Practical Primavera

“America’s grandest contribution to the pasta repertoire,” pasta primavera was invented in New York at Le Cirque in 1977. According to the ineffable Craig Claiborne, primavera soon became “by far the most talked-about dish in Manhattan”. The dish is today cliché, but remains a good standard for the home kitchen.

A simple dish, primavera is pasta with early vegetables in a cream reduction; think of it as an alfredo by Monet. Sauté cooked pasta–most people use spaghetti or fettuccine, but I prefer a vermicelli or angel hair–and blanched vegetables along with a bit of minced garlic and scallions in enough butter to coat. Season lightly with salt and pepper, add heavy cream, and simmer until cream begins to thicken. Toss with a grated hard cheese, and plate with a sprightly garnish.

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