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Abrazos! xox Penny

Friday, March 25, 2011

Who you calling Primavera?

"Primavera" is a lovely romantic word meaning "Spring". There are all kinds of Primavera's: towns in Chile, Colombia and Peru, paintings, operas, even a song by Santana and tons of "Primavera" dishes from alfredos to zucchini. A Google search pulled up a whopping 750,000 items for "primavera recipes" in the internet world alone. Imagine how many there are in home recipe files! I thought it was appropriate for this first weekend in spring, a doubly special weekend at that, to share a favorite and welcome "Spring" and Mom's Happy New Year to the dinner plate. 

My Mom...lovely on her birthday and every day!

Mom's Birthday Snow

Mom's Birthday Sky and Signs of Spring

Mom's Birthday Beach

My mom loves Giada De Laurentiis and pasta. I love veggies and my mom. We thought this was the perfect dish to have during her birthday celebration. The bowtie pasta makes it festive; the veggies make it del-ish..."spring" on a fork!

Giada's Pasta Primavera* (combo from The Food Network and Mom's bulging recipe file!)

3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 medium zucchini or 1 large zucchini, cut into thin strips
2 yellow squash, cut into thin strips
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs or herbes de Provence
1 pound farfalle (bowtie pasta)
15 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

On a large heavy baking sheet, toss all of the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, and dried herbs to coat. Transfer half of the vegetable mixture to another heavy large baking sheet and arrange evenly over the baking sheets. Bake until the carrots are tender and the vegetables begin to brown, stirring after the first 10 minutes, about 20 minutes total.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, about 8 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.

Toss the pasta with the vegetable mixtures in a large bowl to combine. Toss with the cherry tomatoes and enough reserved cooking liquid to moisten. Season the pasta with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with the Parmesan and serve immediately.

*Note: Mom adds in some tender spring asparagus, lightly of the belles of the spring ball!

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