con Verdure” – “Pasta ca Virdura”)
Pasta Primavera is not an exclusive Sicilian dish, in fact, with some variations, this recipe is done all over
Italy. It used to be called Pasta con Verdure Assortite, Pasta with Assorted Vegetables, but Primavera sounded
better on the restaurants menus.
It can be made with few vegetables and ingredients and easily prepared in a short time or made with a large variety
of vegetables depending on the season and on the individual taste.
I have two versions of the Pasta Primavera: one I cooked at Joe’s of Avenue U, using spaghetti and one version
using bowtieor ditali pasta. This was the way my aunt Ciccina used to make it and she called it Minestra con
Verdure di Stagione, Soup with Vegetables in Season. To make this soupy primavera, reserve 2 or 3 cups of the
reserved water and add at the end of the assembly.
The most important ingredient in this recipe is the freshness of the ingredients and with the exception of the peas
that I used frozen, I always utilize very fresh vegetables and a light olive oil to sauté the vegetables in
Serve it hot, and set on the side grated Parmesan cheese and hot red peppers.
In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt to a boil.
Plunge zucchini in boiling water for 2 minutes. Set aside in cold water.
In the same boiling water, blanch peas and broccoli separately for 4 minutes, set aside in cold
Follow the same process for the cauliflower florets and any other vegetables you add (ex. string beans, asparagus,
etc.). Do not blanch the mushrooms.
Blanch carrots last.
Using a large skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of oil or the oil and butter combination, and sauté onions until
translucent. Add sliced garlic and the mushrooms and after 2 minutes add the remaining vegetables.
Add salt and pepper to taste and half of the parsley. Remove skillet from heat.
In a large pot, bring to a boil 6 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons of salt; cook the pasta al dente, about 2
minutes less than manufacturer’s recommended time.
When pasta is cooked, reserve a cup of pasta’s water, drain pasta and put it back in the same pot.
Keeping on a low flame, turn the pasta gently and fold in half of the vegetables, the remaining parsley and some
Parmesan cheese. If you feel that the pasta is too dry, add a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water, as
Serve immediately in warm pasta bowls, garnish with remaining vegetables, sprinkle some parmesan cheese and drizzle
with olive oil.
Note: In most restaurants, it is fashionable to add heavy cream to the Pasta