I think I give off the impression that I’m a super healthy person because I generally abstain from meat…but that doesn’t mean I abstain from eating junk food too! Summer is always difficult time for me to be healthy. While fresh fruits and veggies are plentiful, so is day-drinking, boating, and social events where delicious, yet not so healthy food is everywhere. I really try to live by the 80/20 mentality…eat healthy 80% of the time, and indulge the other 20% of the time. Long weekends at my in-laws lake house is where I mostly struggle this time of year. It’s the bags of chips that are always present to snack on that get me. After hours in the hot sun, you really work up an appetite, and they’re the easiest thing to grab and OVER-indulge in. Last week just Zack and I were there for a couple of days and we made a point of only buying healthy snacks for the boat so we wouldn’t be tempted…sadly thats the first time we’ve ever done anything like that while down there. For once though, when we returned home I didn’t feel bloated from excessive salt and alcohol intake.
What more perfect dinner is there for rainy spring days than pasta primavera? I mean quite obviously it’s a dish made for spring since primavera literally means “spring”. But really, it’s the abundance of vegetables that make me love this pasta while the weather is transitioning to warmer temperatures. I have my mom to thank for the inspiration behind this, growing up it was among my favorite meals that she would make. The most memorable of times being when we ate it alongside a bounty of spiny tail lobsters that my dad and oldest brother caught scuba diving off the coast of California. The fondest memories of my life are almost always marked by food it seems.
Anyhow, minus the prep work of cutting up all the veggies, this is a very simple pasta to make. Just as my mom always does, I saute all the vegetables in a large wok. Cooking the large amount of vegetables stir-fry style is the easiest way to do this in my opinion, and that’s how I always watched my mom make it. If you don’t have a wok, a very large pan over the stove would also suffice just fine. This is my favorite on a rainy spring day, it’s delicious and comforting…and all the veggies make me feel like I’m being a good girl! Enjoy!
1 Pound Fettuccine
1 Pound Asparagus, cut into one inch lengths
1 Large Carrot, sliced into small pieces or into matchsticks
1 Small Head Cauliflower, Cut into florets
1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, diced
1 Large Zucchini, halved and quartered
8 Ounces Button Mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 Cup Green Peas
8 Ounces Prosciutto, sliced
1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Cup Chicken or Vegetable Broth
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
Handful Basil, Chiffonade
Salt and Pepper
Begin by prepping all your vegetables, then boil a large pot of water and prepare pasta according to directions.
Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a wok or large pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, asparagus, carrot, and cauliflower for about two minutes. Add the garlic, prosciutto, and red pepper flakes and saute until lightly browned and fragrant. Then add the zucchini and mushrooms. Lightly salt all the vegetables and saute for another couple of minutes until they are cooked but not overly done and soft. Add the peas, followed by the broth and cream. Sir to combine, then turn the heat down until the sauce is simmering, but not boiling.
Stir in the freshly grated cheese and basil. If the sauce is too thick add a little bit more broth or some water to it. Finally, add the prepared pasta to the sauce and vegetables, toss to coat the noodles. Taste for seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately in warm bowls.