Back in early Spring, Stu and I had the priveledge of having a Sunday dinner at his parents house. This is sometimes a weekly occurance, but it is still pretty special. I always am appreciative of having someone else make a home-cooked meal for me. Stu’s mom and dad are both great cooks and I am usually inspired by a lot of the meals that they make for us. Back in April or early May, we had the pleasure of chowing down on Pasta Primavera. Primavera means Spring, so all of the veggies included in the meal are usually easy to find this time of year.  Stu’s mom was kind enough to share it and to send me home with a print out. I have been waiting for the right time, and luckily our CSA share delivered pretty much everything we needed for this recipe.

Pasta Primavera
from The Food Network’s Giada DeLaurentiis

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 450F.

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.

This dish was packed with flavor, really easy and healthy to make, and quite refreshing to eat out on our porch on a weekday evening. I threw in some extra spring veggies, including mushrooms from our CSA to add a little extra flavor.

The only setback was the weather. The recipe calls for the vegetables to be roasted in the oven at 450F before adding them to the pasta. This is probably a great idea in the dead of winter, but it happened to be around 87 degrees on the night that I cooked this. I was hot and drenched by the time the meal was finished. In retrospect, this would have been great with grilled vegetables, but I wasn’t in the mood to man the grill. I might make a similar dish again as our CSA advances and we find ourselves in need of using up some extra vegetables, but the grill will most definitely be utilized.

One of the best parts of this meal was washing it down with a tall, chilly pint of Flying Fish Exit 6: Wallonian Rye. A great belgian-style rye ale that is the perfect drink for summer. Complimented our pasta and vegetables well, and helped to cool me off after sweating away in the kitchen all night, literally!

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