Last week for my birthday, I received a very special gift from my very thoughtful daughters and son-in-law A set of three pasta roller attachments for my stand mixer! It's funny how a conversation about pasta and pasta making can result in a wonderful gift;) Thank you, My Dears!
I couldn't think of a better way to use my very first homemade pasta at this time of year than making Pasta Primavera! Full of the flavors of spring time this was a wonderful recipe which I will share below.
I knew absolutely nothing about making pasta before - Nada! I read through the manual and decided to go with the recipe for semolina pasta that came with the attachments for my first attempt at pasta making. One thing I learned very quickly is that you need to add more water to the dough if the humidity is low. My pasta was difficult to knead and crumbled as I tried to feed it through the rollers. I reworked it with a little more water and that was all it needed. I hope to get better at this with more practice :)
Here are the first sheets of dough that I made with the flat roller attachment.
Then the real excitement...having the first ribbons of wide pasta coming through the cutters!
The following recipe is loosely adapted from Pasta Primavera, Gourmet, April 2003 found on Epicurious. After reading the comments, adjusting to things I had on hand and also condensing what seemed like many steps, I made several changes to the recipe. Both DH and I thought it was delicious. The red pepper flakes and lemon zest give this dish a fresh and lively kick. If I would make this for guests, I would probably follow the original recipe since it calls for morel mushrooms.
Too see the original recipe click here.
Yield: Makes 4 servings
1 8-oz package fresh crimini mushrooms, cleaned, halved and sliced
1/2 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 lb haricots verts or very thin green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
1 leek, white part only, washed and sliced very thin
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 large Roma tomatoes, diced into 1/2" cubes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1/2 lb pasta (I used my homemade fettucine)
3 T unsalted butter
2/3 cup fat free half and half (or heavy cream if you wish)
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/8 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
Cook asparagus and beans in a large pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, 3 minutes. Add peas and cook until beans and asparagus are just tender, about 1 to 2 minutes more. Immediately transfer vegetables with a large slotted spoon to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking, reserving hot water in pot for cooking pasta. Drain cooled vegetables and reserve.
In a large, heavy saute pan, melt 2 T of olive oil on medium high heat. Add minced garlic and saute until just fragrant. Do not brown. Add sliced leek and red pepper flakes and saute until leek is softened, about 3 minutes. Add crimini mushrooms and continue to saute until any moisture is released and absorbed. Add diced roma tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and water, salt and pepper to taste, and continue to cook until tomatoes are softened, about 3 more minutes. Add green vegetables until just barely warmed and set aside while pasta cooks.
As soon as you start cooking the tomatoes, and before adding the green vegetables to the tomatoes, return water in pot to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water and then drain pasta in a colander. Immediately add butter, cream, and zest to empty pasta pot and simmer gently, uncovered, about 2 minutes. Stir in cheese and add pasta, tossing to coat, adding a little reserved pasta water if necessary to keep pasta well coated. Add green vegetables, basil, parsley and salt and pepper to taste and toss gently to combine.
Serve pasta with some freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and top with toasted pine nuts.