Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Pasta Primavera with Breadcrumb Topping

Hand-twisted noodles called pinci (also known as pici) are a Tuscan delicacy. Luckily for time-pressed cooks, curly pasta noodles work too.

8 oz. fusilli or rotini pasta
3 Tbs. olive oil
1⁄2 lb. green beans, trimmed
1⁄2 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1⁄2 tsp. crushed red pepper
3 medium-sized zucchini (about 1⁄2 lb.
total), trimmed and julienned
2 large red bell peppers, julienned
1⁄4 cup finely chopped basil
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, bring large pot of salted water to boil; add green beans and parboil 3 minutes. Transfer beans to colander and rinse under cold running water to stop cooking.

3. Heat 2 Tbs. oil in very large skillet over medium heat. Add green beans, onion, garlic and crushed red pepper, and cook, covered, 3 minutes. Add zucchini, peppers, basil and oregano, and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes, or until vegetables are just al dente; do not overcook. Season with salt to taste.

4. Warm remaining 1 Tbs. oil in second skillet over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs and sauté until golden, about 5 minutes.

5. Add drained pasta to vegetables and toss to blend; sprinkle with breadcrumbs, cheese and olive oil, and serve (Serves 6).

Pasta Primavera with Breadcrumb Topping

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