1/28/09

Not So Perfect Pasta Primavera

A while ago I have been sort of accused by one of my friends of always miraculously coming up with recipes that work. As if I lie about liking my food? Well, here is an example of a dish that did not work out perfectly. I'm posting this to 1) show I'm not perfect (who would have thought?) 2) ask you, my readers, for suggestions on how I can improve this dish for the next time.

Pasta Primavera

Monday nights are usually hectic because I come home, need to make dinner, and still have plenty of time to put myself together before going dancing. Luckily, this week I have done my grocery shopping on the weekend and had an idea of what I wanted to make for dinner: Pasta Primavera. Basically pasta with a bunch of vegetables.

This is not exactly a recipe because you can use any vegetables you want. I used garlic, onion, broccoli, corn, tomatoes, olives and watercress.

Here's what I did.

1) Put a large pot of water to boil (salt it well!). Cook the pasta till it's done (I used wholewheat spaghetti).

2) While the pasta is cooking, heat olive oil, add chopped red onion and sliced garlic and saute for a few minutes.

3) Add broccoli florets to the garlic and onion, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

4) Add fresh corn (or I guess you could use frozen) and saute for a few more minutes. Turn the heat off, and add a bunch of halved cherry tomatoes.



5) Remove all the vegetables and put them in a bowl with watercress and cut up olives.
6) As you can see, I used a "stick" pan and there were quite a few bits and pieces stuck to the bottom of the pan. That's flavor I did not want to lose. What I did was put drained pasta in that pan and cooked it for a few minutes. This not only dried up the pasta, but also let it absorb the wonderful flavors left by the vegetables.



7) Add the pasta to the bowl with vegetables, sprinkle with shredded Parmesan, adjust the salt and pepper, drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.




The final dish wasn't horrible at all, but something seemed to be missing. Maybe I added too many olives? Maybe it would have been better with a regular white pasta? Maybe I should have used feta instead of Parmesan?

Suggestions?

6 comments:

Elra said...

Why Olga? To me there is no such thing as too many olives. Hmmm, not sure about watercress, and I might omit the onion. Feta? I think I'd stick with parmesan.

Jennifer Betit said...

Shortly before the pasta is done cooking and the vegetables are removed from the saute pan, scoop about a half of a ladle of the pasta water into your veggies to deglaze and make an impromptu sauce to stick to the finished pasta. Salt and pepper to taste, and add well-drained pasa into pan with veggies. Toss to coat...yum!

The Summer Kitchen Interiors said...

Well, we think it looks quite lovely & fresh....yum!

Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer said...

I love feta in my pasta as that adds such great flavor - Maybe add chicken or shrimp as well!! Do not be so hard on yourself it does not look bad at all!!

Olga said...

Thank you all for the suggestions! I can't believe I forgot the trick about saving some of the pasta cooking water: that really would have helped to make the final dish a bit saucy :)

Emily said...

Your recipe for the pasta primavera sounds great! I'm always looking for new ways to incorporate vegetables into meals and I think this is a great way to do so! I recently created my own vegetable salad (which you can find on my blog) with a similar dressing (olive oil and lemon juice). I find that this mixture really enhances the taste and flavors of the vegetables. I really like your idea of using corn in the pasta. I love corn but have always eaten it plain. In answering your question about what's missing from your recipe, I think the addition of feta cheese would definitely be tasty. Also, I've found that combining whole wheat pasta with white pasta is a great combination. Slivered almonds might also be a great addition. Thanks for the recipe!