Pasta Primavera is a healthy pasta dish fit for any night of the week. It is perfect in the spring or the summer because of all of the delicious veggies that can be used in it. What I love about this dish is that it is so versatile. You can make it differently each time with the veggies of your choice.
Interestingly enough though you won’t find this pasta dish in Italy.
The recipe has an interesting history. In 1975, Sirio Maccioni, was a private chef from New York who worked for an Italian aristocrat at his vacation home in Nova Scotia. It was summertime, so the guests wanted some lighter fare than what he had been cooking. So he whipped up pasta with vegetables and so Pasta Primavera was born. When he came back home he introduced it to the NY food scene and it became the talk of the town, almost overnight.
1 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
6 Garlic Cloves- whole
1 Shallot or ½ Onion chopped
⅛ Tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
1 Medium Eggplant cut in small cubes
1 Red Pepper – Seeded and julienned
2 Zucchini – Diced
1 14 oz. Can of Cherry Tomatoes (you can also use whole tomatoes and hand crush)
1 Small Cauliflower – Cut in small pieced and blanched
2 Carrots – Peeled and Julienned and then blanched
1 ½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper
10 Basil Leaves – chopped
1 lb. Pasta of choice
In a large fry pan put the oil and sauté the garlic on a low flame until fork tender. Add the shallots or onions. Then add the red pepper flakes. Sauté for 10 minutes. Using a fork smash the tender garlic in the pan. Then add the eggplant. Cook for 5 minutes, until the eggplant starts to cook through. Add the zucchini and the red peppers. Cook for another 5 minutes until they become tender. Add the cherry tomatoes. Sauté and start to break apart the tomatoes with the side of your wooden spoon. Add the salt and pepper. Sauté until all of the veggies are cooked. About 15 minutes. Add the blanched veggies and basil. Mix well and continue to cook on a low flame.
Boil the water and add salt. Add the pasta and cook. Once it is almost cooked remove one ladel’s worth of pasta water. Add this “liquid gold” to the veggies. Drain the pasta, mix with the veggies and serve topped with grated Pecorino Romano.