Pasta Primavera

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Pasta PrimaveraYou don’t have to have a laundry list of specific spring vegetables to make this work; use your judgment about what’s in season and which taste good together, and go from there.

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • ½ teaspoon red chile flakes, or to taste
  • 1½ pounds mixed spring vegetables (like asparagus, spinach or other
  • tender greens, snap peas, snow peas, radishes, baby carrots or
  • turnips, shelled fava beans, or peas), chopped
  • Pepper
  • ½ cup cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound any pasta
  • ½ cup chopped fresh chervil or mint for garnish
How to Make It
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it. Put the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the red chile flakes and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 3 to 10 minutes, depending on the vegetables (add any vegetables with a much longer cooking time, like root vegetables, 5 minutes before the rest). Add the cream and ¼ cup of the Parmesan, and cook until heated through and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.
  2. When the water comes to a boil, add the pasta. Stir occasionally, and start tasting the pasta after 5 minutes. When the pasta is tender but not mushy, drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the vegetables and turn the heat to low. Toss to combine, adding a little reserved cooking water at a time to loosen the sauce, if necessary. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Garnish with the herbs and the remaining Parmesan and serve.
  3. PASTA ESTATE Same idea using summertime vegetables: Use 1½ pounds of mixed seasonal produce like fresh corn kernels, cherry tomatoes, green beans, bell peppers, or zucchini. Use basil for the garnish.
  4. PASTA AUTUNNO Grate or chop any hard vegetables so they cook fast: Use Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and squash like butternut, spaghetti, or delicata. Garnish with parsley or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme.
  5. PASTA INVERNO A northern Italian spin: Use shredded green or Savoy cabbage and chopped potatoes for the vegetables and fontina in place of the Parmesan. Garnish with toasted walnuts (see page 299).

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