California Central Coast Recipes

Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera is probably the one Italian style pasta dish that everybody knows but nobody can agree upon what it is! No doubt this is due to the fact that the ingredients --fresh spring vegetables are what is ever in season at the time and cooking methods vary as required. But even so, the vegetables must be fresh and the sauce light

On the California Central Coast we get a lot of interesting spring vegetables including a lot of colorful baby cauliflower --how could you not want to do something with those little gems? These are very delicate in taste, so the sauce of the recipe is a simple white wine reduction with a trito of diced onion, sweet red pepper and carrot sauteed in extra virgin olive oil, with fresh oregano, garlic and a little green zucchini skin for color.

We toss the steamed baby cauliflower and Campanelle pasta with the sauce and drizzle some local Tuscan Blend extra virgin olive oil on top with a dash of fresh lemon juice for a very light pasta entree. It also works very well chilled as a pasta side dish or salad. 2017, Pasta Primavera
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
re-calculate ingredients for:


2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 clove Garlic minced
1 cup diced white onion
1 cup diced sweet red pepper
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup Zucchini Green Skin Only , diced
1/2 c dry white wine
4 to 5 cup cauliflower florets , preferably colored type
1 Tablespoons fresh oregano , chopped
Salt and Pepper
8 oz. Campanelle Pasta , or a short tube type pasta
1/2 cup Chopped Italian Parsley
Tuscan Style Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Lemon , sliced into wedges

Preparation Directions.

1 In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil and garlic over medium heat until just fragrant. Add the diced onion, sweet red pepper and carrot and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the diced Zucchini and oregano and continue to cook for a few minutes more. When done, deglaze the pan with the the white wine, and reduce the wine until slightly thickened.

2 While the diced vegetables are cooking, in a large pasta pan bring water to a boil. Before cooking the pasta, if you have a steamer insert, and steam the cauliflower florets. Or if you prefer, parboil the the cauliflower florets for 4-6 minutes or until just cooked but al dente.

3 Remove the cauliflower (and drain if parboiled) and hold warm. Do not empty the water from the pot. Bring the water back to a boil and add 1-2 tablespoons of salt and then the pasta. Cook the pasta as directed or until al dente, usually about 8-10 minutes for Campanelle

4 Just before the pasta is done, over low heat, toss the cauliflower with the diced vegetable-wine mixture. Allow the cauliflower to become coated and heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5 When the pasta is done, drain the pasta and toss with the cauliflower mixture and chopped Italian parsley.

6 To serve, drizzle some Tuscan Style Extra Virgin Olive oil over the pasta, and serve with slices of fresh lemon.

Wine and Food Pairing and Serving Suggestions.

This is a very delicate fresh tasting pasta dish, and pairs best with a fresh light un-oaked white wine like a Pinot Grigio, or an Alsatian style Riesling.

A tip from Sue!

Make your salt and pepper your "right -hand" aid

An easy tool to have handy at all times in your kitchen is your customized combined salt and pepper shaker. Buy a clear plastic shaker with a handle on it. Make yourself a "customized salt and pepper combo or "house blend." Ours is three parts ground pepper to one part salt. Having one of these handy really cuts the prep time down when doing breading and preliminary cooking!