Pasta Primavera(ish) With Un Poco De Pig

How’s that for a recipe name?

Can you tell I maybe made it up?


Anyway, it was delicious, and satisfying, and took no time at all to make, and felt relatively healthy…so I thought I’d send it your way.

Since this is the most improvisational (and easiest) thing ever, here are the basics:

The Pasta: For traditional pasta primavera, you’d use a shorter, fatter type of pasta (like penne), or slice the vegetables into matchstick shapes to mimic longer, thinner pasta types (like spaghetti). I like chunky vegetables, so even though I only had spaghetti in the apartment I skipped the matchsticking, but do as you will.

The Vegetables: Basically, use whatever looks delicious and fresh, but stick to heartier vegetables that hold their shape well after cooking (such as cauliflower, carrots, onions, peppers, and broccoli). Use as many or as few types as you like – I just went for onions and broccoli, because I passed a farm stand on the way home and that’s what looked good.

The Meat: You don’t have to use meat in this (whenever I order it in a restaurant, it’s almost always a vegetarian dish) , but I like how chopped good-quality bacon adds a little extra saltiness and heartiness.

The Sauce: I have a thing for tomato sauces, but olive oil/garlic/parmigiana is more traditional. And the addition of some cream is never a bad idea – had some cream been laying around last night, it would certainly have made it in.

To make the version above, here’s what you need/what you do:

What you need:

1 package fresh pasta of choice

1 onion, sliced into thick rounds

1 tsp minced garlic

6-8 slices of good-quality bacon, fat removed and cut into matchsticks or roughly chopped

1 large can crushed tomatoes

2 small heads broccoli

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

What you do:

1. Put about 1/4″ water in the bottom of a pot and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli, stem side down, and steam until just tender (a fork should slide easily into the stem). Remove broccoli from pot and cut into florets of desired size. Toss with a little butter, lemon juice, and salt, if desired.

2. In a saucepan, heat a little olive oil, then add the sliced onion, minced garlic, and chopped bacon (you can also add a chile here for a little heat). Cook, stirring constantly, until the bacon is crispy and the onion is translucent.

3. Add the crushed tomatoes to the saucepan, turn down heat, and let simmer about 15 minutes.

4. Cook fresh pasta in a pot of boiling water (it should only need to cook a couple of minutes, but if you’re using dry pasta of course it’ll take longer), and then drain pasta and toss together with sauce and broccoli florets. Add salt and pepper to taste, and a dash of cream, if you like.

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