Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

This dish is a big favorite at our house.  My husband ordered it once while we were on vacation, and absolutely loved it.  He still talks about how wonderful it was.  Just between you and me I think his memory has greatly enhanced it over time,  but since he first ate this meal, I have tried to recreate it.  These are the requirements:  pasta must be farfalle (bow-tie pasta), vegetables must be julian cut, sauce must be loose/wet, not creamy.    Several years ago I hit on the right combination, and he pronounced it “perfect”.  Hooray!

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Primavera is the Italian word for “spring”, and when I make it during the springtime, I use vegetables in season during the spring.  In today’s version I use vegetables that are more available in the summer with so much that is garden fresh now.  That’s the versatility of this recipe, you can change up what you put in it, and it still tastes great.

The recipe that gave me a basis to work with came from Giada DeLaurentiis’ book, Everyday Italian.   I made some modifications, mainly with the seasonings, to try to recapture the flavor Mr. D. remembers.  I also roasted the vegetables all together on a baking sheet seasoned with some olive oil and Italian herbs.  If all the vegetables are cut into the same size pieces, they will all cook up in the same time frame.  While they are roasting, you can have the pasta cooking, and you can be sauteing onion and garlic along with the other ingredients for the sauce.  Once the parts are cooked, put them all together, and you’re done. Simple and delicious!

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PASTA PRIMAVERA

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 carrots, peeled

    An assortment of vegetables and pasta make the meal.

    An assortment of vegetables and pasta make the meal.

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 yellow summer squash
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 pound dried farfalle pasta (bow-tie pasta)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1  1/2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • fresh basil, chopped for garnish
  • shredded Parmesan cheese, for topping

1.  Preheat the oven to 450*F.   Cut the carrots, zucchini, squash, and bell peppers into thin 2-inch-long strips.  On a heavy baking sheet toss the vegetable strips with 2 Tablespoons olive oil, Italian herbs, salt and  pepper.  Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another large, heavy baking sheet, and arrange the vegetables evenly over  both sheets.

Colorful vegetables, julian cut, before roasting.

Colorful vegetables, julian cut, before roasting.

2.  Bake, stirring after the first 10 minutes, and continue baking until carrots are tender and the other vegetables begin to brown, about 20 minutes, total.   Note:  my vegetables were fork tender at the 10 minute time, so watch carefully.  They should have a little chew to them and not be over cooked.

3.  Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the farfalle and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but still firm to the bite, about 8-9  minutes.  Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

4.   In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil.  Add the chopped onion, and minced garlic.  Cook on low until they are tender.  Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar.  Mix to incorporate.  Add the pasta and roast vegetables and toss together.  Add the reserved pasta water a little at a time to liquify the sauce to your taste.

Add the pasta and vegetables to the sauce .

Add the pasta and vegetables to the sauce .

5.  Put into a large bowl, garnish with chopped basil and serve with Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top.

Serve in a large bowl, garnished with fresh basil.

Serve in a large bowl, garnished with fresh basil.

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SOURCE:   Modified from  Everyday Italian, by Giada DeLaurentiis

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Peach Crostata

Fresh Peach Crostata.

Fresh Peach Crostata.

August is National Peach Month, and in its honor I have for you a quickie receipt that takes advantage of luscious, sweet smelling and sweet tasting peaches.

A crostata, or a galette as some folks call it, is a one-crust pastry that wraps itself not-quite over a fruit filling.  I love making this type of pastry because it is so quick.  With only one crust, there are fewer calories, fat and carbohydrates, and you get lots of crispy edges of flaky pastry in every bite.  With a package of refrigerated pie dough on hand and almost any kind of fruit, you can make one of these easy desserts in no time flat.  Stone fruits work well in the summer and apples and pears take their place in the fall.  A great recipe to keep in your go-to box when you want a fast dessert.

A dab of whipped topping is all it needs.

A dab of whipped topping is all it needs.

FRESH PEACH CROSTATA

Serves 4 – 6 people

Ingredients:

Mix together, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger and salt.

Mix together, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger and salt.

  • 4  medium-large peaches, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • pinch salt
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.  Lightly spray a baking sheet or pie pan.

2.  Unroll pie crust on baking sheet,  or in pie pan (letting edges extend over the sides.)

3.  In a large bowl, toss peaches, brown sugar, cornstarch, ginger and salt.  Arrange this mixture on crust, leaving a 2 inch border,  or in pie pan.  Fold border over filling.

Fold edges of pastry up over fruit filling.

Fold edges of pastry up over fruit filling.

Brush edges with milk or cream and sprinkle on sugar.

Brush edges with milk or cream and sprinkle on sugar.

4.  Bake 25 – 30 minutes or until crust is golden.

Fresh Peach Crostata.

Fresh Peach Crostata.

Perfect with a dab of whipped topping.

Perfect with a dab of whipped topping.

SOURCE:   Ali M. private catering