chef john’s pasta primavera


Chef John’s Pasta Primavera (
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 45 Minutes

Serves 6

1 bunch fresh basil
3 cups chicken broth, divided
1/2 cup olive oil
6 cloves garlic
1 pound (500g) fettuccine pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large leeks, white & light green parts only, chopped
1 large bunch green onions, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
2 zucchinis, diced
1 cup chopped sugar snap peas or 1 cup green peas
1/2 cup shelled green peas (if using sugar snap peas)
1 bunch asparagus, stalks diced, tips left whole
grated Parmesan cheese, optional

1. Fill a large pot with lightly salted water and bring to a rolling boil. Hold basil bunch by the stems and dip basil leaves in boiling water until bright green, about 2 seconds.    Immerse basil in ice water for several minutes until cold to stop the cooking process. Once the basil is cold, drain well. Remove basil leaves from stems and discard stems.

2. Blend basil leaves, 1 cup (1/2 cup) chicken broth, 1/2 cup (1/4 cup) olive oil, and garlic together in a food processor until smooth. Cook the green peas, if desired.
3. Stir fettuccine into the same pot of boiling water, bring back to a boil, and cook pasta over medium heat until cooked through but still firm to the bite, about 8-10 minutes. Drain.

4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook and stir leek and green onion in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes. Add jalapeno (if using) and salt; cook and stir until jalapeno is soft, about 5 minutes.

5. Increase heat to medium-high. Stir 2 cups (1 cup) chicken broth, zucchini, sugar snap peas, and green peas into leek-green onion mixture; bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add asparagus and continue cooking until asparagus is soft, about 3 minutes more.
6. Pour 1/4 cup basil-garlic mixture into zucchini mixture and cook and stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

7. Place pasta in a large bowl; pour leek-green onion mixture over pasta and pour remaining basil-garlic mixture over the zucchini mixture. Spread Parmesan cheese over the top. Toss mixture briefly to combine and tightly wrap bowl with aluminum foil. Let stand until pasta and vegetables soak up most of the juices and oil, about 5 minutes. Toss again. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese, if desired. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve with garlic toast.

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