Spring Pasta Primavera

 Having survived my first brutal winter in NYC, in 1977, I remember being so relieved when the magnolia tree outside my window started blooming its deep pink blossoms.

I was a single girl in NYC living in the West Village. I had very little money, and I was happy when I had a date for dinner and he took me to a very fancy Italian restaurant on the Upper East Side. The restaurant was Parioli Romanissimo.

I remember perusing the menu and noticing so many pastas that I had never seen before. I decided to order the pasta primavera. It was spring and I wanted to taste it on my fork.

It was angel hair pasta back then which is traditional for a primavera. I loved every morsel; and I went home and tried to recreate it in my tiny kitchen.

I still make this dish today and I use whole-wheat pasta, which is healthier for you. I add spring peas, asparagus, mushrooms, sage, and lemon zest for the perfect healthy spring pasta primavera!  I hope you will try it and let me know how it goes.
Perfect Healthy Spring Primavera

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Prep Time: 10m |Cook Time: 20m | Total Time: 30m | Serves: 4 |Yield: 1 Large Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 pint baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 sage leaves
  • 1 pound whole wheat penne
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into thirds
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • 6 ounces fresh english peas
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Salt + Pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil on medium heat.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large sautée pan on high heat, add mushrooms, salt, cook until golden brown about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add garlic & sage, season with salt and pepper, cook for another minute. Reserve in a bowl.
  4. Drop pasta into boiling water. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until al dente.
  5. While the pasta is cooking, in the same sautée pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and sautée asparagus for 2-3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
  6. Add peas, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add mushroom mixture, lemon juice, and stock, reduce for 2 minutes.
  7. Drain the pasta and add it to the pan along with some of the shaved Parmigiano Reggiano. Stir well. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed.
  8. Plate and garnish with lemon zest, and the rest of the shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.

Recipes: Cioppino – Italian Seafood Stew  


Cookbook author and entertaining expert, Pamela Morgan is the owner of NYC based Flirting with Flavors, where she offers exclusive cooking parties, inspirational seminars and special events. She is highly regarded as a special event planner, culinary consultant, cookbook author, and is a food & entertaining editor for Hamptons’s Cottages and Gardens.   Pamela sees food as a flirtation: sexy, provocative, and a little mysterious. Her desire is to teach you how to flirt your way into a full on passion for cooking and entertaining! Visit her web site for recipes, entertaining inspiration and much more.

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