Mezze Penne Pasta Primavera
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 cup sweet grape tomatoes, washed, thoroughly dried, and *scored
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced
- 1/2 cup carrot, cut into thin medallions
- 1/3 cup sweet red pepper, cut into medium dice
- 12 stalks pencil thin asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2” segments
- 1/2 cup scallions rings, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces mezze (mini) penne pasta noodles, cooked to just under “al dente”
- 1/2 cup of pasta water (reserved, use if needed)
- 6 large basil leaves, rolled and cut into thin ribbons (chiffonade)
- 2 Tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
- 1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to season
- Red chile flakes, optional
- Preheat the11.5" Sauté Skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the olive oil. Allow it to heat for 1 minute more.
- Add the garlic and swirl the pan to avoid burning. Allow the garlic to cook for a few seconds, to a light golden stage. Add the grape tomatoes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. (Use caution in this step: the tomatoes may blister and pop causing spatter. Keep the kids clear of the stove.)
- Add the oregano. Stir to combine. Add the carrots, red pepper, asparagus, and scallions. Season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Stir and cook the vegetables for 3 minutes.
- Add the cooked pasta and stir. If the mixture seems dry, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta water. Stir while cooking for 3 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Top 2 Tablespoons of the Pecorino Romano cheese and the ribboned basil. Transfer to a pasta bowl or serve right from pan. Offer with additional Pecorino Romano cheese and red chili flakes on the side.
- *Score= Cut a shallow slice in each grape tomato at the stem end. This will reduce the amount of popping during cooking.
***Hint: Sauces sometimes get “tight” or dry. To loosen a pasta sauce, add a little of the water used to cook the pasta. This will add flavor and bring your sauce to the desired consistency.
- Brittany Pitschman