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Date Night Dinner Pasta Primavera
Dinner for 6 - $10.13

Pasta Primavera

A light but rich tasting version of a pasta primavera is both economical and easy to prepare.  Prorating the pasta prima verapasta primaveracost of items such as chicken stock and half and half and cheese, this dish with six generous servings, cost a total of $10.13.  Hard to beat ~ $1.69 per serving! My local Trader Joe’s had beautiful ripe pineapples for $2.99 – dessert – and my guests brought a salad and wine.  Even with wine and a salad you can easily come in under $5.00 a head for this dinner. With this kind of informal meal I usually put out olives and nuts for people to nibble on as they ‘supervise’ the cook.
A primavera implies spring pasta using the first and freshest of the spring vegetables. Mix and match for color and flavor. A typical version would use fresh fava beans, I really liked the substitution of edamame beans and the Asiago cheese is sufficiently full of flavor as to not get lost.

Start to finish 40 minutes and that includes bringing the pasta water to the boil.

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 8 oz. of good quality dried pasta . I used TJ’s Lemon and Pepper Papardelle
  • 12 stalks of asparagus, tough ends snapped off and remainder cut into 1” pieces
  • ½ each of a sweet red pepper and yellow or orange  pepper cut into slivers ~ 1/8” thick
  • 1 Cup edamame beans
  • 2 cloves garlic cut into slivers
  • 1 Cup Asiago cheese coarsely grated
  • 1 Cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs. half and half
Pasta Primavera
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves roughly torn
  • Zest of a lemon
  • 2 spring onions minced

1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.

2. As soon as the water comes to the boil, add the pasta and cook per directions. Stop the cooking while the pasta still has some bite … you don’t want mushy pasta. Scoop about a cup of the pasta water out and reserve before draining the pasta.

While pasta is underway

3. Place olive oil and garlic in a large skillet and warm over low heat. Once you can smell the garlic, turn up the heat and add the asparagus and peppers to the pan.  Be careful not to brown the vegetables, you just want enough heat to gently sauté.

4. Add the chicken stock to the skillet with the vegetables and bring to a high simmer, cook about 5 minutes or until liquids have reduced by half. Add the half and half and the edamame beans. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

5. Gently fold the pasta into the vegetable mix and heat through. Stir in the cheese and a little of the reserved water so that as the cheese melts you create a light sauce.

6. Sprinkle the lemon zest, basil and spring onions over the top.

pasta prima vera

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