RECIPE: QUICK & EASY PASTA PRIMAVERA
This is definitely a weeknight staple – you can have the sauce and veggies ready in the time it takes the pasta to cook, so you’re eating in 10-12 minutes!
You can use frozen or fresh veggies - whatever is most convenient for you!
PREP TIME: 5 min
COOK TIME: 10-12 min
SERVES: 4 as a main
FOR THE PASTA/SAUCE
2 ½ cups (8 oz / 250 g) spelt penne pasta
1 sachet TASTE OF TUSCANY spice bend
1/3 cup (80 ml) olive oil
½ cup (120 ml) creme fraiche or Greek yogurt*
1 TBSP (15 g) softened butter (room temperature)
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
¾ cup (80 g) shredded parmesan cheese
FOR THE VEGGIES
2 TBSP (30 ml) olive oil
1 head broccoli florets cut into bite-sized pieces
200 g asparagus spears
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ cup (200g) frozen petite pois (peas), defrosted**
1 ½ cup (50 g) fresh spinach, roughly chopped
PASTA & SAUCE INGREDIENTSSpelt penne pasta, salt, parmesan cheese, butter, yogurt, TASTE OF TUSCANY spice blend, olive oil
VEGGIE INGREDIENTSspinach, broccoli, aspragus, petite pois (tiny peas)
1) Cook pasta (in salted, boiling water) per directions on package.
2) Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add broccoli, asparagus, and garlic, and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned and tender (but not mushy).
3) Add peas and spinach, mix well, then turn heat down to lowest setting to keep warm while you make the sauce.
4) Add TASTE OF TUSCANY spice blend and 1/3 cup olive oil to a small pan or pot and cook over medium heat for 2-3 min until mixture turns golden.
5) Add butter, salt & yogurt (or crème fraiche) to the herbs and whisk well.
6) Drain cooked pasta, add it back to the large pot, add parmesan cheese, pour in your yogurt sauce and mix well to coat the pasta.
7) Stir in your vegetables and salt and pepper to taste.
STEP 22) Heat 2 TBSP olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add broccoli, asparagus, & garlic, and cook for about 7 min, stirring frequently, until slightly browned and tender
(but not mushy)
STEP 3Add peas and spinach, mix well, then turn heat down to lowest setting to keep warm while you make the sauce.
STEP 4Add TASTE OF TUSCANY spice blend and 1/3 cup olive oil to a small pan or pot and cook over medium heat for 2-3 min until mixture turns golden.
STEP 55) Add butter, salt & yogurt (or crème fraiche) and whisk well.
STEP 6Drain cooked pasta, add it back to the large pot, add parmesan cheese, pour in your yogurt sauce and mix well to coat the pasta.
STEP 7Stir in your vegetables and salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon into individual serving bowls or plates and top with more parmesan as desired.
Recipe & Photo Credit: Cathy Menees
*YOGURT VS CRÈME FRAICHE
Crème Fraiche is slightly better for cooking as the fats don’t split, but I use Greek yogurt most of the time (full fat - don't use the non-fat stuff, it’s chalky) before and that works well too. see not below...
HEATING THE SAUCE
Both yogurt and butter are sensitive to heat – if you heat them too high, the protein will split from the fat. It will still taste good, but you won’t have the creamy, cohesive ‘look’ or effect. So, just keep the heat on low and only heat it until warmed through. The point is just to take the chill off the yogurt so it doesn’t cool down your pasta.
You can also use whatever you have on hand – you might have freshly bought broccoli and asparagus, or scraps from left over sides, or just some nice frozen greens in your freezer. That’s the beauty of this recipe – you don’t need to be too precise – this uses what you have on hand and is just a great, quick and easy way to get veggies and whole grains into everyone!
this are the tiny little peas you often find in the freezer section. They are sweeter than normal sized peas and thus add a nice sweetness to the balance the dish…and kids love them!