Are you getting your hopes up for spring? For many of us, this time of the year is the toughest; the long, cold months are taking their toll and warm weather seems so far off! Luckily, you don’t have to wait until May to get a taste of spring.
Every one of us associates different flavors to different seasons. The holidays are all about sugar and spice and everything nice; summer is fresh fruits and cookouts. If spring has a flavor, it’s the appearance of some of the earliest seasonal vegetables and fresh dishes prepared after a day out exploring the first hints of sun and warmth. That takes us back to one of the most famous dishes of the season, Italy’s Pasta Primavera.
Now, you might associate the dish with the warm and glowing climes of the Italian peninsula. In fact, the dish first came to life in, and this is true, Nova Scotia. That’s right. Pasta primavera’s roots have Canadian roots. The first mention comes just recently in the history of cuisine, back in 1975. Yep, that golden age of food.
Famous in his day, New York restaurateur Sirio Maccioni paid a visit to his friend Baron
Carlo Amato, who lived not in Sicily or Sardinia but in Nova Scotia. Maccioni and his assistants spent the weekend cooking for the Baron and one of the new dishes they created was centered around penne pasta and cooked vegetables. It was a hit, so much so that Macchioni began offering the dish as an unlisted special in his New York restaurant. Other chefs claimed to have invented the dish in the same area and around the same time, though it’s very likely that the recipe spread by word of mouth. And the dish did get around; many consider Pasta Primavera the top culinary contribution to the world in the 1970s.
The dish itself has many iterations with different veggies, but most include broccoli, grape tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and early-season vegetables. Many also have incorporated shrimp or chicken for more protein, while tofu has emerged as a vegetarian option as well.
In addition to pasta and veggies, having high-quality extra virgin olive oil and the right seasonings can add a whole lot of flavor. Dry Italian seasoning makes it easy to mix your own dressing, and don’t forget to add lemon juice to add that real taste of spring to the dish! Pasta primavera is one of our favorite ways to get the kids to eat their veggies and make getting those veggies a bit more filling. It’s also easy to grab gluten-free pasta to make this a safe dish to pass when getting together with friends.
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For a great recipe, head here.