2 cups green beans, cut into pieces about 1-1 1/2 inches in size
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cup asparagus, cut into pieces about 1-1 1/2 inches in size
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 onion, diced fine
1 TBSP garlic
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2/3 cup cream – I used heavy whipping cream, but 1/2 & 1/2 is fine, or just olive oil, if you prefer.
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp each marjoram and thyme and basil
Saute the heartier vegetables together in the olive oil, along with the herbs and salt & pepper for about 5 minutes, or until they are tender.
Add either the cream or more olive oil, depending on what your are using at the time and mix together thoroughly.
Once everything is well incorporated, add the tomatoes and the pasta and mix everything together again.
Before serving, top it off with either some fresh shaved or grated Parmagiano cheese. Now, it’s ready to enjoy. Mangia!