4 hours ago
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Spring is here (barely) and it's time for a spring pasta dish. Pasta Primavera.
This is the most delicious version of pasta primavera that I know. I know it sounds cocky that I named it "Perfect Primavera", but it is. It's my opinion and my recipe, but I think that counts for something, don't you?
I got the idea of garnishing this dish with fresh mint from Canal House Cooking, and I beg of you, do not skip this garnish. It makes the dish special and sets it apart from other primaveras.
My husband says it's one of his favorite dishes that I make, and he is a spoiled, finicky eater, so that's another reason to make you want to try this.
Perfect Pasta Primavera: serves 4
3/4 lb. thin spaghetti
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
3 slices center cut bacon, chopped into lardons
a bunch of thin asparagus, sliced on the bias into 2" pieces
1 cup of fresh English peas (or defrosted frozen peas)
6 artichoke hearts packed in water, drained and sliced in half
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp tomato paste
salt & pepper
bunch of fresh chopped mint for the top
shaved pieces of Parmigiano Reggiano for garnish
Have everything ready (mise en place), and this dish takes 15 minutes to put together.
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water. Get the sauce ready while the pasta is cooking.
In a large heavy skillet, large enough to hold the vegetables and pasta, saute the bacon lardons in a little olive oil for about a minute. Now add the onions and garlic and saute w/ the bacon for 3 minutes.
Add the sliced asparagus, peas, artichoke halves and cook another minute or two.
Add the chicken stock and tomato paste and bring to a simmer.
Cover the pot and simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes, until the asparagus is bright green and tender. There won't be a lot of liquid in the pan, but I promise, this is packed with flavor. Season w/ some sea salt & pepper.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to the skillet w/ the cooked vegetables and bacon. Toss with tongs to coat with the sauce and vegetables and add to bowls.
Drizzle olive oil over pasta in each bowl and garnish with the fresh mint leaves and Parmigiano Reggiano curls.
Serve immediately and twirl!