I hope you are all well and if you live in the Northeast like me, I hope you still have power after the storms and high winds we have been having the past few days.
I have been testing some new dessert recipes for Halloween and really haven’t given much thought to dinner, so I whipped something up as a last-minute meal that I wanted to share with all of you for a quick weekday meal when you don’t have much time.
I made a quick easy version of Pasta Primavera which is a simple dish of pasta and fresh vegetables in oil and garlic with your favorite herbs and spices added. It is a great way to use up leftover veggies left in the bin toward the end of the week before they spoil.
I have been taking a little shortcut the past few weeks with vegetables, by steaming some vegetables at the beginning of the week and storing them in an airtight container for easy meal prep during the week to add to salads and pasta or as a side dish to have ready in minutes.
This week I had some carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower so I incorporated these veggies and some shallots and tomatoes and made a simple garlic, olive oil, and anchovy sauce for a delicious quick meal served over tri-color spaghetti.
I read once that most people think Pasta Primavera is an Italian dish but it is an American dish created by chef Sirio Maccioni and two sous chefs and was first served in a New York City restaurant. It wasn’t until a recipe for this dish was published a few years later in the New York Times that this dish became popular.
The ingredients vary for this dish depending on what veggies you have, what pasta choice you make, and what sauce you want so I am providing a basic recipe as a guideline but please feel free to change ingredients according to what you have (steaming the vegetables ahead of time is a blessing and a timesaver). So here is the recipe. Have fun and enjoy every bite……
- 12 oz of pasta (suggestions: penne, spaghetti, farfalle, gemelli, cassarecce)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 medium red onion or shallot, sliced
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 2 cups cauliflower
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 medium zucchini
- 3 – 4 cloves garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup pasta water
- 1/2- 1 cup grated cheese
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 5 anchovy fillets (optional)
- 1/2 tsp of calabrian pepper paste (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile heat olive oil in a 12-inch (and deep) skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add olive oil, onion or shallots and saute 2 minutes to get a slight golden color.
- Add garlic and anchovies (if using) and saute for 2 minutes to melt the anchovies.
- Add the vegetables of your choice and saute until the veggies are softened but still a little crisp.
- Add the Calabrian pepper paste (if using) and mix well.
- Add Italian seasoning and dried oregano, saute 2 minutes longer and mix well.
- Add drained pasta to the veggies and add the pasta water with 1/2 cup grated cheese and mix well to form a sauce. Check for seasoning and add a little more salt & pepper as needed (additional pasta water and cheese can be added to make the sauce a consistency you prefer).
- Toss in parsley and serve with additional grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil on top.
Cooks Note – if you want to make this a complete meal on a single plate you can also add the protein of your choice – (suggestions: shrimp, scallops, grilled chicken slices, hard-boiled eggs, bacon, or nuts).
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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