I'm usually a fan of the creamy, cheesy pasta dishes, so I've never been much of a fan of pasta primavera, and even the ones I've tried usually have contained cream or some type of sauce in with all the veggies. This one, with a bit of cooking water to keep it moist and a bit of cheese, is different. The veggies, blanched lightly in the pasta cooking water, are fresh and bright, leaving you feeling that you are eating something healthy and not a heavy pasta dish. With all the fresh veggies coming out at the farmer's markets in the coming months, you'll have no problem swapping around veggies to what you really enjoy. I didn't have any goat cheese, and truth be told, nobody in my family really likes it all that much so I subbed what I had on hand-a good sprinkle of mozzarella.
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
12 oz fusilli or other corkscrew pasta
1/2 pound sugar snap peas, or broccoli florets
2 carrots, julienned
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 oz goat cheese (or Boursin), crumbled
Add the pasta to a large pot of salted boiling water and cook according to package directions. About two minutes before the pasta is finished, add the peas, carrots, and peppers.
Ladle out about 1/2 cup of the cooking water and set aside before you drain the pasta and veggies, then return them to the empty pot and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook the garlic in a medium saucepan with some oil, stirring, until lightly browned. Stir in the hot pepper flakes and tomatoes, continuing to cook and stir until the tomatoes just begin to wilt. Pour in 1/4 cup of the reserved cooking water, then pour the garlic mixture over the veggies and pasta that you cooked previously. Toss well. Gently toss in the chopped mint and Parmesan, then half of the goat cheese until it's all combined.
Serve in bowls and top with remaining goat cheese.
Makes 4 servings