The name "pasta primavera" means "spring pasta" in Italian, but it can be used for any pasta dish with fresh vegetables. That said, the name has never been more appropriate than when applied to the dish the way I made it here--the peas and asparagus in California are so beautiful right now that I want to put them in everything. Stick to the veggies listed below, or go ahead and toss in whatever looks best at your market to get the most out of this dish.
Ingredients to serve 2-3 dinner or 4-5 as a starter course:
1 lb of pasta (I used spaghetti but you can use any)
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
1 cup sliced sugar snap peas
1 cup peeled asparagus
2 cloves shallots, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoon fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, roughly chopped
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. Before draining completely, save some of the pasta water to use later. Coat the bottom of a heavy saucepan in olive oil and add the cherry tomatoes, shallots and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring often to avoid burning the garlic or shallots. Once the tomatoes begin to blister, add the red wine vinegar, peas and asparagus and cook for 1 minute. Add the cooked pasta, 1/2 cup of the pasta water, balsamic vinegar and herbs to the saucepan and stir to combine the ingredients. Taste, salt and stir until the dish is seasoned to your taste. Shave or grate parmesan over the pasta before serving and drizzle with nice olive oil.