Wayne’s Weekend: Pasta Primavera Captures The Flavors Of Spring

Fresh vegetables and a light lemon butter sauce combine for this spring pasta dish

This time of year I think we are all anxious for spring temperatures to make their debut.  Warmer weather stirs thoughts of dining outside, farmers' markets and fresh produce.  And, even though we still have a few weeks to go before temperatures are comfortably above the 40s, I thought it would be fun to coax warm weathers' arrival with a dish loaded with bright and colorful fresh vegetables.  Pasta primavera, which is an American idea created in the 1970s in New York, is quick and easy to prepare.  The classic dish originated with a rich cream sauce.  But, my version is a bit different in that it uses a relatively light beurre blanc, or lemon butter, sauce.  i think this verison enhances the flavor of the vegetables a bit more without being too heavy. 

Pasta Primavera
serves 4-6


2 tbl Shallots, minced
1/3 cu White Wine
1/3 cu White Wine Vinegar
5 tbl Butter
1/2 lg Fresh Lemon
1 lb Pasta, farfalle or  your choice
1 tbl Olive Oil
1 1/4 lb Fresh Vegetable Combination
    - Broccoli Crowns, broken into bite sized pieces
    - Carrots, cut into 1" matchsticks
    - Red Pepper, seeded and julienned
    - Orange Pepper, seeded and julienned
    - Asparagus, cut in 1" pieces
1 cu Grape Tomatoes, sliced in half
Salt & Pepper
Parmiggiano Reggiano


For my pasta primavera, I use approximately 1 1/4 pound of fresh vegetables for sautéing for 1 pound of pasta, plus 1 cup of  freshly sliced grape tomatoes.  Try varying the recipe using whatever combination of vegetables that you like.

Start by making a light beurre blanc (lemon butter sauce):  Put shallots, white wine and white wine vinegar In a large saucepan over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil and cook down until almost all of the liquid is gone, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter, one tablespoon at a time, until each is fully melted, before adding more.  Continue until all the butter is fully incorporated.  Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the sauce, whisk until smooth, and then strain the mixture into a bowl and set aside.

Start preparing pasta according to package directions.   Your goal is to have the pasta ready just as you finish sautéing the the  vegetables.

Reheat the saucepan over medium heat and add olive oil.  Add carrots and asparagus pieces (except the tips) and sauté for about 2 minutes.  Add broccoli, red peppers and orange peppers and continue to sauté for an additional 2 minutes.  Add asparagus tips and toss all ingredients for 2 more minutes until vegetables are tender.  Season with salt and pepper and turn off heat.

Strain the hot pasta and add it to the vegetables.  Add tomatoes.  Pour butter sauce over pasta.  Toss ingredients thoroughly and serve with shaved parmiggiano reggiano.

If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

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