~ Primavera in Toscana ~

In two days, even though the “real feel” might tell us otherwise,  winter will officially be behind us.  With that in mind, I decided to turn to a classic recipe to welcome Spring and urge it to hasten its arrival;  Spaghetti alla Primavera.  

Primavera supposedly has its genesis in New York City during the 1970’s, though I have seen similar dishes on Trattoria menus in Italy.  With that said,  I made a wonderful version last night and thought I’d share it. 

Spaghetti alla Primavera

1 Pound Spaghetti 
6 button mushrooms, sliced
2 red peppers, sliced into matchsticks
2 large carrots, small dice
2 Broccoli crowns, diced
1 Cup frozen peas (give or take)
2 scallions, cut crosswise
2 cloves garlic
1 sweet vidalia onion 
1 Cup chicken stock
3 tablespoons light cream 

The key to this recipe is getting everything chopped and then sauteing the vegetables in a certain order so they’re all cooked properly when the dish is done.  First, steam the broccoli and set aside.   
~ Some of the Mis en place. In this photo, I’ve yet to cut the carrots or the mushrooms ~

In a pan large enough to hold all the vegetables and pasta,  begin cooking the onions and garlic in some olive oil until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes over medium heat.  Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Add a drizzle of olive oil if need be.  At this point, begin cooking the Spaghetti and then add the scallions and peppers to the pan.

~ This is a good view of the onions and carrots that are softened.   I’ve just added the peppers and scallions to the pan ~

Next,  add the mushrooms.  You want to slice them into smaller pieces – I quartered them first – so that they’ll cook quickly.  The goal is to have little bits of vegetables clinging to the Spaghetti;  not large chunks that you’re forced to stab with a fork.  After the mushrooms soften,  add the chicken stock and cream and stir through.  Check seasoning and adjust salt and pepper if needed.  

~ The mushrooms are in, as is the broccoli.  Only the peas remain ~

The steamed broccoli goes in next.  Make sure it’s cooked to your liking because all it will do at this point is get warmed through with the peas.  
~ In the picture, the peas have been added and the sauce has come together and thickened slightly ~

Check seasoning one last time and then once the pasta is cooked, drain directly to the pan and toss through.   Garnish with chopped parsley or basil if desired and serve!  

~  Spaghetti alla Primavera ~

Wine pairing for this dish is fairly easy.  I’d suggest a crisp, dry Tuscan white such as Vernaccia di San Gimignano from either Castello di Montauto or Campochiarenti.  If you really want to go red,  I’d think a crisp Barbera d’Alba or even a slightly chilled Lambrusco would be great!  
Salute! 

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