Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Pasta Primavera with Fresh Herbs and Garlic-Wine Sauce

Pasta Primavera with Fresh Herbs and Garlic-Wine Sauce

June means two great things when it comes to fresh food at our house: 1) our neighborhood farmers market, New Morning Farm, resumes its Saturday morning market closed since March, and 2) the herbs I planted in May have grown enough that they are ready to be regularly "harvested" for whatever dish I can find to put them in.

Pasta Primavera is the perfect vehicle for celebrating the arrival of these fresh ingredients. The term refers generally to any type of pasta dish made from spring produce--vegetables like asparagus and sugar snap peas, plus herbs, strike me as perfect for this. Some people put tomatoes in pasta primavera, but as tomatoes are really a late summer vegetable, I don't think they are appropriate here. "Primavera," after all, means "spring."

I brought all those fresh flavors together with a simple garlic-wine sauce enhanced with the nuttiness of a little nutmeg and the kick of a little aleppo pepper.

Pasta Primavera with Fresh Herbs and Garlic-Wine Sauce

Salt, to taste
1 lb. dried fettuccine
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. sugar snap peas, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed off, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeds and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. aleppo pepper flakes
Dash of nutmeg
1/2 cup dry white wine (sauvignon blanc)
1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs (any desirable combination of herbs such as basil, spearmint, Italian parsley, oregano and chives)
Grated parmigiano reggiano, at table

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Drop in the pasta and cook according to package directions for al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, drain pasta and set aside.

2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add sugar snap peas and asparagus, season with salt and cook until tender, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from pan.

3. Add butter to pan. When butter melts, add onion, red pepper and garlic. Season with salt, aleppo pepper and nutmeg and cook until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Add white wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Add reserved pasta cooking water, sugar snap peas, asparagus, pasta and chopped herbs and stir to combine. Cook until heated through. Serve in shallow bowls with grated parmigiano-reggiano.

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