recipe: fast pasta primavera

OK, it’s not exactly spring anymore, but organic Ontario vegetables are everywhere, and my fridge is full of them. Here’s my quick and dirty pasta primavera. The lemon rind/zest (not grated!) gives this dish some extra zip.


  • 1 bunch fresh broccoli florets, stems removed, separated into bite sized portions
  • 1 handful (15-25) fresh green beans, washed and ends removed
  • ½ sweet red pepper, cut into 12 sections about 3cm square each
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 large or 2 medium fresh cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots (not green onions…)
  • 1 tsp dried wild oregano
  • 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth (if you must use canned, go reduced sodium please)
  • ½ cup crème fraîche
  • ½ cup finely grated hard Italian cheese (Romano, Gran Padano, Parmesan, etc.)
  • ½ of the skin of one lemon
  • Linguini, water to cook


Start water boiling for pasta, using half of the lemon skin. When ready, cook linguini.

Steam broccoli, green beans, sweet red pepper, and the other half of the lemon skin until vegetables are soft and broccoli is a deep green. Meanwhile, sautee the shallots and garlic in the olive oil. When done, add the vegetables (removing the lemon peel) and sautée for 5 minutes. Add the flour to thicken and form a sort-of roux. Add chicken broth and crème fraîche; reduce liquid volume by ½.

When pasta is done cooking, drain and remove lemon. Add vegetable mixture to pasta. Add grated cheese and mix rapidly until mixture thickens slightly. Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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