Pasta Primavera was the classic 70’s dish. Apparently invented in a French restaurant in New York City, it was the popular high style dish that you indulged in, when you ate out. Indulged in because, it’s a host of veggies but doused in butter, cream and cheese. Of course that got my attention and now it is one of my favorite veggie pasta versions. The sauce is almost a smackdown copy of the Alfredo but the treatment is a little different with the addition of cornstarch and stock. Since it’s got cream, I would suggest making the sauce just before serving as reheating tends to make the cream go all watery. The original dish uses French beans, peas and asparagus. I din’t have any of that at home, but mushrooms, spinach and broccoli sounded way good. To zing it up, I added sun dried tomatoes and jalapenos, trust me this is the only way I’m going to me making it henceforth! The colors and textures were just beautiful to look at and amazing to eat. I know why it was called the high style dish! The co-resident and me ate for four…at one go!
Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins
What you need:
2 cups Broccoli florets
2 cups Spinach leaves, roughly torn
200 gms Mushrooms (Oyster/ Button), sliced
1 Onion (quartered)
4 cloves Garlic sliced
4 Sun dried tomatoes in Oil (chopped)
4 Jalepenoes (chopped)
400 gms Pasta
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
60 gms Butter
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
400ml Vegetable/ Chicken Stock
3/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)
Salt and Pepper to taste
What to do:
Blanch the broccoli florets in salted boiling water till cooked but still firm. Do the same with the spinach for 45 seconds. Immediately plunge both in cold water to retain the colour. Drain and keep aside. (Alternately you can microwave the broccoli with a Tbsp of water for 3 mins).
Heat the olive oil in a pan and toss in the garlic and Onion. Saute for 2-3 mins. Toss in the mushrooms and saute till the mushrooms start to brown. Keep aside.
Meanwhile put a pot of salted water on the boil for the pasta. Once the water is on a rolling boil, toss the pasta in. Cook the pasta al dente. (10-12 mins or according to packet instructions). Drain and toss with some olive oil to prevent sticking together. Reserve some liquid.
In another big saucepan, heat the butter. Remove off the fire and add the cornstarch. Stir to ensure there are no lumps. Now bring back to heat and let small bubbles appear on the surface. Keep stirring and add the stock slowly to incorporate. The mixture will start to thicken, so ensure to stir to avoid lumps. (I use a whisk). Now lower the heat and slowly mix in 3/4th of the cream (this is to avoid it from curdling). Wait till the sauce starts to simmer and now toss in 3/4th of the parmesan cheese. Mix to make a smooth sauce. Now add all the remaining cream, vegetables, sun dried tomato pieces and jalapenoes. Stir. Season with Salt and Pepper. Toss in the cooked pasta. Mix well. You can add some of the reserved liquid to get the desired consistency. Serve hot garnished with the remaining pasrmesan cheese.