1 pound fettuccini or spaghetti
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound broccoli, separated into flowerets
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced crosswise
1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 pound sugar snap peas, stems and strings removed
8 large leaves fresh basil, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper


1. In pasta pot, bring 4 quarts salted water to a boil. Cook fettuccini or spaghetti according to package directions until al dente. Drain immediately, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
2. Return pasta to pot and toss with mascarpone, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and reserved cooking liquid.
3. Meanwhile, in large, heavy skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add broccoli, zucchini, bell pepper and garlic. Stir-fry until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add sugar snap peas, basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Cook 1 minute longer or until sugar snap peas look cooked.
4. Transfer pasta to large heated platter or pasta bowl and top with vegetables and remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Decades ago, this dish, created at Sirio Maccioni's Le Cirque restaurant in New York City, became the rage across the nation.  It remains a wonderful showcase for fresh vegetables. Although some versions of this recipe call for substituting heavy cream if mascarpone is unavailable, in "The American Century Cookbook," Jean Anderson recalls a quote from the "New York Daily News" in which Maccioni suggested subbing ricotta.

Pasta Primavera
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