Chef John's Pasta Primavera
Pasta primavera is quite a straightforward recipe; spaghetti or fettuccine tossed with an array of fresh spring vegetables. When done right, this is one of the year's great seasonal recipes. This looks, smells, and tastes like a cool, sunny spring day.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 1bunch fresh basil
- 3cups chicken broth, divided
- ½cup olive oil
- 2cloves garlic
- 1pound fettuccine pasta
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 1large leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
- 1bunch green onions, chopped
- 2jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
- 2pinches salt
- 2zucchinis, diced
- 1cup chopped sugar snap peas
- ½cup shelled English peas
- 1bunch asparagus, stalks diced, tips left whole
- ½cup grated Parmesan cheese, or as needed
Step 1Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Hold basil bunch by the stems and dip basil leaves in boiling water until bright green, about 2 seconds. Immediately immerse basil in ice water for several minutes until cold to stop the cooking process. Once the basil is cold, drain well. Remove basil leaves from stems and discard stems.
Step 2Blend basil leaves, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup olive oil, and garlic together in a blender until smooth.
Step 3Stir fettuccine into the same pot of boiling water, bring back to a boil, and cook pasta over medium heat until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain.
Step 4Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir leek and green onion in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add jalapeno and salt; cook and stir until jalapeno is soft, about 5 minutes.
Step 5Increase heat to medium-high. Stir 2 cups chicken broth, zucchini, sugar snap peas, and English peas into jalapeno mixture; bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and continue cooking until asparagus is soft, about 3 minutes more.
Step 6Pour 1/4 cup basil-garlic mixture into zucchini mixture and cook and stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Step 7Place pasta in a large bowl; pour zucchini mixture over pasta and pour remaining basil-garlic mixture over the zucchini mixture. Spread Parmesan cheese over the top. Toss mixture briefly to combine and tightly wrap bowl with aluminum foil. Let stand until pasta and vegetables soak up most of the juices and oil, about 5 minutes. Toss again.