This post all started with a very simple little recipe that cooked up in fifteen minutes in my kitchen. A light lunch for Max and I with tons of leftovers for the afternoon pasta scavengers that so often grace my kitchen in the form of hungry boy.
Sounds simple enough, right? Then I started writing it and it turned into a beast!
Well apparently, I never really think about preparation of roasting peppers or garlic, or making compound butters, or growing fresh herbs, or always having citrus and a variety of cheeses in the house… just in case. These little things might become kind of a pain if you don’t like cooking as much as I do, or if you don’t horde the same ingredients that I do. For that I am sorry. But, I recommend having these things on hand at all times because you will always be able to make something delicious if and when you do have them on hand. Pasta? Always. Fresh herbs and citrus? Yes, please. The more, the better, in fact…so grow your own herbs indoors so you don’t go broke buying them. I highly recommend it. Butters and cheeses? All different kinds, all readily available. Vegetables? They vary, but I always have something waiting to be turned into something delicious. It’s imperative to how I cook and what we eat.
And..in addition to this being fantastically delicious and beautiful to look at, it took me barely a blink of effort and it was on the table. It’s possible with just a little forethought and preparation work. Of course, if you don’t cook very often and you don’t think you’ll find a variety of uses for compound butter and roasted peppers, you can always just use the store bought stuff to try it and see if you like it. Although, I do however recommend both the compound butter and the roasted peppers in your frittata the next morning and you’ll be a changed person. I promise.
Another thing I love about this dish is that it can both compliment or replace a lot of seafood recipes you see in the summertime. Lobster, shrimp, mussels, etc., can all be complimented by this vegetarian friendly pasta. Feel free to add or remove whatever you’d like. I’ll never know and it will be delicious, regardless.
Pasta Primavera in a White Wine Lemon Cream Sauce
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 1/2 tablespoons flour
- 1 (baseball sized) sweet onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh broccoli florets
- 1 cup roasted pepper strips (recipe below)
- 1 cup fresh peas
- 2 teaspoons fresh organic lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach leaves
- 2 tablespoons roasted garlic and herb compound butter (recipe below)
- 1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano
- 1 box (one pound) dried angel hair pasta, cooked one minute less than the box directions call for al dente pasta; Drained and still hot with 1/2 cup cooking water reserved.
- pinch of fresh tarragon
- handful of fresh torn basil
- sprinkle of Pecorino romano
In a large heavy bottomed non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour until well combined and bubbling lightly. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and red pepper. Stir. Pour wine slowly while whisking simultaneously. Pour vegetable stock slowly while whisking simultaneously. Raise heat level slightly to bring to a light simmer. Watch closely and once the sauce bubbles, add in broccoli, red peppers, peas, lemon zest. Reduce heat to low, add mascarpone, spinach, compound butter and parmigiano reggiano until all are melted and combined.
Toss with freshly cooked pasta and add in cooking water 2 tablespoons at a time until desired consistency of sauce is reached. Add salt and pepper to taste, pour into a large, warmed, family-style serving bowl and top with fresh tarragon, torn basil and pecorino romano before placing into individual serving dishes.
Serve alongside crusty warmed bread and fresh cooked shrimp or lobster, if desired.
- 4 large red or yellow bell peppers, preferably Holland
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the whole peppers on a sheet pan and place in the oven for about 40 minutes, until the skins are completely wrinkled and the peppers are charred, turning them twice during roasting. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately cover it tightly with aluminum foil. Set aside for 30 minutes, or until the peppers are cool enough to handle.
Remove the stem from each pepper and cut them in quarters. Remove the peels and seeds and place the peppers in a bowl along with any juices that have collected. Discard the stems, peels, and seeds. Pour the oil over the peppers. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
1 head of garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Chop the top off the head of garlic so the cloves inside are visible. Drizzle visible cloves with olive oil and then sprinkle salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic head individually in aluminum foil and place on a sheet pan in preheated oven until soft and fragrant; about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before use.
Roasted Garlic and Herb Compound Butter
- 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
- 1 head of roasted garlic (recipe above)
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- the leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh organic lemon zest
Mix softened butter until smooth and squeeze the roasted garlic out of the peels and into the butter. Add remaining herbs and lemon zest until combined. Spoon compound butter into center of wax or parchment paper. Roll the paper around the butter to create new “stick” form. Twist the ends like a candy wrapper and tie the ends with kitchen string to secure before placing into the refrigerator for future use. Lasts for a week in the refrigerator.