I love to eat pasta any time of the year but sometimes the summer weather calls for something on the lighter side. My answer is this lemon infused pasta Primavera. Filled with fresh vegetables, it is flavorful and creamy without being overwhelming. I love the colorful combination of peppers, carrots, snap peas and asparagus but feel free to use whatever combination of fresh vegetables you desire. Just be sure to cook them in batches so they don’t get over done. You want all of the vegetables to be al dente rather than mushy.
LEMONY PASTA PRIMAVERA
1 box farfalle or other small pasta, cooked according to the package instructions
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 small shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup sugar snap peas
1 cup baby asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup dry sherry
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup half & half
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced basil
1 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
Salt & pepper to taste
- Set a large stock pot filled with water over high heat. When the water boils cook the pasta according to manufacturer’s instructions. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and stirring occasionally, saute until soft and lightly browned, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the pan and place on a large plate.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Add the carrots and cook for 1 minute. Add in the red and yellow peppers and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from the skillet and add to the reserved shallots and garlic.
- Add the remaining butter to the skillet. Add the sugar snap peas and asparagus and saute for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside with the other reserved vegetables.
- Increase the heat to high and add the sherry, scraping the bottom of the pan well to removed any stuck on pieces. Cook for several minutes until the mixture has reduced by half.
- Add the chicken broth and cook for 5-6 minutes until the mixture is further reduced and slightly syrupy.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and stir in the half and half and the cheese. Stir well and cook just until the cheese has melted and the sauce is warm.
- Add the basil and lemon zest to the sauce and season with salt and pepper.
- Return the vegetables to the skillet and toss well to coat.
- Add the cooked pasta to the vegetables and cream and heat for 1 minute, stirring well to combine.
- Serve immediately.