Pasta Primavera

Despite the fact that the weather is refusing to offer us blue skies, the grocery store bins are full of delicious-looking spring produce. And so, while the overcast skies make me want to curl up with a winter soup, I decided to push through and make myself a seasonal-appropriate dish.

And nothing is more spring than pasta primavera. After all “primavera” means “spring” in Italian; with that name, now’s the perfect time to make it.

Legend has it that restaurateur Sirio Maccioni “created” pasta primavera when he tossed it together for friends; it became famous via word of mouth, and people showed up at his restaurant, Le Cirque, asking for it despite the fact that it wasn’t on the menu. Eventually, they had to add it.

Le Cirque’s version included peas, broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, and pine nuts, all tossed together with pasta and cream. In my version, only the zucchini survived. I replaced the peas with snow peas, cherry tomatoes with sun-dried, and the cream with cream cheese. The cream cheese gives the dish a tangy zip, and I highly recommend using whole wheat pasta, which lends a depth of flavor to the lighter taste of the veggies.

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