In 1975, Sirio Maccioni, owner of what was one of the best French restaurants in midtown Manhattan The circus and two of its top chefs, have experimented with butter, cream, vegetables, cheese and pasta. But because its chefs refused to add pasta to the menu, the recipe became a closely guarded secret until 1977, when respected food critics Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey – of The New York Times – discovered the dish as a special dish not listed.
In a later article, Claiborne and Franey hailed pasta primavera as “by far the most talked about dish in Manhattan”. It was then widely recognized as one of the iconic developments in 1970s American cuisine.
This week’s visit to Civitan Farmers Market at Dorval Crossing uncovered bunches of seasonal asparagus and sugar snap peas Roberts Farms. Alderbrook Farm and Apiary had large bright orange and yellow hothouse peppers needed for this recipe.
The market is getting busier and produce is selling out early for some farms and vendors. Open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays only. Take a trip this weekend to give your dish that extra special flavor that only farm-to-table freshness can provide.
Below you will find an easy to make recipe for pasta primavera. The best part about this dish is that you can add any combination of vegetables you desire, as well as any type of pasta you prefer.
Let us know if you’d like to see more recipes using produce found at the Civitan Farmers Market.
Primavera pasta recipe
PREP AND COOK TIME 45 MINUTES MAKES 4 SERVINGS
Large cauldron, cutting board, paring knife, spatula, parchment paper, rimmed baking sheet, large skillet
1 package of bacon (375 g)
4 cups penne pasta
6 large garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons of salt
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
3 teaspoons of thyme
1 ½ cups of cream
½ cup peas
½ yellow bell pepper, sliced
½ orange bell pepper, sliced
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces
½ bunch of asparagus, cut into small pieces
2 carrots, sliced
2 tablespoons olives, reserved
Preheat the oven to 350℉. Place enough parchment paper to go over the edges of the rimmed baking sheet. Spread the bacon slices on parchment paper. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the bacon appears golden, but not crispy. Pour the bacon grease into the large skillet. Cut the bacon into small pieces, once cooled.
Put the pasta in a pot of boiling water. Cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes.
Prepare all the vegetables in chunks, keeping the onions and peas separate.
Heat the bacon fat over medium-high heat and sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; add the spices and the rest of the vegetables, excluding the peas. Use the reserved olive oil, if necessary. Stir frequently for 5-7 minutes.
Over medium-low heat, add the cream and bacon pieces to the mixture. Let simmer for 5 minutes. Gently fold the pasta and peas into the mixture. Let simmer an additional 5 minutes. Enjoy!