Saturday, May 24, 2008


Athenian pasta primavera (our annotated recipe in the comments)
Composed salad of hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, and pickled beets

Hot tea
English toffee
This is a new recipe I noticed in the last Eating Well. M and I love pasta primavera AND we love Greek flavors. What a perfect fusion concept. The recipe is actually very similar to a traditional pasta primavera, but is finished with mint and feta, instead of basil, parsley and Parmesan. We are also using whole wheat pasta, which we haven't liked as well in our "normal" primavera recipe. In the end I think this recipe is very good as is, but that an alternative suggested in the comments might eb even better - replacing the yellow pepper with grape tomatoes and adding chopped kalamata olives. The feta seems to stand alone a bit and I think both the tomatoes and the olives would enhance the Greek flavors. Additionally, I might replace the mint with fresh oregano. Even with these changes, the recipe is definitely worth having in the repertoire.

BTW: This side could be very high in salt, but we use un-marinated hearts of palm and artichoke hearts and rinse them before we cut them for the salads.

Prep Notes
Difficulty: Easy
Chopping: Onion, yellow pepper, zucchini, garlic, mint, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts
Time: 30 minutes
Make ahead: You could saute the vegetables ahead and toss with fresh pasta and finishings.

J: "Persephone would be proud."
M: "Zesty and springy."

1 comment:

J said...

Athenian Pasta Primavera – Eating Well and M & J
Makes 4 servings

2 t plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, sliced
½ t salt, plus more to taste
1 medium zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 pint grape tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 pound whole-wheat penne
1 ½ cups baby peas (if frozen, rinse under warm water and drain)
½ cup packed fresh mint or oregano leaves, chopped
¾ cup crumbled feta cheese (no more)

Put a large pot of water on to boil.

Heat 2 t oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is beginning to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add zucchini and tomatoes to the onion. Cook, stirring, until the vegetables are just beginning to soften, 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and continue cooking until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in wine and pepper; simmer until most of the wine has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook penne. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot. Stir the reserved cooking liquid and the vegetables into the pasta along with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, peas, mint or oregano and feta. Heat through. Taste for salt (and maybe a splash of lemon?)