Recipes Main Courses Pasta Rice and Grains Pasta Primavera with Buttery Bread Crumbs

Pasta Primavera with Buttery Bread Crumbs

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6

This kid-friendly recipe is packed with colorful vegetables but you can use any combination you want. Buttery bread crumbs add crunch and texture to this creamy dish. For a lighter variation, skip the sauce and substitute with extra-virgin olive oil, freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil. If you do make the sauce, however, note that the recipe makes more sauce than you will need. Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use it within 3 days, tossing it with your favorite pasta and vegetables—and another few tablespoons of cream, if necessary, to loosen it to the proper consistency.

Ingredients:

  • For the vegetables:
  • 1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into half-moons
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) pieces
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut into thin slices on the diagonal


For the alfredo sauce:

  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) dried bread crumbs
  • 12 oz. (375 g) gemelli
  • 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) cherry tomatoes, halved

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 400°F (200°C).

Pile the zucchini and bell peppers on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbs. of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Spread the vegetables in a single layer and roast, stirring once about halfway through, until soft, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

On the same baking sheet, toss the carrots with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer. Roast, stirring once, until fork-tender, about 12 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the other vegetables. Set aside.

While the carrots are roasting, bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil over high heat.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, warm the cream. In another saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the warmed cream to the butter and stir in the cheese. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
 
Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and cook just until it thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. The sauce will continue to cook even after you remove it from the heat, so be careful not to overcook it or your sauce will become too thick. Measure out 1 1/2 cups (12 fl. oz./375) and save the rest for another use.

To finish the dish, in a fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the bread crumbs and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Add the gemelli to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions until al dente.  Drain well and add to the bowl with the vegetables. Stir in the 1 1/2 cups  alfredo sauce and the cherry tomatoes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish, top with the buttery bread crumbs and serve immediately. Serves 4 to 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Pasta Night, by Kate McMillan (Weldon Owen, 2014)