Pasta Primavera

This pasta dish uses Meyer lemon and olive oil along with fresh basil for flavor, but it's infinitely adaptable, to your taste. Use other herbs, fresh or dried, that you like. Use lime and cilantro and add some hot pepper for a completely different version. Of course you can removed vegetables you don't have, and you can add others. For a heartier dish, add cooked shrimp or chicken. And ... the best thing is that you can serve this warm, room temperature, or chilled. Serve it for dinner one night as a hot pasta dish, then chill and serve it as a chilled salad the next day.

Servings: 6 as a main, 12 as a side

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces dried rotini pasta, cooked in boiling salted water, drained
  • 24 thin asparagus , trimmed and cut in 1-inch lengths
  • 1 small zucchini, trimmed and cut in 1/8 inch thick circles
  • 1 small yellow squash, trimmed and cut in 1/8 inch thick circles
  • 1 large handful snow peas, trimmed and cut in 1/4 inch pieces diagonally
  • 6-8 scallion white and tender green parts, cut in 1/8 inch slices
  • 1 small endive, cut in half lengthwise, cored, and cut in 1/4 inch dice
  • 6 radishes , small dice
  • 12 grape tomatoes, halved
  • 12 large basil leaves, cut in thin ribbons
  • salt and pepper , to taste
  • 1 meyer lemon, zested and juiced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Directions

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the 10-inch skillet. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring or flipping until the asparagus is bright green and cooked through but still crisp. Transfer the asparagus to a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the zucchini and yellow squash to the hot pan and cook, stirring or flipping, until the squash is cooked to your liking. I liked it with some pieces lightly browned while others were still mostly raw. Add the squash to the bowl with the asparagus.
  3. Add the snow peas to the pan and cook until bright green, but still crisp. Add to the mixing bowl.
  4. Add a small splash of olive oil to the pan, if needed. Add the scallions and endive and cook briefly, just until barely wilted. Add to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the red pepper, radishes, tomato halves, and basil to the bowl. When the pasta is cooked through, drain it well and add it to the vegetables in the bowl. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and the 2 additional tablespoons of olive oil.
  6. Mix well, taste for seasoning, and add salt, pepper, or extra lemon juice, as needed.
  7. Serve warm. Drizzle with extra olive oil just before serving, if desired.
  8. Refrigerate the leftovers. If the pasta seems dry after it is chilled, add olive oil, as needed.
  • Yield: 6 as a main, 12 as a side Servings
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