Spring is here and the verdant world around us is a reminder of the classic mother’s admonition, “Eat your veggies!” Green vegetables are fundamental to a healthy diet and provide a multitude of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that help keep our bodies strong and our hearts ticking.
This week’s recipe for pasta primavera brings together multiple spring vegetables in a delicious creamy sauce. It was sent to CCSA as part of a series of emails from our resident chef, Dr. Linda Doody. She has been sharing her extensive collection of favorite recipes with friends, family, and the CCSA team as a means of maintaining connections during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Life is a combination of magic and pasta.
Lynne Kasper, Bon Appétit (May 1979)
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (canola oil can be substituted for part of the butter)
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 pound thin asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut diagonally into ¼-inch slices
- ½ pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 6 ounces cauliflower, broken into small florets
- 1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼-inch rounds
- 1 small carrot, halved lengthwise and cut diagonally into ⅛-inch slices
- 1 cup whipping cream (to decrease calories, substitute additional chicken stock for part of the cream)
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dried (fresh basil is highly recommended, and available pretty much all year round)
- 1 cup frozen tiny peas, thawed, or fresh young peas (frozen tiny peas tend to be sweeter than fresh peas from the market. If using peas from your backyard garden or farmer's market, shell just before using and add with the asparagus)
- 2 ounces prosciutto or cooked ham, chopped (prosciutto is more traditional)
- 5 green onions, chopped
- Optional: 1 pound cooked shelled shrimp
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 pound fettucine or linguine, cooked al dente and thoroughly drained
- 1 cup freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
- Heat a large deep skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add butter, onion, and garlic, and sauté until onion is softened, about 2 minutes. Mix in asparagus, mushrooms, cauliflower, zucchini, and carrot (and fresh peas if used) and stir-fry 2 minutes. (At this point, remove several pieces of asparagus tips, mushrooms, and zucchini and reserve for garnish.)
- Increase heat to high. Add cream, stock and basil and allow mixture to boil until liquid is slightly reduced, about 3 minutes. Stir in peas (if frozen used), ham, and green onion (and shrimp if used) and cook 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add pasta and cheese, tossing until thoroughly combined and pasta is heated through. Turn onto a large serving platter and garnish with any reserved vegetables. Serve immediately.
In May 2012, this 3-decades-old recipe (from an article entitled Pasta Pronto) was the most requested from the Bon Appétit archives.