Welcome to the launch of 101-Mile Kitchen. Just as this Modern Pasta Primavera recipe represents springtime renewal, 101-Mile Kitchen is a new beginning for me. I formerly blogged as Sticks Forks Fingers beginning in 2009. Sticks Forks Fingers journaled my early experiences as a country dweller, my love for great food and great wine, my love of Oregon and its thriving food culture, and stories of falling in love with the man who became my husband.
101-Mile Kitchen will follow that thread, including recipes developed to encourage readers to cultivate their cooking intuition and confidence. The recipes you see here are developed to give you confidence to play, learn, and grow.
On these pages you will also meet some of my heroes-- the growers and makers who keep our community fed and happy. I hope this will encourage you to seek out the special people who dedicate their lives to growing and making food, wine, beer, and the like in your area, no matter where you live.
And, of course, you'll read stories about being in love, which come to learn is a whole different thing than falling in love. Cooking and loving, to me, are completely intertwined and provide magical opportunities to reflect on one another.
What is so Modern About this Pasta Primavera Recipe?
The premiere recipe for 101-Mile Kitchen is a Modern Pasta Primavera. Primavera, the Italian word for springtime, signals the new beginning cycle of growth we can count on year after year, no matter what else is going on in the world. The daffodils poke up their perky heads no matter what. If that isn't hopeful, I don't know what is.
Tender pasta squares make a bed for the sprightly vegetables. A sauce of pancetta, butter, white wine, and bright green herbs bath the the dish. (Be sure to check the recipe card for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian options.) Softly boiled "jammy" eggs contribute to the sauce giving it even more of a springtime feel of the dish. It truly is one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten.
If you like this recipe, please give it a rating by clicking the green stars in the recipe card below. And I invite you to follow my newsletter by signing up in the box at the bottom of the page. You'll receive a gift of my Flavors of Oregon tartine recipe booklet as soon as you do.
Modern Pasta Primavera
Course: Breakfast + Brunch, Main Dish
Season: Evergreen (April - July)
Prep Time: 30minutes
Cook Time: 30minutes
Servings: 4to 6
A deconstructed take on a classic, featuring early spring vegetables and a delicious new sauce.
4smallartichokes, leaves and choke removed to expose heart, and cut into eighthsor 1 12-14 ounce can or jar of artichoke hearts
1poundfava beans, removed from their pods (optional)or edamame
12ouncesfresh or frozen peas
1 headfennel, sliced into fans through the root end
12 - 16ouncesfresh egg pasta sheets, or other pasta of your choice
salt for pasta water and to taste
6 Tbspunsalted butter or ghee
4ouncespancetta, finely diced
2clovesgarlic, thinly sliced
1largeshallot, finely minced
½cupdry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1 bunchfresh chives
1 bunchfresh dill
salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the Eggs
Cover the eggs with water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. For perfect jammy eggs, allow to boil for 7 minutes. While they are cooking prepare a bowl with ice water. After the eggs boil for 6 ½ minutes, remove them from the boiling water into the ice bath. Leave them in the ice bath for 10 minutes. Remove them from the water, peel them, slice them in half, and them set aside.
Get the Vegetables Ready
Prepare all the vegetables: Peel the asparagus stems with a peeler if they are the chubby variety, and trim or snap off the woody ends. Pull off the leaves from the artichokes, scrape out the fuzzy chokes with a spoon, and trim the stem with a peeler. Remove the fava beans from their pods. Slice the fennel bulb into ½ inch fans down through the stem end. The peas will be added to the sauce later.
Place a large pot of well-salted water on to boil. When it comes to a boil drop in the asparagus and let cook until bright green and just starting to be tender, about 4-5 minutes; remove an set aside. Drop in the shelled fava beans (or edamame) and cook 6 minutes until tender; remove and set aside. When the fava beans are cool enough to handle, slip them out of their waxy skin. Drop in the artichoke heart wedges (if using fresh artichokes) and cook until tender, about 6 minutes; remove and set aside. Keep the water at a low boil.
Make the Sauce
Melt the butter into a 10" skillet or saucier over medium heat. When it begins to bubble, add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until the pancetta has rendered some of its fat and is beginning to lightly brown.
Add the sliced fennel to the skillet, and cook until just translucent, stirring often, about 5-6 minutes.
Add the sliced garlic and minced shallot to the skillet, stirring often, until they are just beginning to become translucent, about 3 more minutes.
Add the white wine and about a teaspoon of salt and ground pepper (to taste) to the sauce, stirring until the wine has reduced about half. (The fennel will absorb some of it.)
Add the fresh or frozen peas to the sauce, cooking for one minute. Stir the finely minced chives and dill into the sauce, reserving a tablespoon of each for garnish. Turn the heat to low while you cook the pasta.
Bring the pot of water back to a full boil. Cut the pasta sheets into 3" squares, drop them into the boiling water, and cook according to package directions. (Most fresh sliced garlic and minced shallot to the skillet, pasta only takes 90 seconds to cook.) Drain pasta and set aside.
Assembling the Dish
On a pretty platter, lay out the cooked pasta squares. Arrange the asparagus, artichoke hearts, fava beans, peas, and fennel over the pasta. Spoon the sauce over the vegetables and pasta. Arrange the halved eggs over the top, and garnish with the remaining fresh herbs.
Make It Your Own:Fava beans are wonderful, yet they can be hard to find and do add a little work to this dish. Feel free to omit them, or swap in edamame.Prepping fresh artichokes to get to their hearts also adds a lot of time to this dish. For a shortcut substitute frozen, canned or jarred artichoke hearts (marinated or not.). Thick stemmed asparagus is preferred, but use what's available. Gluten-free option: use your favorite GF pasta.Vegetarian option: omit the pancetta.The success of this dish lies in not overcooking any of the vegetables. They are young and tender, and don't need much time on the heat to be perfect.
You’re in the right place! I’m Pam Spettel, home cooking expert and guide, and I’m here to show you how to break up with cooking and hospitality anxiety, learn how to use recipes as guides rather than strict rules, and let your cooking intuition and confidence soar.
Superpower: Dreaming up recipes that work, serving them to my friends and family, and writing little stories about how cooking them well is the same as loving well.
Inspiration: Ingredients! The fresh, colorful, fragrant, local, seasonal ingredients found in the Pacific Northwest are my creative medium.
Heroes: Local food and wine producers– the people who keep me, my family, and our community nourished and happy.