Pasta Primavera is a dish of Italian American origin which is prepared using pasta and fresh vegetables. The Italians lovingly call it garden or green grocer’s pasta. The word primavera in the pasta primavera refers to spring and most of the spring vegetables are considered for the preparation of the dish. At times the meat is also used in dish preparation but the dish mainly focuses on its green ingredients. Any kind of vegetable can be used in the dish preparation; still cooks love to root for firm and crunchy vegetables such as green bell, carrot, broccoli, peas etc. The pasta primavera is known for its light and encompassing flavors, bright colors and aromatic herbs. The dish is served with primavera sauce, which is basically prepared by combining garlic with olive oil and is completed with Parmesan cheese. At times, variations in the feel and texture of sauce are brought out by inducing ingredients such as Alfredo sauce. Cold primavera sauce is equally popular as its warm counterpart, but it is mostly served as an appetizer.
There is no hard and fast rule as to which type of pasta should be used in the preparation of pasta primavera; but owing to the convenience (of handling the dish) smaller varieties of pasta are used in the dish preparation. At times, larger varieties are also used, where the vegetables are sliced in form of thin strips to match the size of noodles.
Origin of Pasta Primavera
The dish was prepared by Le Cirque owner Sirio Maccioni in 1976. Following the popular legend, pasta primavera was prepared out of the concern for customers who pressed the owner to serve healthy and delicious meals. Sometime later, Macionni also claimed that he worked on the original pasta primavera recipe during a hunting expedition to Nova Scotia. Maccioni just mixed and matched some vegetables like broccoli, peas, dried pochini mushrooms etc to come up with pasta primavera. Maccioni’s friend Craig Claiborne, who was also the part of the hunting expedition, worked as a food editor with New York Times, and he popularized the dish through his writings.
But there are many contradictions to this theory according to some periodicals. Le Cirque’s original chef, Jean Vergnes and his colleague Louis Todeschini came up with the pasta primavera. They were highly influenced with the pasta elle erbe, which was popular in Italy for last many centuries. In the beginning, the dish was not found on the menu of the restaurant but was only available on request; but later on it eventually made up to the menu. Many pasta primavera recipe variations appeared in all major food publications, throughout 1970s.
Pasta Primavera Recipe- Ingredients
The dish is prepared by combining vegetables like tomatoes, leeks, garlic, broccoli, summer squash/zucchini, green beans with dried cooked pasta, and olive oil. Some thick sauce, spices and herbs are also used for flavoring the dish. Finally, the pasta primavera is rounded off with parmesan cheese.
Pasta Primavera Recipe- Preparation
Pasta Primavera is simple to handle and easier to cook too. The dish preparation begins by frying all vegetables in skillet with olive oil, to which various spices and herbs are added for flavor. The pasta is added towards the end of dish preparation and finally served after a generous garnishing of parmesan cheese.