Do you feel it in the air? Spring is just a few weeks away. Bring on the warmer temperatures, lighter clothes and dining al fresco! One of my favorite things to do when the temperature rises is enjoy a nice meal outside - whether it be at a neighborhood restaurant or a friend's backyard (which in Manhattan terms means a back alley decorated with Edison bulb lights and plants that require minimal natural light in order to survive).
When I am hosting a dinner party or headed to one at a friend's house, I like to make a dish that is fresh-tasting, visually appealing and of course - something that everyone can enjoy. This Pasta Primavera is the perfect example. It is rich, guiltless and hearty, without making you feel heavy. Not to mention, this pasta is loaded with protein and vegetables. My gluten intolerant roommate got me onto chickpea pasta this winter and its quickly become my favorite. It is not only GF, but also loaded with 14g of protein per serving. The pasta is tossed with lightly sautéed vegetables and then mixed in a lemony, cheesy sauce that makes you want to go for that second serving (and you most certainly can with this one).
- Chickpea Pasta - 1 box
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, diced
- Asparagus - 1 bunch, chopped
- Zucchini - 1, sliced
- Frozen Peas - 3/4 cup
- Vegetable Stock - 1 cup
- White Wine Vinegar - 2 tbsp.
- Corn Starch - 1 tbsp.
- Goat Cheese - 1 oz. (about 1.5 tbsp)
- Parmigiano Reggiano - 1/3 cup
- Lemon - Juice of 1, zest of 1/2
- Shallots - 1, minced
- Garlic - 4 cloves, minced
- Thyme - 1/2 tbsp.
- Basil (for garnish)
- EVOO - 2 tbsp.
1. Bring a pot of water to boil for pasta, being sure to salt water generously right before adding pasta
2. Keep an eye on the pasta and remove from heat 1 minute prior to being done cooking. Reserve about 1/4 of a cup of the pasta water - which will be added to the mixture
3. While pasta cooks, in a large pot, add 2 tbsp. of EVOO over medium heat
4. Once EVOO is fragrant, add shallot and garlic and sprinkle with salt, allowing shallot to sweat
5. As shallot begins to soften and turn color, add the four minced garlic cloves and mix
5. Include the chopped bell pepper, zucchini, asparagus and peas and add additional dash of salt and pepper
6. Add the thyme and lemon juice. Stir in to mix well with the vegetables (about 1 minutes)
7. Add the vegetable stock and white wine vinegar and raise heat to high
8. Once mixture begins to bubble, add corn starch and mix to thicken slightly, continuing to cook on high and stirring frequently (about 5-7 minutes)
9. Lower heat to medium and include the cooked pasta with reserved water
10. Include the goat cheese and Parmigiano Reggiano and mix in with the pasta and vegetables
11. Add the lemon zest. Top with basil and fresh cracked pepper and enjoy