Spring will officially arrive on March 20th. But just in case you want a little spring preview, why not try making pasta primavera. I found out that 'primavera' means spring style. And when speaking about cooking, it refers to the use of fresh vegetables to garnish a dish. Pasta primavera is probably the most common dish prepared in this manner.
You can start your preview of spring at your grocer's freezer. Frozen foods are picked at their peak and frozen quickly. Keeping frozen vegetables on hand is an excellent resource when trying to prepare quick and healthy meals. To keep cost, sodium and fat down, purchase vegetables without added salt or sauces and prepare as you desire. Frozen vegetables can be used in stirfries, soups, casseroles and added to pasta.
I found a wide variety of pasta primavera recipes. For my version, I used one pound of frozen mixed vegetables. The recipe stated to cook the vegetables in water. However, I find that preparing them in this manner dilutes the flavor. I prefer to sauté vegetables in a little olive oil or butter and garlic. When the vegetables are cooked, add chopped tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
Makes 4 large servings.
1 pound noodles
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound frozen vegetables, your choice
3 medium or 2 large roma tomatoes
¼ cup parsley, minced
1. Cook noodles according to package directions.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add vegetables and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
3. Peel and chop tomatoes. Add tomatoes to vegetables and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper to vegetables to taste.
4. Drain pasta and add to vegetables. Taste, add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Garnish with parsley.
For more recipes and tips on using frozen foods, click here.