This dish gets its name from “pasta primavera,” which, as legend has it, originated not in Italy (where primavera means spring) but in the US some 40 years ago when Sirio Maccioni, owner of the famed New York restaurant Le Cirque, had the idea to throw together seasonal vegetables with pasta because he didn’t have any tomatoes at hand.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- 8 ounces broccoli
- 8 ounces asparagus spears, trimmed and cut in half
- 8 ounces sugar snap peas or shelled peas
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 ounces arugula or baby spinach
Cut off the ends of the broccoli stems and slice the stems into coin shapes; cut the heads into small florets. Heat a 12″ skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the 4 tablespoons of olive oil and the broccoli to the skillet. Cook for two minutes, rotating the pieces so that all sides get a slight char, and then add the asparagus. Toss every 30 seconds.
After two minutes, add the peas and turn down the heat to medium. Sprinkle the veggies with the salt and pepper and keep cooking them until tender. Add the arugula or spinach and cook until the greens wilt and their liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and drizzle with olive oil before serving.
Yields 2 servings as a main dish or 4 servings as a side or over a starch