A taste of spring in winter time
I’m so over winter and I don’t think I’m alone! Seriously; surely Australia is not meant to get this cold, hence the expression ‘wide brown land’ which refers to our sunburnt country and soaring temperatures! I accept of course that the weather changes with the seasons but with temperatures reaching such hideous lows, I say enough is enough! The only really good thing about the gloomy climate is indulging in deliciously warming Italian recipes like eggplant parmigiana and reaching for another glass of red wine. Having said that, even my taste buds are starting to crave the freshness of spring and that’s why it seemed timely to share this simple and really lovely pasta primavera recipe.
Pasta primavera or pasta with spring vegetables is a must cook recipe when the first post-winter crops start becoming available and happily with the magic of hot houses and high quality frozen vegetables, you can even enjoy it in the winter time! There’s no need to use all the vegetables I’ve listed below when preparing pasta primavera, any two green vegetables will be sufficient although you can add a third if its available. Along with the fresh green flavour of the vegies, the ingredient that lifts the flavour of pasta primavera and differentiates it from a lot of the heavier, creamier or meatier pasta recipes is the lemon. For those of you who haven’t used it in a pasta before don’t be afraid, the zest gives this dish a uniquely heady fragrance and the juice combines with the olive oil to create a light, fresh dressing which coats your pasta noodles perfectly.
Pasta primavera recipe
- 100g dried pasta per person
- Garlic cloves – peel and finely chop
- Asparagus – break off woody end and discard, cut reminder in two on diagonal
- Snow peas – cut in half on diagonal
- Courgette – finely cut in rounds
- Olive oil
- Lemon – juice and zest
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Parsley – wash and finely chop
- White wine – optional
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook as instructed on the packet. Meanwhile prepare your vegetables and heat some olive oil in a large pot. Into this add a few teaspoons worth of butter and let it melt into the oil. Add the garlic and fry on a low heat for a minute, ensuring it doesn’t brown, before adding your vegetables. Stir continuously to make sure they cook through and add a small splash of white wine or water to de-glaze. Keep stirring and let the alcohol has burnt off or water mostly evaporate, try a vegetable to make sure they are cooked but still have a crisp texture. Drain the pasta in a colander and add immediately to the vegetables, stirring so it all combine. Add the juice and zest of half a large lemon, salt and pepper and stir through. Taste and add more lemon, salt or pepper as needed. Decant into pre-warmed bowls, scatter with some parsley and top liberally with shavings of parmesan cheese.