Farfalle alla Primavera
Do you remember when every Italian restaurant served some version of a “pasta primavera”, usually a tomato based sauce with random vegetables thrown in? I remember always ordering that pasta, and usually being pretty disappointed with the water-logged sauce slapped on over-cooked pasta that was served to me. It has been a while since I went to an Italian restaurant in the States, the Italian-American spots are generally avoided as a rule and those are the places where a pasta primavera would most likely appear on the menu.
Markets and food stores are closed on Thursday afternoons here and I often find myself in a bind on those days, having skipped food shopping that morning and with only a few random things in the pantry. Tomatoes are almost always a given in my house, as well as black olives and capers, that day I also happened to have had a lot of zucchini in the fridge. I don’t know if this would fit into the definition of a primavera, but I thought I would go with it. I have probably made this pasta, or something similar, 1000 times before.
Farfalle alla Primavera
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
- 1 cup of chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2 large zucchini, quartered and sliced
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup pitted cured black olives
- 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
- 1 lb farfalle pasta
Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add one whole clove of garlic. When garlic starts to sizzle add slices of zucchini. Sauté zucchini over high heat for about five minutes or until they start to brown, lower heat to a medium flame. You need to make sure to turn the zucchini frequently so that it doesn’t burn. When the zucchini is a perfect golden brown, add the tomatoes and cook over a medium flame until the tomatoes start to break up. Add the olives and capers to the pan, lower the heat and cover, adding water if the tomatoes start to dry out.
Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
When the pasta is perfectly al dente, turn up the heat on the sauce and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor.
Serve immediately, my husband grated parmigiano on his, I added hot pepper oil, to each his own.
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