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Pasta primavera

In honor of today’s glorious early-spring weather (sunny, temps in the 60s), I’m making a version of pasta primavera for dinner. And, because I’m not working this week, I’ll make the pasta myself — something I love to do, but not after working all day!

For the pasta: I’m using the basic egg pasta recipe from Lidia Bastianich, in “Lidia’s Italian Table.” Just eggs, unbleached flour, a pinch of salt, few drips of olive oil, and a little warm water if needed. Ten to fifteen minutes later — after some steady kneading, you’ll have a silky-smooth ball of dough. (For the kneading process, I find it helps to pour a glass of wine, put on some tunes — Black Eyed Peas‘ “I Gotta Feelin'” has just the right beat — and enjoy the workout.)

Today’s wine: Argiolas Costamolino 2008, from Sardinia. ($12.99)

For the primavera sauce: Using what I found on a quick trip to Greg’s Produce in Hockessin, DE. Gorgeous red peppers (they are huge!), some leeks and asparagus.

One large red pepper, sliced into bite-sized strips
1 T. olive oil
Two medium leeks, halved lengthwise, rinsed well, sliced crosswise
One bunch asparagus, cut into bite-sized strips to match peppers
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
Salt, pepper as needed

Add olive oil to hot saute pan. Add vegetables and saute until just crisp-tender. Grate garlic into veg, add a bit of salt and pepper, and then broth. Boil to reduce, 2-3 minutes.

Add cooked pasta to sauce (fettuccine, farfalle, whatever you love).

Spoon ricotta into warm serving bowl. Pour pasta and sauce over, stir to mix. Add Parmigiano Reggiano, and salt/pepper if needed.

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