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(recipe, Gary Knopke)
This is a great summer dish, especially when fresh asparagus is available, and cooking the vegetables along with the pasta makes this a quick and easy primavera recipe. I usually use farfalle pasta, but you can substitute another (fusilli, etc.). Also, I like the flavor that fire-roasted tomatoes add, but they aren’t necessary, and the vegetables are incredibly flexible; if you have it in the refrigerator, it will probably work with this recipe.
- 1 lb. farfalle pasta (bow-tie pasta)
- ½ lb. asparagus, cut in 1-inch lengths
- 1 cup baby green peas
- 1 cup broccoli or cauliflower florets (or both)
- 6 oz. fresh spinach
- 1 28.0 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup Parmesan (more for garnish)
- ½ tsp. dried red chili flakes
- Boil water and cook the pasta until it’s almost done - about 6 minutes.
- Add the vegetables to the pasta water. If you have a variety of vegetables, you may want to add some earlier, to ensure even cooking. Add the spinach last, and cook until it’s wilted – total of 3-5 minutes.
- Reserve one cup of the starchy pasta water to be used later and drain the pasta and vegetables.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a large pan, over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the red pepper flakes and allow them to cook for 1 minute, or until the oil has an orange tint. If you like things spicy, add a whole teaspoon (or more) of red pepper flakes.
- Add the tomatoes, salt liberally, and cook until they begin to thicken - about 4 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook - about 1 minute.
- Add the cream and cook until the mixture begins to thicken again – about 3 minutes.
- Add the sauce to the pasta and vegetables and mix together, adding the reserved pasta water, if necessary, to reach the desired consistency.
- Mix in the Parmesan, add black pepper to taste, and serve, garnished with additional cheese, as desired.