Spring is here!

At long last, winter is over, and we are moving into spring! The cherry trees on our block and our front flowerbed of daffodils are blooming and just this morning, as if by fate, or especially to welcome this fresh new season, our tulips burst open and showed their sweet pink and purple faces.

My lack of posting lately is nearly inexcusable .. BUT … I was fed up with winter and winter cooking, and besides that, things have been a bit busy. I’m also in the process of refreshing our bathroom (renovation would be too strong a word) and sadly, the project of this little blog was temporarily trumped by choosing paint colours and towel racks. I digress …

I thought long and hard about this entry; what I would cook, what I would discuss and finally, I found it. Now, this is not going to be the “recipe” it could be, no weights and measures, just a happy assemblage of healthy things celebrating spring. So without further ado, I give you, Pasta Primavera, because primavera means spring!

At it’s essence, this is just a delicious bunch of vegetables, quickly sautéed, tossed with fresh herbs and a sharp cheese  like Romano or Peccorino  and served over a small pasta. Some versions sport a cream sauce, but to me, that completely defeats the purpose of  the dish, which is to capture fresh, bright Springtime flavours.

Here’s what was in our Primavera tonight:

This was a one dish meal because it was so laden with vegetables and I added chicken breast. You could easily do the chicken separately and have it on the side, however here I have cut it into bite sized pieces, marinated it briefly and cooked it off before the vegetables so that they don’t become overcooked.

The chicken was marinated briefly in lemon juice and sliced garlic and sauteed in a smidge of olive oil. Once it was cooked through I transferred it to the serving dish and put a pot lid over it.

Then I boiled the pasta, raddiatore, so named because they resemble tiny radiators (fun to say, fun to eat!) and tossed it with a bit of olive oil and some grated Peccorino (any hard, sharp “parmesan” type cheese will be awesome).

The vegetables required very little attention, I simply cut them up, fairly thin and delicate, I even used shavings of carrot made with the vegetable peeler, and tossed them in the hot pan I had cooked the chicken in. The vegetables included: carrot, snow peas, broccoli, celery, green pepper, shredded basil, and chopped parsley. As the veggies were heating through and turning bright (but retaining their snap) I added in some grated garlic and seasoned them with a few grates of lemon zest, a pinch of salt and a few good grinds of black pepper.

Then it was just a matter of assembling it! Toss it all together in a big shallow dish, (I also added some tiny bocconcini cheeses as well) and serve. Enjoy!

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