Table for 3 please…
Here we are again with another pasta dish, but this one is kinda Special There are a lot of pasta dishes, but pasta primavera is different, let me tell you why…
A lot of pasta Dishes come from the old country where grandma’s grandma Handed down recipes etc.
Well not with pasta primavera… it was invented in the mid-1970s Right here in NYC. I remember having it prepared table side at le cirque, but it was never on the menu, you had to know to order off the menu which would impress your friends.
pasta primavera made table side at Le Cirque.
Le Cirque was a circus themed French restaurant where the cool people would go to have great food, powerful people went with their female companions, like friends from out of town or a niece.
I also had my first taste of that magical dessert crème brûlée there. Le cirque was like a show and everybody watched each other. So when the trolley would pulled up and the Maitre d in his suit and tie and nice cuff links it was impressive when he would cook the dish tableside.
Cooking table side was not something new, a lot of fancy restaurants did it. Caesar salad was another thing that was made table side and Chinese restaurants did almost the same with Peking duck which, while not cooked table side the chef would come out with all the plates of condiments, carve the duck and serve it to you.
Ok, back to the Primavera… 3 people claimed to have invented this dish, but the one common factor is that it was started here in NYC and was served table side.
I am gonna go with this story according to Marco Maccioni, the son of the owner of Le Cirque….
His father, Sirio Maccioni, owned le Cirque here in Nyc and he and his wife took a trip to Canada to cook for gastronomic geniuses. That morning, when he opened the refrigerator, he was missing the tomatoes and basil that he was going to use!
So he and his wife started going through the refrigerator and got broccoli, peas pine nuts, and some zucchini and butter, cream, and cheese.
He lightly sautéed the veggies and added the pasta cream and cheese… it was done everyone loved it! What do you call this dish? He said pasta primavera!
Then in NYC at his restaurant le cirque a French restaurant, he introduced pasta primavera. The New York Times did a food review on it and it was a Hit!
You can not patent recipes, so this dish became a staple in many restaurants and soon all over the world, including supermarkets, where you could find weight watch primavera in the frozen foods isles or pasta ronie.
Frozen pasta Primavera.
Wait a minute I have had pasta carbonara! It’s the same thing! you are probably thinking. The answer no it’s not.. all misconceptions about carbonara will be explained the next time I make it.
So I looked at the clock and did not realize what time it was, let alone what day it was… I had to make dinner!
Kitty is yelling ideas like there is an eggplant and raspberries that need to be used before they go off… huh? she does that a lot.
But as I go through the refrigerator I see asparagus, broccolini, fresh peas, peppers 1 slice of bacon some heavy cream a wedge of cheese.
So this is a refrigerator raid dish!
I yell out to Jesse “come cook!” We discussed what we were going to do and in what order… everything thing had to come together in 10 minutes because that is when the pasta Shells would be done. So bacon is the first thing we picked and we could use the fat afterward to cook the vegetables.
A the same time I was making a Mixed pepper relish: red, green, and yellow peppers quickly cooked in garlic and olive oil.
Next butter to the bacon fat and some olive oil, and it’s all just enough to sauté, remember it was only 1 slice of bacon diced.
Add veggies, cook till they change color to a darker green and add bacon.
Then we scooped the shell from the boiling water directly in the pan with veggies.
We do not drain the pasta, we want the starchy water it will form a sauce.
Now we add the heavy cream and stir constantly, adding cheese at the same time.
The cheese and cream start to thicken… Done!
Our dish done!
Then we topped with the sweet pepper relish, some more cheese, and a drizzle of olive oil…
The pasta was perfumed with a Smokey flavor from the bacon, the vegetables were not overcooked so they had a perfect crunch with the cream, that now had a salty tang from the pecorino Romano cheese that gives it an umami flavor.
Needless to say… no leftovers.