Mezze Penne Pasta Primavera
Cookware Item Used For This Recipe:
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup sweet grape tomatoes, washed, thoroughly dried, and *scored
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
1/2 cup carrot, cut into thin medallions
1/3 cup sweet red pepper, cut into medium dice
12 stalks pencil thin asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2” segments
1/2 cup scallions rings, thinly sliced
8 ounces mezze (mini) penne pasta noodles, cooked to just under “al dente”
1/2 cup of pasta water (reserved, use if needed)
6 large basil leaves, rolled and cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade)
2 Tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season
Red chile flakes, optional
Preheat your 11.5” fry pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil. Allow it to heat for 1 minute more.
Add the garlic and swirl the pan to avoid burning. Allow the garlic to cook for a few seconds, to a light golden stage. Add the grape tomatoes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. (Use caution in this step: the tomatoes may blister and pop causing spatter. Keep the kids clear of the stove.)
Add the oregano. Stir to combine. Add the carrots, red pepper, asparagus, and scallions. Season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Stir and cook the vegetables for 3 minutes.
Add the cooked pasta and stir. If the mixture seems dry, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir while cooking for 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat. Top 2 Tablespoons of the Pecorino Romano cheese and the ribboned basil. Transfer to a pasta bowl or serve right from pan. Offer with additional Pecorino Romano cheese and red chili flakes on the side.
Cut a shallow slice in each grape tomato at the stem end. This will reduce the amount of popping during cooking.
Tip: Sauces sometimes get “tight” or dry. To loosen a pasta sauce, add a little of the water used to cook the pasta. This will add flavor and bring your sauce to the desired consistency.