Update: This recipe is originally from Feb 2007, but has just been re-tested, re-photographed, and re-published!
Pasta primavera is one of those classics that has no real recipe – just an expectation of bright crisp vegetables, a light sauce and usually cheese. Unfortunately, as a vegetarian teenager I learned how much the dish varies, because it was the standard meatless option on menus. In fact, it took me years to have any desire to make it after eating too many heavy and ofttimes congealed versions.
So for this pasta primavera recipe my goal was simple: keep it creamy, yet light, and chock full of vegetables. Although Spring may be the best time, I make this year round with whatever vegetables I have on hand. This version has carrots, celery, mushrooms and spinach but also love it with broccoli and peas.
Pasta Primavera(serves 2)
Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Heat a large saucepot to medium low heat. Heat the olive oil and the onion. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes or until softened. Add the carrots and celery along with a pinch of salt and sweat until soft. (Tip: you can cover the pot while the veggies are sweating and they will cook faster, be less likely to brown and you can even walk away every once and awhile.) add the garlic, mushrooms and zucchini and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Season the veggies with salt and pepper and melt in the butter. Stir together the milk and flour in a small bowl. Stir the mixture in to the veggies and increase the heat to medium.
Start cooking the pasta, and cook according to package directions. Once the milk mixture has been simmering for at least 3 minutes stir in the spinach. Cook, stirring until it is wilted. Roughly chop basil. Once wilted, stir in the basil, and cheese. Taste for seasoning.
Once pasta is cooked, drain and add to the sauce. Toss together. Gently beat the egg yolk, and stir into the pasts quickly. The pasta should still be hot enough to cook the egg. Serve hot.