Monday, May 10, 2010

Meatless Mondays: Roasted Pasta Primavera


Pasta Primavera is an Italian American dish invented in the 80's.

As a kid I remember seeing it on menus in restaurants and I always ordered it and I was always disappointed.

It looked so pretty, sauteed colorful vegetables with a light broth or cream sauce.
But it never seemed to have any flavor, the vegetables would be so bland and limp mixed in with the pasta.

Maybe this is the reason I don't see it on any menus anymore and haven't for years.

Primavera is the Italian word for spring.
So why not try an updated version of this dish using roasted spring vegetables, which are always tastier than blanched.

This was very colorful and tasted delicious.
Feel free to throw in any vegetable you like, but don't skip the carrots!

Stacey's Roasted Pasta Primavera: serves 4 generously

3/4 lb. farfalle (bowtie pasta)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1" pieces
1 zucchini, cut into chunks
2 carrots, peeled and sliced the same size as the zucchini
1 yellow onion, cut into thick slices
1 bunch of green asparagus, woodsy bottoms trimmed and cut into pieces
1 lb. cherry tomatoes
olive oil and plenty of kosher salt
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1 + cup of reserved pasta water
1/2 cup of defrosted frozen peas (added last)
fresh shredded basil leaves

On one large baking sheet, toss your cut vegetables with olive oil to coat and sprinkle liberally w/ kosher salt.

Roast your vegetables at 425F (except for the peas) on a foil lined sheet pan for about 20-30 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice during the roasting process.

Set vegetables aside (I fold the foil over the vegetables to keep them warm).

Meanwhile, cook your pasta as per directions (don't forget to save the cup of pasta water at the end!).

Toss the vegetables with the pasta and add the reserved pasta water. Add the green peas & cheese and mix well.

Taste for seasoning (it may need a teaspoon more of salt & pepper) and add shredded basil.

Serve immediately.



Julie said...

Looks great! Pretty darn healthy as far as pasta goes too. Maybe I'll try this on my next fridge clear out.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Love the roasted veggies idea. So much more flavorful.

Niki said...

what a great springtime recipe!

Dana said...

Pasta was always the veg choice on many an Italian menu (especially in Seattle where, up until recently, we did not have good Italian food) so I ate a lot of it. You are right. Totally tasteless and often just an excuse for cream. But I love the idea of roasting the veggies. yum!

Eileen said...

This looks fantastic! My husband would love this. Even tho' he grew up on a farm raising cattle, he much prefers a hearty meal of vegetables.

Jen_from_NJ said...

Roasting the vegetables is a great idea. I might have to give Pasta Primavera another try!

The Japanese Redneck said...

The pictures are beautiful. Bet it was very good.

J.W. said...

Thank you for this. A long time ago I used to grill veggies from my summer garden and then mix it and herbs and olive oil with pasta -sort of the summer version of pasta primavera. I had forgotten about it. Now, I have a garden again and will look forward to "re-inventing" it.

The Italian Dish said...

TOTALLY agree with you on the pasta primavera - I always thought it was so bland. Your version looks great - perfect solution.

kat said...

I bet that roasting really makes this dish much more flavorful. I think I'll make this later in the week.