These sunny, yet cool days remind me that outdoor activities are on the rise, and as busy people who want and need to provide nutritious, delicious meals at home, I thumbed through my recipes and remembered a classic for this time of year. Even the name invokes spring in my mind, as primavera means spring in Italian! Loads of fresh vegetables, meat or delicious beans for protein if you like. And the best part, is that in the time it takes to heat the pasta water and cook the pasta, the rest of the meal can be completed. Enjoy!
- ½ pound dried pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups of vegetables in bite sized pieces, see list below
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 4 thin slices of prosciutto, sliced in thin strips, OR 1 cup cooked chicken, cubed or sliced (optional), OR 3/4 cup cannelloni or garbanzo beans
- 1 cup cream
- ½ cup Fontina cheese, shredded
- a few grinds of fresh nutmeg
- white pepper, to taste
- flat-leafed parsley, chopped
- freshly grated Parmesan, for serving
- and a 4-cup selection of:
- broccoli, small flowerets
- cauliflower, small flowerets
- small red or yellow onion, in slivers
- mushrooms, sliced or quartered
- red pepper, in julienne strips
- yellow pepper, in julienne strips
- pepperoncini peppers, in thin strips
- yellow squash, in bite size pieces
- zucchini, in bite size pieces
- black olives, pitted, sliced or whole
- artichoke hearts, halved or quartered
Heat pasta water; generously season boiling water with salt. Add pasta, cook according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in large skillet.
choice of 4 cups of the vegetables, toss to coat with oil. Sprinkle with salt; then add the garlic and oregano. Cook until vegetables are just tender.
Add the prosciutto, chicken or beans, if desired. Heat through. Add cream, fontina cheese and nutmeg, toss with vegetables. If more sauce is desired, spoon a bit of hot water from the pasta pot into the skillet.
Season with nutmeg and white pepper. Serve immediately on hot pasta, garnished with parsley and Parmesan.