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Jun 27, 2008 10:15 AM

Pasta prima vera

For guests this weekend, I want to go to the farmer's market, get what looks best, and make a pasta prima vera, probably with whole wheat pasta (because I'm finding I like it as much or more than white). I'm curious for techniques that work for people:
1. Olive oil and/or butter?
2. Roast the vegetables - I would think that would work.
3. Cheese at the end?
4. Cream, broth or other liquids? (I don't plan on using tomatoes)


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  1. olive oil, butter, wine, lemon juice, and broth + fresh herbs for the sauce. If your mkt has scapes, they would excel here. The fresh mild garlic flavor is stellar.
    Roasting the vegetables is fine, but wouldn't be a huge draw for me. I'd rather grill them quickly to ensure they retained any "snap" but that's me. Good parm would be a welcome addition at the end. I'm not a big cream person, and I think it would weigh everything down too much, so I wouldn't use it. Make sure to use:
    Fresh parsley, and fresh basil.
    Wanna get funky? Fry some sage leaves, and throw a few on the top of the plates of pasta.
    Peas, asparagus, scapes, fancy mushrooms - leafy veggies, broccoli rabe, make it interesting!

    Maybe some bocconcini - little mozzarella balls!

    1. I toss the vegetables (usually I go with broccoli, grape tomatoes, zucchini or yellow squash, and, as you say, whatever else looks good) in some olive oil and seasonings and roast them (well, I put them in a very hot oven for a short amount of time-- maybe 20 minutes). I then cook the pasta, then toss it all together and add some fresh lemon juice (and maybe some zest). That's it. I keep it pretty simple, though, and in the heat I'm not keen on roasting, so you may want to think about grilling as gordeaux says. I've also added some fresh peas to the pasta water not long before the pasta is finished cooking, or some sugar snap peas (making sure they stay crunchy).

      Topping with cheese is always nice, too... Can't go wrong with parmagiano-reggiano.

      1. The recipe I've always used is supposedly the Four Seasons version. You make the pasta with fresh crispy vegetables and cream sauce, then separately make a sort of tomato pesto with whole pine nuts, basil etc, with which you top the plated dish.

        1 Reply
        1. re: coll

          Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. The dish came out great, and I've now got some great variations to try in the future. I now use whole wheat pasta, by the way, which is really really good in a dish like this.