Friday, April 9, 2010

La Primavera

It's fun to find connections between art and food...
Yesterday I was inspired by the beauty and freshness of Spring. While I chopped veggies for  pasta primavera, my mind wandered back to Art History 301... Sandro Botticelli's La Primavera.
The same exuberant colors and energy of this masterpiece are present in (perhaps) my favorite, and most used recipe, from Cooking Light. I delivered this colorful dish to friends who just welcomed their second little baby into the world. Paired with rosemary bread from Central Market and a bunch of baby's breath, I hope it brought them as much joy to eat as it did for me to cook!
Pasta Primavera
Event: Welcome Baby Carter! Welcome Spring!
Menu: Pasta Primavera (Cooking Light April 2004), CM Rosemary Bread

1/2 lb uncooked fusilli (or gemelli) pasta
2 cups diagonally cut (1") thin asparagus
1/2 c shelled green peas (I make this optional- not always in the mood for peas in my pasta)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
2/3 c chicken broth
1/3 c whipping cream
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (adjust the amt to desired heat)
1/4 c grated parmesan cheese
1/4 c torn or sliced fresh basil

Cook pasta according to directions. Add asparagus (and peas) during the last minute of cooking. Drain and place in a large serving bowl. 
Heat oil in a large skillet over med-hi heat. Add bell peppers, onion, garlic; saute 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, saute 1 minute. Stir in broth, whipping cream, salt, and red pepper. Cook 2 minutes or until heated through. 
Add veggie and sauce mixture to pasta mixture. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with parmesan and basil. Serve with crusty bread. Delicious hot, warm, or cold. 

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