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Celebrate spring with pasta primavera

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Three Many Cooks

(Read caption) Pasta primavera is designed to showcase crisp vegetables in a light broth sauce made bright with lemon flavors.

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Watch a video of Sharon Anderson making her pasta primavera here.

As a grad student, I’m not exactly rolling in the dough (unless you count bread dough). So, I eat pasta…a lot. But there are only so many times I can eat tomato sauce, no matter how fancy I make it. In this week’s USA Weekend column, I share my technique for making pasta with vegetables in a light, flavorful, wine and broth-based sauce. This is my absolute go-to formula for fast and fresh weeknight dinners. You can use any vegetables, any wine (or none), any broth, any herbs, and you can even add sausage, bacon, or chicken … they sky’s the limit. Just be sure to taste along the way, try new things, and trust your instincts!

Pasta primavera
Serves 4

12 ounces linguine, or other long pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
1 large onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more to taste
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
1 heaping tablespoon capers, roughly chopped
1 bunch asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces and tough ends discarded
3/4 cup frozen peas
1 lemon: 2 teaspoons zest, 2 tablespoons juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, more for sprinkling
Kosher salt
Black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. When water is boiling, add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally until al dente.


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