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Pasta Primavera

This Italian-American preparation of pasta and fresh vegetables, named after the spring season (primavera in Italian), was developed by New York chefs in the late 1970s. Accounts of the origins of the dish vary. Chef Franco Brigandi also claims to have invented the dish while maitre d' at Il Gatto Pardo Ristorante. Sirio Maccioni, co-owner of New York City's Le Cirque dates the dish to a 1975 trip he and his wife to to Shangri-La Ranch on Robert's Island in Nova Scotia, Canada, the residence of Italian Baron Carlo Amato; Maccioni credits his wife for having pulled the dish together from available ingredients. Chef Jean Vergnes of Le Cirque also is said to have modified a similar dish from amateur chef Ed Giobbi, but to have refused to allow the dish to be prepared in his kitchen. This led to a large pot being set up in the hall to satisfy requests. No matter the origin, pasta primavera was popularized when Le Cirque's pasta primavera, still at that time an unlisted special, was written up in the New York Times in 1977 by prominent food critics Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey. Today, the dish is regarded as a cornerstone of US cuisine.

Recipe Servings: 6

Prep Time
15 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Total Time
45 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free



  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. On a large baking sheet, toss the vegetables with oil, salt, pepper, and herbs, coating thoroughly.
  2. Move half the coated vegetables to a second large baking sheet, arranging vegetables evenly over both sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, and then bake another 10 minutes, until the carrots are tender and other vegetables are beginning to brown.
  4. In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil and add the pasta. Cook for about 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture, combining thoroughly. Add the cherry tomatoes and moisten as needed with the reserved cooking liquid.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.

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