If we can cook it, you can cook it!

Mario Batali’s Pasta Primavera

        The other day I told Andrew I wanted to cook “Pasta Primavera” for dinner.  He was a little leery and asked if the recipe didn’t call for heavy cream.  I had to admit that the original dish, when I first tasted it at the old Le Cirque, where it was invented in 1974, I seemed to recall swimming in cream sauce.  But right after he left for work, there was Mario Batali, who recently lost something like 20 lbs.,  preparing a Pasta Primavera with no cream whatsoever—just a reasonable amount of heart-healthy olive oil. It’s from Mario’s new and ninth cookbook “Molto Gusto: Easy Italian Cooking”. And this recipe sure fits that bill.
        Mario looked fairly trim and certainly noticeably smaller than the last time I saw him. He claims he’s lost the weight through portion control.  I have to believe that he’s also trimmed a few things from his diet—perhaps, say, heavy cream?   And there he was creating the perfect  Spring dish.  (“Primavera” means “Spring” in Italian.)  And it’s a perfect opportunity to use the first Spring vegetables in a colorful, completely vegetarian way.  I was able to easily find everything on Mario’s grocery list with the exception of morel mushrooms.  But the alternative Cremini mushrooms Mario recommended stood in nicely. The point is you can really make this dish with any firm, fresh vegetable.  Brocoli, onions, bell peppers, even tomatoes can be used. 
         I stuck with beautiful California asparagus, Fava beans, carrots, frozen peas, scallions—everything on Mario’s list.  It was starting out to be fairly inexpensive until I hit the herbs that are incorporated at the last minute.  Fresh Mint and Fresh Basil aren’t cheap but with Italian parsley, they make a big flavor difference that’s well worth experiencing.  I am not loaded with pictures here: the dish is very quickly cooked and didn’t give me a lot of time to get the camera out. But do give this a shot.  It’s absolutely delicious!  Here’s the recipe:

1 thought on “Mario Batali’s Pasta Primavera”

  • Hi Monte – It certainly has been awhile. Looks like Andrew has his wishes come true with this dish. Look tastey.

    I miss the days of the four of us coming together and savouring your yummy meals. We need to make a date.

    Hope all is well. Keep up the good work. I read all your postings.

    Julie and Geoff

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