Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Pasta Primavera

With most fresh veggies fully available most of the year , pasta primavera is a nice meal - or anytime. It can be served hot or cold as a salad.

12 ounces uncooked spaghettini, vermicelli, penne, or ziti

• 2-1/2 cups (3-inch) diagonally sliced asparagus (about 1 pound)
• 1-1/2 cups shelled green peas (about 1-1/2 pounds unshelled)
• 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
• 2 cups diced zucchini
• 1/2 cup sliced green onions
• 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
• 1/3 cup dry white wine
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto or ham, chopped
• 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Asiago or fresh Parmesan cheese

To keep the prosciutto from sticking together in the pasta, lay it out on a plate to dry after you chop it. The rich, nutty flavor of the Asiago complements the saltiness of the prosciutto, but Parmesan can be substituted if necessary.

1. Bring water to a boil in a large Dutch oven, and add the pasta. Cook pasta for 5 minutes. Add the asparagus, and cook 2 minutes. Add the peas, and cook for 1 minute. Drain well, and set aside.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini; saute 5 minutes. Add onions; saute 1 minute. Add broth and wine; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta mixture, basil, and oregano; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in 1 teaspoon oil, salt, pepper, and prosciutto. Spoon 1-1/4 cups primavera into each of 8 shallow bowls; top each serving with 1-1/2 tablespoons cheese. Yield: 8 servings.