Winter is all about simple, comfort eating. But that doesn’t mean every meal should be a stew. Tagliatelle Primavera (literally ‘spring’, but we’ll ignore that bit) is a simple, one-pot pasta dish, perfect for the early year. Weekends especially.
In my eyes, all of the best pasta dishes can be thrown together at a moment’s notice, without too much hassle or fuss. Pasta is a rustic ingredient, which should be used in a manner befitting its nature.
You may disagree – and “posh” pasta is usually nice too – but there’s no reason to go above and beyond the call of duty with pasta. Simple ingredients and simple flavours, though carefully considered, are all that’s necessary for a comforting pasta dish.
Feel free to add whatever vegetables you like, or have in the cupboard, to your primavera. Nothing is out of bounds. In that sense, it’s very similar to a minestrone.
However, I’d avoid adding meat – even chicken – as it can have the effect of making what should be a light pasta dish, a little too heavy.
The key here is not to skimp on the lemon juice or fresh herbs. It is these ingredients that elevate the primavera from a pasta “concoction” to a cohesive dish with notes of fragrance and a refreshing tang.
- 300g tagliatelle, or similar
- 50g butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 2 cloves of garlic, mashed
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 200g broccoli, in small florets
- 200g green beans, halved
- 100g frozen broad beans
- 100g frozen garden peas
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 handful fresh basil, finely chopped
- Start by cooking your pasta according to packet instructions in well-salted water. Once cooked, drain, rinse with cold water and set aside. Save 50ml of the starchy water.
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan, adding a little olive oil to keep it from burning. Tip in the garlic and leek and cook on a medium heat until translucent and soft.
- Add the broccoli and green beans and stir fry for 2 minutes over a high heat, before adding the broad beans and peas, followed by the cooked pasta and the starchy water.
- Cook the pasta until warm – don’t let it stick. Add the lemon juice, zest, parsley and half the basil and stir through. Serve immediately with the remaining basil and a drizzle of olive oil.
Cost: By using ingredients like green beans, frozen peas and broccoli, keeping the cost of a dish like this down is child’s play.
Avoiding the addition of anything particularly expensive, you can make your own delicious tagliatelle primavera for as little as £3.