Summer Pasta Primavera
4 tablespoons good quality olive oil-divided
1 mild onion, sliced in thin strips
4-6 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
3 cups fresh vegetables, such as corn kernels, peas, diced bell peppers, spinach (you will need about 1 lb. of spinach if using), etc.
2 tablespoons mixed fresh herbs, in any combination: thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, savory, chervil, lemon verbena, sage etc.
1 lb. linguine
1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
4 tablespoons butter, cut into bits
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino or Parmesan cheese on the side, freshly grated
Heat one large pot filled with water to the boiling point. While this is heating, in a separate skillet heat two tablespoons of the oil on medium heat and saute the onion for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic for about 2 to 3 minutes.
At this point drop the pasta in the boiling water and stir to separate the noodles a few times during the first few minutes.
Add the vegetables (with the exception of spinach, if using) to the onion mixture and cook though for about 5 minutes. Add the fresh herbs and the chicken stock. Heat through and reduce the heat, keeping the sauce warm.
Undercook the pasta to the point where it is cooked, but you would probably let it boil for about another minute- at this point, immediately drain the pot. Toss the pasta back in the large pot, on medium heat, along with the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil, the warm sauce, the butter, the parsley and the spinach if using. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat through, mix and toss the pasta and sauce thoroughly for about one minute-test the pasta to be sure it is cooked through and spoon the entire mixture into a large serving bowl.
Serve immediately with the freshly grated cheese on the side. Makes enough for 6 to 8 servings.
Recipe by Mani Niall - Mix it up with Mani
Here's a quick and simple secret used by restaurant chefs. The fresh herbs impart alot of flavor and the chicken stock works wonders. But the real trick is getting the pasta fully cooked yet still al dente enough to heat through with the sauce for about a minute. It’s not enough to slather a good sauce over the noodle. You have to cook the sauce right into the noodles for maximum flavor! The other secret is to use fresh vegetables that do not require much cooking time-fresh summer onions, corn off the cob, garden peas, baby spinach, red bell peppers and the like.