Sunday, April 10, 2011

Easy Pasta Primavera

I was inspired to make this fresh and easy pasta primavera dish while watching Jacques Pepin's cooking show, Fast Food My Way on Create TV.

Apparently this charming french chef has been around forever and he shares quick meals that even beginner cooks can make. His pasta primavera recipe included anchovies, but I left them out. You can use any fresh vegetables you like. Here's what I did.

Pasta Primavera 
1 cup (thawed) peas
sliced fresh mushrooms (1/2 -1 cup)
sliced grape tomatoes (1/2 - 1 cup) 
1 lb pasta (I have made it with angel hair and rotini, use whatever you like) 
grated parmesan cheese
olive oil
1 minced garlic clove OR garlic powder (fresh garlic gives a LOT of flavor, powder is more mild)
red pepper flakes (if you like)

Boil water and cook pasta according to directions, reserving 1-2 cups of pasta water. Slice tomatoes, mushrooms, garlic (if using 1 clove, mince very small), and add to a bowl. Add thawed peas. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper, garlic powder (if not using 1 clove) and red pepper flakes (if you like some heat). Add a generous amount of olive oil to coat everything (more is better). Mix everything together and microwave for 1-2 minutes just to bring it to luke warm temperature (you don't want it to be cold). Sprinkle a few tablespoons of parmesan cheese on the vegetable mixture and add about a cup of pasta water and mix. Add your drained pasta to the vegetable mixture and toss everything to combine. Add more olive oil if needed. If you have leftovers, add more pasta water to keep from drying out. Serve with parmesan cheese.  

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