Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fettucini Primavera

     There are some really bad quality freeze dried instant cream sauce primavera pastas that are served at franchise chain restaurants.  Many times, the wrong sauce is used to make a primavera pasta at second rate restaurants.  Tomato sauce is not in a primavera pasta recipe!  Some second rate heath food chefs even make primavera with only vegetables and pasta with no sauce.  Sure, a dry primavera may look pretty in a picture, but the dry primavera lacks flavor.  There are so many poor quality primavera pastas to chose from.
     Primavera is a New York City Italian recipe and it is not a traditional Italian recipe at all.  Primavera loosely means spring vegetables.  The original primavera sauce was a besciamella sauce with parmesan cheese and that is all.  The vegetables in a primavera pasta should not be overcooked and they should be al dente.  The vegatables should be lightly sauteed and not steamed or blanched.  The sauce should only coat the ingredients of a primavera pasta lightly, and the sauce should not be flooded on the plate.
     Some of the traditional Italian pastas that have similar vegetable ingredients are contadina and campagnola vegetable pastas.  The sauces in those two pasta entrees are quite different than a primavera sauce.
     Besciamella Sauce Recipe:  Heat a sauce pot over medium heat.
     Add 3 pats of unsalted butter.
     Add an equal amount of  flour while constantly stirring.
     Stir till a light colored blond roux is formed.
     Add 1 1/2 cups of milk while stirring with a whisk.
     Add a small splash of cream.
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil for one minute while stirring.
     Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Add 1 pinch of nutmeg.
     Add white pepper and sea salt.
     Simmer and slowly reduce the besciamella, till it becomes a medium thin consistency.
     Keep the besciamella sauce warm over very low heat.    
     Fettucini Primavera Recipe:  Boil a portion of fettucini pasta in water over high heat.
     Cook the pasta, till it becomes al dente.
     The primavera sauce can be made while the pasta boils. 
     Heat a saute pan over medium heat.
     Add a small splash of olive oil.
     Add 1 clove of chopped garlic.
     When the garlic turns a golden color, add 1 small handful of juilenne sliced onion.
     Add add a few petit julienne slices of carrot.
     Add 1/2 of a sliced green onion.
     Add 1 small handful of sliced mushrooms.
     Add 1 small handful of petite broccoli florets.
     Add 1 small handful of asparagus tips and sliced stalk pieces.
     Add 1 small handful of coarsely chopped fresh plum tomato.
     Add a few thin julienne sliced green pepper strips.
     Add a few julienne sliced green beans.
     Add 6 to 8 snow peas.
     Saute the vegetables, till they become halfway cooked.
     Add enough of the the besciamella sauce to barely cover the vegetables.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Add 1 small handful of grated parmesan cheese.
     Stir the cheese into the sauce as it melts.  (If the sauce gets too thick, then dilute it with a little bit of milk.)
     Simmer till the vegetables are cooked al dente.
     Drain the water off of the pasta when the noodles become cooked al dente.
     Add the fettucini pasta to sauce and vegetables in the saute pan.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Toss the pasta, vegetables and sauce together till there is a light coating of sauce on the pasta and vegetables.
     Use a chef's carving fork to place the pasta on a plate.
     This is fettucini primavera as it was originally prepared!  There is no excess sauce slopped on the plate.  No garnish is needed.  There are no herbs in the original primavera.  No parsley either.  Primavera is a delicate, lightly sauced spring vegetable pasta!  The flavor of the vegetables is the star of the sauce.  As you can see, the original primavera was not made with a tomato sauce.  Ciao Baby!  ...  Shawna

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