Pasta Alla Primavera


Pasta Alla Primavera

The house is always so very quiet on Monday mornings.  Michael at the office and the children off to school, I begin to put the house & home back together after a weekend of frenzied activity.  Sometimes, I relish in the solitude and peace and at other times, such as this morning, I feel a bit sad.  After such a wonderful weekend together, it is hard to have everyone scatter in their own separate directions but, c’est la vie

I spent most of the day at my desk working on our family calendar for the coming month, catching up on correspondence, performing some overdue “housekeeping” for this little site {so many things to do behind the scenes} and “window shopping” through three new cookbooks I recently received, making notes along the way.  Monday is the only day of the week void of afternoon activities…no practices, games, lessons…which meant that, after picking the children up from school {and with Michael away on business in Southern California tonight} the children and I were all home early.  Since I did not have to pick Michael up from the ferry this evening, and with the children in their rooms buried under homework assignments, I decided to take a hike around the island.  It was a beautiful Spring afternoon and, as I walked along surrounded by sunshine and sparkling Bay waters, I realized how important days like this are…that we don’t need to be running at full tilt 100% of the time.  When I arrived home, dogs needed to be fed, dinner needed to be made, there were homework questions to be answered, school paperwork to be signed, and stories of the day {x3} to be shared…the four of us in the kitchen, with the dogs, laughing & talking over each other, while I chopped and blanched vegetables.  The quiet of the day was gone, replaced with this sweet clamor.

This evening’s dinner mainly involves chopping and blanching vegetables {which can be done in advance and the vegetables chilled until you are ready to make the final dish}.  After that, a simple sauté and cooking pasta is all that is required.  A wonderful meal that showcases Spring’s bounty in a lovely pasta with a parmesan cream sauce…a GREAT way to get the kids to eat their veggies!

Pasta All Primavera {slightly adapted from Le Cirque’s Spaghetti Alla Primavera via Saveur}

  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup asparagus {tips & stems cut into 1-inch pieces} blanched
  • 1 cup small broccoli florets, blanched
  • 1 small zucchini {quartered lengthwise & cut to 1-inch lengths}, blanched
  • 1 cup peas {fresh or frozen}, blanched
  • ¾ pound capellini {angel hair pasta}, cooked al dente
  • 1¼ cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 tablespoons thinly sliced basil
  • ½ cup lightly toasted pine nuts

Note:   Click here to view how to blanch vegetables & click here to view how to properly toast pine nuts

  1. Heat 5 tbsp. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium heat. Add ⅔ of the garlic; cook until golden, about 2 minutes.  Add asparagus, broccoli, peas, and zucchini; cook 3 minutes. Add pasta, cream, Parmesan, and butter, season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine; transfer to a platter.
  2. Bring remaining oil and garlic, tomatoes, and basil to a simmer over medium heat; pour over pasta; garnish with pine nuts. 

The vegetables chopped and ready for blanching…


And after blanching & their ice-water bath…


Next, toast the pine nuts…


The sauce ingredients ~ cream, Parmesan & Butter…


And the topping ~ olive oil, tomatoes & basil {toasted pine nuts for garnish}…


The final Primavera…


This pasta dish {a meatless meal} really was wonderful!  One of many treasures from NYC’s Le Cirque…I hope you give it a try!


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