Pasta Primavera (again)

I can't remember the last time I made Pasta Primavera. But I remember that I had cooked it for my family and chopped all the vegetables myself in my home. And I remember that I ate most of the balsalmic tomato topping, because that is my favorite part. 

But times they are a changin'. 

On Sunday, I went home and my mother made this for me and my family. I did not make it. 
And I always used to make it. And we sat and ate it with some grilled chicken and white wine, except for my dad who had a Corona:

I keep having these little revelations that everything is so fucking transient, so you better enjoy everything as much as you can. And I'm changing too, all the time.  Which is a little bit crazy. 
Sometimes I think I know very much. 

But that is infrequent.

I am learning things all the time. 


-It is good to make words your own.
-Only buy the utterly fabulous.
-Cigarettes are nasty.
-The most flattering gift you can give is your complete and full attention.
-Do not make assumptions. (HARD)
-"What are you saving for? For another time? There are no other times. There is only now. Right now." -George Balanchine
-Compliment honestly and frequently.
-It is okay to begin the day with chocolate.
-Love is so much bigger than I ever thought it was. It's bigger than clouds. It's more huge than sky. It goes beyond. Hearts are like galaxies within galaxies within constellations within universes. 
-Do not wash your hair every day. Even though it is sad looking on day 2.
-Never let them know.
-Academic snobbery exists and it is noxious.
-Make a list.
-Ask for what you want and risk extreme embarrassment, because sometimes, despite the extreme risk and embarrassment, you actually get what you want. And it's pretty great.
-Pasta Primavera was delicious, is delicious and always will be delicious. 

And that's about it. I really don't know much more than that


Pasta Primavera
from The Gourmet Cookbook

This recipe is a little complicated, but completely worth the effort. Also, this is the second time this recipe has appeared on the blog, which means that it's really, really, really good. The previous post about Pasta Primavera is here.

1 ounce dried morel mushrooms
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup frozen baby peas, thawed
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
rounded 1/2 teasoon red pepper flakes
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pints tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsalmic vinegar
3 tablespoons water
1 pound spaghettini
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) butter
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Prepare the vegetables:
Soak morels in warm water in a small bowl for 30 minutes.
Lift mushrooms out of water and squeeze excess liquid back into bowl. Pour soaking liquid through a sieve lined witha dampened paper towel into a small bowl: reserve. Rinse throughly to remove grit, then squeeze dry. Cut off and discard any tough stems. Halve morels.

Add asparagus and beans to a 6 to 8 quart pot of boiling salted water, and cook, uncovered for 3 minutes. Add peas and cook until beans and asparagus and just tender, 1 to 2 minutes more. Immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking, (or simply rise with cold water in a colander), drain.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 10 to 12 inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat. Add 1 teaspoon garlic and rounded 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes and cook, stirring until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add drained vegetables and salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.

Cook the tomatos:
Cut half of tomatoes into quarters and halve remainder lenghtwise, keeping quarters and halves separate> Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in same skillet over moderately low heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon garlic and remainging rounded 1/4 red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, just until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add quartered tomatoes, with salt and ppepper to taste and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes are softened, about 3 minutes. Add halved tomatoes, vinegar and water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and halved tomatoes are softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

Cook the spaghettini:
Return pot of water to a boil and cook spgahettinini until al dente; drain in a colander.
Immediately add butter, cream, zest and morels to (empty) pasta pot, bring to a simmer and simmer gently, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Stir in cheese, then add pasta, tossing to coat and adding as much of reserved morel soaking liquid as necessary (1/2 to 2/3 cup) to keep pasta well coated. Add green vegetables, parsley, basil, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to taste, toss gently to combine.

Serve pasta topped with tomatoes and if desired more Parmigiano-Reggino shavings.