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Farfalle Primavera

(recipe, Gary Knopke)


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Introduction

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.

Ingredients

  1. 1 lb. farfalle pasta (bow-tie pasta)
  2. ½ lb. asparagus, cut in 1-inch lengths
  3. 1 cup baby green peas
  4. 1 cup broccoli or cauliflower florets (or both)
  5. 6 oz. fresh spinach
  6. 1 28.0 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
  7. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  8. 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  9. ¼ cup heavy cream
  10. ½ cup Parmesan (more for garnish)
  11. ½ tsp. dried red chili flakes
  12. Salt
  13. Pepper

Steps

  1. Boil water and cook the pasta until it’s almost done - about 6 minutes.
  2. 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.
  3. Reserve one cup of the starchy pasta water to be used later and drain the pasta and vegetables.
  4. 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.
  5. Add the tomatoes, salt liberally, and cook until they begin to thicken - about 4 minutes.
  6. Add the garlic and cook - about 1 minute.
  7. Add the cream and cook until the mixture begins to thicken again – about 3 minutes.
  8. Add the sauce to the pasta and vegetables and mix together, adding the reserved pasta water, if necessary, to reach the desired consistency.
  9. Mix in the Parmesan, add black pepper to taste, and serve, garnished with additional cheese, as desired.